I get heaps of calls from people asking advice on how to deal with health problems their rabbit may be experiencing and I try to help as much as I can and give them advice. So, why not put it on my blog as well eh? Have you ever seen your pet bunny shake its head or lose its appetite for no apparent reason? Well, this blog entry today is for you and your bunny !
Most rabbit vets will tell you to use or prescribe ivermectin, which is an oral or inject-able antibiotic. The problem with this is it will often cause other problems in your rabbit, just like antibiotics do in humans by killing all the good bacteria. I do not recommend such treatment. This is just my opinion!
Please check the ears of your bunny carefully and especially the inside ear, try and get a good look at the inner ear as much as you can at the first signs of problems. It may just look like a bit of loose skin or a scab or something like that, but when you leave it and think nothing of it, the problems will grow exponentially. What your bunny is probably suffering from is so called ear mites, they can be transmitted by other bunnies if you have wild rabbits around or they can even be in the hay or straw you give to your pet bunny.
The first sign is a crusty like appearance in the inner ear… do not remove the crust that appears in your rabbit’s ear. This will leave open, bloody skin that will easily become infected. This just puts the rabbit through unnecessary pain. The crusts will generally just fall off on their own when your rabbit shakes his head.
So , how do you treat this ? Well, easy is not really the word I’d use, but it can be done : you can make some treatments yourself and heal your bunny naturally.
Honey- is an great treatment for ear mite infections. Put three teaspoons of honey in a bowl and add 3 ounces of warm water. Mix the together until the honey is dissolved into the water. You will need a bulb syringe, to put the mixture in the rabbits ear. Squeeze the honey/water solution into the bulb syringe and then release it into the rabbit’s ear. Make sure the solution covers the entire inside of the ear, holding the ear upright so the inner ear gets completely coated with honey. Repeat with the other ear, making sure the whole of the inner ear is coated.
Corn Oil/Sunflower Oil- Using a few drops of corn oil makes a decent home remedy for ear mites. The oil serves three different purposes, as it soothes skin, smothers the ear mites, and speeds the healing process. Mineral Oil- You may temporarily combat ear mites by soaking a cotton ball with mineral oil and swabbing the inside of your rabbits ears. This is a good base to add essential oils and other healing herbs to make a natural mite treatment. I use tea tree oil, which is anti bacterial.
Almond or Olive Oil- A mixture comprised of +/- 14ml/ 1/2 ounce of almond (or olive) oil combined with 400 IU of vitamin E should be mixed and placed in a dropper bottle. The contents should be warmed to room temperature. Remember it is natural to see your rabbit shake their head during treatment.
Yellow Dock Root Extract- A convenient ear mite remedy to make at home may include Yellow Dock root extract, where nine drops of the extract are diluted with one tablespoon of water. Fill half of a dropper with the mixture and place in the ears. It is important to continue this treatment for many weeks (every other day) because ear mite eggs are rather resistant to home treatments, but once they hatch – a continuous treatment will prevent new hatchlings from reproducing until no more eggs exist. Using any of the oils or homemade oil mixes begin treatment on day one by placing 2-3 drops in both ears and gently massage the base of the ears. You may also use a cotton ball to coat the inside of the ear.
On days 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 repeat same treatment as day one. Treat again on days 14, 21 and 28.
With this treatment, your mite infestation should be gone. Ear mite eggs live for 28 days so by following this treatment plan you will break the life cycle of the mites.
White Vinegar- Some veterinarians suggest the use of white vinegar for treating ear mites because the acidity helps remove dirt and debris, which also helps to revitalize a healthy equilibrium within the ears. Using a small amount of diluted vinegar is suggested, which is made when combining one part vinegar and two parts of water together. Gently drip the remedy mix into the ears, making sure to thoroughly massage the solution.
It is important to note that this remedy is not good to use on rabbits that have sores or intense irritation inside the ears or an uncomfortable stinging is the result. Use a mix of apple cider vinegar in olive oil. Then, with a dropper, drop 6 or 7 drops in each ears, holding the ear flap closed for a few minutes after each treatment to keep rabbit from shaking the oil all over you. A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in the water bottle is also supposed to act as a repellent and general tonic. Handy stuff for any rabbit medicine cabinet.
Prevention is the most important item in any health program when raising rabbits. I make a mix of mineral oil with a few drops of apple cider vinegar, 5 or 6 drops of camphor oil and rosemary oil you can add tea tree oil and others if you want. I use a few drops in each ear as a preventive when I trim the rabbits nails, a few drops of mineral oil placed into each ear weekly can help to prevent new rabbit ear mite infestations from establishing inside of the ears.
Try to keep dirt and dust at a minimum. Do not use straw as straw is a natural harbourer of mites.
Sanitize your hutches with a mild bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. This will not hurt your rabbit’s feet, but I still recommend removing the rabbit from their cage when you spray on the solution let air dry.
If your hutch has wooden legs, consider coating them in paint, or oil. Well, I hope this little bit of bunny care will help some of you bunny owners out there. Go check those ears ! and Rabbit on !!!
On the spinning and dyeing front it is super busy here at the fibre farm! Lots of custom orders are being spun up and dyed, there is a Harry Potter Read a long going on together with the Outlander read a long on the Bristlecone Ravelry group and I have just submitted my Chamber of Secrets fiberlicious and more offer there last night. It is super super SUPER busy !
Have fun creating !
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!
Luxury Bunny 3 ply Yarn
Suggested needle size 3.25-3.75mm.
Lambswool 30%, Angora 50%, Mink 5% and Cashmere 15%
See under each colourway what the special deal is for this week only!
approximately 110 meters per 50gram skein, spun +/- as an 8 ply
IxCHeL GIFT VOUCHERS !
AU$25 Personalised giftvoucher Pack
AU$50 Personalised giftvoucher Pack
AU$100 Personalised giftvoucher Pack
How To Order:
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.
I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.