Rabbit health

Why fleas in rabbits, symptoms are easier to deduce

August 22, 2019

Fleas in rabbits are a commonplace ectoparasitic pathology caused by insects. Fleas infect rural rabbits sometimes cause torment in a decorative rabbit living in an apartment. The most interesting thing is that it is easy and simple to get fleas from a rabbit. The reason for the widespread occurrence of fleas is unsanitary conditions in the premises (cages) where rabbits live and contact with stray dogs, cats. the true carriers of fleas.

Why fleas in rabbits, symptoms are easier to deduce

A photo. A rabbit infected with fleas constantly scratches itself

A photo. Example of marking a spot-on designation on a package

Do fleas occur in rabbits, ornamental and rural

Of course they do. The delicate skin of rabbits is an excellent medium for fleas, parasites of dogs, cats, people. On the skin of a rabbit, you can find sheep lice and pedicular lice.

Rabbits don’t have their own flea

Rabbits collect on themselves ectoparasites of cats, dogs and humans. Fleas are easily detected with the naked eye, size from 1.5 to 2 mm, from brown to black. Names of common flea species that can parasitize on a rabbit:

  • Ctenocephalides canis (canine);
  • Ctenocephalides felis (feline)
  • Pulex irritans (people).

Parasitic flea stage exclusively imago

This is very important and then you will understand why. Flea eggs are not able to attach to hairs of hair, almost immediately after laying them by the female fall to the floor, the ground. The best place for the development of fleas is cracks, corners and other places, moist and rich in organic substrate. Unlike lice in which all stages occur on a person or an animal, flea eggs do not attach to the animal’s hair, they fall to the floor. Based on this, the removal of fleas is a prophylaxis, not a treatment of a poor rabbit with poisons of different toxicity levels.

Flea rabbit. dirt in the room is an axiom

Flea development

Fleas are bisexual insects with complete metamorphosis. Copulation (mating) occurs after about 14-20 days, after the division of adults into females and males. At one time, the female lays up to 7-8 eggs, can be repeated up to 2-3 times a day. Under favorable conditions (optimum temperature of 25 degrees and humidity of 90%), the maturation period of flea eggs is 7-12 days; the maturation period of the flea larva is 10-12 days; pupal maturation period is 14 days. A complete metamorphosis of a flea, from an egg to an adult, lasts 31-38 days, passes outside the rabbit’s body in a biological substrate. Under adverse conditions, diapause occurs, which lengthens the development of the flea, up to one year.

How do they get infected?

When there are fleas in rabbits, when three links of the epizootic chain are joined together. 1) carriers, 2) the pathway of preservation and transmission of the pathogen, 3) susceptible animals:

  1. Cats, dogs (carriers) freely walking on the street.
  2. Rabbit containment unavailable for cats and dogs (reservoir).
  3. Domestic, decorative, dwarf rabbits (susceptible)

Are fleas in decorative rabbits rabbits in urban conditions? Not always. Decorative or dwarf rabbits that do not come into contact with stray flea animals are not at risk if the rabbit holding area is periodically disinfected (insect repellent) and simply washed using simple household chemicals. The simplest remedy for fleas in the environment is boric acid. A flea cage (not a rabbit) can be treated with any remedy for garden insects (Colorado potato beetle, etc.). Do not forget about protective measures (mask, rubber gloves).

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Do fleas spread infections?

Theoretically, fleas are carriers of myxomatosis and tularemia in rabbits. In practice, this can be, but rarely. Not completely excluding the probability of transmitting viruses through fleas, I am ready to argue in favor of my version.

  • Fleas in rabbits are not winged insects (nests), are not able to travel long distances, this is important to maintain the epizootic chain. Infection of rabbits on a neighboring farm can occur without the participation of fleas.
  • Quarantine measures for myxomatosis and tularemia involve the treatment of cells and places of detention from fleas and other insects.
  • There is hardly an idiot ready to buy flea rabbits from a farm where there was an outbreak of tularemia / myxomatosis the day before or to allow stray dogs and cats infected with fleas to their own farm.


The mouth apparatus of fleas is a piercing-sucking type. Rabbits are concerned about bites and itching. Comparison of the signs of flea bites in a rabbit and gnawing of rabbit skin with itchy ticks:

  • superficial rash (papule). a flea bite and (pustule). an itchy tick;
  • superficial abrasions (flea), deep skin lesions (ticks);
  • long-haired rabbits are prone to stalling (fleas);
  • baldness in areas accessible to the rabbit for combing (usually ticks, sometimes fleas);
  • depletion and death of rabbits from fleas in modern rabbit breeding is practically not found, but can be with parasitization of itchy ticks.

How to bring fleas in a rabbit at home

Before breeding fleas in a decorative and rural rabbit, a selection of animal processing methods is carried out. Rabbits are very sensitive to the action of poisons, therefore, the issue of choosing a remedy is approached responsibly.

  1. You can comb the fleas from the hair of a rabbit with a comb. The size between the teeth of the scallop is 1.0 mm or slightly larger.
  2. Rabbits should be careful with insecticidal shampoos, although such preparations exist. These animals are not recommended to be washed, but Rex especially.
  3. Rabbits are contraindicated in insecticidal collars with flea venoms. Their skin is sensitive to mechanical and toxic effects, there is a risk of contact dermatitis.

How to withdraw?

If rabbit shampoos and collars are used carefully, fleas in a rabbit can be treated with sprays, powders, drops at the withers (spot-on). The modern arsenal of drugs for treating flea rabbits is huge, you can get confused. In order not to load the reader, I propose to systematize the funds according to the brands of manufacturers, it is easier to navigate the brands.

2019 flea drug list

All pharmaceutical companies that have registered insect-acaricidal drugs in the Russian Federation are indicated. The list does not contain preparations for fleas and ticks registered in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Belarus. The reader is left to choose a name suitable for the price from the list below of funds issued by domestic and foreign companies. Names of firms and trademarks:

  • Firm "Merial"(France) Releases inasecto-acaricides from fleas, ticks under the Front Line trademark. (spray, combo solution, spot-on drops) and Broadline (Broadline spot-on drops).
  • Firm "Hartz mountain corporation"(USA). It produces insect acaricides against fleas, ticks under the Harts trademark (spray, drops, collar).
  • Firms KVP PharmaVeterinaer Produkte GmbH"And"Bayer Animal Health GmbH"(Germany). Several flea insectoacaricides are produced under the Bolfo brand name. (aerosol, collar), “Advantix” (solution), “Advantage” (solution), “Lawyer” (solution), “Foresto” (collar, polymer tape).
  • Firm NPF Ecoprom CJSC (Russia). It produces flea insectoacaricides under the brand name "Celandine" (powder, spray, drops, collar, shampoo). There are insecticide formulations specifically for the elimination of fleas in rabbits.
  • Firm LLC NEC Agrovetzashchita (Russia). It produces flea insectoacaricides under the trademark Bars (drops, shampoo, spray) and Dironet (spot dironet).
  • Firm LLC "NVP" Astrafarm "(Russia). It produces insect acaricides under the BlochNet trademark (drops, spray).
  • Firm LLC NPI Api-San. It produces insectoacaricides under the brand name "Dana". (shampoo, spot-on drops, spray, collar).
  • Firm "Norbrook Laboratories Limited "(Great Britain). It produces a flea insectoacaricide called Fiproclir spot he.
  • Firm "AB7 INDUSTRIES VETERINARIES"(France) Releases an insecticaricide called" Diptron spot he. "
  • Firm "Vet-Agro sp. z.o.o."(Poland) It produces two flea insectoacaricides for Russia Fipresk 75 spot he and Fiprek spray forte.
  • Firm "VIRBAC S.A."(France). It produces a flea insectoacaricide for Russia called Effectix (solution).
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Not all of the above funds are suitable for removing fleas from a rabbit. Most of these drugs are used to treat dogs and cats that carry fleas in rabbits.


Fleas in rabbits, unlike lice, are not parasites at all stages of metamorphosis, except for adults. Therefore, the elimination of fleas with drugs will never save the animal from these parasites. Prevention is the treatment of flea development sites in the external environment.

General events

Sprinkle cracks in the room for rabbits with boric acid, or kieselguhr. In Russia, at one time, a product based on diatoms (kieselguhr) was produced, called DeBuzzer, a manufacturer of Diatom Plant LLC (Ulyanovsk Region). Currently, production is suspended. You can replace dehumidifiers with litter based on diatomite, the same enterprise that has a powerful drying effect, harmful to fleas. In an apartment where a flea decorative rabbit is kept, after 24 hours of exposure, boric acid or kieselguhr must be removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Cell Processing, Inventory

Cages for street rabbits, burn equipment with a blowtorch (in winter), rinse with alkaline solutions in the summer. Wash decorative rabbit cages with plastic elements with any household product and dry. Carpets, mats, etc. put out in the cold (winter) for several hours, in the summer in the sun and pat. The floor in rabbitry, especially the slit, sprinkle with slaked lime, or with a desiccant, the smallest fraction. Keep rabbits away from a dusty dryer. Vacuum the floor in the apartment, especially in corners, crevices. Wash with one of the household products.

Pest control

Disinsection of rooms and cells can be carried out with butox preparations, neostomazan. Dilution is indicated in the instructions for the preparations. In an extreme case, you can use an inexpensive tool for treating plants from garden insects. It is not necessary to use the Bayer Prestige from the Colorado potato beetle for these purposes. See the name of the active substance, often they are the same for animals and plants, can be called differently. Chemists like to name the same insecticide in different ways.

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Optional: terms for specialists

In order to have a holistic view of the topic, I consider it appropriate to introduce the basic entomological terminology used in biology and veterinary medicine.

  • Arachnoentomology is a science that studies arthropods, that is, insects, ticks, spiders, etc. Arachnoentomoses are diseases caused by arthropods. There are veterinary and medical arachnoentomoses.
  • Insects. Veterinarians study insects from the Diptera (diptera) squad level and below. With complete metamorphosis. fleas; midges; mosquitoes; biting midges; butterflies; horseflies; gadfly. With incomplete metamorphosis. flies, down-eaters, lice, bedbugs, cockroaches.
  • Metamorphoses are transformations of insects. Complete transformation of the insect (egg, larva, pupa, imago). Incomplete transformation of an insect (egg or nits, larva, imago).
  • Gnus is a collection of flying insects of veterinary or medical importance, annoying, ready to attack animals and humans. They do not belong to the vulture of insects (fleas, butterflies, downy eaters, bugs, cockroaches). Gnus is not at all a small midge, as many people think.
  • The adult is an adult of any insect, such as fleas in rabbits.
  • The intensity of the invasion (AI). This is the number of parasites found on the host. Example: if 10, 20, 30 fleas are found on a rabbit, this is abbreviated as AI 10, II 20, AI 30. Another term IE (intensity effectiveness) is used when indicating the effectiveness of a flea remedy.
  • Extensibility of invasion (EI). This is the percentage of infected animals in the examined herd. Example. If out of 100 rabbits in a herd of fleas are found in 10 animals, then EI is 10%. Another term EE (extensibility) is used when indicating the percentage of drug efficacy in a group of animals (rabbits). The best EE preparations have a level of 90-100%.
  • Insecticide. a means for removing insects. Acaricide. a cure for parasitic ticks. Insectoacaricide. a drug against fleas and ticks, for example in rabbits.
  • Pour-on (Puron). the designation on the labels of some drugs for arachnoentomiasis. Indicates that to remove fleas, the drug is applied to the skin by watering. Usually the designation on the label of the drug for farm animals. For example: Bayofly Pour-on for processing cows from the midges.
  • Spot-on (Spot-on). the designation on the labels of some drugs to remove fleas and ticks. Indicates that to remove fleas, the product is applied to the surface of the skin (usually the withers) drip, topically. Typically, the medication designation is for small (decorative, dwarf) animals (rabbits).


Rabbits are infected exclusively with fleas of other animals. They are not the main carriers of these insects. Therefore, do not allow contact with stray animals and often tidy up the cage. The main time fleas spend outside the body of the animal.

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