"Surprise" Bunny as Gift. Has Fleas, Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Laurajean, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I posted this on backyardherds but wanted to post here to due to the urgency of the situation.

    My neighbor pulled into my driveway about a half an hour ago with a "surprise" for me. He has rabbits that apparently had "gotten loose" on his property once and now they reproduce in the woods and run wild. But that's a whole other topic. [​IMG] Anyway, he saw some neighborhood dogs chasing a baby bunny in his yard so he rescued it and gave it to me as a surprise. He's an older guy, and was trying to be nice, not realizing I carefully research pets before taking on this kind of responsibility.

    I told him I don't even have a rabbit hutch or anything and he said to just put him in with my chickens. So he left, and I'm wandering around the yard in shock with a baby bunny in my hand. I decided go online and do some rabbit research to see what this little guy needs. My neighbor says he's a "New Zealand" and is about 2 or 3 weeks old, but I know nothing about rabbits, so this means little to me.

    Just as I was about to put him in my hen house for now since it's empty during the day, I saw a flea on her. Upon further inspection I found lots of flea dust and several living fleas. Now I'm really panicked, I don't want fleas in my house, I have two indoor cats, and I'm not sure about the chickens, but I imagine they could get fleas too, right?

    Does anyone have any advice as far as general care for the bunny, but also what I can do about the fleas?! Can I just use cat flea stuff? Any ideas where I can keep him segregated until the fleas are gone? I don't want to spread them to my other animals. I don't have a barn or any outbuildings other than the coop with the chickens and a shed which gets very hot.

    Right now the poor little thing is in a cardboard box in the yard until I figure out a better plan, so any advice would be appreciated. People should not give live animals as surprise gifts, but all I can do now is try and give him a good home and tell my neighbor thanks but never do this again!

    PS: Just remembered I have a Guinea Pig cage instead of the box, but still not sure where to put the cage given the flea situation!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. suburbanminifarm

    suburbanminifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    N.San Diego County
    Hmmm... bunnies are super sensitive to flea products so I'd use caution. Can you heavily dust him with DE? It does work, but might need to be repeated in a few days. For sure never use the "drops" on bunnies.....
  3. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    A very, VERY tiny amount of Ivermectin will clear up fleas, ticks, mites, etc. Take a Q-tip and just BARELY coat it in Ivermectin, then rub that minuscule amount on the rabbits tongue. I get the apple flavored kind then have to argue with the rabbit not to EAT the Q-tip.

    I treat my herd every 6 months with Ivermectin, every 3-4 if they REALLY need it. I just treated 10 with it to clear up Ear Cankers on Friday. Today (Wensday) and the cankers are half gone on the heavily infected rabbits. No fleas or ticks either.
  4. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I don't think chickens get fleas. But i let mine dust themselves in poultry dust, so that may be why I've never had an issue. Good luck with the bunny, if you don't want to keep him, some shelters take them in and put them up for adoption (I don't think they ever euthanise rabbits or guinea pigs people surrender to them).
  5. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    I don't know anything about a bunny, BUT I do know that you can give young animals a bath in ivory or mild dawn dish soap to get rid of the fleas too. It takes a few times (to get the ones that just hatched too) but it works. I got a puppy from someone that was only 6 weeks old and she was COVERED in fleas. The first thing I did was give her a bath, I had dawn dish soap (not the one with bleach) and it worked very well. Don't let her come in contact with your cats, chickens or other pets until the fleas are gone and destroy the box she is in too. Make sure to wash the clothes you are wearing right away.

    ....btw I think puppies should still be with their mommas and litter mates until they are 8-9 weeks old for proper socialization and manners training. That lady wanted rid of them.
  6. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Quote:Chickens CAN get fleas and can be common at swaps/shows. I was told that you can spray Adams Flea and Tick spray on chickens and not have any problems. Of course I wouldn't spray chicks though.
  7. sammileah

    sammileah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2009
    central ia
    dawn or kitten flea stuff too.
  8. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    I have never heard of using Ivermectin for fleas/ticks. I have to give my dogs comfortis in addition to their Heartgard every month.

    For bunnies you could ask a vet but I would think that something that is safe for cats would be safe for a bunny (like Advantage).

    2 weeks is also very early to wean a bunny. I know you didn't have any choice in the matter but I hope he ends up ok....

    Good luck to you and baby [​IMG]
  9. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    So far things I have read elsewhere online have varied. Many say never to use Frontline, but that Advantage is okay, others say no topical drops are okay. I feel so bad because the poor little thing isn't used to being contained and he's in a scary new place and now I have to segregate him, when I would like to have him in the house and be soothing him. Just can't risk it with the fleas though.

    I gave him some rabbit food that the neighbor gave me but he hasn't discovered it yet. I stuck a carrot in front of him and he's munching on that, so he's apparently old enough to be eating. I have him in the guinea pig cage now, which is better than a box.

    Back to the research, I'm going to try calling a vet and ask too. More advice would be great, thanks!
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Thanks for letting me know that chickens can get fleas, Karrie 13! I never knew this, and from now on, I just might not get chicks/chickens from swap meets!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010

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