Rabbit's ears and fur are susceptible to mites, making quick treatment necessary to stop the spread of infection. Both ear and fur mites are contagious, and any infected rabbits should be removed and isolated from the herd immediately. The treatments for ear and fur mites are vastly different, but each is effective in curing the animal from the parasites.
The symptoms of ear mites begin with the rabbit scratching at the ear more often and a brown waxy buildup appearing in the ear near the base. Inspect each rabbit weekly to keep ear mites under control and prevent any infected animal from spreading the parasite to the rest of the herd. Sanitize the pens and feed dishes along with surrounding pens to prevent re-infestation and the spread of the parasite.
Treating rabbits with ear mites is not a costly adventure. A veterinarian may prescribe ivermectin, an oral or injectable antibiotic, which will clear any infection brought on by the mites. A more common household treatment is just as effective if used before an infection breaks out. Soak the tip of a cotton swab in mineral oil. While holding the rabbit on a sturdy surface, gently apply the mineral oil in the ear, using the swab. Stroke the ear, coating the surface of the skin. Begin at the tip and move down towards the base of the ear. The oil will soak the scabs, making the wax softer. Do not pull or pick the scabs off. Allow them to heal and fall off to prevent further damage to the rabbit's ear. Continue this treatment on the second day and then every other day until the tenth day. Treat the infected ears again on the 14th, 21st and 28th days. The mites have a lifespan of 21 days. A 28 day treatment will eliminate the mite problem. The oil will smother the parasites, leaving them without a source for oxygen.
Fur mites in rabbits will appear as small specs on the skin. Blowing gently on the fur of the back will expose these mites. Rabbits should be examined weekly to prevent an infestation within the herd. Left untreated, fur mites will result in mange. Mange is a serious condition that will leave a rabbit with patches of missing fur and an infection of the skin. Prevention is a key method to mite control. Sanitize pens and feed containers of infected rabbits and isolate them from the herd to prevent further infestation.
Rabbit fur mites can be treated using a flea powder designed for cats. Bathing a rabbit with shampoo is not effective in removing mites and will also create other health problems for the rabbit, such as pneumonia. Following the label directions for cat treatment, apply the flea powder. Work the powder into the fur using a brush or rubbing with the hands. Do not brush against the fur, as this will cause breakage. Repeat this treatment as necessary every seven days. If, after the third treatment, the infestation remains, consult a veterinarian. He will prescribe ivermectin, which is an effective antibiotic safely used for rabbit infections.