Doggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other IssuesDoggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other Issues

About Me

Doggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other Issues

Welcome to my blog. My name is Ashley, and I love my dog Shelly more than anything in the world. I have had her for years, and I have helped her through a range of illnesses and emotional issues. After her brother, Yeats, died, Shelly became rather despondent. I didn't call the vet right away because I didn't realize the vet could help, but after a while, Shelly's mood didn't improve. I just didn't know what to do, so I called the vet. She was amazing. She explained that Shelly had depression, and she prescribed meds for it. Now Shelly and I are happier than ever, and to help others, I decided to start this blog about doggy emotional and physical health. I hope you enjoy it.

Itchy Bunny? It Could Be Fleas

Fleas. Nasty little blood-suckers that can make you itch and feel uncomfortable, not to mention how disgusting they are. But for humans, lacking fur, at least there's no worry about them infesting and living on you.

Not so for most pets. There's a lot of awareness about fleas in cats and dogs, plus countless products on the market to prevent and get rid of infestations and leave the animal clean and healthy. But other animals can be attacked by fleas, too, and it's not always as clear what needs to be done. Of all the furry animals people keep as pets, rabbits might be the most fragile and delicate, so any flea treatment must reflect that.

Spotting fleas on a rabbit

As with other animals, the first sign of a flea problem might be that you notice your pet scratching an unusual amount. You may also be unlucky enough to discover bites on yourself or even spot a flea landing on you. If any of these things occur, it's time to take action.

Gently look through your rabbit's fur, parting it as you go and paying close attention to the skin and the base of hairs. It's easier to see the signs on rabbits with lighter fur, so if you have a dark-haired rabbit, look at the skin in particular. You might see some fleas quite clearly. Otherwise, you may see their droppings – small, dark pieces of debris that are hard to miss.

What are the dangers?

With rabbits, fleas are not only uncomfortable and unpleasant, they can also spread myxomatosis. In Australia, there's no vaccine available for this extremely serious condition, so speedy treatment could save your rabbit's life.

What to avoid

There are several products available to treat fleas in cats and dogs, that are applied as drops on the back of the neck. However, these are highly dangerous to rabbits and shouldn't be used. You might be able to get a suitable alternative with advice from a vet, but you might have to get rid of fleas in a more traditional way.

What to do

You need flea powder, but it's essential to take extreme caution when choosing one. Don't be tempted by any 'natural' or 'herbal' products, as these often contain plants that are poisonous to rabbits. Only use a reputable brand that states clearly it's safe for use on rabbits, and if you're in any doubt, ask a vet. Apply the powder according to the instructions and comb your rabbit's fur with a fine-toothed flea comb to remove fleas and eggs.

Next, thoroughly spray all your carpets and furnishings with household flea spray but make sure it's kept well away from the rabbit and their home, as it can be dangerous for them. Get rid of or hot wash any rabbit bedding and keep an eye on the situation until you're certain all fleas have gone.

For assistance, talk to a vet.