When we talk about fleas, we might be thinking that it is only found on dogs and cats. Little did we know that small animals or pets, like bunnies, are vulnerable to these pesky insects and might need protection.
As we talk about preventions and treatments of your bunnies with fleas, it is imperative to dig first on how your bunny got fleas and spot them.
How Does Bunny Get Fleas?
Keep it in mind that fleas are excellent hitchhikers. When you buy food, get the mail, or even do other kinds of stuff outside, it can jump onto your pants. This can enable the fleas to enter into your house and, later on, find their way to your bunnies.
Fleas can also enter your house when your windows are open, and they can jump high enough to penetrate through the screens of your windows.
The most common way on how bunnies get fleas is with other pets, particularly dogs or cats. So, the point is, even if your bunnies never go outside but your other pets have fleas, then your bunny can still get some fleas.
How to Spot Fleas on Bunnies?
To spot the fleas in your bunny, some signs and symptoms will help you identify whether your bunny is having flea issues. Here are some of it:
When you notice that they are scratching more than usual on certain parts of their bodies, it would be best to stop this self-injury behavior quickly as it may result in more severe cases such as damaged skin. If you find tiny brown droppings in their fur and see little insects around their ears and nose, then your bunny likely has fleas.
- Flea Dirt and Eggs
You also notice flea dirt and flea eggs on your bunny’s fur. To identify it, conducting a wet paper test to differentiate it from normal dirt is good. All you must do is get a damp paper towel and then gently wipe it over the dirt. If it is reddish-brown, then you are most likely dealing with flea dirt.
The worst-case scenario is when your bunnies are dealing with a severe and large infestation, you may notice your pet suffering from dangerous health conditions like anemia. Substantial blood loss is a result of heavy flea infestations, especially to younger bunnies.
If you already identified fleas on your bunnies, you need to act as soon as possible. The earlier you take action, the quicker you can control pests. So, here are some tips on how to prevent and treat your bunnies from fleas.
How to Treat Bunnies with Fleas
- Flea Comb
If your bunny only has a few fleas, a flea comb will do. A flea comb is a unique grooming tool with a row of metal prongs that are closer together than a regular comb.
It gets the fleas off your bunny, and it does not involve chemicals that could harm your pet. Comb your bunny’s fur thoroughly with warm soapy water or alcohol to drown the fleas.
Before applying it again to your bunny, make sure that you rinse the comb. It may not take care of all fleas completely, but it helps control the infestation to not worsen.
- Safe Flea Medications
In giving Flea Treatment to your pet, you need to be more careful in choosing a product for bunnies because they have a very sensitive system. So, if you select the wrong flea treatment medication, it can be very harmful to your bunny, it can make them sick or it can even be fatal.
If the case is more severe, you might consider several flea medications such as Advantage, Program, and Revolution. In most instances, others prefer to use Revolution because of its recommended dose established for bunnies, and it can treat not just fleas for it may include ear mites.
On the other hand, advantages can cause a reaction on some bunnies’ skin, so it is not that good to use with your pet. Apply the mediation on the back of your bunnies’ neck. In that way, it cannot lick any medication. For if the medicine reaches the inner system, it will end up with an upset stomach.
Before giving your pets any flea medication, consult a veterinarian that has experience with bunnies. They can suggest a bunnies-safe product with the correct dosing information.
Unsafe Flea Treatment Medications
It is not advised to use Frontline® or Sentinel® as flea treatments for bunnies. These medicines are meant only for dogs and cats. Also, it is clearly labeled that it is not meant for bunnies.
Also, the said medications can cause detrimental reactions to your bunnies that may even result in death, and we don’t want that to happen for your pet.
Avoid using permethrin or organophosphates. These are ingredients that are sometimes found in flea products, and they are not safe to use on bunnies. It is essential to check and read the active ingredients of a flea product thoroughly before using it to your bunny.
Also, avoid flea collars. It might be a smart move because they keep the treatment nearby, but aside from hurting themselves trying to bite the collar off, flea collar has a generally too high chemical dosage that could harm your bunnies and put it into danger.
Flea powders and all-natural powders contain chemicals that are poisonous to bunnies. So, using flea powders must also be avoided.
Prevent Fleas from Infesting Your Bunny and Your Household
Prevention is the best way to ensure that your bunnies are flea-free. To get rid of the fleas in your home, you can use room sprays or flea bombs. You can also consider using boric acid, such as Fleabusters® to your carpet.
Keep your bunny away from the treated area for at least 24 hours after applying any flea treatment to ensure their security.
If you do not like exposing your family members to chemicals, there are more benign processes that I can recommend.
You should wash all the beddings that your pets have contacted, remove them all every week. The heat of the dryer will help to kill and dry out those insects hiding in the fabric.
It is also recommended to vacuum the entire area, including the hardwood floors, and then dump the canister into a garbage bag that is sealed off. Make sure to take it outside of your home to remove flea eggs and pupae.
You can also add to your option of hiring a professional. To hire a professional pest control person is one way to make flea treatment easier. But take a look at first with the company’s products and its effect on the animals, especially your bunny.
Fleas can carry several diseases, so it is worth trying to prevent them from infesting your pets and your entire household. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
To break the flea life cycle, it is highly recommended to treat all furred animals in your household using quality flea medications or other pet-safe treatment. If you do not treat flea infestations in its early stage, it may lead to more significant problems not just for your bunnies but also for your whole household.
If you are unsure about the treatment, contact your local Veterinarian.