Crusty Rabbit Ears | Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital

Crusty Rabbit Ears

Matt Young's picture
Rabbit with crusty ears

Rabbits tend to be very quiet creatures. They don’t complain unless they are in extreme pain. Just because they don’t say anything though doesn’t mean that all is OK with them. Their quiet nature also means that they don’t necessarily show obvious signs of pain or discomfort even when it is definitely present.

Take Thumper, for example. He came in because his owner had noticed lumps coming out of his ears. There were a heap of crusts that seemed to be growing out of the ear. These crusts were quite dry and firm but crumbled on the end:

Crusts in rabbit's ears

I put a bit of oil on the area and took a sample from the ear and this video shows what I saw under the microscope:

That is an ear mite and you can see by the way they move around and their long hairy legs that it would caused a lot of irritation for poor bunny.

About ear mites

The ear mites don’t like light so they head down into the ear canal. They are very small but could be seen if you looked with a magnifying glass. They cause a lot of irruption to the skin in the ear canal and cause it to proliferate and produce these large crusts in rabbits.

Treatment

Fortunately for Thumper the treatment is quite simple. We apply a parasitic treatment on their skin which kills the mites. The rest of the treatment revolves around clearing up the damage to ears. Nice oily ear drops are required which help to break up the proliferative skin and also clear up any secondary infection in the canal.

Thumper went on the make a full recovery and is back to full health.

Warning

Just a word of warning about parasitic flea treatments in rabbits- not all treatments are safe in rabbits. Frontline should never be applied to rabbits as it can kill them. There are other treatments that are safe to use but please check with us first.

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