Skin Diseases in Rabbits

Ear mite in rabbits — treatment with folk methods, specialized means

Fur loss in rabbits with no other lesions can have many different causes, including fur-plucking, barbering, hormonal problems, and previous localized inflammation. Fur-plucking in the neck or dewlap, belly, and leg areas occurs in pregnant females who are close to delivery, to line their nest. Even pseudopregnant females sometimes pluck in that area. Fur-plucking may also be seen in cases of nutritional deficiency such as when they lack sufficient fiber in the diet. Rabbits who cannot reach the site of an irritation because of arthritis, obesity, or intervening skin folds sometimes chew at their dewlap instead. Simple baldness may result, but frequently the skin also appears irritated.

The fur at the nape of the neck is normally thin. Coat density in this area may change with the seasons or with hormonal fluctuations in unspayed females. If the bald spot is limited to the area hidden when the rabbit tucks her head back toward her shoulders. If the hair is thin beyond this spot, it is a good idea to have your veterinarian do an examination.

Barbering, or chewing on the hair, is sometimes seen when rabbits are housed together or with guinea pigs. Rabbits may chew on their own hair or on each other’s hair. The stress of crowding is likely to intensify the problem. Barbered areas show patchy hair loss with broken hairs present (they have been nipped off) without complete baldness.

Occasionally hair loss can be seen at the site of a previous bite wound or other injury.and is related to the healing process. Hair should regrow within a few months in these cases unless there was extensive scarring and deep damage to the skin.

Mites in Ears, Fur, or Skin
During normal shedding, the undercoat may come out in clumps, but no flaking should be seen. Patchy fur loss with mild to severe flaking along the rabbit’s back is the hallmark of Cheyletiella parasitovorax, the most common rabbit skin mite. Hairs at the border of the bald spot come out easily in clumps, usually with some coarse flakes of skin attached. Fur mites may or may not cause itching. Your veterinarian may examine a scotch-tape preparation or skin scraping under the microscope for the presence of mites, but mites are sometimes difficult to detect. Luckily, mites are usually eradicated with relative ease. Classic treatment is with injectable or oral ivermectin, given in treatments two weeks apart. More recently, Revolution (selamectin) has been used effectively. A kitten dose of Revolution is applied between the shoulder blades and is repeated once a month for at least three doses. Revolution is usually dosed at 6mg/kg. If you have the 60mg/ml solution (ie the kitten solution), use 0.1cc per kg of body weight (1kg = 2.2lb). If you have the 120mg/ml solution, use 0.05cc per kg of body weight. You’ll need a tuberculin syryinge (no needle!) from your vet to measure such a small quantity of liquid. Apply to the back of the neck or other area where the bunny can’t readily groom it off. It is essential to thoroughly clean your rabbit’s cage and exercise areas after each treatment to control reinfestation, since fur and dander in the environment may contain mite eggs.

The rabbit ear mite, Psoroptes cuniculi, produces abundant red-brown crusts in the ear canal. The rabbit may shake his head or scratch at his ears or one or both ears may droop. This is a very uncomfortable disease. Mites may be seen with the naked eye, moving along the crusts. If they are not grossly visible they are easily detected via microscopic examination of the crusts and debris from the ear. These mites can also be found on other areas of the skin, most commonly just above the tail, where they cause itching and crusts. Injectable or oral ivermectin has traditionally been the treatment of choice but Revolution, used in the same manner as for Cheyletiella has proven safe and effective. It is not necessary to clean the ears and remove the crusts which is extremely painful. Once either ivermectin or Revolution and the mites are killed, healing progresses rapidly and the crusts come out on their own. It is important as with the fur mites, the clean the rabbit’s environment after each treatment as a few mites may be present in the bedding from time to time.

Fleas can cause hair loss, redness, small crusts, and itching. Advantage (imidacloprid) or Revolution, both used at a kitten dose or cat dose depensing on the size of the rabbit, applied topically once a month have been used quite successfully. The rabbit’s environment must also be treated. Environmental treatment with insect growth regulators (IGRs) and insecticide sprays has proven safe as long as the rabbits are removed until the product has dried. Application of borate powder (Fleabusters TM) to rugs is also safe and effective.

A Warning About Baths
Reports have been received of shock or death in rabbits following the use of insecticidal dips or baths that are usually considered safe. Products involved have included carbaryl dips, carbaryl shampoo, pyrethrin dips, pyrethrin shampoo followed by carbaryl dip, lime sulfur dips, and even baby shampoo. The wide variety of products involved and the lack of symptoms usually associated with insecticide toxicity suggest that the reaction is initiated by the stress of bathing, dipping, or drying, rather than by the chemicals themselves. Overheating, chilling, or liver problems (common in overweight or anorectic rabbits) may be critical factors as well. Rabbits should always be observed after bath or dip for signs of shock-pale mucous membranes, severe depression, or weakness. Immediate supportive care (warm IV fluids, warmth, corticosteroids, etc.) can be provided if problems develop. Fatalities sometimes result despite prompt treatment.

Chronic Wetness Leads to Problems
If a rabbit’s skin is chronically exposed to moisture, then baldness, redness, and crusting may develop, and bacterial infection may follow. The source of the moisture may be the environment (water crocks, leaky water bottle, damp litter, overgrooming by another rabbit) or the rabbit’s own body fluids (urine leakage, fecal staining, drooling due to dental problems, or eye discharge). Infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa sometimes causes a moist dermatitis which shows as a blueish discoloration of the fur. If drinking water is contaminated with Pseudomonas, rigorous disinfection or replacement of water containers is essential.

Finding out where the moisture is coming from and eliminating the source is the first and most important step toward a cure. Steps may include veterinary treatment for problems like arthritis, bladder problems , or conjunctivitis (see HRJ III, 5), or a change in diet to correct obesity (see HRJ III, 3,4). Rabbits with these problems should not be allowed outdoors because they are at for fly strike.

Daily care of the affected area is necessary and may include clipping, cleansing with chlorhexidine or tamed iodine solution, and applying topical antibiotic/anti-inflammatory powder or ointment. Intensive or prolonged use of topical corticosteroids can have systemic effects and should be avoided. Systemic antibiotics (based on culture/sensitivity testing) are needed if there is pus, fever, or lethargy.

Pododermatitis (sore hock) is most commonly seen in rabbits housed on wire or other rough, wet, or hard surfaces, but may occur in rabbits who are never caged. Heavy-bodied breeds (Flemish Giant, Californian), obese rabbits, and those with thin fur on the bottoms of their feet (Rex) are predisposed to this problem. In simple cases, providing a soft absorbent resting surface (cotton toweling or artificial fleece are ideal if the rabbit doesn’t chew them), cleaning the underside of the foot, and applying a padded wrap for 1-2 weeks will help effect a cure. Topical use of Preparation H or Bag Balm are folk remedies that can be effective. Weight reduction can be the key to a cure in overweight rabbits. For cases with severe infection or deep ulceration, X-rays to determine if the infection has penetrated into the bone, culture/sensitivity testing, and appropriate systemic antibiotics are recommended. Hocks with severe infection or deep ulceration may be difficult or impossible to cure. If the infection has penetrated the bone and only one foot is infected severely, amputation may be necessary to provide relief from pain.

Ringworm is not a worm but a fungus that takes its name from the classic raised red circular lesion with a clearing center that can be a primary symptom. However, crusting, scaling, and bald spots are actually more common symptoms than the red ring. Ringworm most commonly occurs on the rabbit’s head, ears, and face. Treatment with ProgramTM has been found to be quite effective. Your veterinarian may provide topical treatment (miconazole, clotrimazol) for small lesions.

Rabbit Syphilis
Treponema cuniculi is a bacteria called a spirochete similar to that which causes syphilis in humans. It causes crusty dermatitis primarily around the rabbit’s genitals or nose but in severe cases is can extend upwards on the face and around the eyes.. This organism is resistant to most topical treatments but responds well to procaine penicillin G injections. One must take care and watch for intestinal upset during this treatment.

Lumps, Bumps, Cancer
Abscesses are the most common skin swellings in rabbits. Because the pus produced by rabbits often has a thick cream cheese-like consistency and is encased in a thick capsule, lancing, draining, and systemic antibiotics often fail to effect a cure. Complete surgical removal of the intact abscess is preferred. There are a wide range of potential treatments for abscesses that are not able to be surgically removed for whatever reason. The most important thing is to get an anaerobic and an aerobic culture prior to any treatment to determine what the most appropriate antibiotic will be to give either systemically and/or into the abscess cavity itself. Treatments range from cleaning the abscess and implanting antibiotic impregnanted beads to leaving it open and packing and/or flushing with a variety of medications. It is best to consult your veterinarian to determine what is the most appropriate regime of treatment for your individual rabbit.

The most common cause of lumps and bumps on rabbits are warts, caused by a papilloma virus and benign growths such as fatty tumors (lipomas). Malignant skin cancers are not common in the rabbit, but do occur and are most often a metastasis of another cancer, most noteably uterine cancer. Any unusual growths on the skin should be watched for change in size, shape, or color and should be evaluated by a veterinarian. If a skin mass is removed, it is a good idea to have your veterinarian send it out for pathology so it can be identified and any further treatment can be instituted if necessary.

The skin ailments mentioned here are not all-inclusive. Home remedies are typically ineffectual and may lead to complications or even death. It is always best to consult your veterinarian rather than attempting home diagnosis and treatment

How to independently treat ear mite in domestic rabbits?

Domestic rabbits sometimes get sick, and their diseases are life-threatening. Such diseases include scabies of rabbits or psorioptic ticks. Most often it is localized inside the ears of animals. Early treatment of ear mites in domestic rabbits can prevent their death.

Diseases of the ears in rabbits, in particular, psoroptosis is a common and alas very contagious phenomenon. The causative agent of the disease is psoroptes cuniculi. Such a disease should be treated urgently, as it is quickly transmitted between adults and children. If a lactating rabbit has an ear mite, the rabbit in 90% of cases will become infected too. Ear diseases are transmitted by the contact of two animals, through the clothes of a farmer, drinkers, feeders, cell walls.

In domestic rabbits, the tick causes not only itching in the ears and swelling, but also weight loss, refusal of food and mating. Their vital functions gradually fade away, in the later stages a brain tumor develops, which leads to death. Consequently, the surgical treatment of rabbits infected with scabies will not only save their lives, but also save the rest of the livestock of the farm.

Symptoms of illness

The disease manifests itself in the following symptoms: the rabbits begin to get nervous, to rub their ears and head. Scabies develops rapidly and if it is not treated, complications arise in the form of otitis, meningitis and, ultimately, death. Sick bunnies scratch their ears with their paws, trying to get rid of itching and burning, their behavior may become aggressive or, on the contrary, apathetic. Rabbit ears swell, become several times thicker, their surface inside is covered with ulcers.

Inside the ear, during a detailed examination, brown scabs or crusts are found, and the swollen areas feel much hotter than the rest of the body. To make sure that it is a tick and start treatment, make scraping, after which the vet prescribes treatment. By the way, parasites can be seen without a microscope. After removing a little sore tissue and mixing it with petroleum jelly heated to 40 degrees, you can see the mites under glass. For this, a magnifying glass will suffice.

Treatment and Prevention

Let’s learn how to treat such a disease as scabies with medical drugs and which ones are the most effective. Ivermectin-based injectables used to treat dogs, cats, cows and other animals from ticks are popular. Rabbits tolerate them well, cure from the first course is observed in 80% of cases. Reliable aerosol means: Dermatozol, Akrodeks, Psorptol, Cyodrin, Dikrezil. The treatment is carried out from a distance of 15 cm, splashing for two seconds.

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Another drug — Valekson. This emulsion is applied in two steps according to the instructions. Some more acaricidal preparations: Sulfidophoz, Tsiodrin, Chlorofos, Neotsidol, Foksim. Treatment will be much more effective if, after the first course of procedures, repeat them after 5-7 days again. This will destroy the parasites completely, because manufacturers do not give a one-hundred percent guarantee for any drug in a single application.

For preventive purposes, all food surfaces, as well as the cells themselves, should be treated twice a year (in spring and autumn) with antiparasitic agents. Purchased individuals should be kept in quarantine for about a month, and only after processing should they sit down with the others. Pregnant bunnies are treated for a tick 2 weeks before giving birth, even if they are healthy.

Folk methods

Treat scabies can and folk remedies. The first and most reliable of them, every breeder should know about is a mixture of equal parts of turpentine and sunflower or castor oil. The mixture completely irrigates the ear from the inside, it must be done with gloves, using a syringe without a needle. So tick-borne crusts are soaked with turpentine and oil, their surface softens and the parasites die.

The treatment is repeated after 2 weeks, even if the ears have already been cleaned, and redness, swelling and scabs have disappeared from their surface. Also used camphor oil, they simply smear the ear as well as turpentine-oil mixture. But camphor is good only in the early stages, when the crawls only begin to shake their heads and ears. In advanced cases, use an oil-turpentine composition or medication.

Please note that all mixtures are applied so that the liquid does not flow into the auditory part. Gently rub in the liquid so that the entire ear surface is evenly oiled. After the onset of improvements, disinfect the cells and all surfaces with iodine solution (a tablespoon of iodine per liter of warm boiled water).

Natural Remedies for Pet Rabbits

Updated: December 20th, 2018 by Deirdre Layne // 59 Comments

Pet rabbits can be afflicted with a variety of diseases and health conditions, many of which can be safely addressed with natural home remedies. If your rabbit is suffering from constipation/wool block, eye infections, ear infections, parasites such as fleas and mange, or other illnesses and conditions please consider the user tips below for caring for your bunny.

Rabbits need plenty of water, some veggies and greens in addition to rabbit feed, and amusements to keep them stimulated and happy.

Home Remedies for Pet Rabbits

For conjunctivitis and other eye issues, rabbit owners often use echinacea (dietary or as an eye drop) or chamomile drops to soothe and restore eye health. Pumpkin mash can be used to help restore digestive health in a rabbit with constipation or wool block.

Continue reading for extensive feedback from our readers on which supplements, herbs and home remedies they have tried to treat various issues in their pet rabbits and whether or not they helped. Please let us know which remedies you’ve tried to treat your rabbit!

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Remedy Reviews From Our Readers

What can I do to detox my rabbit who may have eaten potato leaves? She has loss of appetite, seems weak and thinner, not her jumpy energetic self.

You might consider giving your bun activated charcoal. You would have to get the capsules from the health food store, grind them up and add enough water to make it easy to suck up in a syringe, and then use the syringe to your bun’s mouth to get him to drink it down. Another option would be bentonite clay, administered in the same way.

My little rabbit had fur mites.

1. I bathed her in Mane and Tail shampoo

2, I diluted apple cider vinegar with water and left it on her for 15 mins

3. I poured buttermilk on her and left it for 15 mins

4. Combed her with a flea comb

5. Fur mites are gone

My dog bit a small part of a baby bunny’s neck skin off. It needs a stich. One vet was too busy, another said 95$ plus we keep him. I wanted to bring him hack to his mother and the nest and keep my dog in and walk him in front for a while. Took him to bunny sanctuary where they gave us food to take home that looks like mud and gave him antibiotics orally and pain meds. I wanted to clean the wind wi th warm water and put coconut oil on it or something…but haven’t. He seems healthy otherwise. Is in a cool place in the home but a warm box in a pocket of a cotton skirt. Was hoping humane society would stitch him and give back so we could return to his mom but they haven’t called us back. Pls help.advise. Thanks so much. 248-342-9397

You might try any of the liquid bandages available from the drug store OR a drop of superglue.

Jen, cayenne pepper will stop bleeding and will help keeping the wound clean, bathe it with colloidal silver or put your coconut oil on the wound.

I always keep diluted lavender oil and some cotton rounds to cure my bunnies eye problems. 2 drops in 4 ounces of distilled water. Shake well before application. Just press the saturated cotton round on the bunny’s eye for a minute or two. You can also wipe their whole body afterwards. Unless they need an antibiotic cream, this works great. BTW – lavender has natural antibiotic properties.

Hope this helps.


I just went through a very scary situation with my rabbit. He stopped eating, drinking, and pooping and I knew it was an emergency. The vet gave him intravenous fluids, pain meds, and did x-rays, and showed me how to syringe-feed him with critical care.

But here is what I learned from YouTube that really changed things for us: belly massage! When your rabbit is lying down, put your hands underneath and gently massage the abdomen. You will actually here the stomach start to gurgle. Within 5 minutes he jumped into his litter box and went to the bathroom. We all cheered! Do this every half hour as part of treatment.

I think I could have saved myself $500. My vet did not mention massage at all….

The only trouble with this is, some bunnies are very shy about being restrained at all. If I put both hands on either side of bun, she jumps away immediately. It must be something form her past—she is a rescue, and I shudder to think what she went through before we adopted her.

If it is something you can do however, I’m certain it would be very comforting and helpful for your rabbit.

Thank you SO much for this advice! I think it may well have saved my bunnies life!

I have learned with my bunny when he needs a tummy rub to put my hand under him and rub his tummy with him relaxed and he approves by licking my hand to continue rubbing. No picking him up, only working with him the way he thinks is best.

My name is Harold and I am the Founder and President of a foundation. ( ) .

We have build a rabbit farm in Mae Sod whose sole purpose is to feed rabbit meat to the orphans on the Thai/Myanmar border. Most if not all of the orphans suffer from Protein deficiency which affects their growth and learning ability. We now have a major case of mites at the farm where we house over 3000 rabbits.

Any help and suggestions is appreciated. We need to try to take care of this situation in the barns (3) where the rabbits are raised.

Thank you so much. H.

That sure is a lot of rabbits!

My first inclination is to depopulate: cull and harvest as many animals as you can – this to lighten the work load for the treatment required to clean up three barns of bunnies. Pare down to your essential breeding stock and clean those up, along with the facilities and begin anew.

Ideally, if you could reduce or consolidate the population down to 2 barns, you could then put your efforts into sterilizing the empty barn. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized so that all parasites are destroyed and reinfection cannot occur. A fresh solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water sprayed on non-porous surfaces and allowed to sit wet for 10 minutes is effective. Another consideration is Oxine combined with Citric Acid – this can be used both as a spray or as a fogger. Once you have the facility sterilized you must clear out the infections in the rabbits before reintroduction or your work will be for naught.

There are several things you can do to clear out the infections in the rabbits; environmentally friendly ones are labor intensive and require repeated bathing of the infected animal – and require the infected animal to be in quarantine so as not to be reinfected during treatment. Injectable Vermectin/Ivermectin requires several injections and you must wait for 49 days before you can harvest that animal for food.

You don’t state which kind of mite you have – ear mites may not require such drastic culling as I envision, and a simple carrier oil along with a miticide such as Vectin/ivermectin used in the ear until the mites are resolved might be the way to go.

Once you have your stock cleaned up you can introduce to the cleaned up barn and then start all over again with barn 2, and then again with barn 3. It is essential that staff handling the rabbits do not cross contaminate the barn by going from infected barn to clean barn; ideally staff would change clothing completely before entering the clean barn.

I strongly urge you to work with a local veterinarian – they can best advise with eyes on your actual set up and assist with obtaining the necessary medication in volume if needed.

Ban Nuea Veterinary Clinic Address: Inthara Khiri Rd., Mae Sot, Tak

Veterinary Clinic Address: Highway 12, Mae Sot, Tak

Mae Sot Livestock Address: Mae Sot-Mae Tao Rd., Mae Sot, Tak

Si Phanit Veterinary Clinic Address: Si Phanit Rd., Mae Sot, Tak

MY bad – you DID state it was ear mites in your title line, and my eyes just didn’t pick it up!

The most basic treatment of ear mites is oil in the ear – of any type. The idea being the oil smothers the mites. So flooding the ears with olive oil, mineral oil, etc. should work towards this effect. The life cycle of the mite is 21 days, so you would need to treat each animal a couple of times a week for up to 4 weeks – in addition to sterilizing the living quarters. An over the counter product campho-phenique often works with only 1 application. Honey mixed with warm water and applied twice daily for the first week, and then every two days for the next 2 weeks [so total of 21 days treatment/full life cycle of the mite] is also effective and non-toxic, although the bunnies will be very sticky around the neck with this treatment and may require bathing or cleaning up every few days if you go this route.

it must be said that any bunny who gets infected with mites of any sort is sending the message that something is not right; you may need to increase the quality of the rations you feed your rabbits to provide more vitamins, or more sunlight, and so on.

Good luck with this noble endeavor!

I’ve been raising rabbits for meat for my family. when rabbits get ear mites I just spray some coconut oil in their ears. It starts working by the next day. Any kind of cooking oil would probably work as well. I don’t use any chemicals on my animals.

I have been researching wry neck in rabbits and have found sources stating a very low dose of ivomec administered biweekly will kill the spores of EC (encephalitazoon cuniculi) the protozoa that attacks the kidneys and results in the horrible symptoms of wry neck. I would like to find out if there are any known natural methods of eliminating and even preventing the parasite from becoming opportunistic and attacking the kidneys and brain?

Here is some info about our rabbits:

We feed ACV to our rabbits by means of adding 1/2 tsp to their bottle of water. The rabbit with wry neck was previously fed a diet of hay and pellet food, the other rabbit has been converted to a raw diet consisting of veggies, fruit, seeds and hay. Since the onset of the wry neck I have administered a low dose of ivomec- 1/10 cc per lb of weight- to each rabbit and fed grated carrot mixed with seaweed and ground dandelion root to aid immune function. I have also been feeding the unaffected rabbit small amounts of bee pollen, which he loves, but the effected rabbit will not eat these things. In my opinion, the effected rabbit is not be used to the diet that our older rabbit is, it took him about a month to completely convert his diet. I wish to stay away from feeding pellets to the effected rabbit because pelleted food can become contaminated and cause the wry neck problem. Hopefully this will not stress the effected rabbit in a way that will cause her immunity to become even more compromised. She has been eating the hay and baby greens and drinking allot of water, since the dose was administered (Dec 12/2013) they have become more lethargic than usual, which in my understanding is normal behavior for the next 24 hours.

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So I hope there may be someone out there who has had some knowledge and understanding of this parasite and its effects. For the best source I found for information on this disease here is the link (if its not against the rules of EC) sorry if it is. Barbi has been researching this disease for over 25 years, although methods are not natural they seem to be the only alternative to the veterinarian so far. Also if anyone is wondering why we haven’t taken the rabbit to the vet, it is because there are no rabbit vets in this area, most vets will not even touch the subject of small mammal care here and I know the cost of the tests necessary to diagnose EC parasites would be more than I could afford. As an example it cost us $900.00 to have our cat euthanized after a blood test.

Some ideas for you:

About the Ivomec – not a big fan but it does have its place in certain situations. Ivomec is an immune depressant. The sluggish behavior after dosing is very likely a Herx reaction; the Ivomec causes the parasites to die off enmasse which makes bun not feel so good for a few days as the toxins caused by the parasite die off work their way out of his system.

I like the ACV in the water bottle – be sure to use the raw, unpasturized unfiltered kind with the active cultures/»mother». Another thought would be to alkalize with baking soda; you might consider hanging two bottles and letting the bun decide for himself which one [ACV/baking soda] he needs.

Read up on alkalizing remedies on EC here:

Consider adding food grade diatomaceous earth [DE] to your buns food, or making a slurry of the DE and dose it orally [mix try DE with water until it forms an easy flowing gruel and dose 1cc am and pm to start].

Consider dosing tinct of Black Walnut; tinct straight out of the bottle likely will be unpalatable to a bun, so add a few drops to a little water and get out the turkey baster/eye dropper/what have you and admnister orally to the bun.

Consider a nutritional approach with foods that are natural remedies for protazoans:

Blueberries – 1 tablespoon twice a day for 5 days

Broccoli – 4 flowerets twice daily for 5 days

Carrots – 2 baby raw organic carrots twice a day for 8 days

Celery – 1 raw stick twice a day for 7 days

Green Pepper – 1 half-dollar sized piece twice a day for 2 days

Lemon Juice – 1/2 teaspoon twice a day for 5 days

Pumpkin Seeds – 1 tablespoon twice a day for 8 days

Spinach – 1 tablespoon twice a day for 5 days

Sunflower Seeds – 1 tablespoon twice a day for 8 days

Any or none of the above may apply; hold your bun in your lap and read down the list, the right ones will just seem right.

Now, if you are good at dosing nasty tasting oral meds down your buns craw, some herbs may apply. Which ones you choose are up to you, so several or none may seem right. I mix them up with a little water and dose with a medicine dropper:

Astragulus – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Bilberry – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Cat’s Claw – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Dandelion Root – 1 capsule twice a day for5 days

Garlic -1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Kelp – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Licorice – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Milk Thistle – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Olive Leaf Extract – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Oregano Oil – 1 pill or 1/4 teaspoon twice a day for 5 days

Oregon Grape Root – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Pau D’Arco – 1 capsule twice a day for 3 days

Schizandra – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Turmeric – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

Yellow Dock – 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days

After banging that all out on my keyboard, the Milk Thistle struck me as indicated – read up on EC about it here:

Good luck with your bun, and report back with an update please!

Thank you, that’s a great couple of lists and I will definitely be trying some, dandelion root has already been used so I’m going to keep that one up. Any thoughts on coconut oil? There are little to no studies done on the effectiveness of coconut oil on rabbits other than to test cholesterol levels. I give it to my old dog for his anal glands, he chews on them so even though they are healed he keeps opening them up, works like magic and he will be healed in a week.

I am seeing some effects of the ivomec on my small rabbit, diarrhea, off his food, not drinking and sluggish since last night. Im wondering if giving him a tiny bit of activated charcoal would help his diarrhea, although I dont want to stress him any more than needed and I wonder if I should just let it run its course.

“dandelion root has already been used so I’m going to keep that one up.”

Did you feel it was working? My suspicion is that it wasn’t providing the results you wanted to see, hence your initial post. My experience with these remedies is that, if they work – they work fairly quickly and its obvious they are working. IMHO if its not working, try something else – again JMHO.

“Any thoughts on coconut oil?”

I think it would be much easier to get a bun to eat carrots or spinach or green pepper even than coconut oil, but if it came to you then you should give it a whirl. If this were my bun, I would put out each of the fresh remedies including the coconut oil in a small dish and let the bun have at it; he will know, perhaps better than anyone, just what he needs to ingest to heal himself. Again, JMHO!

How often are you dosing the ivomec? Are you sure of your doses? The AC might help with the loose stools, however since you know why the loose stools are present [dosing ivomec/system detoxing] it seems contraindicated to me – ie let it run its course.

That said, its your bun and I advise anyone to go with their gut as I am only tossing out advice from my side of the keyboard and you are with your bun real time.

I would watch to make sure your bun doesn’t dehydrate – if anything I might err on the side of caution and use a dropper to make sure he is getting sufficient water. If the diarrhea is severe, then home made pedialyte is in order.

4 cups of water (boiled or bottled drinking water)

1/2 teaspoon Morton lite salt (because it has potassium in it as well as sodium chloride) Can use regular table salt if you have to.

2 Tablespoons sugar

If you want to add the AC start with 1 cup of electrolyte solution in a small jar with a lid; add 2 heaping tablespoons of AC and then put the lid on and shke to blend. This goes into a syringe well and then can be placed into your bun’s mouth; tip the head back and gently depress the plunger to allow him to drink it slowly.

Take a peek at this thread – the remedies certainly could apply to your bun:

I have only tried the dandielion root for two days now, not sure how its working because his system is really in up-heaval right now. He just looks so sick its sad. I gave him coconut oil and he ate it so fast I figured he must have needed it, now he seems sicker than ever though.

As for dosage, the rabbit that was initaly efected got a larger dose and she is allot better I noticed, it is my small bun that seems to be going through a shock, I literally gave him 1 tiny drop of a syringe, less than recommended. I think he is adjusting to the different herbs and meds he has been given in such a short time.

To ensure he stays hydrated I have been syringe feeding/watering him with a solution I made thanks to your recommendation. I made a very diluted dandelion root/raspberry leaf tea with mineral water, added about 1/2 a tsp of turbinado sugar and a few grains of sea salt (all I had). Ive also ground up swiss chard and spinach leaves, mixed them with water to make a juice and syringe fed him that. He will not eat on his own even when offered his favorites like apple and carrot nor will he drink from his bottle.

It has been a few hours since he was at his worse, he is moving around his cage a little more (actually changing positions) and his breathing is not so shallow.

He must have been more sensitive to the medication because of his size which is amazing to me since the dose was so small compared to what I was supposed to give him. I hope he pulls through and thank you so much for your advice and recommendations.

Our little bunny died in the night after trying everything we could. I think his size really accounted for his sensitivity. Poor thing, we loved him so much, it’s a shame to lose him. The other bun, the carrier of the disease, is still alive her symptoms have gotten worse but she is getting through. We pray she makes it until Thursday for her next dose of ivomec. She is no longer in our care and is in fact with the original owner so hopefully she makes it through to be a very special bunny. Results are supposed to be more apparent after the second dose.

As for all the natural remedies I can only say that despite our trying we still have no idea what would have worked or not. We will not be having anymore rabbits so there is no way for us to test this out, nor would we want to, it is such a heart breaking thing to see and go through.

In the mean time we have bleached everything in the house to ensure the cats do not suffer from this disease (very rare to find it in felines, only very sick ones).

My condolences, Forloveford, for the loss of your bunny.

You fought the good fight and tried so hard – how sad the bun lost his fight with this parasite.

Thank you for sharing your journey.

HELP! My little 5 year old Hotot bunny, Violet, has not pooped for several days. She had diarhea like poop, so put her on a hay only diet for a few days. Now she pees an immense amount, but no poop! What should I do? Thank you for any advise you may have, Susan

I am looking for anyone who may be able to suggest a natural remedy to slow or stop the growth of a fibrosarcoma that is on my rabbit’s lip. I have no idea about such things, but am hoping there is an effective plant that is not toxic to my bunny’s internal health in case of ingestion by “licking”, but can kill off aggressive fibrosarcoma cancer cells.

My sweet bunny, smeagol, just turned 3yrs old on Dec. 1, 2012. He’s a mini-lop, blonde and about 7. 5 lbs. He lives indoors in my room, but not caged. In May 2012, I noticed a red bump on the outside middle tip of his upper left lip. Since rabbits upper lip is split, this is located in the “middle” of his upper lip. I took him to two different vets that told me since it didn’t seem to be bothering him, it wasn’t changing shape, size or color, then I didn’t need to worry about it. There was no sign of abrasion, cut, bite or reason for the lump. We were living in Japan at the time, I didn’t speak the language, and couldn’t find a vet in our area that was very “rabbit knowledgable”. Over the summer, we re-located to the U. S. , southern california. Around the end of Sept. 2012 he went to the vet for neutering surgery. We asked the vet to take a look at the red bump on his lip while he was under anesthesia. The vet inserted a needle in order to get a fluid sample. He also put him on a general antibiotic. The test came back inconclusive, but the lump seemed to get infected. After approximately two weeks we did a biopsy. It came back positive for fibrosarcoma cancer. His lip looked worse also. We took him to a different vet more specialized in rabbit care. He attempted to remove the tumor stating that there was not room to get “clean” margins because of the location of the tumor being basically against the opening of his nasal cavity. We had hoped to remove the tumor, then start radiation to kill off any remaining cancer cells understanding fibrosarcomas are extremely aggressive. But, we couldn’t consider radiation until the wound healed. Well, it just isn’t healing. It’s been about a month and the cancer is back. It’s grown quite a bit blocking much of his left nasal opening. The vet, although educated in chinese herbology, stated there is nothing more he can do for him. He expects the tumor to grow much larger within two weeks. I asked if there was an alternative medication I could give smeagol to slow the growth, or fight the cancer and he stated he didn’t know of anything that would be safe if accidentally ingested from being on his lip. He said there was something, but it would have to be injected directly into the tumor, would be extremely painful and he feared the medication would not help fast enough to combat the speed at which the tumor is growing. He is currently on Baytril (antibiotic), Metacam, and buprenorphine. For the last month, the tumor will grow in size, changing appearance sometimes multiple times a day. Then, it will start bleeding, quite a bit, suddenly and the outer scab will seperate and come off. It’s quite stressful for him (and us) as the blood will get in his nasal passage and cause difficulty breathing I think

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. The only options I see right now are doing nothing and watching it grow, or taking him to the oncologist and asking about radiation possibilities. I am hoping that instead, there is an alternative treatment that can slow/stop the growth of the rapidly enlarging tumor and keep him comfortable. I would greatly appreciate any help. – Christina

Does anyone know if it is ok to use Castor Oil on a breast lump and to give Tumeric internally to a rabbit for this condition? And how much tumeric to give internally…. I am assuming that you just rub the Castor Oil on the lump.

The vet found a lump close to our female rabbit’s breast. She doesn’t know if it’s benign or cancer. Can we use remedies on her (rabbit) that are suggested here for dogs and cats. Please let me know your thoughts….

Thank you! Teresa

Mites. Prob solution is rub or make the infection area with iodine first if open wound and next days is just vinegar and water. Very good result. Good luck!

Just wanted to share this with everyone. My Rabbit ( Boo) had a runny eye which was red and irritated. I had ruled out that it did not have sniffles. Boo showed no signs of it. I looked on this website and read about the wonders of apple cider vinegar and put some which was diluted with water on the back of his neck. This worked wonders as Boo’s temperament started to come back to his perky self. However his eye was not clearing up. So I began flushing out his eye with some warm water with baking soda and sea salt. I did this twice a day.

I then purchased “NFZ Puffer” which is made to clear eye infections in rabbits. The NFZ caused a fungal infection in the rabbits eye. I noticed a white cloudy fungus on the eye. I stopped using the NFZ Puffer and just flushed out the eye as I had been doing. I then used some “Tea Tree Oil”- one drop into a tablespoon of mineral oil and dabbed a little just under his eye which has cleared up the fungal infection along with all the redness. I do hope that this helps others who have animals with fungal infections of the eye. Better that antibiotics which can cause major problems in rabbits due to their digestive system.

I have a blind rabbit who has been getting treated by a vet for continuing on-going eye infection that hasn’t been getting any better with the antibiotics, so I was wondering if there are any holistic medications that I could try to help boost his immunity.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Try activated charcoal water in its eyes.

My 11-year-old miniature rex rabbit BreiiBreii has a bad eye infection, and has swelling near the eye. The vet thinks it’s either glaucoma or a cyst. He gave bunny a shot to help with the swelling, and gave us some antibiotic ointment to apply near the eye, but it seems that bunny is going blind in that eye.

Anyone have a similar problem with their rabbit, and how did you treat it?

He was eating fine before he went to the vet, but now seems to be decreasing his intake. He’s had blockages before, and we used the syringe technique with pumpkin puree, pineapple juice and gatorade. Would it be best to give him fruit juices (like apple and pineapple, his favorites) to get some fluids in him as he is not eating as much as he normally does?

It seems to me when rabbits stop eating it’s very serious and usually means they are quite ill.

Any help would be great! Thank you.

Hi I use to bred, sell, and show rabbits a long time ago. Have you tried bag balm? All the breeders out there know when their rabbits get injuried like a fly nests in their belly we all use bag balm. It has natural healing minerals and stuff in it to heal the wound and if the animal licks it they won’t get sick.

Also you want to make sure that if they are not eating they are getting electrolytes. The last thing you need is for them to get dehydrated. We use to use a little gatorade mixed in the water just a teaspoon or two in a bowl of water every few hours until they were drinking normally. Also I would consider allowing the animal to have a few snacks that it likes just be aware not to over do it because it could get in the habit to refuse to go back to not eating any normal grain and too much electrolytes (from water and favorite treats) can make it have diarrhea. But a good balance is the key!

Tina from Ohio, I have a Rabbitry in Northern Indiana, You have a bunny who has gone off feed, try Yogurt (berry flav) and your bunny will eat like crazy, I have used this for years and it works great for me.

I have house rabbits that picked up mange mites possibly from a pair of guinea pigs we took in. Anyway, I’ve been searching for a way to treat them that is not Ivermectin or Revolution or Advantage or any other of those heavy chemicals that may cause other problems down the road. Anyway, I read up on borax, and it is NOT a safe product to be using. Even the box carries a warning. And it has been known for a long time that hydrogen peroxide causes cell damage. So I’m wondering about the information on this site. I’m also wondering if anyone has a treatment that isn’t dangerous that might work on my rabbits. Ointments are useless. Bathing is extrememly stressful for bunnies. I’ve started using diatamaceous earth, but it is very drying to their fur and doesn’t seem to do anything very fast. They have a great diet (better and fresher than most people) with fresh items and quality hay.

Cedar oil is good for getting rid of parasites, fleas, mites and bedbugs and is harmless to animals and humans. You can find it at the health store or online.

Please don’t give your bunny cedar oil because it’s poisonous to them just like using pine or cedar wood shaving for bedding is poisonous.

Is there any home remedy for fleas that is safe for outdoor rabbits? anything I can put around the hutch or on them to keep the flease from the wild rabbits at bay? thanks.

Eucalyptus is great for repelling fleas. I am not sure if you can put it directly on the rabbit, but you can sprinkle the oil outside. Be careful not to put it where he eats. And make sure you get pure oil and not just the fragrance.

I use flea free in there water it keeps fleas, flys, tick, mosqetios and other blood sucking hungery animals off them. All flea free has over 200 hundred natural vitamins and minerals treat ear mites, ring worm and more. Hope this helps. The taylor’s Family rabbit farm Ottawa, Ks

Misc Remedies for Rabbits:

I have not tried any of these myself but was given the list through another rabbit website.

Okugest tablets are a homeopathic medicine for humans, which are used for, diarrhoea, bloat and for improvement of the gut motility, intoxication.
the tablets do contain the following homeopatic ingredients:

Okoubaka aubreveille D3 – prevention and treatment of poisoning, (foodpoisoning, pesticide poisonong, and self poisoning (auto toxic) diseases/ alergy .Okoubake helps the body regain control and normalizes the immune system to fight of other potential aggressors. For treatment, gastroenteritis, intestinal infections/ intoxification, and diarrhea.

Arsenicum album D12 – treatment of indigestion, anxiety, fever, pain and lots more.

Carbo vegetabilis D6 – treatment, bloat/gas, Abdominal distention with cramping pains, worse lying down,

Croton tiglium D6 – treatment acute and chronic diarrea, upset stomach, gas,

Veratum album D12 – treatment, sudden collapse, painful cramping followed by great weakness and exhaustion, diarrhea or constipation

It’s a serious matter if a rabbit stops eating. They need constant roughage going through them, or they’ll die. If your rabbit loses its appetite and its poop pellets get small and dry or stop coming, it is a sign of wool block. Some readers here call it “constipation,” but that’s not what it really is.


It’s actually much like hairballs in cats, only since bunnies can’t vomit, the fur can get stuck inside their gut and actually kill them. You have to get the gastric track moving again as soon as you see this problem start. If your bunny stops pooping, or if her pellets are starting to look small and dry, that’s a sign she’s blocking up. Lack of appetite is another symptom.

My vet, who is a rabbit specialist, has me keep a product called “Critical Care” on hand for wool block emergencies. This is even better than the pumpkin treatment. I get my Critical Care from my vet but you can probably get it online or at your pet food store, especially if you ask for it. You mix a little of this stuff with water, suck it up into a big syringe (one about the size of your middle finger, being sure to remove the needle and toss it in the trash before you work with the bunny!). Then you put the plastic tip of the syringe into the side of the bunny’s mouth and VERY SLOWLY squeeze out a little at a time. They will like this and swallow it, if you don’t disperse it too fast. Wait a few seconds between each dispersal. Only give about a couple teaspoons for each dose, then wait about three hours and do it again.

Pumpkin can be fed the same way if your bunny has wool block. Make sure you use pure 100% canned pumpkin NOT canned pumpkin PIE filling, which has spices in it and could hurt your bun! I’ve found the Critical Care quickly eliminates wool block (you give it 4 to 6 times a day until they start eating and pooping normally again). I used to do the pumpkin treatment until I found the Critical Care, and pumpkin worked pretty well, but failed to work with one bunny who I almost lost to wool block on account of “pumpkin failure.” I brought her to the vet in time (you’ve only got a couple of days to save them if they stop eating), who gave her Critical Care, and the bun was fine in just a couple of hours. Believe me, this stuff is AMAZING.

The vet said my buns get wool block because I wasn’t feeding them exactly right. In my case, it was too many vegetables. Now that I’m feeding the right diet and giving them more exercise, they’ve been doing fine. (Exercise and plenty of water are important for maintaining intestinal motility – the constant movement through of food. So is brushing them when they’re shedding.)

Right diet for a rabbit means unlimited quantities of timothy hay (or orchard grass) always available to the rabbit (you can get this at a pet store but ordering it online is much cheaper. In some parts of the country, feed stores sell timothy.) You also have to feed about a half cup of fresh vegies a day for a medium-sized rabbit (3/4 to 1 cup a day for a giant breed). Certain vegies, though, will kill bunnies if fed over time, so choose from the “safe vegie list”: green pepper, collard greens, swiss chard, parsley (a little), cucumber (a little), cilantro, endive, mustard greens, lettuce (NOT iceberg), carrots (only a small slice a few times a week), broccoli (only a tiny flowerette a couple times a week), certain weeds including dandelions, chickweed and plantain (if not subject to exhaust fumes from cars). Visit for the full list of diet do’s and don’ts. You can supplement this diet with a bit of daily timothy pellets, available from Oxbow (NOT alfalfa pellets – these are only for babies, and fed long enough they can kill an adult).

Make sure your bun has unlimited access to water – a crock is ideal for most bunnies, as they can then drink all they want. I put 3 drops of vinegar in my rabbits’ water, and now they love drinking.

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