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Rabbits/vet is stumped, ongoing scab under the chin


Anyas chin
Anyas chin  
Hi my rescue bunny has had an ongoing issue with a scab under her chin which started as a cut. She's had two courses of antibiotics (baytrill) and a 20 day course of stronger antibiotics as daily injections.  She's also had a dental and none of this has worked to get rid of the problem.  Any ideas?  It seems to flair up and then go back down but it always looks sore. Vets seem to be guessing now. Ot doesn't bother her nit when she rubs her chin on things she does it very cautiously.

Dear Katie,

It does look like lesions caused by drooling.  Is the area ever wet, or damp?  When you say she's "had a dental", what did that entail?  Has the vet looked deep into her mouth to check for spurs or other disorders far in the back of the mouth?  In every rabbit I've known with a problem like this, it turns out to be a dental issue.

If it's really not the teeth or other oral problem causing drooling, then the next step I'd take is to pluck some tufts of fur in the area and do a fungal culture.  A bacterial culture and sensitivity would not hurt, either.

Though this is not likely due to mites if it's just her chin, you might consider treating her with Stronghold to see if a local population of mites is exacerbating the problem.

In the meantime, I would keep her comfortable with daily washing the area to gently remove those crusts and keep them off.  Treat the skin underneath with a very thin layer of (unadulterated; no topical anesthetics or anything else) triple-antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin), or calendula cream for soothing sore skin.

But leaving those crusts as is and not treating the problem locally is just not an option if the area seems tender (which it must be if she chins carefully).

I hope this helps get her started on a road to full recovery.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

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For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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