Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bun Skin Problems

Okay guys,

My vet is stumped, I am at my wits end, and Spook is miserable. This first started in April. I took Spook in because it looked like he had mites (walking dandruff). Dahlia, his bonded partner, has never shown any symptoms. He started out with just a patch on his back, flakey skin, and some hair loss. The vet actually found the little bug on him. Since then we have been giving ivermectin at regular intervals and a month ago he got dosed with selamectin (Revolution) topically on top of the ivermectin. Through out all of this we have treated Dahlia since we assumed she would have it too; but she has not shown any signs what-so-ever. However, Spook has just slowly gotten worse. It has spread all over his body, but not his face. He acts like he feels fine and he doesn't really act like he itches, but his skin is very tender. He can barely stand being brushed. And he is losing all his cute fur (those pics I posted were not recent, I just got them off my camera). My vet is a hightly recommended bunny vet and he can't explain it. He even insisted I start bringing Spook in for his doses (the only thing he could think of was that I wasn't giving the shots or I missed sticking him, like that's possible). I don't think he is getting re-infected because it has never gone away and I have cleaned my house top to bottom. I was just hoping that some of you long-time bunny owners might have some advice. As far as I know the selamectin was supposed to be the best thing to get rid of these things. Another possibility (since we haven't done a skin scraping since April) is they might not be there anymore and this is some sort of allergic reaction, but it looks the same as it did in April. Anyway, three months is long enough. Has anyone heard about anything like this? Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks for your help in advance.

-Dahlia's and Spook's Mom

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, I really haven't heard or seen anything like that before, either. The only thing I can think of - but your vet has certainly considered that possibility, too - that it is some sort of fungal infection. Kinda like athlete's foot, you know? I'll post on some German forums; maybe somebody there has an idea.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I am no expert on skin conditions especially but I have heard that bunnies commonly get ringworm.(fungal) It causes the hair to fall out and is not really itchy. Maybe another vet opinion? Human skin conditions can be perplexing so a bunnies could be just as complicated.
Allergy of some sort? Perhaps even a food allergy?

11:51 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Awe, I have no advice, just wishes for a speedy recovery for poor Spook! Hope you find the source and a solution soon!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dang i've never heard of anything like it. i've seen ringworm on my dogs but it usually is kind of gross looking when the hair comes out

hit up Rabbit's Guy at - he might have some ideas. his goldie has hair issues, not the same, but he seems to know much!

11:36 PM  
Blogger Heartland said...

Cassie,I have written Dr. Smith and sent this post for her opinion. I have sent inquiries to other bunny friends too. Help should come soon. Why don't you look at the possibility more closely of him being allergic to something in his environment. Why not try washing his blanket in environment-friendly laundry soap. Maybe change brand of litters. I think you use a recycled paper product. Try using a different brand of it. Also, Megan's bunny T had a dry patch of skin on his shoulder that she put a dab of some kind of oil it, and it went away. I will ask her about that.


9:32 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...


I have some ideas about Spook. First, the ivermectin and selemectin should have taked care of any potential mite issues. I don't think that is remotely in the picture at this point. A fungal culture is definitely a good idea, though I suspect it is not fungal either. A complete work-up would include a full blood work-up, fungal culture, radiographs of the whole body (looking especially at liver) and consider a skin biopsy. Some systemic diseases ( liver problems as well as others) can manifest themselves as skin disorders. So if you can address the underlying disorder, the skin problems can potentially resolve. Even if nothing obvious is found, you might give him a general liver and skin support formula (Dr Nita McNeal in Mustang can make you a good concoction).
Also,there are some relatively new products on the market that I have really liked for treating skin conditions in dogs. It is a line of products that contain Phytosphingosine (this helps the body reestablish its own natural defense barrier). The brand name is "Douxo," and it comes in a shampoo and spray and a spot-on. I have not been able to find any literature on it for rabbits, but I think it might be worth calling the company (Sogeval Laboratories) to see if there is any reason to not use it on bunnies. I loved all of the products. The shampoo and spray have less of the active ingredient, and the spot-on has more. I know you can order at least the shampoo and spray online.

Sogeval Laboratories
635 Fritz Dr Ste 210
Coppell, TX 75019
(972) 956-8261

If they won't answer your question, tell Jeannie, and I'll call for you. I tried once, but with the time change from France, they were closed.

Before you put him through diagnostics, think carefully - has anything in his environment changed? Bedding, food, treats, cleaning products used to clean cage?

Best of luck in figuring out an answer for Spook. Jeannie will let me know what happens.

Dr Tamara Smith

6:25 AM  
Blogger Rabbits' Guy said...

Our beloved Stanley had flaky skin for many months before he died. He had respitory problems and took a great deal of Metacam, and we do not know if that caused the skin condition.

He did not seem to itch, his hair did not fall out, and he did not have mites. It was also a mystery.

Hope you get to the bottom of it ...

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i just came across your blog. How is Spook doing? Is he getting better?

I'm afraid I don't have much to offer on Spook's condition, but there is a rabbit forum which I'm a member of:

I've learnt a lot from Rabbits Online, and they have some very knowledgeable people in terms of rabbit illness.. maybe someone there would be able to shed some light..

Get well soon, Spook!

7:41 PM  
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1:40 PM  

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