Having pets at home carries a great responsibility. One of those favorite companions in many homes are rabbits, and they require special care and attention because they are very sensitive and delicate.
Due to the fragility of these animals, you may at some point observe your rabbit with a drooping ear, or both, and that causes you concern . This manifestation may be presenting itself due to some type of pain, itching or discomfort, which in turn may be related to various causes; With a little attention, you can probably spot them yourself before heading to the vet.
It is important to consider that, like all species, bunnies need to satisfy needs such as running, playing, biting, jumping and sniffing. Consequently, it is important that they allow them to have fun and not leave them locked in their cages. This will prevent any atrophy, or even them to become depressed and ill.
We tell you more about the possible causes and symptoms that your rabbit can present with a drooping ear.
Reasons why a rabbit has a droopy ear
The fact that rabbits have a drooping ear may be due to an incorrect manoeuvre or treatment by their owners, or to a blow that the animal has been given. This may have caused some type of injury or pain in the area.
However, it can also be due to pathologies of special care.
One of them is otitis. This is a type of infection in the auditory area, and it is the main cause of rabbits having one or both ears drooping. This animal species has wide auditory canals, and therefore is very prone to infections.
Now, there are, in turn, different causes of otitis in rabbits . The most common are described below:
- Mites: They are a type of arthropods that are normally found in the fabrics and fabrics of clothing, bed, carpets, pillows, among other places in the house. They live in dust and are not easy to see with the naked eye. The most common in rabbits is called Psoroptes Cuniculis, which infects the inside of their ears and causes a brown discharge that later produces a scab. Mites can cause you to see your rabbit with a drooping ear, with discomfort, scratching and wounding himself. The ideal to treat it is to use parasiticides such as ivermectin or selamectin, which, in the same way, are used for scabies.
- Bacteria: They can get into the ear canal, and then they can affect the nose and pharynx. Bacteria can also originate in one of these two areas and subsequently migrate to the ears. It is important to treat this issue very carefully, because bacteria not treated in time can be chronic for your rabbit.
- Foreign bodies: If you see your rabbit with a drooping ear, it may have entered a foreign object, such as a spike, a feather or something else that could be causing inflammation or infection. It is important to check the ear and remove this foreign body, if it is found, so that the discomfort stops and you stop feeling pain or discomfort. If the infection from the object is already in an advanced stage, it is best to go to the vet.
- Fungi: Your rabbit is more likely to be affected by fungi if there is a change in the environment, such as high levels of humidity or a very high temperature. To avoid the appearance of fungi, it is important to keep the ears very dry and that the earwax that grows in them does not accumulate.
- Allergies: It is also possible that you observe your rabbit with a drooping ear due to an allergy to some type of food, medicine or even to environmental changes. When this happens, your immune system may show the condition through a drooping ear or in some other part of the body.
On the other hand, another cause that causes the drooping ear of your rabbit is the virus that produces Shope’s sarcoma, and facilitates the appearance of one or more nodules under the skin. They usually form, first, in the ears, or in other sensitive areas of the body.
Lastly, there is ringworm, also known as dermatomycosis. This disease is caused by the fungus Trichophyton mentagrophytes, which usually causes skin lesions such as redness. By attacking the rabbit’s hair, it can cause weakness and bald spots in certain places on the body, such as the ears. The treatment indicated for this condition are antifungals.
Symptoms that could be worrisome
Your rabbit will give you signs that it presents some kind of discomfort or pain, so you can check it yourself, detect if it has any disease and take it to the vet so as not to run any type of risk.
In addition to observing your rabbit with a drooping ear, other symptoms may appear such as:
- Trembling ears
- Walk in circles
- Scratches constantly
- Loss of balance
- Discharge from the ear canal
- Inflammation of the ear
- Shake your head a lot
- Head tilted (possible eardrum injury)
- Lack of appetite
If you observe any of these symptoms, or you see that your rabbit does not behave with the same energy as always, and also has one or both of its floppy ears, you should pay attention to the different causes that can cause this discomfort. In this way, you can avoid future complications. In addition, it is important that you know how to groom and keep their ears clean, and under what circumstances it is necessary to go to the vet.