Rabbit skin condition / fur mites Please advise!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by szichigo, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. szichigo

    szichigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    Hello! I've never posted here before, but I've found a lot of answers to questions here in the past so I'm hoping someone can advise me.
    I've got a male New Zealand rabbit who is about 3-4 years old. Last month he had a nasty case of ear mites, which he's had before, and I treated it. I noticed he had a couple of little lumpy spots on his back, but I really didn't pay it too much mind. I kind of chalked it up to him getting older.
    This turned out to be a massive mistake, and I really should have kept a closer eye on it, cause it got really bad. He wasn't eating much, and wasn't moving around enough, so he got all poopy and dirty. We really can't afford to take him to a vet, so I did all the googling I could and I'm fairly certain the problem is flea mites. I bathed him and gave him an injection of Ivermectin. He's due for the follow-up shot tomorrow.
    Within a couple of days he started to look like he was feeling better. Started moving around more, and started eating like normal. I'm pretty sure we've got the mites under control. Tomorrow I'll give him his second shot and do another thorough clean of him and his cage.
    What I'm worried about is the TERRIBLE clumps of what I can only describe as "crust" covering his entire back under his fur. I didn't want to mess with it until he was feeling better so as not to stress him out, but today I went to take a close look at it and found that it's about a half-inch thick layer of fur and dry, brown crust. It looks kind of like if a long-haired dog rolled around in mud and then dried in the sun. I could peel it off of him like a hard-boiled egg. It wasn't even really attached to the skin in most places, but where it was going to pull too much I left it alone. The skin underneath looks pink and healthy, so I'm hoping that means he's really done with the mites and getting better.
    So my question is, what can I do about the rest of the crust on him? Is there anything I should use to help loosen it up so it won't pull his skin to remove it? Can I put anything on the uncovered naked skin in case it's feeling raw or irritated? And will the hair on his back grow back? He'll look kind of ridiculous with a bald back, Thanks!!
     
  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like mange that you would get on a dog. Not an expert on rabbits however...

    Could be down to him scratching the mites and making himself bleed, causing scabs and infection. Isn't there mite powder you can get?

    And no, i wouldn't remove it until he was fully better. He may bleed. You could maybe rub baby oil into it to soften it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  3. szichigo

    szichigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. I know it's not due to scratching. He couldn't possibly reach that part of his back to scratch, and it didn't look at all like scabby material. And the skin under the crust didn't look marred in any way. I will try some mineral oil on his skin today and try to get a picture.
     
  4. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok no problem, good luck.
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I'm not sure this is what you are dealing with, but I know that rabbits (particularly long-haired breeds like the Angoras) can get matted areas where the fur then sheds out right down to bare skin. I've seen this happen on shoulders, but the most common place seems to be the backside, on either side of the tail and just above it. Sometimes, the hair isn't exactly matted, it's more like it's "felted" together. I've never been able to simply peel it off, though I have "plucked" areas like that bare with little effort. If the skin looks pink and healthy underneath, the my bet is that the missing hair will grow back fairly soon.
     
  6. szichigo

    szichigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    It is definitely an illness (or infestation) rather than just matted hair. he's always been a heavy shedder, but nothing approaching hairlessness. He's also lost a good amount of weight from being off his food for a while. Thankfully he's gone back to eating well so I expect his weight to pick back up again.
    Anyway, yesterday I bathed him and tried to remove more of the crust, with the aid of mineral oil. I ended up being able to effortlessly remove the hair from his ENTIRE BACK. Now he looks like a plucked chicken on top. I removed everything that was crusty. There seemed to be a definite line between healthy fur and crust. In some places there are patches of very short hair that I'm guessing might be new hair growing in, so hopefully that means it will all grow back in time.
    I cleaned his cage again and put a heat lamp on him to keep him warm, since he lives in the garage. I didn't want to bring him inside for fear of infecting our indoor pets, but it doesn't get too cold out there.
    [​IMG]

    Here is what he looked like after his bath. The crust looks worse than it is because it has oil on it, otherwise it would be quite dry. The sore looking spot between his shoulders is where I gave him his injection. Does this look like mange to you? I am having trouble deciding if it's fur mites or mange, but apparently Ivermectin treats both.
    I feel so badly for him. I'm hoping he looks worse than he feels. After his bath I gave him a carrot and he dove after it with gusto. I figure as long as he's eating and drinking he hasn't given up, so I'll do what I can.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
    Ivomec will work better if you give it to him orally


    Rabbits:
    Ivomec for mites: 1/10th ML: per 5 lbs oral,
    3 doses, 2 weeks apart
    ( days 1, 14, 28)
     
  8. szichigo

    szichigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    Does it? I'm not sure how I'd get him to take it, but it's gotta be easier than the injection. The only needles I had on hand were very fine needles I originally bought for my goats, but I had a lot of trouble getting it through the rabbit's surprisingly thick skin. Would you recommend giving it to him orally in addition to the injections he's already had? I found out AFTER giving him the second shot that I do also have some Ivermectin in paste form that someone had given us when we bought goats from her, so I could use that if I can find the correct dosage. Thanks!
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Always use the 1% liquid, since it's easiest to measure.
    You can REMOVE the needle, and use the syringe to put it in his mouth, or you can simply mix it in his water, which is FAR easier

    Just mix the dose in an amount of water they will drink in a day or two

    Ivomec will also kill Earmites
     
  10. szichigo

    szichigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    That's awesome, thanks! He reliably goes through a bottle of water per day, so mixing it in his water won't be a problem. I'll give him a dose then 10 days after his previous.
     

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