Can Rabbits Get Fleas? Flea Treatment – Rabbit Pros

Can Rabbits Get Fleas? Flea Treatment

Fleas on rabbits

Our family has had pet rabbits for decades, and some of those rabbits have stayed both inside and outdoors. With this arrangement, we too have worried about our pet bunnies getting fleas. Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about rabbit fleas and we’re happy to help you out.


Rabbits can get fleas just like all other mammals with fur. Both indoor and outdoor rabbits sometimes get fleas. Bunny rabbits most often get fleas from another animal as fleas jump from host animal to new host.

The Nature Of Rabbit Fleas

Fleas are tiny and wingless insects, but they can jump far with their long legs. A flea can jump as far as 13 in and as high as 7 in. That means they can easily jump from one animal to another.

According to our friends over at Terminix, there are over 2,000 types of fleas, and many of those fleas are potential parasites for your sweet bunny rabbit.

The typical kind of flea that a pet rabbit becomes infested with is the common cat flea.

Both cats and dogs get fleas more often than pet rabbits because they tend to spend more time outside near other animals.

However, if your bunny spends lots of time outdoors or hangs out with animals that spend time outdoors, they can get fleas too.

When you take your rabbit to a place like another person’s house or the vet where there are other animals exposes your bunny to a potential flea infestation.

Even spending time outside playing with your bun in an outdoor rabbit playpen may expose your rabbit to other animals or at least to areas where other animals have recently visited which might expose your rabbit to fleas.

How To Know If A Bunny Rabbit Has Fleas

To know if your bunny rabbit has fleas, you need to look for the five signs of fleas: Seeing Fleas, Excessive Itching, Seeing Flea Dirt, Signs Of Anemia, and Losing Hair or Scaling. If you see one or more of these signs of flea, you need to treat your rabbit and its living space for fleas.

Now let’s examine each of these signs in more detail so you can be sure about what you’re looking for.

The Signs of Fleas On A Bunny Rabbit

#1 Seeing the Fleas

Fleas are super-fast and may be hard to spot. You can try stroking the fur backward and looking around the spine or neck areas.

Fleas are tiny and hard to recognize, but their tell-tell characteristic is their ability to jump. If you see a small bug that suddenly jumps and disappears, that’s likely a flea.

#2 Excessive Itching

A clear sign is when your cute little bunny is suffering from itchiness. The poor guy cannot help but nibble on their skin. You may even find yourself itching.

Rabbit fleas on humans can bite as well, but they are normally harmless to humans unless the person is very sensitive to insect bites. On humans, flea bites can easily be mistaken for a mosquito bite.

#3 Seeing Flea Dirt

Reddish-brown specks may be seen on the skin called flea dirt, which is a mixture of flea poo and dried blood.

Grab a damp paper towel and nicely wipe up what you think is flea dirt. If the paper towel turns reddish-brown (from the dried blood), then it is indeed flea dirt and not just normal dirt.

#4 Seeing Signs Of Anemia

If you have not checked your pet rabbit for fleas in a long while then it might already have turned into an infestation.

When this happens, your poor rabbit could be suffering from blood loss. This will turn the rabbit into anemic and it will look weak with pale gums.

#5 Signs Of Bunny Hair Lose And Scaling

A severe flea infestation on your rabbit can even cause loss of hair. This hair lost can even be to the point of bald spots on your bunny.

In those bald spots the skin can begin to look like it has dandruff which is called scaling.

Both are strong signs of fleas on your bunny.

What to do if you see signs of fleas on your rabbit?

Although there are many different conditions that can cause these signs of fleas, seeing any of these signs means you should really figure out what’s going on and fix it!

If you’re not sure it’s fleas, then it is best to get a veterinarian to check your pet and get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

How to treat fleas on a rabbit?

Going to a vet will help you get everything you need, but you can also treat your pet yourself if you are educated enough.

Make sure you are treating any other furry animals living in your home at the same time.

When the flea’s habitat is becoming hostile, they will try to jump onto the next livable area. Make sure you are regularly checking your bunny rabbit for fleas and treating all your pets.

Flea Treatment That Is Dangerous To Bunny Rabbits

Treating rabbits will be different than treating pets like dogs and cats. For them, it is common to you a flea killer called Fipronil, but it is toxic for rabbits!

You must pay attention to the ingredients.

Other bad ingredients to avoid are Permethrin and Pyrethrin.

Frontline Flea Treatment is not safe for rabbits, it contains Fipronil.

Keep in mind that you should equally careful with flea dips and shampoos for rabbits.

Topical Skin Flea Medication For Rabbits

The first solution for fleas is to use topical skin medication. They are usually used for dogs and cats but work well on rabbits too.

These treatments are different from general topical treatments (more on these later) because they are administered on the back of the animal’s neck only (instead of the whole animal as in general topical treatments)

You can get these from your vet, a pet store, or even on Amazon.  Here is an Amazon affiliate link to my favorite skin flea treatment for rabbits. In my experience, it’s been mild to our bunny yet effective.

Popular topical treatments available are called Advantage, Program, and Revolution.  Most rabbit owners use the puppy or kitten dose, but if in doubt consult with your vet.

When you apply the medication, make sure you put it on the rabbit’s neck, so they cannot lick it.

Rabbit Flea Comb

This is not a complete cure for fleas, but it can still help get rid of them faster.

flea comb is unique in that it has a series of metal prongs that are nearer to each other than a standard comb. { Click here to see my favorite flea come on Amazon. >>> }

You simply comb through the hair, getting as close to the skin as possible, and the fleas will be raked out of the hair.

After every stroke, make sure you drown the comb in warm soapy water to kill any fleas that you may have picked up.

Rabbit Flea Treatments to Be Avoided

General Topical Treatments For Fleas

I consider general topicals anything that covers the whole bunny.  This includes sprays, shampoos, dips, and powders.

These products should only be used after talking with your veterinarian.

Rabbits, just like other animals, love to groom by licking their fur. You do not want them to ingest any potentially harmful chemicals that might be in these products.

Flea Collars For Rabbits

Flea collars are not recommended for rabbits. It is quite easy for your pet bunny to get trapped or even choked by a collar. 

Flea Treatment Of Your Pet Bunny’s Environment

Not only do your rabbits need to be treated, but so does the area where they live as well.

Especially carpets need cleaning as they are a breeding ground for fleas! That’s pretty gross to think about.

When Fleas grow older, they attach to a host and become parasitic. As young fleas, they’ll happily live in your carpet or grass.

Treating Rabbit Carpets For Fleas

For treating carpets that have become infested with fleas, you can use borax or diatomaceous earth.

Begin with vacuuming, and then use the powder on the carpet. Mix it in and leave it for at least 30 minutes.

Other areas they tend to hide in are the furniture, beds, and floor cracks. Make sure when cleaning and using things like the flea bombs or sprays; that you keep your rabbit safe and sound, away from the area for at least 24 hours (or follow the directions on the product).

If you are scared that fleas may still live in your home, then you can always hire a professional. Although, make sure they are not using any chemicals that are dangerous to your pets in their products.

5 Ways To Prevent Rabbit Fleas

The best way to get rid of rabbit fleas is to never get rabbit fleas. So how can we go about preventing our beloved bunny from ever bringing fleas into our homes?

  1. Keep your home and other pets clean to prevent your rabbits from getting fleas.

2. Reduce the chance of a few fleas becoming an infestation with vacuuming or steam cleaning.

3. You can even consider using sprays, flea bombs, or boric-acid treatments to have a flea-free zone.

4. Check your sweet bunny regularly for any signs of fleas. If caught early, it’s much easier to get rid of the fleas.

5. As always, keep your rabbits safe and loved.

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

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