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Rabbits/Scabbing around mouth/possible mouth infection?


bubbles mouth
bubbles mouth  

My bun Bubbles is about 6-7 years old (he was adopted) and about 2
months ago we noticed there was some scabbing on the corner of his mouth
(left side). At first we thought it was a cut but we took him to the vet
and were told that it was an infection (he didn't say what) and given two things: Malaket
wipes to clean the area and Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream to help heal
the area. It cleared up after a week so we thought we were ok. Fast
forward to today and we noticed that, 1) his right eye is watery (no
mucus, just tears), and 2) the right corner of his mouth is now scabby
and looks potentially infected. We used a warm washcloth to try and
loosen up the scabs and clean the area, and also used the Malaket wipes
again to clean it.
He seems to be his normal self (eating/drinking fine) and his stools
aren't abnormal or anything. We haven't changed anything in terms of his
food/environment either. He has an appointment with the vet but I'm worried this is some sort of tooth/mouth infection? My
last bun had teeth problems that caused watery eyes and eye discharge
that never really went away, and I'm afraid this is something similar.
I did read that it could possibly be syphilis and searched up pictures and info. I'm not sure if it's the same thing as Bubbles doesn't look as bad, but it could possibly be in the early stages? He's going to the vet today so we'll see what happens there, but I'm worried the vet might downplay it as something less serious than what it is/could be. I'm also attaching an image to show. This was before I cleaned the area. Thank you for the help!

Dear Catherine,

The scabbing you see is consistent with what would be caused by drooling.  And drooling is most often due to dental problems such as molar spurs.  Please see:

The shampoo and corticosteroid creams are just a bandaid approach by the vet, who may not be experienced enough with rabbits to recognize this problem.  I suggest you use the list linked here:

to find a more rabbit-savvy vet who can do a deep oral exam and see if molars or other dental problem is causing this.

If there are crusty lesions elsewhere on the body, another possibility is mange, which can be treated with Revolution (selamectin).  But if this is the only spot the bunny has problems, that's less likely.

I hope this helps.



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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:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

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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