A Kansas State University research team has determined that Selamectin, a product often used to kill fleas on dogs and cats, can also be safely used on rabbits.
James Carpenter, professor of zoological medicine, Michael Dryden, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology and Butch KuKanich, associate professor of anatomy and physiology collaborated on the study.
Carpenter said the growth in popularity of rabbits as pets, along with ferrets and guinea pigs, spurred his interest in validating a treatment to control parasites in them.
Pfizer Animal Health contributed $25,000 to fund the project.
The researchers wanted to determine how well selamectin would work, what dose was safe and what intervals of treatment would be effecdtive.
The study found that selamectin was safe on rabbits, but it is absorbed, metabolized and eliminated quicker than it is in dogs or cats.
Researchers say more work will be needed to make sure that their recommended dose is safe and effective on different breeds and ages of rabbits.
The team is in the process of writing a manuscript for a veterinary journal and hopes to distribute the scientific findings internationally.