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Eye Trouble and Fur Mite treatment

22 9:53:24


rabbit eye problem
Dear Dr Krempels,
   It has been very hard to find a good rabbit vet.I hope with your help and my newest vet we can cure all Jacks troubles!
 I have had rabbits for 3 years now. Its a long soap opera story of how I got 8

rabbits - but now that I have them I want to take the absolute best care of them!
Jack was born the 'runt' of a litter of five to a foster rabbit I took in. I didn't know
'HE' was going to have a litter until 'HE' built a nest. Yes - I was told it was a boy

rabbit. Well I read so much online in order to take care of them - I practically have

the House Rabbit Society website memorized.
Back to Jack- His troubles started right away, besides being 1/2 the size of the rest

of the litter , one eye did not open. I looked for information online and could not find

any. I looked for information on kittens who  had this happen to them. People had

different answer - mostly like  - the eye will eventually open so  wait. I think that

was definitely wrong to do now. I finally picked the glued shut eyelid open over a week

after the other eye opened by itself. I gently used a lice comb - well a gooey

discharge came out and I thought he doesn't even have a eye in there! I put in some

terramycin eye ointment for a week.
He did have an eye  but I think the delay in opening the eye caused it not to function

properly.  When he got older he didn't bump into things much but did spin in circles

when taken somewhere new or when he was upset. So i figured he couldn't see well.
One vet I took him to said "he does have impaired vision in that eye".
 His other problems include:
Had an extra upper incisor tooth -which to my shock the vet just pulled out without

any pain medication before or after.
He was neutered later then his sibling because we waited , but one testicle never

descended -though the vet did remove both.
 I thought he had fur mites according to the pictures online but the vet said it was a

skin condition and prescribed 2 baths for him with sebalyt shampoo and prescribed

simplicef. That gave him horrible diarrhea and he just stayed in the corner of the pen

and acted confused -the vet said "half the dose" - I did and no change ,so I stopped

the medication and figured what is worse for a rabbit dandruff or diarrhea.
Diarrhea is MUCH worse! He never scratched much anyway.
Then he started urinating 'in place'. This resulted in him wetting his feet -then he

was getting urine burn. I used that shampoo to spot clean him but it got worse. I

couldn't clean him 5- 10 times a day. Finally I added a green plastic coated 1/4 inch

wire mesh floor to his 6 foot by 10 foot pen he shares with two of his siblings.
He rarely gets urine on himself now . He has plenty of options on what to stand on-

there is a board, an small area of floor, litter boxes, the solid plastic floors of 2 old

rabbit cages and I use some old towels and cut up old blue jeans for them to lay  on

even though they soon get dirty so I just wash them.
Then he gets ear wax! Every other rabbits ear is perfectly clean.
 My latest vet helped my get the ear wax out. Then she immediately showed me under the microscope that he did have the fur mite Cheyletiella parasitovorax.
 I asked if we would use selamectin and she had never used that before. So then I thought we would use ivermectin but she thought that would be too strong for Jack because he might be weak(Which he might be because of anther problem) .Also I think she said she used ivermectin just to treat internal worms. So then I was given Ovitrol by vet-kem to use on all the rabbits. I was using the 'kitten method' =spray some in a towel and hold rabbit in towel for about 8 minutes - once a week -making sure the rabbit doesn't breath the Ovitrol. I don't like using the Ovitrol because it has pyrethrins in it. The fur mite problem seems to be slowly getting better after 6 weeks. Do you think Revolution would be ok to use on a weakened rabbit?
Now for the biggest problem. A few months ago his bad eye started to grow a white patch in the middle of it. So that is why I went out to try to find a new vet.
I thought it was like this because the eye has always been bad. But the new vet thinks
it is pasturella in his eye. At first I did not think so because I did not think he has any other symptoms. I did find this web site page   
and the white in the center of the eye does look like the 3rd picture down.
 The vet prescribed Orbax (orbifloxacin) .25 cc per day. Jack has been on this for 6 weeks. I do not think the white area has shrunk. I am very glad though this antibiotic did not cause any diarrhea or other side effects. He is also on the probiotic Probiacin prescribed 1/2 gram twice a day.I am giving him less since he weighs only 2.9 pounds and i am not sure probiotics work but i think they won't hurt. I have used
Peter's rabbit ProBiotics in the past.
 Do know of the latest greatest and safest drug that could be used to treat him?
Jack is 2  1/2 years old he is a mixed breed but looks most like a jersey wooly.
His mom is a lop and dad a broken single mane lionhead. All my other rabbits weigh between 5 and 6.2 pounds. Have you ever heard of a 'charlie or false charlie' rabbit? I think Jack fits the description but I do not know if this is just a color pattern (a broken with less than 10% color and maybe a charle chaplin type mustache marking) or does it also included other genetic traits.
Jack has a great appetite and is not overweight. I follow the diet recommended on the house rabbit society pages. Overall he seem very happy.
 I bought The Textbook of Rabbit medicine by Frances Harcourt-Brown and Rabbit Medicine and Surgery for Veterinary Nurses Mary Fraser and Simon Girling.I am starting to read them now.
Thank You so much for reading my long  email.
Please let me know what other information you need about Jack.
I am sending a picture of Jacks eye.

Dear Alli,

Wow.  Poor little Jack has really been through the wringer.  :(  He sounds like a genetic mess, but he is lucky to have such a caring mom.  

I know the picture is as clear and good as you can make it, but without seeing it in person I cannot tell if this is a lesion on the cornea or if it is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva (the "pink" around the eye itself).  If it is the former, then a veterinary ophthalmologist should be consulted.  It does not look like a typical corneal ulcer, as it is both very white and appears to be somewhat vascularized.  The blood vessels are what made me wonder if it is a conjunctival overgrowth.

The conjunctival overgrowth would mean that the white part is more of a "flap" and not attached to the eye itself.  It could be surgically removed, but in rabbits who develop this condition (technical term is "pterygium", which literally means "winglike body").  You can find more information on this condition (and similar ones) here:

If he's squinting the eye, that means it's painful and may be a corneal lesion that needs treatment.  I would really try to get him to a veterinary ophthalmologist, if possible.  This is the best way to get a positive I.D. of the condition and prescription of appropriate treatment.

Hope this helps.