Question My 10.5 year old rabbit is being treated for an ear infection currently.He has oral antibiotics (something that starts with a t. Not Baytril because he is sensitive to that and goes in to stasis) in tandem with Baytril otic. He has had 2 drops in each ear for about a week now. About 2 days ago he started scratching at one of his ears an excessive amount. One...not both..even though he is receiving drops in both ears. My question is, can Baytril Otic cause itchy ears?
I'm scared his infection isn't being treated effectively or that he has a yeast infection that the antifungal properties in Baytril are not strong enough for. I will be calling my vet on Monday, but it is currently Saturday and I am very worried about my old man.
A secondary question is do you know of any oral antibiotics that are safe for rabbits? My vet said except for the one we are using, Baytril is the next safest. So if this treatment doesn't work, we don't know what to do.
Answer Dear Allison,
It is very unlikely that the Baytril is causing the itching.
However, treating a bacterial infection in the ears can sometimes remove too many species of bacteria, including the beneficial ones the compete with other microorganisms in the ear canal. When this happens, you can get an overgrowth of yeast (which are fungi, not bacteria), which are not sensitive to antibiotics.
If this has happened, then a slightly acidic ear wash (for example, there are commercial chlorhexidene ear washes containing a small amount of acetic acid) can be used to flush the ears for a few days to get the yeast back under control. But DO NOT do anything like this without consulting your vet. You need to get a positive yeast diagnosis, or you could end up making things worse. My description here outlines only a likely possibility; it is not a diagnosis.
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