5 Things Rabbit Owners Need To Know About Ear Mites

6 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Ear mites are parasites that can affect your rabbit's ears. Here are five things you need to know about ear mites in rabbits.

How do rabbits get ear mites?

Ear mites are a common parasite of rabbits. They are frequently seen on healthy rabbits, but if your rabbit gets stressed, the mite population can explode and lead to health problems. Stressors like poor nutrition, cold weather, or overcrowding can be the triggers that allow this to happen.

What are the signs of ear mites?

If your rabbit has ear mites, you'll notice that they are scratching their ears frequently as well as shaking their heads and ears. If you examine their ears, you'll see that the ears are lined with brown crusts and watery fluid. If you notice these symptoms in your rabbit, take them to a vet right away.

Are ear mites serious?

Ear mites will make your rabbit very itchy and uncomfortable, but discomfort isn't the only problem associated with these parasites. Your rabbit's ears can get infected due to the ear mites, and these infections can lead to scarring and damage of the inner ear.

Sometimes, the infections can spread beyond the ear and into the central nervous system. If this happens, your rabbit may become unable to hold their head straight. To avoid these problems, make sure to get prompt treatment for your rabbit.

How are they treated?

The first thing your vet will do is clean your rabbit's ears. This involves scraping away any brown discharge or debris from within them. Once the ears are clean, medications will be used to get rid of the mites.

The typical medication is injectable ivermectin. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that works by killing the ear mites. Your rabbit will need to receive injections of this drug either weekly or biweekly. In addition to these injections, your vet may also give you a medicated cream to apply to your rabbit's ears. This cream may include medications like steroids to reduce inflammation.

Can the ear mites spread to humans?

Ear mites don't spread from rabbits to humans, but they can be easily transmitted to other rabbits. To keep your other pets safe, make sure to quarantine your sick rabbit. If your other rabbits have already been in contact with the sick one, your vet will recommend treating them with prophylactic medications as a precaution.

If your rabbit has itchy, crusty ears, take them to a vet right away. To find out more, speak with a business like Foothills Animal Hospital.