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Rabbits/Scab-ish growth on my rabbits ear?



Right outer ear
Right outer ear  
I'll start off by providing the above info requested :)
Rhino is a lop, male, 5-6 years of age, not neutered, lives in a hutch with solid floors, lives outdoors with no other rabbits, and is allowed out of cage time in my backyard.
A while ago a noticed he had a small scratch on his outer right ear, and upon doing some research I read that rabbit scabs tend to take a while to completely heal. However, I noticed that the scab started to become a growth (I'm not exactly sure how to word it). He is eating, drinking, and acting as usual, and it doesn't seem to cause him any discomfort when touching the area. Also, no excessive scratching or head tilt is appearing. I've also been cleaning the affected area with a clean, warm towel on a daily basis.
Rhino is eating Kaytee pellets along with unlimited access to Kaytee Alfalfa hay, and about once every week I give him a treat of one broccoli stem (which he loves! :))
Please contact me via e-mail if you need more pictures, since it seems I can only attach 2. o:

Hi Adrian:

Thank you for providing all the info and for attaching clear pictures - it's very helpful.

It appears that Rhino has a small papilloma or fibroma.  They are benign (non cancerous), but can get quite large.  Here is a link to a photo of one after several years of growth:

Here is a link to a photo of a rabbit with Papilloma Tumors on the face (they most often occur on the ears):

Here is a link to a photo of a small papilloma tumor on a Flemish giant rabbit:

Here is a link to a photo of a rabbit with a LARGE Fibroma:

The only treatment is surgical removal by a qualified rabbit-savvy vet.  There is no home treatment.  Treating it with a wet rag is actually doing more harm than good as the granules in the tumor soak up the moisture which leads to faster growth.  

Unfortunately - without treatment both types of tumors continue to grow throughout the rabbits life and can get very large.  It's not something that will go away or stop growing.
Wild rabbits have been caught with these benign tumors so big that they were unable to lift their head off the ground.

Since Rhino's Papilloma (or Fibroma) just began, it will be a very simple in and out procedure - taking about 5 minutes.  However, rabbits that develop this problem often have more growths show up later on.  Keep a close eye on the ears (in and out), neck, and anus and if you find any new tumors forming - have them removed immediately.

If you would like to learn more about this condition, it is discussed in detail in the book:
"Skin Diseases of Rabbits"

It's expensive - but you might be able to put in a special request at your library and borrow a copy.

Be assured that this condition is not life threatening in any way and once taken care of, Rhino will go back to being his happy, well loved self :)  It appears from the photo that he is very well taken care of - Outstanding Job on your part!

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Lisa L.


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Lisa L.


I was introduced to meat rabbits at the age of 3. Began working with them on my own at the age of 8 and started my own large commercial rabbitry at the age of 20. I'm 46 now and for the past 26 years I have owned a large herd of meat rabbits and have become well known as the turn-to person whenever a problem arrises.

Member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Member of the Rabbit Industry Council. Member of the Yahoo - Meat Rabbits Group. Member of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. Administrators of the FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Yahoo Meat Rabbits Group. American Council of Animal Naturopathy FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

There is no formal training for raising rabbits; its all hands on. I have had a steady rabbit breeding operation for 24 years and have read every book there is on raising rabbits for meat. Additionally, I am a member of several rabbit groups and associations as listed below.

Awards and Honors
None - there are none in this field.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped countless people over the past several decades. These have been people I knew personally or those referred to me by one of the many rabbit organizations I belong to.

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