INFECTIOUS DISEASES (PART 2) – FUNGUS
Mycosis (fungal infection) is increasingly common in domesticated rabbits and it is observed that rabbits with poorer immunity are more likely to be affected. Mycosis in rabbits is typically caused by 2 types of dermatophytes: Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Ringworm is a common form of mycosis in rabbits. It is not a worm but a fungus that appears as a round red lesion with a crusty bald center. It is typically found on the head, ears or around the face. It is highly infectious and can live for months in the environment. It can be transmitted through contact and from the air.
Fungal dermatitis is a catch-all description for other skin irritations caused by fungus. It typically starts around the head and spread to the legs, feet and toenail beds. The skin may be dry, flaky, itchy and can be raw and red. In serious cases, there can be pus, fever and excessive fur loss.
Diagnosis for mycosis can be visual but a vet may do a cultural test to confirm the species. A combination of oral and topical medication are often prescribed. These treatments are relatively inexpensive but may require several rounds to clear the infection. The environment should also be thoroughly cleansed with the use of 1:10 bleach water to eradicate the spores.
Prevention is not difficult with good hygiene. Change their bedding and clean their space daily. Groom your rabbit frequently and visit your vet every few months to ensure your rabbit is healthy and have a strong immune system.