Rabbits housed outdoors are prone to fleas, ticks and mites. Prevention and treatment of these detrimental pests is important to the health and well-being of your rabbits. Ivermectin is a medication that was popular in the 1980s for treatment and prevention of certain parasites, depending on the species and severity of the infestation. Consult a rabbit-savvy veterinarian as to the best medication and dosage for preventing and treating mites, worms and other parasites.
Spot On and Topical Ivomec
In the U.K. and online, you can buy topical Ivermectin over the counter under the brand name Beaphar Ivermectin Spot On for Rabbits. This medication comes in a pipette with a predetermined general dosage, and is applied to the back of the neck. In the United States, Ivermectin is sold under the brand name Ivomec, and is available through a prescription from a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will calculate a dosage based on your rabbit's weight.
Though Ivermectin is effective against fur mites, lice and roundworms, it is less effective against ear mites and mange than injected or oral Ivermectin. It does nothing to prevent or treat fleas or ticks. Generally, in its topical form, you will apply Ivermectin to the skin at the back of the neck, or directly on affected areas such as ears. For mites, the rabbit should be treated three times at intervals of 10 to 14 days to kill mites newly emerged from eggs.
In recent years, Ivermectin has fallen out of favour in rabbit medicine, replaced by another medication in the same family called Selamectin. Selamectin is sold over the counter under the brand name Revolution. Whereas Ivermectin is more effective when injected, Selamectin can be given topically with optimal results. Selamectin also treats a broader range of parasites than Ivermectin.