Skin Diseases In Rabbits

By ganerationlmn 10 Min Read
Skin diseases in Rabbits Roznama Pakistan Pets

 Skin diseases in rabbits

If you have a rabbit or are thinking of adopting one as a pet, this post will be of interest to you. Here are some tips for you to learn about the most common skin diseases in rabbits and learn how to treat them correctly.

Before starting, you must remember that the skin and coat can only shine. In all their splendor when an animal is in good health and has a well-balanced diet. If nutrients are lacking in their diet, the coat becomes dull, lacks shine, or is shed excessively. If you have any doubts, you can consult one of the books that exist to guide you in the care of rabbits or make an appointment at our veterinary office.

Skin diseases in rabbits: external parasites

Skin mites in rabbits

The most common parasites in rabbits are mites called Cheyletiella. They can only be seen under a microscope. But hair loss with white flaking over the back, with or without itching, is very characteristic. The treatment is very simple, as it will be enough to apply a dose of oral or injectable ivermectin every 15 days. The surroundings must also be disinfected to eliminate eggs and mites.

Rabbit ear mites

Another mite that causes problems for rabbits is Psoroptes cubicula, which causes mange to the ears. In this skin disease in rabbits, a brown secretion with a crust can be seen in the ears with a significant itch that makes the rabbit shake its head constantly and you can also see drooping ears due to discomfort. These mites can be seen with the naked eye. Treatment is with ivermectin or selection, the same as for Cheyletiella scabies. Do not clean the secretions from the ears, as it is very painful and will disappear anyway when it is cured.

Fleas and Lice on Rabbits

You can control other external parasites such as fleas and lice by using pipettes designed for cats or kittens. Depending on the size of the rabbit. You can also use talc with carbamates as often as indicated by the manufacturer. It is best not to bathe rabbits as they are so stressed that deaths from shock have been reported. Remember that it is very important to keep the cage clean and the bed dry to prevent batteries from accumulating in the surroundings.

Alopecia in rabbits

Alopecia is another common skin disease in rabbits in which bald patches tend to appear on the coat, as they begin to pull out the hair. In many cases, this is due to skin irritation, although it can also happen from stress, nutritional deficiencies, or when pregnant females shed their fur to form a soft nest before giving birth. Obese or arthritic rabbits do not manage to scratch some parts of the body and can pull the hairs from their jowls in desperation to calm the irritation.

It also happens that some animals are stressed when they have to share the cage with other rabbits or guinea pigs, but they don’t have enough space, so they bite and pull the hair themselves or a companion.

It is necessary to differentiate alopecia from normal hair loss by seasons. In this case, there is a significant loss of hair, even locks, but there is never a completely bald area. The solution is to increase the frequency of brushing to remove dead hair and thus prevent hairballs.

If your rabbit has these types of symptoms, you should try to eliminate the causes of stress, apply some treatment to combat the irritation or correct its diet.

Other skin diseases in rabbits


Different strains of the Myxoma virus cause this highly contagious disease, which is transmitted through the action of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks or through contact with secretions from sick rabbits. It has a very high mortality rate, between 30 and 99% in European rabbits. Clinical signs can vary greatly depending on the strain that is acting. But there is always a lack of appetite. Large edemas on the eyelids, sometimes also in the perianal region, on the lips, and at the base of the ears. Subcutaneous nodules at the site of inoculation or disseminated throughout the body appear several days after infection. The eyes and nose have a purulent mucus substance that is very contagious. In some very acute cases, the rabbit dies without showing clinical signs and in others, death can occur after 10 to 20 days.

They have created a vaccine against this disease, which is highly effective and does not cause any side effects in vaccinated animals. For domestic rabbits, it is recommended to apply this vaccine in the spring and it gives protection for 6 months. Talk to your vet and ask about this.


The bacterium Pasteurella multocida causes this disease. Which spreads rapidly through direct or indirect contact, with aerosols or secretions from infected rabbits.

Once the bacteria penetrate the body, different types of diseases appear upper respiratory tract. Pneumonia, uterine infection (plyometric), otitis media. Infection of the testicles (orchitic), subcutaneous abscesses, conjunctivitis, or septicemia. The first form is the most common and causes sneezing and a purulent mucus discharge from the nose. If left untreated, the rabbit can develop torticollis when the disease affects the inner ear.

The dermatological manifestation is the formation of subcutaneous abscesses and for this reason. This condition is classified as a skin disease in rabbits. Nodules appear under the skin that may ooze a creamy exudate and have fistulas that do not close. Treatment consists of cleaning the abscesses three times a day with disinfectant and administering antibiotics for a week. If the previous method is not effective, surgical removal will be necessary. Any symptom requires treatment with antibiotics and with this. The clinical signs usually resolve. But many rabbits remain carriers and suffer the disease again during their lifetime.


Fungi cause this skin disease in rabbits as it is an infectious condition. Especially Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Which is an opportunistic microorganism present in the ground. Carrier rabbits are more frequent than diseased ones. Clinical signs consist of a hairless, crusty, itchy area of ​​skin that usually spreads to other parts of the body. Sometimes secondary bacterial infections appear.

To treat this condition, you should apply antimitotic locally or administer griseofulvin orally. Avoid using the latter in pregnant females. You need to disinfect the entire cage, bedding, and toys with a 10% chlorine solution and ensure good ventilation. Some individuals may be sensitive and can contract the infection. The infection can affect some sensitive individuals. The infection can affect some sensitive individuals. We recommend using gloves when handling a sick rabbit.


Fibroid virus

It is a not very widespread skin disease in rabbits. Caused by a virus similar to that of myxomatosis. But much less harmful. In affected rabbits, nodules appear under the skin on the paws. The muzzle, or around the eyes that do not usually extend. The rabbit is clinically normal and the tumor usually disappears after a few months. In newborns, the infection can cause organ tumors.


Papilloma Virus

This virus transmitted by mosquitoes causes keratin warts on the eyelids and ears. Rabbits often scratch and rip off these lesions, but they usually heal without any issues. It is advisable to remove warts that do not disappear on their own in 30 days. As they can degenerate into neoplastic tissue.

Ulcerative pod dermatitis

Lesions are present in rabbits with this skin disease. Rabbits develop sores on the soles of their feet when kept in cages with hard, abrasive, or wire floors. An ulcer infected or not, may appear under the metatarsal. If you remove the crust, you’ll see a purulent exudate in this condition. To cure them it is necessary to provide a soft and dry bed or to place a wooden surface on the wire floor. To treat wounds, you should use healing creams, zinc or vitamin A, and antibiotics. If your rabbit has an abscess or secondary infection, you need to give them oral antibiotics to treat it. Loss of appetite and debilitation can ultimately lead to death in severely affected individuals.


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