Abstract / Description of output
Background: Ear disease is a common presenting condition in pet rabbits in veterinary practice and can involve any or all parts of the ear – the external ear canal, the middle ear and the inner ear. Our knowledge of ear disease in this species has advanced significantly over the past 10 years, with recent and relevant publications reported in the literature. A higher incidence occurs in lop-eared rabbits, thought to be due to their pinna anatomy (Johnson and Burn 2019). Aim of the article: This article reviews rabbit ear disease, focusing on clinical signs, diagnostics and treatment in pet rabbits. Clinical signs may vary depending on the severity, chronicity and anatomical location and range, from ear scratching and head shaking with otitis externa, to facial muscle contracture and neurological deficits with otitis media. The diagnosis of ear disease is also covered in this article, which is based on clinical signs and clinical examination findings, along with diagnostic imaging, ear cytology and culture. Treatment options for rabbits with ear disease are outlined as well; these vary depending on the clinical signs, disease location and severity. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of ear disease in pet rabbits is essential to avoid progression of disease and clinical signs. This article is a useful overview for all veterinary staff treating pet rabbits in veterinary practice.