How to Treat a Rabbit For Ticks


Ticks are tiny arachnids that wait on vegetation for suitable host animals to brush past. Dogs and cats often pick up ticks during the summer months, as do people. Rabbits may also become infested if they live outside, are let outside for exercise, or have contact with other pets. Physical removal is the same procedure whether the tick is on your rabbit, a child, you or any other animal. Medications that are perfectly safe for other pets, however, can be dangerous to rabbits. Take care when treating rabbits for ticks or parasites, and contact your vet if in any doubt.

Things You'll Need

  • Pointed tweezers
  • Small glass jar with lid
  • Medical alcohol or water
  • Rabbit-safe tick pesticide
  • Add an inch or two of medical alcohol, if you have any, to the jar. If not, use water or vinegar. Keep the lid close by. The jar is to preserve ticks for possible tests in the future, and to kill them so as they cannot infest your pet again.

  • Hold the rabbit on your lap and examine for any visible ticks. Ticks look rather like tiny spiders until they feed, when they swell up. Pay particular attention to the rabbit's ears and face.

  • Grasp each tick firmly in the tweezers and pull off steadily. Take hold of the tick near its head. Put the tick in the jar and replace the lid.

  • Contact your vet for advice on whether tick-transmitted diseases are prevalent in your area and what symptoms to watch for in your rabbit. Also ask whether the clinic needs the ticks for tests or whether you should simply dispose of them.

  • Use a tick treatment safe for use on rabbits if your vet recommends this. Since suitable treatments may have instructions for use on kittens or other animals rather than rabbits, ask your vet for directions before use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't twist ticks when you pull them out. This might cause the mouth parts to remain in the rabbit's skin, which can lead to infection.

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