Rabbit Infection in both ears -- HELP!!!! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Rabbit Infection in both ears -- HELP!!!!

Does anyone have experience with rabbit ear infections? If so I need your opinion. Please read my story below:


My 5 year old mini lop, Jellybean, has has some white mucus randomly out of his nose from time to time the last 5 months. I didn't think much of it because we just moved to a new state and I thought he was adjusting. He of course was eating normally, pooping normally and being active. I had a couple extra bucks this month so I figured I better get him checked out.


The vet did an exam and found white puss in the botom of both of his ears. The vet said that Jellybean has an "ear disease" and he will continue to produce this puss for the rest of his life.


He gave me 2 options:


1) Put Jellybean on pain meds and antibiotics for life. This will stop the production of more puss but will not remove the puss that is already inside the ear. The remaining puss will sit there and eventually errode through the bone and into his brain. He will be dizzy, off balance, nauseous and stop eating and eventually die.


2) Have a $1200 surgery in which they open the ear canal so the puss can drain out. After the surgery he will still have to be on antibiotics for life and I will also have to flush his ears regularly with saline.


Right now I am just giving him the pain meds and antibiotics to see how he responds to them. I asked about head tilt and the vet said that he probably wont get it because the infection is in both ears, not just one. But that he may start rolling and getting dizzy. I AM SO SAD!


Do these 2 options sounds right to you? Have anyone dealt with this disease? Can I pray that the antibiotics actually clear the puss out of the ear themselves or is that wishful thinking and impossible?


I don't want to make the wrong choice and I dont want my rabbit to die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Cheetara03; 05-16-2009 at 09:27 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 01:39 PM
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Hello.

How rabbit savy is your vet? Would you be willing to get a second opinion?

I only ask because I heard of someone who's vet recommended a similar surgery. They took their rabbit to another vet who just put him on antibiodics for awhile and the problem was completly resolved, without surgery. Also, rabbits with head tilts from ear infections often get better with only antibiodics and meds to control the dizzyness - they don't require surgery. I would see if the vet can culture the pus to see what antibiodics will work best. Rabbits with infections in both ears can still develope tilts as well. I heard that the side that's tilted towards the floor is the side that the infection is worse in.

Good luck with Jellybean! I would really try to get a second opinion if he where my rabbit. Did the 'ear disease' the vet mentioned have a name? It may be just an ear infection, they are relatively common and usually clear up with the right antibiodics.


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Last edited by Dragonrain; 05-16-2009 at 01:41 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 02:41 PM
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Like what Michelle said, a second opinion would be best, I think. Does your vet normally deal with exotics and rabbits? In the future it would also probably be best to get it checked out right when you notice so that maybe they can fix it right away and it wont get worse. Bunnies are so delicate in some ways and even 24 hours can mean life or death (not that thats what your situation was) but good luck with your little jellybean and keep us updated.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 08:28 PM
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I would tend to agree with Dragonrain.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:37 PM
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I also think another opinion is a good idea. The first "rabbit savvy" vet I took Tabby to was not what I would call rabbit savvy. I didn't know about buns at the time and didn't realize at first that he was not good. I took her there twice I think. After that I found Radnor Vet and realized what a good bunner vet really is.
Check out house rabbit site to see a list of rabbit savvy vets in your area.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jellybean.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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oh my goodness..poor bunny sounds like its pasturella....especially if theres discharge from the nose too. sadly infection from the nsoe can then migrate to the ears and even eyes. Pasturella is the disease also reffered to as the "snuffles" its a nasty persistant cold and chest infection which never really goes and in time kills the bunny as it flares up in times of stress or pain.
You must get the vet to take a culture swab of the pus to indicate which infection it is..pasturella sounds the problem as bunny has nasal discharge too but it can also be other bacterial infections.
Depending on whether or not its the inner or middle ear can make a differcence too.
has your bunny shown any odd behaviour like kinda holding its head to one side at all?
the treatments involve long courses of antibiotics drainage of the pus or rather surgery to remove as much pus and debris as possible then have antibiotics which depend on the swab and culture to see which nfection it is and which antibiotic is suitable to help control it.
An xray will determine how far into the inner ear it has gone and any bone afected too.
my first bun had it terirble andi was told its common for lops..i didnt argue..vets know best right. she never got anyhting aaprt form ear drops yellow ones.
my french lop doe who i lost last year..at about 6 months of age developed a lsight head tilt and i thought omg its e cuniculi...but it cleared up with antibiotics...i wasnt aware of any testing to be done as it had gone and never came back..so it oculdnt have been very deep.
BUT if pasturella is involved im afraid you must seek vets attention and demand to have the tests done.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in.../bc/171317.htm

check the ear infection section of this article
http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/tilt.html

this is an article you should keep a copy of!
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurolo...erna_media.PDF

ring your vet and discuss it further!
i wish you the best of luck for your bunny.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 02:44 AM
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I think you need a second opinion.

an animal cannot be on antibiotics its whole life the bacteria will become immune to them and they will do absolutely nothing.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well I checked the house rabbit website and my vet was listed on there: http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets_scarolina.html

Also, I did pick my NJ vets brain about the situation and she said I had basically the same options. She also said that we have to see how Jellybean reacts to the antibiotics.

The vet is doing bloodwork and took a culture of the puss within the ears. I will keep you all posted on the findings.

Jellybean hasn't been acting funny AT ALL. Thats why I thought nothing was wrong. But now that I do know about the ears. Little things are making sense to me. Like I always felt like he couldnt hear that good. I would have to yell his name and he would sometimes get startled when I would walk ovet to him cause he didnt hear me. He also scratches his ears from time to time and shakes them. I just thought that was normal. GUESS NOT.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on what the vet says. Im hoping he reacts well to the meds.

Is this a death sentence? How long can a rabbit live before the puss travels through the bone and into the brain?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 11:22 AM
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Hmm, well I guess that's something that you'd have to talk to the vet about. Everytime the shelter I was at delt with an ear infection they gave antibiodics, and the rabbit was fine after that. Even rabbits with extreme head tilt and infections that they had probably delt with for months still cleared up with antibiodics.

Please do keep us updated and let us know what the culture result comes back as. Do you know what part of his ear the infection is in?

Still be careful with vets listed on the house rabbit society site. I believe that anyone can write in and suggest a vet to be added to the list. I had bad experiences with a vet listed on their site before.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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well done getting the vet to listen and do the tests.
fingers crossed for good resuls from the antibiotics xx

the depth of the infection determines part of the prognosis as does the resistance of the infction to antibiotics themselves.

as has been quite rightly said with the right treatment a good chance of recovery is indicated...but you must be aware that everything comes down to the relationship with the vet and how good they are.

lops sadly are harder of hearing than uppy eared buns..but mine will tell you you they can hear the rustle of the packet of cilantro and mint form the fridge form outside in the garden

good luck with this..its actually more comon than people think.
ooh forgot to ask..what about the discharge form the nose...a dental infection can also cause this and it can travel from there to the ears..or have i already said that
sorry bit dithery..lost our little special needs bun last week...and faced with aftermath of that.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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So we got the lab tests back today. There were a couple things of concern. Jellybeans monocytes were high, he had a strong Pasturella Titre and the culture of the puss in the ears showed a light growth of Floucomonus. (please forgive my spelling!)


The vet is still strongly recommending antibioltics for life and the surgery to clear the ears because eventhough the antibiotics will work against these bacterias, the puss will not clear up on its own.


What do these results mean to you guys? Any experience with this?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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I just read this: http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/past.shtml



"With a worsening infection, the clear discharge becomes pus-filled. The infection may spread into the lungs and around the heart, leaving abscesses. Rabbits can also develop conjunctivitis, an eye infection, and blocked tear ducts. The Pasteurella bacteria may travel into the ear via the eustachian tube (what you pop open in an airplane). A middle ear infection is irritating; an inner ear infection is frightening because the balance (vestibular) organ is affected. Rabbits with deep ear infections will tilt their head or roll because their brain thinks the world is spinning due to signals from the infected vestibular organ. Anyone who has ever nursed a bunny through vertigo deserves a medal, and the bunny is entitled to extra treats. Abscesses caused by Pasteurella are all too frequent, and can appear anywhere on the body, although tooth root abscesses are common. The pus in an abscess is composed of dying bacteria and white blood cells (neutrophils) that are fighting the infection. Pasteurella abscesses often contain a dense, cheese-like pus that will not drain but requires surgery to scrape it out. Even after surgery, the infection frequently recurs."


What can I do to prevent this!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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We are going back to the vet this Friday. I hope there is some improvement but I haven't seen any. I feel like he is losing weight and grooming himself less. We'll see what they say, maybe we can change the medications.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 08:59 AM
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My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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