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Pimple/lump in rabbit ear? Please help!

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Alice Trancy

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Hey guys, long time no see.
How have you all been?
I don't wanna waste your time so I'll just get right into the problem
I live in a place where getting hay is impossible. Ordering it online from the US -where i don't live- can cost up to 500$ just for the freaking shipping
So, for years now, I have my dad get me fresh grass from around the area where there's nice tall grass.
My bunny loves it and has been healthy.
The last few times dad got me grass/hay, it had insects in it.
Tiny big amounts of ants, grass bugs and fleas.
I try so hard to clean it by washing it many times and drying it but they just don't freaking die!
I got so anxious that I actually had a break down but that's another story
I decided to check my baby to see if she's okay so I examined her fur for any signs of mites or something but it was all clean
I checked her ears and I'm really scared
One of her ears is slightly flakey, very lightly, however, she's a light colored bunny and her ears don't really have much fur on them so it's clear to see that there's nothing suspicious or weird.
The other ear, I found a little bump/lump type of thing. I thought it could've been a flea or an egg from how much I read online so I tried to pull it off or scratch it but it only turned red after a teeny tiny dot of blood came out. It felt exactly like when you tug on a skin tag or a irritate a pimple.

Are bunny ears prone to pimples? What is this thing? Should I get worried? I was gonna disinfect it but I realized my disinfection bottle has expired since October 2020 and I didn't make it worse so I just gently cleaned her ears with some warm water and let them be.

Please lemme know if you have any information on this!

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Mac189

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I wouldn't panic! I've seen ear pimples and blemishes similar to that before and they have never been an issue that required medical intervention. Keep an eye on it, but it should heal on its own. Cleaning it with warm water certainly won't hurt, but I personally would just leave it alone and let it heal on its own.
 

Alice Trancy

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I wouldn't panic! I've seen ear pimples and blemishes similar to that before and they have never been an issue that required medical intervention. Keep an eye on it, but it should heal on its own. Cleaning it with warm water certainly won't hurt, but I personally would just leave it alone and let it heal on its own.
Thank you for replying! I always worry so much about her. I love her so much and so whenever something strange to her happens I just get super anxious and scared. I will take her to the vet just to be sure but decided to ask here before I do cause it's late right now and I can't take her so hopefully tomorrow!
I always check her and this wasn't there before and that's why I'm worried but hearing that you've seen them before makes me feel a bit better that it's not something too uncommon!
 

JBun

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It's no big deal. Just check it once a day to make sure it's healing okay, but it should be just fine. Rabbits can get the odd little skin bump like from a small cyst, and it doesn't mean it's a problem. Often they just go away on their own.
 

Alice Trancy

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It's no big deal. Just check it once a day to make sure it's healing okay, but it should be just fine. Rabbits can get the odd little skin bump like from a small cyst, and it doesn't mean it's a problem. Often they just go away on their own.
Thank you so much for replying. I'm still really anxious.
I took her to the vet, he said it wasn't really a big deal and that she's clean after he checked her paws and all and gave her a little cream ointment thing and told me to sweep it on her ear twice a day for a week.

I'm still worried, however.
People keep telling me different things. And there's still really really really really small insects in my hay that I'm so scared of them getting into her system or her ear. On one hand, my friends tell me 'you do realize in the wild these animals are bound to live with mites and insects.' on the other I'm getting terrified of that idea after googling what mites do to rabbits.
I'm doing my absolute best to take care of her but I don't know how to give her 100% clean food.
I washed the hay so many times, I let it dry and and changed its place so many times but there's still insects/ants/bugs/tiny things in it. I don't even know what mites look like on hay and I don't know if her ear canals are clean.

I'm venting at this point so I'm sorry for the long response. Just really worried about my little baby.
 

Mac189

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This is my territory, I'm a bit of a nerd for such things, mostly because they used to terrify me also. I find no better answer to my fears than knowing everything about them. I tend to learn that much of my concern is unwarranted.

The odds of your rabbit getting mites from grass or hay is very, very low. Most bugs that you find in there are grass eating, or if they aren't they do not seek rabbits as their natural prey. All mites are evolved to prey on a certain species, therefore mites that infest humans can't infect rabbits and vice versa. The three kinds of mites that are most likely to be seen (there's always something weird that can surprise you, but the odds are good you'll never see it as a rabbit owner) are demodex mites, sarcoptic mites, and ear mites. Only two of the three are contagious, ear mites and sarcoptic mites. Demodex is the species of mites that naturally live on all healthy animals as part of the natural dermal fauna. They only become an issue in animals with very suppressed immune systems.

The other two, while common, can only be caught by the area being contaminated by the presence of an already infected rabbit, relatively recently, in the case of gathering grass for your rabbit. If the area you are collecting from has lots of rabbits living there, maybe try to gather grass from an area where wild rabbits are not.

If the worst-case scenario does occur, and your rabbit does get infected, you will go to a vet and get a prescription that fixes it. I can tell from your posts that you are an excellent pet owner and take good care to make sure your rabbit is healthy. I don't believe that you would ever let anything get bad before seeking treatment, and luckily, all three kinds of mites tend to respond well to prescribed treatment.
 

Alice Trancy

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This is my territory, I'm a bit of a nerd for such things, mostly because they used to terrify me also. I find no better answer to my fears than knowing everything about them. I tend to learn that much of my concern is unwarranted.

The odds of your rabbit getting mites from grass or hay is very, very low. Most bugs that you find in there are grass eating, or if they aren't they do not seek rabbits as their natural prey. All mites are evolved to prey on a certain species, therefore mites that infest humans can't infect rabbits and vice versa. The three kinds of mites that are most likely to be seen (there's always something weird that can surprise you, but the odds are good you'll never see it as a rabbit owner) are demodex mites, sarcoptic mites, and ear mites. Only two of the three are contagious, ear mites and sarcoptic mites. Demodex is the species of mites that naturally live on all healthy animals as part of the natural dermal fauna. They only become an issue in animals with very suppressed immune systems.

The other two, while common, can only be caught by the area being contaminated by the presence of an already infected rabbit, relatively recently, in the case of gathering grass for your rabbit. If the area you are collecting from has lots of rabbits living there, maybe try to gather grass from an area where wild rabbits are not.

If the worst-case scenario does occur, and your rabbit does get infected, you will go to a vet and get a prescription that fixes it. I can tell from your posts that you are an excellent pet owner and take good care to make sure your rabbit is healthy. I don't believe that you would ever let anything get bad before seeking treatment, and luckily, all three kinds of mites tend to respond well to prescribed treatment.
I am really grateful for your incredibly informative response.
There's absolutely no other rabbits or wild rabbits where I get my grass from, but there's other animals like stray cats and dogs but it's not often that they go in the grass, I'd hope.
I try not to stick to one place and after finding issues with the grass from this source twice, I'll change it and hopefully I won't find more bugs and ants in it.

You guessed it right. I very often ccheck my bunny. She lives in my bedroom with me free roam and I love her so much but.. I'm also scared.

Like the idea that my baby has mites or anything that she shouldn't have on her made me a bit scared of having her on my bed like we used to every night and that makes me feel so guilty and bad.

When I go close to her litter box I see those tiny tiny insects walking on the floor and it stresses me out that there's stuff like that in her food.

I've done this for almost 3 years, my bug incidents are only a few and I'm wishing that it's something I can fix soon.
Hearing that in worst case scenario I can still get it treated really makes me feel so much better. Thank you so much! You've been great help!
 

Mac189

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I get your concern, I really do. If there is ever an issue of just general outside bugs making a home in your area, dichotomous earth is a bunny safe, an all-natural insecticide that should put an end to that issue. I wouldn't like even the most innocuous insects roaming my bunnies' space.

I worked at a veterinary hospital for a year and I dragged all sorts of bugs and infections home, although none that actually got on my bunnies, I had concerns when I'd come home covered in blood, fleas, and all variety of infectious fluids that I'd bring something home. I found a flea on Foxwell once, a lone straggler that probably hitched a ride on my sock and cleaned the apartment within an inch of its life. On the bright side, working there showed me exactly how easily my paranoias were to handle.

It may also give you some peace of mind that if she ever were to get anything such as mites or fleas, you can't get them from her. You might get one bite, which isn't that bad at all, but they can never infect you. Fleas need fur and mites are extremely species-specific. A rabbit mite has ZERO interest in living on a human and frankly can't survive on us for very long at all. The same goes for her getting mites from dogs or cats. The biology is just not optimal for mites to switch host species, they stick to their own kind. Best of luck and I hope you are able to worry a little less about this one concern!
 

Alice Trancy

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UPDATE:

Today dad got me new hay/grass. I examined it generally but then took a portion out and examined it thoroughly.
I didn't find ants, I found a couple of fleas -tiny bugs with wings- and that was it, I didn't find much else.
I grabbed an old pillow case, stuffed the hay I was gonna feed my pet in it and gave it a rough beating to make sure that whatever was in it was hopefully dead.
Sorry, I'm not usually that aggressive but I'm at my wits ends.
So I cleaned everything up, cleaned her litterbox and her area and put in the new hay.
I took my bunny to the vet yesterday and he gave me some cream/ointment to put in her ears like I mentioned.
My concern was only the lump but now my concern is whether or not she may have mites.

She didn't seem to scratch or shake her head before at all, but now she does that to the point I'm noticing it and worrying about it. Could it be because of the cream I'm applying to her ear?
The vet didn't say it was for mites, it was only for the lump and the light flakiness which has now disappeared and I was told to use the treatment twice a day for a week. The pimple thing, I was able to scratch off today and now there's just the tiny dot of redness remaining from it, and the flakiness/dryness of her other ear is nonexistent to me.

Despite all that, I still found these bugs crawling on the outside of the litterbox which I just cleaned today, which means it's from the new hay and I'm losing my mind!!
As you can see, just like the ones before, they're far too small to notice, like if my litterbox's cover was not white, I probably wouldn't notice.

This is my update, please let me know if these bugs are something I should be worried about or not and whether or not her head-shaking and ear scratching behavior is normal due to me putting cream/ointment in her ears.

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Alice Trancy

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ADDITION:

Beside the head/cheek scratching and shaking and ear scratching and shaking, she also has one of her ears down more than I'd like to see. I mean, she's done this before too and I may be overthinking things but just thought I'd mention it.

I'm gonna try to patiently wait and see what happens after this week and after I stop using the cream. Hopefully it's just irritation from the thick cream/ointment and nothing else. SORRY FOR LONG RESPONSES
 

JBun

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Yes, she's probably shaking her head because of the cream you put on. I wouldn't use it anymore. I don't see a need. The only reason that would be needed to apply something is if it was an infected wound, which it isn't. So I would just leave it alone, check on it occasionally, and not worry about it.

It's highly unlikely your rabbit has mites. You aren't describing any symptoms that would make me think your rabbit has mites. Mites are so tiny you can't even really see them without a microscope. If you can see these bugs, they are very unlikely to be mites and aren't likely to be any sort of bug that would bother your rabbit.

If you don't like the bugs around, I would shake off what I could outside, then if that's not enough and you want to get an electric herb/vegetation dryer(one safe for drying plants that won't risk starting a fire), drying the grass under mild/moderate heat(under 150F) should kill off the bugs.
 

Mac189

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I wouldn't at all be surprised if she's just responding to the fact that the ointment feels weird. You are probably also noticing more grooming behavior you're looking for it. You just went to the vet and I imagine they did a very thorough exam for all kinds of mites and parasites given your concerns, so I highly doubt that there is anything to worry about as far as mites go. While I suppose mites are not uncommon in the grand scheme of things, I have had rabbits for 13 years and NEVER had a rabbit get mites or fleas. It is a problem that you will likely not confront as a house bunny owner unless you adopt a rabbit that already has the condition.

It helped me to learn to ID what every kind of bug you are dealing with looks like. Mites are tiny and can never be seen with the naked eye. Fleas are also very small, but, if this makes sense, bigger than you think if you've never seen one. They can be easily seen and pinched between two fingernails. Fleas are hard-shelled, black, and wingless, so it doesn't sound like what you've identified as fleas are actually fleas. While it's hard to tell from the picture, the bugs you are seeing look like aphids, which only eat plants and frankly do pretty much nothing else. They are actually kind of neat if you aren't a gardener who hates the damage they can do to plants.
 

Alice Trancy

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Update:
Hello guys, thank you for all the information you've supplied and sorry for dragging the thread!

As suggested, I decided not to use the cream today and just monitor her behavior. To do that, I grabbed her, gently cleaned her ears with cottons of warm water, very carefully to not let any water inside her ears or anything but.. I noticed something.

There was a very thin transparent flake at the inner base of one of her ears and both ears are lightly inflamed at the border of the ears, like it's slightly red and seems irritated. I'm not sure if this is her normal color due to her ears being very light and transparent with not much fur on it or it's an infection or bad reaction to the medicine I've been applying to her ears.

One of you mentioned that they're sure the vet did a thorough check for her ears but, unfortunately, that's not the case and that's the reason behind my panic and seeking info here.

Where I'm from, rabbits aren't really considered pets, there aren't rabbit savvy vets. All the vet did was look in her ears with his naked eyes and check her paws then gave me the cream and told me to apply it.

And this is the only veterinary clinic I trust for having been walked out of other clinics after being told they don't treat rabbits.

It's very frustrating but that's unfortunately one of my biggest struggles.
 

JBun

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That just looks like a bit of dead skin from a scab. Her ears likely look a little red possibly because of the cream, or because they are getting messed around with too much. Honestly her ears look perfectly fine. They just need to be left alone, including not wiping them out with even water. It's alright to take a quick look at them once a day, but that's all I would do.
 

Alice Trancy

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Yes I left them alone too, my guess is that she scratched them too much possibly from the cream because I checked older photos of when I took pics of the pimple at the beginning and they didn't look inflamed. She's not shaking her head as much today and I stopped bothering her. Hopefully they're gonna heal on their own now! Thank you so much and sorry for the trouble!
That just looks like a bit of dead skin from a scab. Her ears likely look a little red possibly because of the cream, or because they are getting messed around with too much. Honestly her ears look perfectly fine. They just need to be left alone, including not wiping them out with even water. It's alright to take a quick look at them once a day, but that's all I would do.
 

Alice Trancy

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Guys, I'm sorry, I can't stay silent while feeling this concerned.
My rabbit's ears are turning very crusty with flaky dry skin and she keeps shaking her head and scratching them until flakes come out of her ears. I don't know what's going on anymore. I visited the vet and made this thread for a completely different reason but now I can't help but worry about her. She's uncomfortable and so am I.

She scratches and grooms often. I don't know if I should resume the prescribed treatment or if it's what caused this.

At the time the vet said it was fungus and now I'm reading about it and it says it's contagious and all but the ringworm fungus I'm reading about has a circle and fur loss and I don't think she has that.

Here are some pictures. The dry skin doesn't appear well but you can still see some of it.

Is there anything I can do for her to help ease the dry skin and itchiness? Really losing my mind here. She was just fine I don't know what happened out of nowhere like this. IMG_20210117_191742.jpgIMG_20210117_191731.jpgIMG_20210117_192102.jpgIMG_20210117_190547.jpgIMG_20210117_191748.jpg
 

Alice Trancy

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It's worth mentioning the following.

- There's no bad smell in her ears.
- She's still her normal self, just bothered by scratching.
- I decided to clean her ears once more and with my fingers I felt sticky residue left from the cream that I tried to wipe off with some warm water and cloth.

I'm assuming the flakes are from her hind legs claws when she keeps scratching them. I'm hoping it's just a reaction for the left over of the cream that I couldn't fully get rid of and nothing else more serious. IMG_20210117_195916.jpgIMG_20210117_195855.jpgIMG_20210117_195907.jpg
 

Madelyn L.

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Would cool water on a cloth soothe it? keep doing her prescribed medicine, but when she has a scratching fit you could dab at her ears with some cool water? I don’t know if that will help, but since her ear is red and inflamed, some cool water might help reduce the inflammation
 
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