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Itching Ears

22 9:51:10


ear sores
My buck has lately (for at least a month) been scratching his ears and shaking his head alot. he developed a bald patch on the back of his neck after his last moult. my first check was for ear mites, but his ears were clean, skin was clear with no flakes and no other possible signs. i got him checked anyway at his vaccination booster and the vet agreed there were no signs.

when it continued i bought an ivermectin 'spot on' treatment, just incase as its also a preventative, for him which i started 3 days ago. just before this i found sores under his ears where he had scratched too much and took the skin off. there are still no signs of ear mites, but a few flakes on his skin. i think these are from over scratching though. ive been treating the sores with manuka honey but i think this is incouraging more scratching as he tries to clean it off.

i have one other rabbit who i have not seperated from him simply because of how long it was going on for before i started treating for mites and she has shown no signs of itching and is also completely clear. there is no sneezing or nose discharge. hes always had a very slightly weepy eye, but nothing to worr about there (also been checked)

my thoughts are maybe an allergy? can they have these? theyre indoor bunnies, with towels and shirts for bedding that i wash regularly (possibly the detergant?). i havent changed his food or introduced any new veg. could there be anything else that is causing it?

thanks in advance, vet checks xtremely stress him out so with no obvious signs of something that can be treated with antibiotics or another vet perscribed treatment, im avoiding taking him in but am in contact with the vet as much as possible. they are not sure what it could be though.

Dear Lottie,

Irritation like this can be caused by mites, fleas, bacterial infection (inside the ear or outside on the skin), fungal infection, to mention a few culprits.  To properly treat this, a positive diagnosis needs to be made.

The spot-on treatment may help eliminate the possibility of mites.  But if you can get Stronhold (selamectin), it might work better against mites, as it is longer-acting than ivermectin.

Weird as it sounds, dental problems such as molar spurs can rarely contribute to problems like this. If the bunny has a molar root abscess near the back of the mouth, the inflammation can affect the ear canal, causing irritation and itching that the bunny constantly needs to address.  So there are lots of diagnostic exams and tests that a very experienced rabbit vet needs to do in order to get to the bottom of this.  I hope you can find one via the international vet listings here:

If you are anywhere near Harrogate in Yorkshire, Dr. Frances Harcourt-Brown is about the best in the world!  Worth the trip if no other vets are able to help you.

Hope this helps.