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Rabbit mange

Rabbit Mange

Rabbits are delightful pets but require great amount of interaction and firm training.

Rabbit mange is a condition caused by mites that burrow into the skin of the rabbit and begin to feast on blood, causing a severe allergic reaction. Mange causes hair loss in rabbits accompanied by pain and itching. Mange is caused by the Cheyletiella Mange Mite, a skin parasite that causes a dandruff-like condition.

It forms white, foul-smelling crusts on the skin and requires immediate treatment in order to prevent other secondary infections. It can cause serious rabbit health issues if left untreated.

There are basically three different types of mange which are commonly observed in rabbits:

  • Sarcoptic Mange: It is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, and is extremely itchy. It starts appearing on the ear edges, lips, and nose and then spreads to the other areas of the body.
  • Ear Mange: It is caused by Psoroptes cuniculi.

    It resides inside the ear and causes extreme discomfort and pain to the rabbit. It affects one or both ears, forming crusts deep in the ear canal.
  • Fur mange: It is caused by the Cheyletiella mite and leads to skin flakes, itchiness, and minor hair loss.

Rabbit mange symptoms

  • Heavy scratching
  • Loss of fur (alopecia)
  • Oozing of watery substance
  • Anemia
  • Leucopenia (reduced white blood cells).

Rabbit Mange Treatment

Rabbit mange is diagnosed through skin scrapings, cytology or skin biopsy. Here are a few effective remedies for treating your pet rabbit, and you must ensure that the treatments are continued until no live mites are found.

  • Make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and borax in water and wash the affected skin once per week for up to two months. Do not wipe it off, rather leave it to dry naturally.  
  • In cases where mange affects the skin inside the rabbit's ears, it becomes difficult to treat .You must place plain yogurt inside the ears and leave it. Manually clean the yogurt out with cotton swabs the following day. Yogurt being thicker than water based solutions is an effective remedy.
  • You may use a lemon solution to treat your rabbit's mange. Boil slices of lemon in water and allow the solution to cool overnight. Next morning, use the solution on the coat of the rabbit.
  • You can also use bacon grease several times a day for up to two weeks to clear up the damaged skin.
  • Apply a small amount of cooking oil on the affected skin; this reduces irritation caused by the allergic reaction and kills the mites.
  • You must use medicated shampoos to bath your rabbit, as they help to control and cure mange mites.
  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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