Middle ear infections
Dr. Lauren Thielen at Texas Avian & Exotic Hospital wrote the following on middle ear infections in rabbits:
Do you notice something different about this rabbit? Look at both sides of his lips, see how one looks bigger than the other? I’ll tell you, the “bigger” lip is the normal one! This is often the first sign an owner will notice with a middle ear infection. What is happening all has to do with the facial nerve that runs along the side of the face and crosses over the middle ear. When pus fills up the middle ear the nerve gets compromised, and stops providing innervation to the face. As a result, you can see the contraction of the upper lip (the one that looks smaller) because the nerves can’t supply the lip muscle normally any longer. A CT scan is used to verify this condition, and a variety of surgical and medical managements can be used to treat the infection. However, typically once this nerve is this damaged it will not go back to normal.
Ear infections are a common condition of lop-eared rabbits due to their anatomy. Many rabbits do not show clinical signs until disease is advanced. This common issue, among many other reasons, is why annual wellness exams are so important!
Lateral ear canal resection
- The Unusual Pet Vets. (2022). Jafar's story (Graphic)
- Highcroft Exotic Vets. (2022). Ear disease in rabbits (Graphic)
- The Unusual Pet Vets. (2022). Mickey's story (Graphic)
Ear canal ablation
- Vittorio Capello, DVM. (2006). Lateral Ear Canal Resection and Ablation in Pet Rabbits
- The Unusual Pet Vets. (2023). Peanut's story with a partial ear canal ablation
- Queen Blanco. (2022). Blanco's pictures after a total ear canal ablation (Graphic)
- Pumpkin's Acres Rabbit Rescue. (2022). Buster's story with a chronic untreated ear infection and abscess
- Beloved Rabbits. (2020). Rabbit Ear Infection: Captain Morgan (Graphic)
- E. Mancinelli. (2016). Management of Otitis in Rabbits
- Millpledge Veterinary. Treatment of Ear Disease in Rabbits