The ears of rabbits are well supplied with blood, so they attract a huge amount of parasites. So, an ear tick often lives in the delicate skin of rabbit ears. The disease is called psoroptosis, or ear scabies, and is transmitted by contact: from one animal to another.
The disease is caused by parasites of Psoroptes cuniculi, which settle on the inner surface of the auricles and penetrate the external auditory meatus of the animal. The female tick glues eggs to the epidermis using specific secrets. From eggs in 3-6 days, larvae develop, which then turn into nymphs. The male fertilizes the nymph, after which it turns into an adult and lays new eggs. The entire development cycle of the parasite is 16-20 days, depending on environmental conditions. An adult lives about 60 days.
Ear mite is ubiquitous, therefore, is the cause of not only the disease of rabbits, but also sheep, cows and other domestic animals.
The clinical picture and diagnosis of the disease
The incubation period lasts about a week. Some time after the first batch is attached, ticks massively penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Rabbits are restless, constantly scratching their ears. Damaged skin turns red and swollen, yellowish scales appear on it, which become thicker as the process develops. What the ear tick looks like in rabbits can be seen in this video:
Without treatment for the ear tick in rabbits, the process extends to the neck of the animal, to the inner ear. Pathogenic microorganisms develop well in damaged skin, which leads to purulent diseases. With the penetration of the tick into the inner ear and the development of otitis media, the probability of a brain abscess is high.
With secondary infection, the ears are painful on palpation, purulent discharge appears on the surface. The behavior of a sick animal changes: the rabbit stops eating, lies still, the animal’s body temperature rises. If the spine is damaged, the neck bends, and when the brain abscesses, the rabbit dies.
You can diagnose psoroptosis by examining the animal’s ears and detecting parasites in the particles of damaged skin using a microscope.
How to treat ear tick in rabbits?
You can get rid of psoroptosis with the help of effective local and systemic anti-tick drugs. Systemic medicines for ear mites for rabbits. avermectins. are convenient to use and in 80% of cases completely destroy ticks after a single injection. Avermectins are administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
In addition, avermectins are part of the sprays and ointments for topical application: Acaromectin, Acrodex, Tsiodrin and others. Processing is carried out on average three times until the signs of the disease completely disappear. The rabbit ear mite spray is sprayed onto the damaged skin once every 2 weeks. Ointments are applied in massaging movements with cotton swabs once a week. The intervals between treatments may vary depending on the properties of a particular drug.
With the development of a secondary infection, systemic or local antibiotic therapy is added to the classic treatment of ear ticks. Use drugs with a wide spectrum of action.
Treatment of the ear tick in rabbits with folk remedies is effective in the initial stages of the process. A mixture of turpentine and vegetable oil in equal proportions is used. The product is injected into the rabbit’s ear with a medical syringe without a needle. Then the ear is massaged in a circular motion so that the oil soaks the crusts. The mixture is used once every 2 weeks until the animal has fully recovered.