Scabies in rabbits: symptoms and how to cure it

Domestic rabbits are chosen by many people to live in their home, for being friendly and very tender companions. However, you should know that these beautiful and furry animals are delicate and, therefore, we must learn very well on how to care for a rabbit before launching to have one at home, because you have to provide all the appropriate care and ensure their welfare .

For example, one of the most common diseases in these animals is scabies, which is a skin problem caused by a parasitic mite that ends up affecting all of their health. In we bring you all the information about the scabies in rabbits, their symptoms and how to cure it, so that you learn about it and you can help your partner by preventing it or by treating it and, in this way, can live a long and happy life by your side .

What is scabies in rabbits

Scabies is a skin disease that causes great itching and pain and is caused by a parasitic mite . This mite is a very contagious ectoparasite that not only affects animals, but also people.

Scabies in rabbits can be very dangerous because of how delicate these animals are. In addition, it can be extended with spectacular speed. Special care must be taken in places such as the farms where several of these adorable furries live, since in these environments scabies is very common due to the adequate climatic conditions (humidity and temperature), as well as the presence of diverse animals. In addition, it is a zoonotic disease, that is, it can be transmitted to humans; although this really depends on the specific species of the mite, since several and produce different types of scabies in rabbits .

Types of scabies in rabbits and their symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of scabies in rabbits is very important to be able to attack it in time, preventing it from spreading and causing secondary infections that will worsen the animal's health. It is vital that you check your pet with long ears frequently.

This annoying, and even painful, disease can occur in several parts of your child's body. Take note of the types of scabies in rabbits and the most common symptoms in each, as this will be how you can identify that your little companion is sick.

  • Auricular, psoroptic, or otolaryngotic scabies : is the one that occurs inside the ears and causes more wax to be generated than normal, in addition to other symptoms of scabies such as bad odor, scabs and itching. The mite that produces it is called Psoroptes cuniculi, it is one that specifically affects rabbits and is not contagious to other animals or people (it is not a zoonotic parasite).
  • Corioptic scabies: develops in the ears of rabbits causing hair loss, in addition to causing the skin to become thick and cracked, which causes bleeding and, of course, itching it to the animal. In this case, the parasite that produces this mange in rabbits is called Chorioptes cuniculi.
  • Sarcoptic mange: develops in the eyes, fingers, mouth and ears with the same symptoms of chorioptic mange, but also appear white scabs on the body. This type of mange generates a lot of itching to the rabbit and, in this case, the culprit mite is Sarcoptes scabiei and it does spread to people .
  • Demodectic scabies: attacks the areas of the neck and face of the animal with the appearance of the same symptoms as other types of scabies (itching, irritation, etc.). The name of the parasitic mite that produces it is Demodex cuniculi, from the same family as the Demodex canis that produces scabies in dogs.

Contamination of mange in rabbits

Scabies is a very contagious disease . Keep this in mind if you notice any of the symptoms we have mentioned to prevent it from spreading to other animals or to you (if it is sarcoptic).

How does this contagion occur? Mites easily pass from one rabbit to another by direct contact . It is also spread by indirect contact, as they are transmitted by contact with a human who has had contact with an infected rabbit, or by using infected objects. These mites can even be transported by the wind.

These mites are lodged in the skin of the rabbit, forming tunnels (which cause itching and pain, as well as secondary bacterial or fungal infections) in this to continue their life cycle, as they live, feed, reproduce and die in the skin of the animals that they parasitize. Thus, the females cause wounds on the skin of the rabbit and they stay there to lay their eggs, so that at birth the larvae have food. These mites spread at an impressive speed.

Sometimes, the symptoms of scabies are not as easy to detect in rabbits as, for example, in cats and dogs; realizing when the problem is already advanced. Therefore, you should pay special attention and frequently check the body of your rabbit . And if you have more than one rabbit, check them all regularly.

Remember to feed them well and keep their cages clean. so they are healthy and it is much more complicated that they get to suffer from this skin condition. Thus, you will reduce the risk of contagion and spread of this disease.

How to cure scabies in rabbits - treatment

To cure scabies in rabbits it is necessary that you visit a veterinarian. It is a curable disease, but it must be treated on time and with the appropriate medications to prevent its spread to other animals or, even, to infect you. Do not forget that scabies is a very contagious disease and if it is not treated by a veterinary professional, your rabbit may die.

The veterinarian will prescribe medications such as moxidectin, selamectin or ivermectin for the sick rabbit; but they must be supplied with the exact dose and frequency indicated by the specialist. Therefore, if you detect any of the symptoms of scabies in your rabbit, do not hesitate to resort to a specialist.

Although you can use home remedies for scabies in rabbits, mainly serve to facilitate healing, relieving symptoms. In we recommend that you do not use only remedies because it is a disease that requires a specific treatment that can act faster, ie with veterinary drugs, and that, in any case, it is best to combine both veterinary medicines (conventional and natural) ), because they combine very well, to get the most benefit and relieve the annoying symptoms from the beginning of the treatment.

How to prevent scabies in rabbits

Undoubtedly, prevention is the best remedy to help your little friend to be healthy and avoid this and other diseases. Follow these tips to prevent scabies in rabbits :

  • Always keep it in a clean, healthy and disinfected environment. Here you can learn more tips on How to be a rabbit hygiene.
  • Bathe using a specific shampoo for rabbits.
  • Take care of your diet with a balanced diet appropriate to your species, your age and your general health.
  • If you have more than one rabbit and you notice that one of them has symptoms of scabies, isolate it from others immediately. Do the same with all your belongings or objects (cage, feeder, drinker, toys, etc.), so you will be reducing the likelihood of infection among your pets.
  • Go to all veterinary visits for periodic review and keep up to date the vaccination and deworming calendar. Learn more about When to take your rabbit to the vet in this other article.

We hope we have helped you to detect the symptoms of scabies in rabbits so you know what to do if you notice that your hairy and long-eared friend is sick. Do not hesitate to see a veterinarian if you notice any change in their appearance or behavior.