I found several of these on my indoor rabbit tonight. He is never outside (we are in AZ and it is too hot). He is free roam in our second bedroom and has been with us for two years. He I sating, pooping, peeing normally and seems okay but obviously this is a problem. Can you help me identify what kind of bug/mite it is? He has had fur mites before but was treated with Ivermectin successfully. The attached photo its one of the and I zoomed in very close. They are very tiny but can be seen with the naked eye.
Answer Dear Elizabeth,
This is, indeed, a mite. It's red because it is full of your bunny's blood. I can't tell what species it is without looking at it under the microscope, but you probably don't need a species ID to know that those "bugs" (they're actually more closely related to spiders than to bugs) gotta go!
Even if your bun never goes outside, mites can come in under doors, through cracks, on your clothing, etc. So it's something that just happens sometimes.
The best treatment for these is Revolution (selamectin), a newer "cousin" of ivermectin. Ivermectin will work, but it doesn't last as long as the topically applied Revolution, which offers protection for 2-3 weeks.
Unfortuntely, I have all too much experience with mites, as the squirrels and rats in our neighborhood share their Tropical Rat Mites (Ornithonyssus spp.) with us in the summer. Revolution is a great remedy.
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
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If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
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I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
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Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
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