A Warning About Flea Medications
Fleas! The very word can make you want to start scratching. Summertime means warmer and more humid weather, which is great for letting your rabbit enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, fleas love it, too. It can also mean increased risk of ticks and mites. Even indoor rabbits can attract fleas, and they can be a real nuisance.
As a rabbit rescue, we’ve heard too many sad stories about rabbits who have died after being given a flea treatment with an unsafe product. Be certain you know what you are giving your rabbit, and only under the supervision of your vet.
We’d like to remind our readers that there are some safe flea and mite treatments out there, and there are also some very unsafe, even fatal, treatments that you should avoid:
SAFE Flea Treatments:
- Use a flea comb (available at the San Diego HRS store and at pet supply stores) to search and destroy!
- Comb herbal powders of rosemary, sage or bay leaves through your rabbit’s coat. The aromatic oils in these herbs are meant to deter insects.
- You may need to temporarily separate your treated rabbits from other bunnies and pets to avoid any licking and grooming off of the product.
If these methods don’t resolve the fleas, it’s time to phone your vet and have a safe medication prescribed.
- Available by prescription only through your vet, who can specify a safe dosage.
- Advantage, Revolution or Capstar
UNSAFE treatments to AVOID:
- Beware of products marketed toward other animals such as cats and dogs; they can be lethal to rabbits.
- Brands such as Hartz, Frontline and other over the counter products. Frontline in particular has caused the deaths of several rabbits, and has never been recommended by the manufacturer for use on rabbits.
- Avoid anything containing the herb pennyroyal, which contains pyrethrin and is toxic to buns.
- Never, ever “flea dip” or flea-shampoo a rabbit, as the chemicals can kill them.