Lionhead rabbits, just as any other animal with fur, can get fleas and ticks. This mostly happens to those rabbits which get to spend some time outside.
Whenever they have some playtime or exercise in the backyard or garden with grass, there is a likely possibility of them catching some unwanted bloodsucker. However, keeping them indoors is no guarantee that a dog or a cat cannot transfer either ticks or fleas to your rabbit, if you own several pets.
As opposed to other rabbit breeds which have thinner or shorter fur, treating external parasites on your lionhead can be quite tricky sometimes. Their thick and long fur is what makes this harder, so trying to prevent them getting parasites in the first place is often the best solution.
Treating Fleas & Ticks on Lionhead Rabbits
If you notice external parasites on your lionhead rabbit, you certainly want to treat them as soon as possible, to prevent any further spreads or wounds.
There are several possible ways of doing that, with the most efficient being removing them manually or with a flea comb. In that case, you need to purchase an appropriate comb from any pet store. If you own another pet and already have a flea comb, you can safely use the same one for your rabbit.
If your lionhead has fleas, you will need to run the flea comb across the entire length of the fur. Once you catch a flea on the comb, it is important to drown it so it does not jump to another pet in the house or back to your rabbit.
The best way to do that is to rinse the comb with warm water and soap or alcohol. Before running the comb back through your rabbit’s fur, please make sure to rinse it carefully under clear water. Their skin is really sensitive, so it is essential to avoid any further skin damage.
An alternative to manually removing parasites is by using a pet topical solution. These seem to be much more efficient, but they can also be more dangerous for your pet.
It is crucially important to consult your veterinarian before choosing which solution to use, again due to rabbit’s delicate skin. Another thing to keep in mind is to always apply such solutions at the very back of their necks, to avoid rabbits licking the toxic solution.
Some owners like to use special baths or powder sprays to fight parasites off, but we would not suggest going that far. The reason stands once again behind the great sensitivity of lionhead rabbits.
Whichever treatment you and your local vet decide to apply to your lionhead pet, please always make sure to treat your home and the rabbit enclosure, too.
Once the battle is over and you and your rabbit come out as winners, ensure that you perform preventing activities going forward.
How to Prevent Fleas & Ticks?
Now, here are a few tips on how to prevent fleas and ticks on your lovely pet:
– Regular Grooming
Grooming is one of the most important aspects of any lionhead rabbit care. Their thick and long fur makes an amazing collector of dirt but also possible external parasites, so brushing them regularly is definitely the best way to prevent both ticks and fleas.
This also includes taking care of their nails, ears, and all other places where parasites could sit for days without owners who do not groom their pets to notice.
– Keeping Inside
Not letting your rabbit head outside to the nearest green area is the best way to prevent parasites attacking it. This is especially valid during spring and summer days, when most of these unwanted bloodsuckers are waiting in grass (particularly in tall grass).
If you own a cat or a dog, make sure to regularly treat them with preventive collars or topical gels, so they cannot transfer fleas to rabbits once they come back inside from a walk.
Additionally, it is helpful for all family members removing shoes once they come back from a forest or a field.
– Cleaning Cage Regularly
Maintaining your rabbit’s cage, enclosure, house or hutch clean at all times is essential. Not only, but it is also important to regularly clean the areas where they spend some time, too. Such areas usually include couches, carpets, blankets, etc.
Even if not visible on their bodies, fleas and similar creatures can be in your home without you even knowing. That is why frequently vacuuming and cleaning is super-important.
How to Identify Fleas on Lionhead Rabbits?
Realizing that your pet is infested is quite easy, especially if they spend a lot of their time around you. As soon as you notice your lionhead rabbit performing some excessive scratching, licking or biting some areas of the body, this is already a clear sign to inspect it for flea presence.
Simply run a flea comb through the fur of your pet a couple of times. If your pet is infested, you will be able to easily notice either flea or their feces on the comb.
Can Fleas Kill a Lionhead Rabbit?
Fleas can not really directly kill a lionhead rabbit, but they can certainly do irreparable health damage if not spotted on time. Fleas feed on blood, which means that rabbits can become anemic over time, and this can ultimately shorten their lifespan.
Additionally, they can develop several skin complications due to many bite marks, but also fur loss. On top of that, fleas can transfer deadly contagious diseases, such as the myxomatosis.
Many owners do not associate their rabbit pets with the possibility of getting ticks or fleas, especially if they keep them as indoor pets. Indeed, keeping them indoors does reduce such chance by a lot, but rabbits can still get such unwanted parasites over time.
Other pets, or even people sometimes, can transfer fleas inside, and these will ultimately find their way to any fur in that home.
Treating them is sometimes complicated due to their long fur. Not only, but rabbits have sensitive skin which makes stronger medicinal products difficult or impossible to apply.
That said, prevention is always the simplest yet most effective way to keep your rabbit and home safe.