The sucking louse Haemodipsus ventricosus can affect domestic rabbits, and it usually found in breeding establishments, especially if husbandry standards are poor. It is a large louse 1.5-2.5 mm in length and can be transmitted by direct contact.
Rabbit lice are commonly located down the spine, on the rump area and down the sides of the rabbit.
Clinical signs include the following:
- intense scratching and irritation
- thinning of the fur
- bald patches
In very young rabbits, anaemia may also present in advanced infestations.
- Ivermectin injections are the treatment of choice, again at 7-10 day intervals for 3-5 treatments.
- Selamectin (Revolution, Paradyne, & Stronghold).
- VetStream, Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group, Lice infestation in rabbits
- Varga, M. (2013). Textbook of rabbit medicine. (2nd ed.).
- Mitchell, M. A., & Tully, T. N. (2016). Current therapy in exotic pet practice. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=Cqc_CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44
- Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund. (2013). Surface attraction: Skin problems in rabbits. Retrieved 8 March, 2016, from http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/content/info-sheets/RWAF%20Skin%20Problems%20in%20rabbits.pdf
- Suckow, M.A., Stevens, K.A., & Wilson, R.P. (2012). The laboratory rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, and other rodents. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=HhEs-xsYp6IC&pg=PA433&lpg=PA433
- Animal Hospital of Soquel. (2015). External parasites on rabbits. Retrieved 8 March, 2016, from http://soquelvet.com/clients/15093/documents/RabbitFleaMite-x.pdf