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Scab-ish growth on my rabbits ear?

22 9:42:08


Right outer ear
Right outer ear  
I'll start off by providing the above info requested :)
Rhino is a lop, male, 5-6 years of age, not neutered, lives in a hutch with solid floors, lives outdoors with no other rabbits, and is allowed out of cage time in my backyard.
A while ago a noticed he had a small scratch on his outer right ear, and upon doing some research I read that rabbit scabs tend to take a while to completely heal. However, I noticed that the scab started to become a growth (I'm not exactly sure how to word it). He is eating, drinking, and acting as usual, and it doesn't seem to cause him any discomfort when touching the area. Also, no excessive scratching or head tilt is appearing. I've also been cleaning the affected area with a clean, warm towel on a daily basis.
Rhino is eating Kaytee pellets along with unlimited access to Kaytee Alfalfa hay, and about once every week I give him a treat of one broccoli stem (which he loves! :))
Please contact me via e-mail if you need more pictures, since it seems I can only attach 2. o:

Hi Adrian:

Thank you for providing all the info and for attaching clear pictures - it's very helpful.

It appears that Rhino has a small papilloma or fibroma.  They are benign (non cancerous), but can get quite large.  Here is a link to a photo of one after several years of growth:

Here is a link to a photo of a rabbit with Papilloma Tumors on the face (they most often occur on the ears):

Here is a link to a photo of a small papilloma tumor on a Flemish giant rabbit:

Here is a link to a photo of a rabbit with a LARGE Fibroma:

The only treatment is surgical removal by a qualified rabbit-savvy vet.  There is no home treatment.  Treating it with a wet rag is actually doing more harm than good as the granules in the tumor soak up the moisture which leads to faster growth.  

Unfortunately - without treatment both types of tumors continue to grow throughout the rabbits life and can get very large.  It's not something that will go away or stop growing.
Wild rabbits have been caught with these benign tumors so big that they were unable to lift their head off the ground.

Since Rhino's Papilloma (or Fibroma) just began, it will be a very simple in and out procedure - taking about 5 minutes.  However, rabbits that develop this problem often have more growths show up later on.  Keep a close eye on the ears (in and out), neck, and anus and if you find any new tumors forming - have them removed immediately.

If you would like to learn more about this condition, it is discussed in detail in the book:
"Skin Diseases of Rabbits"

It's expensive - but you might be able to put in a special request at your library and borrow a copy.

Be assured that this condition is not life threatening in any way and once taken care of, Rhino will go back to being his happy, well loved self :)  It appears from the photo that he is very well taken care of - Outstanding Job on your part!

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Lisa L.