Rabbits/lump under ear



my lop eared bunny had a abccess 3 months which he had drained. he couldn't have it all removed due to it already starting leaking into his ear canal.

I have been monitoring his face/under ear daily then about a month ago, I noticed a strange bump....but couldn't feel anything..I kept feeling it every day then noticed that if you stroke you cant feel anything but if you grab the skin you can feel a lumpy "blob" and then if you dig your fingers into his skin/face you can feel a hard lump...but you really need to know where to feel to be able to feel it..you wouldn't feel it just by feeling under his ear (if this makes sense). I took him to the vets just over 2 weeks and he told me it was probally just scare tissue from the operation to remove the orginal abccess or it could be the start of a new abccess and to just keep an eye on it but to not worry (as I am a big worrier) if it doesn't grow.

I have done and it hasn't grown at all...but I still cant stop worrying. is there a chance that the abccess could have grown to a tiny lump and stop at the size and be dangerous or could it not be growing because it is leaking (though I am guessing it would have been happening for over a month now) or am I just worrying for no reason and the fact it hasn't grown, bother him (he loves he stroking it and feeling for it..he sits there for ages) and even lays on that side of his head, means that it is just scar tissue.

the vets I take him too are very good and the vet he seen had an additional small animal certificate.

if you could advise, I would really appreciate it.

many thanks

Dear Vicki,

The lump is most likely an abscess, and it may have to be surgically addressed.  Lop bunnies are especially susceptible to ear abscesses, due to their abnormal ear anatomy (no air gets in, and things can get mucky in the ear canal pretty easily.

If the situation is chronic, you might ask your *experienced rabbit vet* about marsupializing the ear, meaning to cut a slit along the base of the ear to widen the opening and allow easier cleaning and better access for air circulation.

You don't say where you are, but Dr. Frances Harcourt-Brown in Harrogate would be an excellent choice for a consultation.  If you can't get to her, then you might call her office and see if she can recommend a vet closer to you, whom she trusts to get it right.


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:

...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.


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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