Rabbits/Mini Lop

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Question
I have a 9 week old Lop.She is kept indoors, this morning we found that her right hand side ear sticks up her other one is fine.She is very lively and is eating and drinking ok. Is this normal please.

Answer
Dear Colin,

At the tender age of nine weeks, her ears are still finding their way.  Many lop babies don't drop their ears until the age of 8 weeks or so, and sometimes they kind of go up and down for a while until the bunny is a little older.

It's also possible that she has mixed genetic heritage, and her genes are not encoding fully lopped ears (a polygenic trait).  She might be a "helicopter" bunny, with ears that point to the sides, or even a "unicorn", with one ear up and one down.  The important thing is that her ears are healthy.

Lops are predisposed to a lot of health problems related to their unusual/abnormal ear anatomy:  fully lopped ears prevent normal air flow, and lops are prone to ear infections that sometimes require marsupialization (slitting the ear canal so it's longer, and able to let air in).

Lops also tend to have short faces, and this predisposes them to dental problems.  Molar spurs can be a chronic problem, so keep an eye out for signs of inappetence, or wanting to eat but then dropping the food.  You can read more here:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/dental.html

I hope your little bun never has any of these problems, but it's always best to know about them in advance, so you recognize signs and can get things treated early.

Good luck!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

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:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet 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.

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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