HAY MITE

We had our first case at the show in July on one of the interstate rabbits. Itís not as easy to spot as youíd think Ė I had to take off the multifocals and peer really closely. Cavy breeders, for our sins, are all too familiar with this (we call it static mite). Skin complaints like this are a cavy thing (like breaking your front teeth on the cage wire, usually just before a major show and wondering why the cavy-slave wants to grill you for dinner). Since itís not common in rabbits here, I thought Iíd pass on a few tips from the cavy fancy. Basically, they are a type of lice or mite egg which cling to the hair shafts. They appear white on dark fur and black on light fur. They are not a disqualification in cavies but should be removed before showing. They feed on dandruff in the coat. They can be treated with flea powder (for birds) or you can use Fidoís Free Itch, Quit-Itch or Malawash or a similar small animal pesticide. Donít use Ivermectin as they donít suck blood or live under the skin. Make up the pesticide according to the strength suggested for birds and spray the mixture through the coat and work it in. Allow to air dry in a well ventilated area (with cavies I leave the heater on overnight in the shed in winter with sub-zero temperatures). Spray or wipe out the cage with the remaining solution. Repeat in 7-10 days to kill any remaining mites. Flea powder can be dusted through the coat and bedding. Fidoís Free Itch can be got from pet shops and vets as can bird dusting powder. Quit-Itch and Malawash can be had from produce stores.. Another more recent product is VetaFarm Furry Friends Insect and Mite Liquidator which is a spray. This is very effective and clears up the problem really quickly. Aristopet's Mite and Mange spray is also good.