Rabbit dandruff | Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital

Rabbit dandruff

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A black and white lop ear rabbit with dandruff

The most common cause of dandruff in rabbits is fur mites also known as walking dandruff or Cheylettiella. 

The cause

This is caused by mites which live in the fur of the animal. The mites cause itchiness and irritate the skin which then starts to produce dandruff. Sometimes clumps of hair will fall out or be pulled out due to irritation.

dandruff and red skin on a rabbit's skin

Where do they get it?

The mites are transmitted from one rabbit to the next by direct contact but they can survive in bedding and hay for up to a week. Rabbits that are isolated from other rabbits usually get infested from their bedding. 

Diagnosis and Treatment 

The mites can be seen under the microscope. A piece of sticky tape is used to sample the fur.

A rabbit fur mite as seen under the microscope

 

  • The best treatment to kill the mites themselves is Revolution (do not use anything containing fipronil in rabbits).
  • repeat the treatment in 1 month
  • All bedding should be changed and washed where applicable
  • clean or throw out brushes. Often you'll need to use a brush to brush out the dandruff. 
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