PLEASE HELP - Ear infection in bunny

Help Support RabbitsOnline:


New Member
Sep 11, 2021
Reaction score
My bunny Mimi just turned 5. She was diagnosed with a middle ear infection in her left ear and an outer ear infection in her right ear. I have been administering penicillin everyday for the past 3 months and she has not improved nor gotten worse, which I think is good. She has facial contraction on the left side of her face due to her ear infection and other than that she presents well. She has never been an active bunny but is always eating well, is happy, loves attention and will run if prompted.

this morning as I was doing her injection I noticed there was pus in her left ear canal and a little bit of discharge in her left eye. I am assuming her ear infection has ruptured and the earliest I can book her in for the vet is in 3 days time. Then late in the afternoon I went to check up on her and noticed her eye has become very pink and her nose is now very wet. It is just clear discharge under her nose. She also won’t let me touch her ear now to have a look. She is still acting the same and seems very well, has a good apetite and loves attention but does not look very well, especially her eye. There is not much more discharge but I just feel this is a rapid decline considering she has been fine for the past 3 months.

if anyone has experienced something similar could you please let me know what to do. Do you think she will be okay until her vet appointment or not really, that is my main concern. Are the eye and nose symptoms relevant to the ear infection rupture or could this be it’s own separate illness such as snuffles or respiratory/eye infection. Should I recommend a different course of action to my vet when I see her on Tuesday? Please could someone let me know if there is anything I should look out for until her appointment, other than the basic loss of appetite. I am only 16 and have to do everything under my parents approval so it is hard to do much. Feel free to share your story with your bunny’s battle with their ear infection. Thanks!


Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Sep 10, 2012
Reaction score
Utah, , USA
After so long on the penicillin with no improvement, you probably need to switch antibiotics. If the vet can do a culture and sensitivity test to find out the bacteria involved and what antibiotic would be most effective, that may be the best route to go. But if that isn't possible, I've had the best luck clearing up bacterial infections with Zithromax (azithromycin, 50mg/kg). You can also find accounts of other rabbit owners having success with it's use in clearing up head tilt caused by ear infections.

I like this antibiotic because it tends to work quickly and also has good bone and tissue penetration. Though be aware that in some rare instances, some rabbits can develop severe digestive upset with it's use. The most I've seen in my rabbits is some initial stomach cramping that subsides after a few hours.

Because your rabbit has already seen the vet for this ear infection in the past, you may be able to request picking up a new antibiotic now, prior to the appointment, so that your rabbits condition doesn't continue to worsen before the appointment, though of course that's dependent on if the new antibiotic is effective.

One thing you'll want to make sure your vet has checked, is if this is related to a dental infection, as sometimes ear infections or nasal infections can originate with a tooth infection that's spread.

Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment

A really long personal account of an owners rabbit with head tilt due to an inner ear infection, but very valuable info on how the treatment plan had to be adapted based on the progress the rabbit wasn't making, and also the importance of having a knowledgeable rabbit vet working with the owner.