Fleas on Rabbits - Rabbits and Fleas
Rabbits are extremely popular pets and whether they live indoors or outdoors their dense coats and warm bodies provide a perfect environment for adult fleas to set up home and breed.
This is especially so if you have other pets like cats and dogs. Hungry cat and dog fleas aren't fussy whether they suck your rabbit's blood or that of your pet, your child or you!
Looking after pet rabbits is a very special commitment, and along with this comes a responsibility to keep them groomed and free of fleas. Fleas on rabbits can cause them great distress and sometimes in severe cases lead to infections and sores - especially if the rabbits scratch excessively.
In a domestic situation, fleas live on pets, in rugs and carpets, in beds and sofas, in curtains and drapes, in fact anywhere inside and outdoors that pets frequent and sleep. In a home with fleas present, a typical breakdown of the flea population and their habitat will be:
- 5% on pets.
- 95% in carpets, curtains, beds, sofas and other household furniture etc.
If you own pet rabbits it is essential to check them regularly for the presence of flea dirt - the tell tale sign of fleas on rabbits. If you find flea dirt, you must act immediately to nip it in the bud; because the rate at which fleas breed and multiply is tantamount to the speed of lightening.
Horrific as it may sound, one pregnant flea and her off-spring (given ideal conditions) can be responsible for infesting your home with up to three million fleas in just two months and that is some flea infestation!
Even more horrifying is the fact that fleas are "blood-sucking parasites" and just one flea can bite you and your bunny more than 400 times each and every day!
Treating rabbits with fleas is not as straightforward as treating dogs or cats; mainly because many commercial pet flea medications are dangerous to rabbits, which can lead to long-term health problems or even death.
Buying a natural or herbal product for treating fleas on rabbits isn't a safe bet either, because many of these have one or a combination of the following herbs - all of which rabbits are allergic to:
- African daisy flowers (pyrethrin).
Treating fleas on rabbits the safe way
Select a "rabbit-safe" flea powder from your pet store. A good choice is one with 5% or less concentration of carbaryl insecticide.
Sprinkle the flea powder all over your bunny's coat and use your fingers to work it through down to the skin.
Use a fine flea comb and comb it through your bunny's fur to capture as many fleas as you can find. The best way to dispose of them is to drown them in water or alcohol.
Remove your bunny from its hutch and then spray the hutch thoroughly with an all natural flea spray. Keep your bunny away from its hutch for at least 24 hours after spraying.
Thoroughly wash all your bunny's bedding in hot soap and water and dry it in the hottest temperature setting of your clothes dryer.
Apply Bayer's Advantage topical squeeze-on liquid. If your rabbit is a dwarf rabbit only use half the tube. Advantage is the only safe squeeze-on product on the market for rabbits with fleas.
Treating your rabbits/pets for fleas takes care of 5% of your flea infestation problems. In order to have a flea free home you must treat your home inside and out and its contents to be rid of the other 95%.
Your best weapon against fleas in your home is to vacuum and then vacuum again and again.
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This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com