Rabbits/Frequent treatment for ear mites
QUESTION: Hello Dana,
My rabbit has a chronic problem with ear mites. The vet has used Ivermectin a couple of times over the last few years, but I've mostly been treating it at home with Surolan, which the vet gave me so I wouldn't have to bring her into the office so often. Her problem goes away for about 2 months and then it comes back. However, the Surolan has recently stopped working, so the vet has begun to use some other antibiotic to treat the infection.
Do you know if it's dangerous to treat the mites with Ivermectin every couple of months? She seems to feel better very quickly after the treatment, but I know it's a pretty harsh treatment. Are there other ways to treat the mites that have less consequences on my rabbit's health?
Thank you, as always, for your help.
ANSWER: Dear Julie,
Can you get Stronghold (selamectin) where you are? It is a newer drug in the same class as ivermectin, and is quite effective against ear mites. It can be given every few weeks safely (as can ivermectin).
The main question, though, is...why is bun continually getting ear mites. Usually this is a sign of a suppressed immune system. Be sure bun is getting a healthy diet:
and has a clean, stress-free environment. Have a complete wellness check, including a look at the molars for spurs. Sometimes a bunny with undetected health problems will manifest with other conditions (e.g., mites) that a healthy rabbit will not show. Just a thought.
I hope this helps.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you, Dana. I've wondered that myself. She has as good a diet as I can possibly give her. I live in Eastern Europe, and sometimes the selection of vegetables isn't so great, but I never give her anything a rabbit isn't supposed to have. She just ends up eating a lot of the same things - broccoli for weeks at a time, for example. I've bought her every brand of hay I could find, but she insists on eating only the cheapest, which is a local brand.
She has free run of the apartment and is never in a cage. Everything is super clean because I'm paranoid about fly strike. The vet gave her a full checkup a couple of months ago and found nothing. She's a big, strong rabbit. He does take his time and check everything out and seems to really care about animals. It's the best I can hope for over here. I will ask about Stronghold or continue with the Ivermectin.
Is there anything (like vitamins) I can give her to help build the immune system?
Thank you so much for your help!!
Did the vet really check *thoroughly* for molar spurs? Because they can be subtle, and the signs she's showing really make me think: Dental problems!
for pictures and information on this.
Rabbits manufacture most of their own vitamins, so I doubt that will help. But B-complex can stimulate appetite and support liver function. You might want to ask your vet about that.
Hope this helps.