Rabbit health

Diseases causing blisters in the ears of rabbits and their treatment

September 12, 2019

There is a list of diseases that rabbits suffer from. Many of them are difficult to diagnose on time. Therefore, in this article we will detail the various ear diseases of rabbits, and list their symptoms and treatment methods.

Ear diseases of rabbits

Ear diseases in rabbits always have pronounced symptoms, so they are easy to identify and organize treatment in a timely manner, but not all diseases respond to it. In any case, by signs on the ears, you can identify the ailment and remove the animal in quarantine in order to avoid an epidemic.


Myxomatosis is one of the most undesirable diseases for rabbits. This disease often kills the entire population and is difficult to treat. It is accompanied by many symptoms, but one of the most pronounced and noticeable in the first place is the bumps on the ears. They can be very large and reach the size of a quail egg. In addition, puffiness near the eyes is manifested.

In most cases, the affected animal with cones is doomed to death. If such rabbits appeared on the farm, then they should be immediately removed from the general herd. Dead animals are subject to burning, since the pathogen of myxomatosis is able to maintain its vital activity in their body for up to 1 year. Mosquitoes act as carriers of infection, for this reason no measures to isolate rabbits from the outside world will help.

The only effective way to protect against this ailment is vaccination. It is done to rabbits on the 45th day from the moment of birth and is repeated every season. For treatment, drugs are used:

If it was possible to determine myxomatosis only by looking at the ear, then this says that the disease has already hit the animal too much and most likely the treatment will no longer help.

It remains only to start administering drugs to rabbits who have not yet been so sick that bumps appear on the ears.

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Ear tick or psoroptosis

A tick, psoroptosis, or ear scabies is a contagious disease that rabbits get from contact with relatives or from inventory, dirty feeders, and cages.

The causative agent is a small tick, which settles inside the ear and begins to actively multiply directly in its skin. As a result, small blisters appear, which gradually burst, and a clear liquid flows out of them. Soon, brown scabs that stick firmly to the skin cover the entire surface inside the ear.

At first, the scabs are visible only in the depths of the ear and it seems that it is sulfur or dirt. Gradually there are so many ticks that they capture the entire surface of the ear, and it looks extremely repulsive.

In addition to a clear symptom, the disease has other signs:

  • the rabbit is trying to scratch the ear with its paws or on the cage;
  • the animal is anxious;
  • decreased appetite;
  • failures of the nervous system are possible.

Often launched psoroptosis leads to inflammatory processes in the brain, which is displayed on the work of the nervous system. In animals, irreversible coordination disorders and cramps that will never go away can occur.

Usually, the disease can be diagnosed when scabs appear in the rabbit’s ears. It’s easy to cure the disease. For this, the drug Ivermectin-10 is used. An injection is made in the ham at the rate of 0.05 ml per 1 kg of live weight. Usually just one injection is enough. If necessary, avoid relapse should be re-injection after 4 days, but this is rarely required.

There are drops that can be dripped into the ears of rabbits. They are less effective and to use them, you need to pay a lot of attention to treatment, which is not always possible, especially if the farm has a large number of infected animals. Drops are mainly used for small rabbits infected from the mother who are still too small for injection.

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Ivermectin-10 kills the ear tick and internal parasites living in the intestines of rabbits. Thus, their treatment is immediately and preventative in nature from worms.

The drug is very concentrated, because it is designed primarily for use in cattle. It is necessary to clearly calculate the dosage. If you need to pierce the lungs of rabbits, you can take an insulin syringe. It is thin and has a volume of only 1 ml, which allows you to easily collect 0.05 ml for a rabbit weighing 1 kg.

The Invermectin-10 preparation has a rather thick consistency and it is advisable to warm it up before use, then it will be more liquid and will pass more easily through a thin needle of the syringe.


In winter, during severe frosts, rabbit ears are most affected. They do not have such a thick fur, as over the whole body. Also, poor blood circulation passes through them, which does not improve the situation with heating in the cold. For this reason, with frost, the ears begin to suffer very first. There are 3 degrees of tissue damage:

  1. The ears turn red and the rabbit is uncomfortable or in pain.
  2. Blisters grow on the skin, which soon burst and blood spots appear.
  3. Tissues die and need to be removed, because from their decomposition blood poisoning will begin.

In the first degree, you need to grease your ears with thick animal fat. In the second blister should be opened and treated with healing ointments. If the rabbit has a third degree of frostbite, then the dead areas must be cut off or scraped off, and the wounds received should be treated with ointment.

To prevent this situation in regions with severe winters, rabbits should be kept indoors or in insulated cages.

It is important to remove the draft from the cage, for this you need to make sure that the side and back walls are of dense material, and not just of the mesh. It is advisable to install a warm sleeping bag sheathed with boards and polystyrene. If the climate is very harsh, then electric heating will not be out of place. When there is no possibility of installing heaters, put more straw in the sleeping bag so that the rabbit can make a mink in it and hide from the cold.

Read more:  Myxomatosis in rabbits is how dangerous is the disease for animals and humans

Otitis media

Otitis is one of the most serious diseases, but unlike myxomatosis, it is not so fatal. This disease causes severe torment in animals, from which they grow poorly and lose mobility. The cause of the disease can be an insect bite, fungus, a large accumulation of sulfur or a scratch.

As a result, an infection develops in the ears, which is accompanied by several symptoms:

the rabbit is trying to scratch his ears about the bars of the cage;

  • the animal reacts painfully when touching its ears;
  • the pet is constantly tired and eats poorly;
  • pus may come out of your ears.
  • Outwardly, the early signs of otitis media and ear mite are similar, and until the scabs appear, without sufficient experience, you can confuse these two diseases. They are treated differently, so a correct diagnosis is required. In order to cure otitis media, oxytetracycline injections are made.

    Dosage is calculated individually on the recommendation of a veterinarian. If there is no opportunity to consult a specialist, then you need to use special drops, which are offered in pharmacies.

    By correctly diagnosing sores in rabbits in the ears and knowing how to treat them, you can always save your pets, especially if this is not myxomatosis. In any case, cleanliness in the cells, scheduled examinations of animals and prevention will always help minimize all the troubles that bring the disease.

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