3 Ways to Treat Rabbit Ear Mites

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3 Ways to Treat Rabbit Ear Mites
3 Ways to Treat Rabbit Ear Mites

Rabbits are very susceptible to being contaminated by a small oval-shaped mite (Psoroptes cuniculi), which has a preference for the animal's ears. They can jump into place when the rabbit comes in contact with eggs in hay, straw or wood chips in the cage lining. Despite being lodged in the ears, the mites can reach other parts of the body, such as feet, head, neck, abdomen or around the anus if not treated. Learn how to fight these insects and keep your rabbit healthy.


Method 1 of 3: Treating Ear Mites in Rabbits

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 1

Step 1. Clean everything the rabbit has touched

Mites are contagious; because of this, it is important to clean and disinfect everything the pet comes into contact with if it is contaminated by the parasite or its eggs.

  • Discard all the material used to line his cage and replace it with clean ones until the mites are completely exterminated.
  • Scrub well and thoroughly disinfect the cage. Clean it frequently while the animal is still contaminated.
  • Mites are highly contagious, especially to other rabbits, and can spread by direct contact, so all of them should be treated (if you have more than one).
Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 2

Step 2. Do not disturb the flaking and crusts

In more severe cases of mite infections, there will be scaling and even runny ears; however, do not attempt to remove scabs. This can injure the skin, causing pain and bleeding. Once the contamination is treated, the shells will fall out after a week or two.

Once this starts to occur, harder scabs can be softened with a few drops of mineral oil in the ear

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 3

Step 3. Give the rabbit the correct medication to kill the parasites

Drugs in the ivertimectin family are very effective but have no effect on eggs. It takes several steps of treatment so that each “generation” of mites is killed as soon as the eggs hatch, but before they can lay new eggs. Their life cycle is about three weeks, so having three treatments every two weeks is, in most cases, enough to get rid of the contamination.

  • The remedy should stop the parasites, as long as the rabbit does not become infected again from the environment.
  • Among the treatment options, there are drops of ivermectin, applied to the skin (on the rabbit's shoulders). The active ingredient is absorbed into the bloodstream, acting to exterminate mites. Three doses are given every fifteen days; It is important to weigh the rabbit and follow the instructions to avoid overdose. Only the veterinarian can indicate the most suitable medicine to be given to the animal; there are other medications, but they are less common for this case.
  • The veterinarian may also opt for three doses of ivermectin every two weeks, via injection or orally.
Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 4

Step 4. Avoid over-the-counter drug treatments

Rabbits are very sensitive to many types of insecticides, including those of the pyrethrin (or pyrethroid) family, which is the active ingredient in many commercial anti-mite products.

In some cases there may be toxicity, leading to neurological symptoms such as loss of coordination, seizures, coma and death

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 5

Step 5. Treat all secondary infections

In case of secondary bacterial contamination due to the presence of ear mites, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics, such as Baytril, to fight them.

Nonsteroidal pain relievers may also be recommended by the practitioner to alleviate the discomfort the animal may experience while the mites die

Method 2 of 3: Recognizing Ear Mites Symptoms

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 6

Step 1. Watch for itchy ears

One of the most frequent signs of mites in rabbit ears is itching, which occurs due to irritation caused by the arachnids. The pet can do this with their paws or rubbing their ears on the floor.

  • Sometimes the rabbit will shake its head or have its ear turned to one side.
  • His ears may have reddened or inflamed skin.
  • The irritation from the mite's feces and saliva is very uncomfortable; the animal can even cause trauma to the ear due to the intensity of the itching.
Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 7

Step 2. Look for discharge

More serious infections caused by mites may have a grayish-yellow crust and fluid that builds up and fills the ear canal. Both are very attached to the skin, and trying to remove them will cause a lot of pain.

  • Forcibly removing the peels can remove the top layer of skin at the same time, leaving a large ulcer.
  • Normally, in the early stages of infection, you may find skin scales attached firmly to the ear after closer examination.
Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 8

Step 3. Be aware that the rabbit is always with its ears drooping

Not performing the treatment leads to the accumulation of desquamation and husks in the ear, making the region heavy and causing the ears to always be lowered. The pet can also suffer a secondary bacterial infection where the skin is injured, which can enter and reach the inner and middle ear, interfering with the pet's balance, which will have its head tilted to one side.

Method 3 of 3: Diagnosing Rabbit Ear Mites

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 9

Step 1. Take the pet to the vet

Whenever he shows signs that he has some discomfort in the ears, it is important that he is consulted by a professional. These problems cause the rabbit a lot of pain and can lead to serious infections.

Tell the veterinarian about the symptoms you notice in the rabbit. Provide as much detail as possible, especially about unusual behavior

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 10

Step 2. The veterinarian will collect the material from the pet's ear

This is the simplest way to diagnose mites and other abnormalities.

Soon after, he will analyze the sample under a microscope

Treat Ear Mites in Rabbits Step 11

Step 3. The practitioner will use an otoscope in certain cases

If the infestation is very large, the veterinarian may not even perform the sample collection, as through the equipment, he will be able to see the bodies of the mites.

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