Ear scabies in rabbits can occur in all breeds, but rabbits in the southern regions and areas where there are no long and stable frosts are more prone to it. The disease is caused by ticks. Usually they affect the inner surface of the ear, hence the name of the disease.
Ear scabies in rabbits are caused by ticks.
Features of the disease
Mostly mature females and males are affected, but young growth may also be at risk if their mother wears ticks. At first glance, ear scabies may not cause concern in the owner of the animals: all individuals grow, gain weight, have a good appetite. However, this should be taken much more seriously. If you do not treat ear diseases in rabbits, then the whole herd can be affected, then the consequences will be much worse. Ticks irritate and destroy the skin, the infection penetrates the body and provokes otitis media. If the ear disease is started, then not only the ears and other parts of the body are affected, but also the brain. This can lead to central nervous system disease.
Pathogen and its development
Ear mites penetrate the skin and damage nerve nodes and endings.
This disease of the ears is called psoroptosis by the name of the causative agent of the disease. Psoroptes cuniculi. ticks that penetrate the skin and affect the nerve nodes and endings. In addition, blood vessels and capillaries are affected. The main working organ of ticks, which helps them penetrate under the skin, is a cone-shaped mouth, adapted to pierce the layers of the epidermis. You cannot see the ticks of psoroptosis of rabbits with your ordinary eye, their size does not even reach 1 mm. They have an oval-shaped body, color from light yellow to dark. Propagate by laying a large number of eggs. Males develop about 20 days, and females 25. The front legs are better developed. There are suction cups and bristles on the legs.
The development of the causative agent of ear scabies is as follows. Adult females produce up to 60 eggs, sticking them with a viscous substance to the skin flakes. Good conditions for development. humidity within 85% at a temperature of 36 ° C. On the 7th day after laying the eggs, larvae with 6 legs appear. Later, they turn into nymphs, which, molting, become adult ticks. Parasitize on rabbits for about 2 months.
Underweight animals are more prone to psoroptosis, as their stratum corneum is thinned. This creates a comfortable environment for pathogens. Well-fed animals have healthy skin and can withstand ticks well.
The main forms of the disease
The severity of the following forms:
Ticks cannot be seen without the naked eye.
- The course without symptoms. Rare scratching of the ears and shaking of the head.
- Light form. An increase in edema and crusts, the general condition is satisfactory.
- The average form. Numerous crusts and scabs on most of the ear, the base is compacted, the shell sags, the individual is anxious when touched.
- Severe form. Refusal of food, the entire auricle is damaged, rabbits are inactive, comb the affected areas. A severe form can subsequently lead to middle ear inflammation, meningitis, and death. Another complication of psoroptosis is inflammation of the lining of the brain, convulsions and other deviations of a nervous nature.
- Severe itching. Anyone at first sight will notice anxiety in the behavior of the animal. Individuals scratch their ears with their paws, rub against all objects around, shake their heads frantically.
- The appearance of the ear. Usually enough external examination to make this diagnosis. The patient’s auricle has reddened tubercles, vesicles that grow and burst. The liquid dries and forms on the ears of the crust.
- Scabs, crusts, local or continuous plaque indicate that the infection is no longer at the initial stage. The color of the plaque depends on the stage of the disease, it can be from light gray to dark brown.
- Ticks spread to other parts of the body: first near the auricles, and then to the entire body.
How to treat rabbit psoroptosis
Amitrazine is not toxic, so rabbits tolerate it very well.
This is one of the few diseases that can be treated until complete recovery without the help of a specialized veterinarian.
Amitrazine helps well. The drug is non-toxic, animals tolerate its effects, the active substances of the drug affect ticks. The affected skin is softened due to the anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties of the drug. In case of cracks in the ears, wounds or scratched areas, a slight burning sensation is possible. The crusts must first be soaked in a solution of iodine with glycerin. Process and clean the ear, and then drip Amitrazin. To avoid burns drip 1 time in 3 days. Usually one treatment is enough, but in case of observation of residual phenomena, the procedure is repeated. After treatment, the original appearance of the ears returns, blackness and unpleasant odor disappear. With the advanced form, scars from tick bites are possible.
Many rabbit breeders use a different method. You need kerosene and vegetable oil. Kerosene is an active substance, but its use in pure form causes severe irritation, so vegetable oil is added to soften. The ingredients are mixed in equal proportions. The resulting solution is treated on the auricles, carefully damaged areas are massaged. After a day, an inspection is carried out.
Processing of sites affected by scabies can be carried out using kerosene.
Acaricidal sprays and aerosol foams are widely used. Processing with such preparations should be carried out at a distance of 8 cm for 2 seconds. Processing should be 3 times with an interval of 7 days.
Such treatment does not affect the eggs, so the treatment should be carried out cyclically, as the eggs hatch.
In case of infection of the whole herd with an infection, it is very difficult to fight the disease, since treatment must be carried out simultaneously, and with a large farm it will take a lot of time and effort. In such cases, the treatment is carried out in the winter, since the viability of ticks at sub-zero temperatures outside the area of the rabbit’s body is reduced to zero. Ivermek injections are given to adult females and males. The medicine has a wide variety of areas of action, however, young animals are not recommended to be injected because of their low live weight.
A rabbit can become infected through food by eating grass or hay. Hay is a favorite place for cats and mice that carry ticks. Scabies is transmitted from one individual to another through direct contact. The infection is also transmitted through objects, the cage where the infected animals were. After processing the rabbit, it is necessary to process its cage, otherwise the treatment does not make sense.
From other animals, the probability of infection is zero, since each species has its own parasite.
Ivermek injections can only be done to adults.
It is necessary to regularly process all items with which rabbits are in contact. The rabbits you just bought must be quarantined.
Caution should be taken when mating with animals from someone else’s herd. If it is not possible to completely exclude contact, then you need to inspect someone else’s rabbit. After pairing, anyone who has contacted strangers needs to be quarantined. Sick animals are kept in individual bright rooms in a dry and clean environment. The air should be fresh, but drafts should not be allowed.
Often a mother infects her children, therefore, as a prophylaxis, it is necessary for the female to treat the ears with a solution, even if she has no signs of the disease. Before okroli, you need to thoroughly clean and process the cells, once every 8 days to disinfect the feeders, drinking bowls and all the equipment. A healthy rabbit has good appetite, it is mobile, energetic, the animal’s fur glistens, and crusts are not observed in the eyes and nose.
Declare a fight to mice, rats and flies. It must be remembered that without the body of a rabbit, the tick will not survive for a long time. Steaming the grain will instantly eliminate the parasite.
Psoroptosis causes significant damage to the farms of rabbit breeders, this is reflected in a decrease in offspring and productivity of rabbits, as well as in the high death of young animals.
The ears of animals are prone to scabies and itching. It is a constant parasite. Ticks spend most of their life in the epidermis and only go out for a short period.
All diseases of rabbit ears can be easily detected independently. In case of difficulty in determining the diagnosis, you need to seek the help of a specialist. Identifying the disease at an early stage is easier to treat and eliminates the possibility of complications.