Rabbit Fungus

Written by elaine riot
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Rabbit Fungus
Many rabbits suffer from fungal infections. (rabbit image by Mirek Hejnicki from Fotolia.com)

Pet rabbits are vulnerable to a number of health concerns caused by fungi. Rabbit fungus, including parasites and infections, causes skin disorders that result in crusty patches, hair loss, open sores and inflammation. The key to keeping your pet pain free and healthy is early treatment with topical or injectable antifungal agents.

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Ringworm

A fungus called trichophyton causes ringworm, according to Pet Care GT. The microorganism causes rabbits to develop patchy round bald spots with distinct edges, according to the University of Miami. The exposed skin sometimes features raised red spots and lesions. The University of Miami says veterinarians treat this fungal parasite with topical antifungal creams or lufenuron, which inhibits the creation of chitin---a structural mainstay of the fungus' cell walls.

Favus

Favus, according to Pet Care GT, is a parasite similar to ringworm. It is caused by a fungus of the genus achorion. The crusty patches are cup-shaped and emit a distinctive odour. Favus, which can lead to permanent baldness, can be treated with any reliable fungicide.

Sarcoptic Mange

In rabbits, mange---caused by mites---forms whitish crusts on the skin, often at the edges of the ears, the eyelids, the nose, mouth and toes. If left untreated, itchy lesions cover larger parts of the body and eventually lead to fungal or bacterial infections. Treatment with injectable ivermectin will cure most cases of mange within a week, according to the University of Miami.

Wet Dewlap

Especially in summer and other humid months, rabbits get a kind of chronic moist dermatitis that morphs into a fungal or bacterial infection, according to Go Pets America. The infection leads to loss of fur on the dewlap, face, chin, legs and/or feet. Continuous wetting of fur causes the fungal infections, which rabbits often scratch until the skin is raw. When treating the animal, cut away slimy fur and apply an iodine-based ointment or antifungal cream to kill the fungus.

Other Fungal Disorders

Other rare rabbit disorders caused by fungi include thrush, aspergillosis and sporotrichosis, reports Pet Care GT. Thrush is an infection of the yeast fungus, usually manifested by an infection in the mucus membranes of the throat. Aspergilliois, caused by a fungus found in dead leaves and compost, can trigger a brocho-pulmonary allergic reaction or lung disease in the worse cases. Sporotrichosis is an infection caused by a fungus found in vegetation.

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