Rabbits/Ear Problems


I really need advice on a problem with my 22 month old lop eared rabbit Jayden. A couple of weeks ago I noticed he was shaking his head a scratching his ears. The vet took swabs of both ears which showed bacterial infection. After applying Aurizon drops for 2 weeks it hasn't helped. Now he has been given a course of Baytril and I am to take him back in 1 week. What's worrying me is that I've been told that he more than likely will need to be sedated and have his ears flushed. Now my other lop eared rabbit Lola is also starting the shake her head and itch. I asked if it was catching but was told no.  I am really worried about the procedure of flushing the ears, is there any other advice you could suggest to help. Thank you, Julia

Hi Julia,

Did your vet treat the rabbit for ear mites?  Just because she didn't see them doesn't mean they aren't there.  Considering your other bunny is having the same issue that would be my guess.  If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck then treat it as a duck, even if it isn't a duck.  Revolution is a topical medication that goes on the back of their neck.  It is very safe for bunnies and if it is ear mites it will kill them.  It doesn't have to be repeated like the other treatments do.  The only problem is that you need a prescription for it and some vets don't carry it.

Is your vet able to get a culture out of the ear?  If they can get a swab they can send it in for a culture and if it is a bacterial infection they can find out which antibiotic will kill it.  

I have never seen a bunny that had to have its ears flushed.  I have seen them with crust so bad that they can't hear but within a day or two of treatment all of that gunk was gone.  If you are not confident with your vets decision then I suggest you get a second opinion.  You can find a list of rabbit savvy vets here:


Good luck and I wish you and your bunnies well.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.