ISSN 2398-2950      

Spilopsyllus cuniculi

ffelis
Contributor(s):

David Scarff

Synonym(s): European rabbit flea, S. cuniculi


Introduction

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Adult S. cuniculi on rabbits all year round.
  • Breeds in rabbit burrows in late winter and early spring being dependent on the blood of breeding rabbits.

Transmission

  • Dogs and cats that hunt rabbits acquire adult fleas.

Pathological effects

  • Hypersensitivity to its antigens has been demonstrated experimentally but S. cuniculi does not normally seem to be involved in flea allergic dermatitis Flea bite hypersensitivity in hypersensitive animals.
  • Crusts and papules in the sites where it feeds on the ears.

Other Host Effects

  • A parasite of rabbits and dependent on rabbit blood.
  • Maturation of male and female fleas specifically requires blood from pregnant rabbits or from very young nestlings (1-10 days old).
  • Will feed on the dog and cat but will not breed.

Control

Control via animal

Control via chemotherapies

  • Drugs not specifically tested for S. cuniculi.

Control via environment

  • None - Spilopsyllus cuniculi cannot breed in the environment of the dog/cat in the house but pet rabbits are at risk to infestation and infection with myxomatosis virus carried by the flea.
  • Advise on source of fleas and use of adulticide chemical products to kill adult fleas.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Studdert V P & Arundel J H (1988) Dermatitis of the pinnae of cats in Australia associated with the European rabbit flea (Spilopsyllus cuniculi). Vet Rec 123 (24), 624-625 PubMed.
  • Rothschild M & Ford B (1966) Hormones of the vertebrate host controlling ovarian regression and copulation of the rabbit flea. Nature 211 (5046), 261-266 PubMed.

Related Images

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!