Cheyletiella mites, commonly referred to as skin mites or mange mites, are the most common skin problem seen in rabbits...
Cheyletiella mites, commonly referred to as skin mites or mange mites, are the most common skin problem seen in rabbits. Invisible to the eye, they are easily spread on hay and other bedding and, whilst not a serious problem in themselves, can carry the myxomatosis virus.
The causes of mite infestation are still being debated, with some experts believing that many rabbits carry these mites naturally with problems only occuring when the population flares up. The mites feed on keratin which is present in patches of dead hair, meaning that rabbits that are unable to groom themselves thoroughly due to obesity or illness are more at risk.
- patch of dandruff on rabbit's coat, usually at nape of neck or around tail area
- patch may look like its moving due to activity of mites
Prevention / Treatment
Skin mites can be treated with a course of ivermectin injections.
The infected rabbit's hutch or living area should be thoroughly disinfected.
Regular grooming helps to remove the dead hair upon which mites may feed.