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Lumps under Lop ears, normal?

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karenladd

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I have an 11 year old lop who is eating well and acting healthy, except for some hind end weakness that has come with age. However, last night I was cleaning her ears and suddenly felt these lumps, the size of grapes under where her ears meet her head. When her ears hang down, it covers the lumps. You can't see them, but you can definitely feel them. I have never, in all this time, noticed them before and am wondering if this is a normal part of rabbit anatomy or if they might be tumors or abcesses. The lumps are softish and slightly movable under the skin, but they alarmed me.

I can't believe I've never noticed these before, but I don't usually lift her ears up and feel there. Don't want to take her to the vet only to find out that those lumps are supposed to be there.

Anyone??

 

AngelnSnuffy

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Welcome to the forum, firstly!:wave:

I would definitely go to a rabbit savvy vet, this doesn't sound normal to me. I have a holland lop. Especialy if you say "they're moveable". That sounds like cysts, tumours, or something to that extent.

I hope everything is ok and it's nothing serious.
 

SnowyShiloh

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Karen, I have had 2 lops and neither has had grape sized lumps under their ears. Could you get a photo? Hopefully someone else will be of more help! Good luck! Also, congrats on getting your bunny to 11- I hope my guys live that long :)
 

karenladd

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Thanks for your reply. When I say that they're movable, I mean that they are not attached to the underlying skull . If she had it only on one side, I would suspect a fatty tumor or abcess, but the fact that there are 2 of them in exactly the same place on either side of her head makes me wonder if it's a normal part of her anatomy.

I will do more research online but if I can't figure this out I'll take her to my vet.
 

karenladd

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I could try to take a photo, but you can't really see anything....just feel it under the skin. However, a photo would make it more clear as to where these lumps are. Still trying to figure out how this forum works...how would I post a photo?

I have had quite a few rabbits live to a ripe old age, but Nora is my last one. I had a couple of rabbits live to 12 and 13. Unfortunately, when they get to that age, rabbits often develop hind end weakness and I have had to care for 4 semi-paralyzed rabbits over the years. It was a lot of work, but they actually led very full lives even so. Living in my spare room, and even going on vacation with us made them very spoiled fur babies!
 

tonyshuman

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I have a Holland, and she loves to be petted at the base of her ears. There are some small bumps there, but certainly not grape-sized. I wonder if the bumps are part of the jaw joint--I have TMJ and sometimes the joint of my jaw gets painful and swollen. When I massage it, there's a lump there that feels like the same consistency as the lump under Muffin's ears. However you say it's not connected to the underlying tissue/bone, so I don't know.

Here's a picture of the rabbit skull


Because you say it's not attached to the tissue, and it's so large, I would guess that it is not normal. I'll give Muffin's ears another feel today.

What is the consistency? Is it hard, squishy, somewhere between? Does it feel like it's full of something with more density than water?

Of course a vet will know much better what's going on. I am inclined to think it's either a swelling of the joint fluid of the jaw joint (like I get when my TMJ acts up), but it could also be a capsule of infection, fatty deposits, or even some kind of tumor.
 

karenladd

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Thanks for the diagram of the rabbit skull. I've been looking online for diagrams of a rabbits head to see if there is any mention of such lumps or bumps.

The lumps feel sort of squishy, and actually feel very similar to a fatty lump that she has under her front leg. The vet said that is a fatty tumor that is benign and common in rabbits as old as she is. I am planning to take her to the vet tomorrow and will, hopefully, find out what it is. The fact that there are two of them, one on each side and in exactly the same spot (and same size etc) makes me doubt that they're abcesses or tumors but we'll see.

Thanks for your help!
 

tonyshuman

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I just checked muffin and she has little lumps, probably the same size as a kernel of corn or barley, at the base of her ears. They feel like cartillage and she doesn't really like me poking them. They're not at the base of the ear opening, more like the actual base of the ear.
 

dquesnel

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Hi there, as others have mentioned some bump or cartilage in that exact area is very normal. However what you are describing sounds very much like a mid to inner ear infection brewing inside, especially if it feels warm to the touch. I am sure the vet will have a good look tomorrow and if it is a brewing infection can give you something to clear it up. An 11 year old bun is prone to many type of infection and the fact that she is a lop certainly adds to the probability of ear infections. I go through it annually with one lop in particular. Good luck.

karenladd wrote:
The lumps feel sort of squishy, and actually feel very similar to a fatty lump that she has under her front leg. The vet said that is a fatty tumor that is benign and common in rabbits as old as she is. I am planning to take her to the vet tomorrow and will, hopefully, find out what it is. The fact that there are two of them, one on each side and in exactly the same spot (and same size etc) makes me doubt that they're abcesses or tumors but we'll see.
 

karenladd

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Follow-up to Lumps under Lop Ears:

I took Nora to the vet today and, at first, the vet had no idea what the lumps were either. The fact that there were two of them, each in the same spot on each side of her head threw her (as they did me). She was thinking that they were fat pads, but then I agreed that she should do a needle aspiration to see if they were abcesses. The first lump only produced fat cells, and the vet thought that they were probably just fat pads. But then, she used a larger bore needle and tried the other lump. When she took a look under the microscope for the 2nd one, she found bacteria and we realized they were abcesses.

No idea where they came from, but ended up lancing them and cleaning out the pus, then prescribing antibiotics. Nora is doing fine and eating and drinking as normal so I'm thinking she's not in much pain even with the open wounds. I'm using hot compresses for the next 2 days to make sure all the pus is gone and to speed healing.

I'm hoping the abcesses didn't come from her teeth but we'll see how she heals. I'm really glad I took her to the vet and noticed these lumps to begin with. Thanks to everyone for your input....which helped me decide to take her in!
 

kirbyultra

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One of our rabbit experts in the rescue just emailed the volunteers this evening saying that as a regular practice for health check, we should feel under the ears, at the base for abcesses when we intake rabbits from the shelter... sure enough that was the case with your bun :(

Hope she's ok.
 

karenladd

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The crazy thing is that I have had probably over 30 rabbits over the years (when I did rabbit rescue) and I had never seen this happen before. The fact that they were on both sides, in the same spots threw me!
 

kirbyultra

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Yeah, it's weird, I woudln't have thought of it. She says it's a favorite place for abcesses, especially in lops!
 

karenladd

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AngelnSnuffy wrote:
I usually check ears, as I have a lop, for mites, etc. But now, I'll have to check for this, goodness.

Good catch! Glad she's doing well.:D:highfive:
Yes, I've had a lot of lops and this was the first time I saw this. Usually an abcess wouldn't appear on both sides of the body, in exactly the same spots!

I'm hoping the Baytril gets rid of this and that I don't have to move to another antibiotic as well.
 

AngelnSnuffy

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karenladd wrote:
I'm hoping the Baytril gets rid of this and that I don't have to move to another antibiotic as well.
Don't be too suprised if you do, actually, that would probably be a good thing as Randy says, Baytril is becoming the old school as far as antibiotics go. Zithromax is one of the new greats.;) I would not hesitate to ask my vet for it.
 

SnowyShiloh

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I'm glad you and your vet figured out what was going on with Nora! I will definitely remember to check for lumps under my lops' ears in the future. Please keep us updated on Nora as she recovers :) I still would like to see a picture of her because she sounds like a cutie.
 

tonyshuman

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I'll have to ask the vet at the annual checkup coming soon! It must be because those ears can hold moisture, bacteria, etc in, like a Basset Hound's wrinkles.
 

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