Ear mite concerns

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Andy123

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I took my rabbit to the vet yesterday with the suspicion that he probably had ear mites, turns out he does (they even let me see the sample they took from his ear under the microscope, cool but gross). The doctor put some kind of medicine in his ear saying it would kill the mites, and prescribed him some ear drops, specifically tresaderm. I left the appointment feeling good, because I thought that I now had everything needed to treat him. But as I looked at the ear drops I saw that tresaderm is only used for cats and dogs. I became concerned and went to google, trying to find out if it was actually safe for me to give him these ear drops, and furthermore, whether or not they would actually kill the mites. From what I'm reading online, the ear drops he was prescribed will not kill ear mites, and is simply just to help heal any ulcers that have formed in his ears. This is incredibly frustrating, especially because I dont have money to take him for another appointment if the mites do come back. I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be helpful.
 

Preitler

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There is very few mediction espacially for rabbits, but normally that doesn't matter much.

Anyway,treatment of ear mites is rather simple. A few drops of oil into the ear (I used baby oil) twice a day for a week, and then repeating the proceedure after a week will do the job. I mixed some flower of sulphur into the oil because it is harmless to mammals but toxic to mites.
 

JBun

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I took my rabbit to the vet yesterday with the suspicion that he probably had ear mites, turns out he does (they even let me see the sample they took from his ear under the microscope, cool but gross). The doctor put some kind of medicine in his ear saying it would kill the mites, and prescribed him some ear drops, specifically tresaderm. I left the appointment feeling good, because I thought that I now had everything needed to treat him. But as I looked at the ear drops I saw that tresaderm is only used for cats and dogs. I became concerned and went to google, trying to find out if it was actually safe for me to give him these ear drops, and furthermore, whether or not they would actually kill the mites. From what I'm reading online, the ear drops he was prescribed will not kill ear mites, and is simply just to help heal any ulcers that have formed in his ears. This is incredibly frustrating, especially because I dont have money to take him for another appointment if the mites do come back. I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be helpful.

Personally, I would not use that ear drop preparation on a rabbit, for three very important reasons. Firstly, it contains a corticosteroid, which is generally not a good idea to use in rabbits unless absolutely necessary due to it affecting a rabbits immune response. Secondly, neomycin is an ototoxic antibiotic. Meaning, it can damage a rabbits hearing if the dosage is too high. If an antibiotic were needed, there are much safer antibiotics to use with rabbits, such as baytil ear drops. Thirdly, none of the active ingredients in that ear drop are meant to treat ear mites at all.

'Tresaderm treats inflammation as well as bacterial and fungal infections by action of three active ingredients: thiabendazole, dexamethasone and neomycin. Thiabendazole is an antifungal agent, dexamethasone is a corticosteroid and neomycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic.'

The antiparasitics considered safe to treat ear mites in rabbits, are ivermectin, selamectin, and moxidectin(though this one is rarely used).

Medirabbit: Corticosteroids, best avoided in rabbits

Medirabbit: antibiotic use in rabbits, neomycin dosing and associated risks

Medirabbit: ear mites, signs and treatment

Because you already paid the vet to diagnose and treat the ear mites, you shouldn't have to pay for another appointment. You should be able to just phone them up and request a different mite treatment. I would tell them you did some reading on safe mite treatments for rabbits, and that based on the ingredients in those ear drops, you don't feel comfortable giving them to your rabbit, as well as it not containing an antiparasitic meant for treating mites in rabbits. I would also request a refund on those ear drops, specifically due to the fact that it's not actually a mite treatment. I would also lodge a complaint with the office manager if necessary, due to this not being an actual earmite treatment, and the fact the ingredients aren't recommended for normal use in rabbits.

I would then request to use spot on topical Revolution(selamectin) to treat the mites. It's a topical preparation that is considered safe for use in treating mites and fleas on rabbits. It's dosed at 12-18mg/kg(for mites), which is 2-3 times the usual cat dose. So for a 4.4 lb(2kg) rabbit, about 24-36mg would be needed, which would be the blue box for 5-15 lb cats(45mg tube), or the purple box for 5-10lb dogs(30mg). Revolution can be expensive though.

If you need a cheaper option, ivermectin given orally or by injection, may be cheaper(ask your vet which would be cheapest). But 3 treatments of this are needed 2 weeks apart each. So your vet would either need to give you 3 predrawn oral syringes, or you would need to bring your rabbit in for 3 separate injections(likely the more expensive option). If your vet won't help you out, you would need to find a more knowledgeable rabbit vet.


Ivermectin is available otc, but only as large animal preparations here in the US. I've used the injectable solution given orally, however it's not something someone inexperienced should do. It takes some experience calculating and drawing up the right dose, and can be overdosed very easily, with tragic consequences. Though, if you can find a US supplier of Xeno 450, this is an otc UK topical used specifically with rabbits. But I'm not sure this is even possible, given it's not a US otc product.

Here's a link with info regarding Revolution use and dosage in rabbits, including research links to back it up. I would suggest either printing it out or having the link available for your vet to see in case you need it to convince them. There is also a reference for dosing for rabbits from 'The Textbook of Rabbit Medicine' by Molly Varga, who is considered a rabbit specialist in the UK, which your vet should be able to look up.

 

rabbit_friend

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I would second the selamectin. My rabbit came from a shelter and I was working with her for 4 weeks at the shelter to socialize her, because they said she was too aggressive to be adopted. My bunny-savvy friend and I told them she had ear mites, which was one factor causing her to be aggressive, and that they should treat it with Revolution. They did oil drops instead. By the time I decided to bring her home with me, the ear mite infestation was terrible, her ears totally encrusted inside. I gave her one dose of the selamectin and did daily ear washes with a solution my vet gave me to help soften the crusts and dead mites, and within a week her ears were like new. She was so grateful! I have used selamectin on several rabbits and I like that if you give the two doses, you don't have to do a thorough disinfection of the environment (just some normal washing and cleaning).

Just a note on ivermectin, some bunnies can be killed by it, so be careful. Never give it to a blue-eyed or dutch bunny, for instance. Some say any rabbit with white feet may be susceptible, since it might have dutch genes. You can look up ivermectin toxicity here or elsewhere to learn more. Selamectin is considered safer.
 
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