Parasites

Why should I treat my rabbit for parasites?

Fleas, maggots, worms and other parasites should be prevented as they feed on your rabbit’s skin or gut, causing ill health.

Which parasites should I treat my rabbit for?

Maggots

Sadly maggots are a common problem in rabbits. Flies lay small clumps of yellow eggs on your rabbit, from which maggots hatch out. The maggots start feeding on your rabbit, who will often die from tissue loss, infection and shock.

The flies are attracted by food and faeces, so keeping your rabbit’s hutch and run clean, and removing old feed, are essential. You should also check through all of your rabbit’s fur for the fly eggs. You also need to check your rabbit’s rear end every day to make sure it is clean, as this is the main site for maggots. If your rabbit is getting faeces stuck to their bottom, this is not normal and may be due to them not having enough hay and grass. Once fully grown, rabbits should only have an egg cupful of dry food per day, and should spend the rest of the day eating ad lib fresh hay and grass. Faeces stuck to the bottom may also be due to dental disease or obesity so your rabbit should come in for a vet check.

You can also prevent flystrike by putting a Rearguard treatment on your rabbit. The Rearguard is a fluid which is sponged onto the rabbits back, and this protects the rabbit against maggots for 10 weeks. This is particularly advisable during summer, when flies are reproducing rapidly.

E.cuniculi

This microscopic parasite can cause kidney disease, blindness and nervous system disease. Good hygiene and use of Panacur Rabbit Wormer at times of introducing new rabbits or two to four times per year can reduce the chances of E.cuniculi infection.

Which other parasites may be of concern?

Fleas, lice and mites

Fleas, lice and mites cause waxy ears, poor coats, and sore and itchy skin. However as rabbits don’t usually mix with other animals and wildlife like dogs and cats do, it is less common for them to be infested with parasites. Therefore we will usually only treat for these parasites if your rabbit has them. They are normally treated with a course of Spot On, and treating the hutch.

Worms

Rabbits can get worms, however again this is uncommon and so we would usually treat only if your rabbit had worms.

Coccidiosis

This is a microscopic parasite which may cause diarrhoea, or liver disease. It is not common, so prevention isn’t used.

How can the Healthy Pet Club help with parasite treatment?

The Healthy Pet Club gives you a discount and includes vaccination and a Rearguard treatment along with dry food and some hay. It also allows you to spread the cost into monthly payments.