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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My poor little buck that had been living in the garden has a nasty case of ear mite/canker. We recently put him back in a cage because we have been having predator problems. I noticed that he was holding his ear at an angle today and when I took a close look I felt so rotten for not having noticed it sooner.
What have any of you done to heal up your rabbits ears when they had this condition??
Info from the net says to use Selamectin or Ivermectin. I prefer not to use chemicals, etc. if I at all possible. If you have any suggestions for treatment (and prevention!) using natural means I would be grateful for any help. Med suggestions are welcome too. I just want to make him feel better.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Yep, mineral oil or VetRx for at least a week. We had one stubborn bun that needed it for another week when I discovered the mites had come back. VetRx knocked them out - but 4-5 days is enough for that, as it can start to irritate the bun's skin. Only ever had the one with ear mites, but it was hard to clear up!

Jessie
 

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Yes, mineral oil, olive oil, any vegetable oil will work. I use a little more than a drop of two - maybe 5-6 drops - so it really coats the inside of the ear when the rabbit shakes his head. If you warm it to body temperature it will be more comfortable for the rabbit and spread more easily. Since this is such a harmless treatment, repeat as needed and if mites are a big problem in your area, you might want to treat with the oil at regular intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions!
The poor thing already has quite a bit of crust built up in the ear so it is going to be a painful thing for him. I'll be back with more questions if I don't see any improvement within a few days.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Once the crust gets oil-soaked, it will soften and the bun will shake it loose. You usually don't have to remove it yourself.
 

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If you change your mind about chemicals, you can order an ear mite product from Jeffers.com. It is called Bio-Groom ear mite treatment and is for use in rabbits. Just one treatment will get rid of mites almost magically over night. I've treated friends rabbits that were just beyond crusty mess and they said the crust were gone over night and the rabbit was completely healed in just a few days. I check all my breeding rabbits when I move them from cage to cage, and if I see anything in the ear canal, I just put in a few drops. No further treatment needed.
 

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Add a drop of Campho-Phenique with the olive oil. It will help kill the bugs, heal and soothe the discomfort. Also, make sure to rub the ear a little while/after putting the oil in so it doesn't all fly out when the rabbit shakes his head! ;)
 

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I prefer to use ivermectin, often if you don't treat long enough with the oil the mites come back, so make certain you continue to treat after it appears to be better. Don't clean out the crusts, it'll hurt him, just oil them up good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you change your mind about chemicals, you can order an ear mite product from Jeffers.com. It is called Bio-Groom ear mite treatment and is for use in rabbits. Just one treatment will get rid of mites almost magically over night. I've treated friends rabbits that were just beyond crusty mess and they said the crust were gone over night and the rabbit was completely healed in just a few days. I check all my breeding rabbits when I move them from cage to cage, and if I see anything in the ear canal, I just put in a few drops. No further treatment needed.
Thanks for mentioning this product! It looks like Petco might also carry it.

I have a product that we keep on hand all the time called Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent that contains Lemongrass oil, Citronella oil, Rosemary oil, Grape seed oil and Vitamin E. Since most of the above posts recommended various types of oil I thought I would give this stuff a try first.
If Sapphire is not considerably better by Monday I will go into town and see if Petco carries the Bio-Groom.
All of my rabbits are in wire cages and I have been making sure that I give him food and hay last, so I hope it won't spread. He was so happy :sing: when he was living in the garden! I hate that he wound up with these mites. Ah well, we live and learn.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Jeanette, the "oils" we were referring to are not the same as the "essential oils" in products like the Burt's Bees Insect Repellent. Essential oils are very strong and I don't know if they are suitable for rabbits. We were talking about plain mineral oil or vegetable oils like olive, canola, sunflower, corn... not the same thing. Essential oils are distilled from plants, preserving their "essence" in a strongly concentrated form. They are wonderful when used correctly, but I know you have to be careful with them for use on cats... not sure about rabbits.
 

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Rabbits are self-groomers like cats, so more care does need to be exercised with use of essential oils around them. The citronella oil would not be good for the rabbit to ingest. I have always found that using one oil at a time on animals is safer. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bummer about the essential oils! The only thing on the 'net that I could find said that rabbits cannot metabolize most essentials oils so I guess I will give up on that idea. I was hoping for the medicinal effect of the plants oils.
No matter; I have plenty of Olive oil and coconut oil that I can use. Thanks for all your help!

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Our buck had ear mites last summer, and mineral oil really did the trick. The first time we just dumped some in his ear, which was a bit of a disaster-- we dumped in way too much and the poor bun looked like a drowned rat for weeks. The second time, we got wise and used a small spray bottle (like you'd get in the makeup section for a travel bag), and it was much easier.

Do re-treat after a week or so; apparently the first treatment only kills the living mites, not the eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our buck had ear mites last summer, and mineral oil really did the trick. The first time we just dumped some in his ear, which was a bit of a disaster-- we dumped in way too much and the poor bun looked like a drowned rat for weeks. The second time, we got wise and used a small spray bottle (like you'd get in the makeup section for a travel bag), and it was much easier.

Do re-treat after a week or so; apparently the first treatment only kills the living mites, not the eggs.
Using a spray bottle to treat his ear was a wonderful idea!! :bow:
I wound up having to treat him without a second pair of hands and using a spray bottle made that possible. It also made it so much easier to get coverage exactly where I need it and not all over me and the rabbit.
I set the bottle in some warm water for a few minutes just to make sure that it would come through the nozzle easier and I figured that warm oil would feel better than cool/cold oil. He is much better BTW and he is starting to hold his ear in a more normal position again.
Also the tip about letting the oil do the work of removing the crud was good too. I was really dreading having to loosen the dried matter in his ear.
Thanks all for your help!

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Glad he's doing better. Ear mites are pesky things, but not hard to treat once you know how. Don't forget follow-up treatments for a bit, just to be certain they are all gone.
 

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I've used baby oil (mineral) and vegetable oil successfully to treat ear mites. I used a squirt bottle usually sold for putting mustard or ketchup into for picnic tables.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
 

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My poor little buck that had been living in the garden has a nasty case of ear mite/canker. We recently put him back in a cage because we have been having predator problems. I noticed that he was holding his ear at an angle today and when I took a close look I felt so rotten for not having noticed it sooner.
What have any of you done to heal up your rabbits ears when they had this condition??
Info from the net says to use Selamectin or Ivermectin. I prefer not to use chemicals, etc. if I at all possible. If you have any suggestions for treatment (and prevention!) using natural means I would be grateful for any help. Med suggestions are welcome too. I just want to make him feel better.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

Always Learning!
Thank you so much, , I have never had a problem with mites .this is a first time for me, I have been raising rabbits for many years......I keep them clean, but I do bring in bales of hay and grass for them. Just where and how do they come in? We go green as much as we can ..... appreciate all the help/ Chemical free as much as possible.
 
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