Rabbits Online > Pet Rabbit Discussion > General Rabbit Discussion > Cleaning rabbits ears?

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Old 04-20-2017, 04:40 AM   #1
katiecrna
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Default Cleaning rabbits ears?

Do I have to do this? How often do people clean their rabbits ears out? I read that they shouldn't be cleaned with q-tips.


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Old 04-20-2017, 05:28 AM   #2
Shanan
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I have had rabbits for more a year and never did I clean their ears. I have to say they are responsible bunnies who does their cleaning really well.

You don't HAVE TO clean their ears unless there's some sort of buildup. If you suspect an infection, you should take the bun to a vet first. The vet will provide you with the necessary ear solutions and instruments. DO NOT use an OTC ear solution, because it may cause the infection to increase if it doesn't have a good drying agent. The vet will guide you.

Take extra care to not allow water to get inside your bun's ear. That is probably the most widely common reason for ear buildup. Your bun can get ear mites too.

Here are some tips: http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Your-Rabbit%27s-Ears

Q-tips or cotton balls are the common instruments you can use to clean a bunny's ear as much as I know. But, with q-tips you have to be careful so as to not hurt the bun's internal ear. You can also use a damp cloth which must be soft. But I think the safest possible thing is a cotton ball.

Lastly unless and until they are disabled, allow them to do their grooming. Rabbits are one of the cleanest animals so they are completely capable of doing their job well.

http://www.disabledrabbits.com/ear-care.html
http://animals.mom.me/grooming-rabbits-ear-1152.html



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Old 04-20-2017, 06:38 AM   #3
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I don't clean their ears. I'm not sticking anything in there, because I don't see where it's going. I have the vet check their ears if I'm concerned. I have two lop eared rabbits and I know they are more prone to ear issues, so I do keep an eye on them.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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No, don't clean their ears without any reason. I've had Aki for 8 years and she takes care of her ears herself (and she hears a piece of carrot drop from the other side of the room XD). Lops might have more difficulty to clean their ears as they age but it's not always the case. I've never had to wash one of my rabbits' ears. Just check once in a while - as long as the appearance is normal, that they don't smell and that the rabbit doesn't shake their head abnormally it's fine. If they ever need to be cleaned, a vet will prescribe you a special product that you put in the ear, and you're right: never use q-tip, you might hurt your rabbit.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:44 PM   #5
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Ellie has a history of ear mite issues, and there's no chance I will ever make her go through that again... She easily could have lost both ears (that's how rough she looked before I was able to get her to the vet... She was previously a farm rabbit, and they figured using that yellow Terramycin goop would smother the mites... Decent theory, but it didn't work. Some people have had success using petroleum jelly to smother the mites, by poor Ellie was a special case)

I have a really nice, super bright desk lamp that I can move so I can see into her ears, and if there's something gross and gunky, I find the q-tip with the smallest end and super carefully get the crud out. The vet gave me these ear drops (Triz Ultra + Keto) and I have them on hand in case Ellie ends up with them again.

I definitely do not suggest this with every rabbit. If you do notice the head shaking (as Aki mentioned) or a funky ear smell, definitely go to the vet. Ellie and I have the super trusting bond that most rabbit owners hope for, and she knows that when I start looking at her ears, it's time to sit still, and just let the hoomin do her thing.

She's a special case, and I love her dearly. :-)
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:39 AM   #6
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I bought an otoscope to help diagnose any potential ear issues in my rabbits, but I would not attempt cleaning them out myself. If they were to have an ear issue, I would assume it's an underlying medical issue for which I (personally) am not trained to treat.

Have you watched your rabbit groom itself? Notice how it cleans its ears. Remember, they live in the wild, too, and certainly don't have humans sticking q-tips in their ears out there

Also, if you have a pair of rabbits, they will probably clean each other's ears out.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:50 AM   #7
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Definitely no q-tips! If you notice a lot of build up, first go to the vet. But like everyone else has said, it's usually not a problem. If you do feel the need to clean your bunnies ears, I suggest a warm wet washcloth just on the parts you can easily reach. But like everyone else has said, they are pretty darn good at cleaning their own ears out unless they have an infection.

However, it never hurts to take a look in the ears fairly regularly (or even a sniff if you are brave enough!). Clean ears are good- they shouldn't smell like anything either. Any odd smells or a sudden increase in wax warrants some vet checks.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:01 AM   #8
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My Sweet Pea is a lop rabbit, and when I adopted her... I was so in love and caught up in the moment that I forgot about their being prone to ear issues. She had a bit of a wax build up when she went for her first check-up after my adopting her, but the vet didn't see it as an issue. A little later down the road, my dog kept licking at her ears whenever I had her out, so when she went for a six month check-up (because of a slight, very mild abnormality with her teeth, the vet wanted her in for a bi-annual check up to monitor it).. I mentioned the dog licking at the base of her ears.. Turned out she had a possible ear mite problem. So we started with some drops and a topical treatment.

I was told to keep the drops on hand once the mite situation was cleared up, and the wax in her ears was also a bit of a concern... I was advised to give her the drops at least once a month to control the wax problem.

Again, Sweet Pea is a lop-- and ear issues are fairly common with them. Because of their downward facing ears, they sometimes need a little assistance. With my other two, ears are never a concern. They can groom themselves just fine and their ears get plenty of air into them. Even with my first two buns, which I had for 6 and 7 years, I never had a single issue with their ears.

If you notice head shaking or anything funky with your rabbit's ears, it'd still be best to bring them to a rabbit savvy vet to have it checked out to figure out what the best course of action is. I don't do anything with my rabbits unless I'm advised to by my vet.


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