The rabbit is a very affectionate creature, requiring special attention and care. Therefore, every day you need to pay attention to its appearance.
Very often, the animal drops one ear and the reasons for this can be the following factors:
• Hot air temperature. The cartilaginous system of the ears is not sufficiently developed, so the ear can drop from a high temperature.
• Subcutaneous mites and lice. Such parasites can lead to the development of otitis. Therefore, at the first sign of their appearance, an urgent need to seek help from a veterinarian.
• Mechanical damage. A rabbit could accidentally break his ear. In no case can not carry the animal by the ears, so as not to break the ear cartilage.
• Special breed. There is a special breed of rabbits, which by nature have hanging ears. For example, rabbits of the lop-eared dwarf ram, French ram or German ram.
In many cases, a saggy ear can be the result of improper feeding. It is advisable to feed the rabbit with natural products, rather than commercial feed. Grass and various root vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and many others are what your pet needs.
Why the rabbit fell ear: veterinary advice
The rabbit is quite a cute animal, but before buying it you should think carefully about your decision, as it requires special care. This includes: regular feeding, compliance with the water regime and, of course, keeping it clean.
In addition, like every animal, the rabbit needs care and affection directed to him. Rabbits cannot even be left unattended for several days. The most important aspect of keeping an animal is control over its health. Regularly need to pay attention to appetite, motor activity and check the integrity of the skin for wounds, inflammatory damage or foreign objects. A healthy rabbit has a smooth, shiny, even and one-sided fur. In addition, the rabbit needs a lot of space to feel comfortable. Also, this cute animal is very fastidious about food and requires only fresh, unspoiled food.
The problem of falling ear is quite common, but not all owners pay attention and try to correct the situation themselves. In fact, nothing wrong with that.
You can bring a few cases of life. My friend had that at the age of three months the ear of a rabbit fell. This happens against the background of complete well-being: the absence of external signs of any anomaly or inflammation, besides appetite and physical activity is not disturbed. First, you should carefully examine the ear for injuries or the presence of foreign bodies.
Still, preference should be given to natural products such as hay, grass, carrots, cabbage, root vegetables, grains, branches and apples, and dill and parsley can be made from greens. Water should be plain clean water.
However, in the absence of such a reason, this situation may arise in the case of hot ambient conditions, since the ear is considered the organ that responds first to an increase in temperature. Due to the fact that the cartilaginous system is not yet developed at this age, so it begins to fall. Another option may be the presence of sheep in the pedigree, because this breed has hanging ears. Ear ptosis may also be due to the presence of subcutaneous mites or lice. Also, maybe the rabbit just wanted to get through the not quite wide passage and twisted his ear. To solve this problem, you can use special tools for removing parasites and feed them with vitamins.
In veterinary clinics it is sometimes advised to apply a piece of foam rubber or some other material to create a structure, such as a tire. The duration of such treatment should be about a month. Adhering to this recommendation, the eye should rise after a specified period of time. The problem may be the selection of material instead of foam, as it does not always hold the weight of the ear. Some advise to glue the fallen ear to the second one, which is worth it. You can also drink a course of the drug, which strengthens the cartilage system and contributes to its more rapid development.
In general, veterinarians advise not to feed the rabbits with store feeds, even though they are written that the food is balanced and designed specifically for rabbits.
This can be done using a patch in this way: one end of the patch is attached to the head, and the second to the opposite side, more precisely the scapula. The plaster must be chosen so that it can stick to the wool, but not very tightly, so that later it can be easily removed without damaging the coat.
Specialized food should not be fed, as it consists of food components of unnatural origin and unknown additives. Serious medications are not recommended, as this condition is not a disease. In addition to all this, it is necessary to find out if someone raised the rabbit by the ears, and as a result, cartilage, blood vessels or nerve endings could be damaged and the ear hung in the rabbit. In this case, if the age of the rabbit is small, a maximum of 2-3 months, then the probability of restoring standing is quite high. However, if the age is older, such damage to the internal structures is considered trauma and the treatment should be carried out using a splint and specific treatment.
In addition to all of the above reasons, another breed of rabbit can be another probability, which in principle does not know how to hold ears and do not need to worry about their falling. This is due to the fact that at a small age, while the ears are small, they have a standing position, and over time, due to the growth of muscle and connective tissue, the length of the ear grows, so it falls under weight.
From the popular ways of solving this problem are the following. Some people, when faced with a falling ear, fixed it on the back for up to a day.
It doesn't matter what breed or color the rabbit is. The most important thing is that this is a favorite animal, which, like every family member, needs care and attention from others. Moreover, pets are so helpless and if a person is tamed, he should take care.
Variants of the genetically fixed sign of lop-earedness
You will not believe, but rabbits with hanging ears are the result of artificially fixed deformity. For example, which anomalies (deformities) of an animal are allowed in rabbit breeding:
- decorative breeding - fold, dwarfism,
- productive breeding - Rex, albino.
Ugliness gives the mimishness of decorative or fur value to productive rabbits
A photo. Sometimes the ears of rabbits fall. This is a cosmetic defect.
Loftedness can be explicit (dominant) or masked (recessive)
For more information about the sign of obvisloi ears, see rabbit ram. Find out which parent breeds were involved in the breeding of lounginess, which breeds belong to the breed group of lop-eared rabbits.
Some patterns of drooping ears
- The loftedness in the form of the main (dominant) genotype gives long-term stability of the trait in the purebred breeding of such rabbits.
- The lop-earedness in the form of a secondary (recessive) genotype is the result of an abnormal blood rush during hybrid crossing.
The appearance of hybrid rabbits with a specific ear setting can be the result of mating of rabbits with a hidden or obvious sign of loupe.
For the first time, a lop-vision gene was revealed when rabbits were crossed from one litter
Random deformity (falling ears) is fixed in the genotype and phenotype of the first breed of lop-eared rabbits. Further, the cute ugliness became specially (new breeds) or randomly (hybrids) to replicate.
As a result, the world knows the variants of anomalies of rabbit ears:
- Full overhang of both ears
- A complete fall in only the right or left ear,
- Dangling of the tips of the ears on one or both ears,
- Half-fold lop-earedness on one or two sides
- Horizontal (helicopter) single- or double-sided ears.
A photo. Albinos in which the falling tips of the ears are associated with genetic factors
Please note that these options are not necessarily enshrined in the breed. Genetic damage can “float”, most often as follows:
- The loosened loosening gene can appear, as expected, in one to three months, and then disappear permanently or temporarily.
- Rabbits from 4-12 weeks of life acquire a standing ear shape, and then in adulthood, the ears fall forever or periodically.
- Lingering can occur periodically (permanently) depending on the characteristics of the gene, the season of the year, the type of feeding, the physiological state of the animal, etc.
When do rabbits have lop-earedness?
Rabbits of lop-eared breeds, at birth, always have upright erect ears, which descend only some time after birth. Genetically determined lopiness appears only a month after birth.
Normally, in rabbit lop-eared breeds, the ears take on a characteristic appearance from the fourth to the twelfth week of life.
A photo. Breed rabbits with horizontal falling ears look cute enough
Acquired defects of the falling ear in rabbits
In traditional and purebred rabbits, the ears are erect. More precisely, they move freely in the vertical and horizontal planes. Ears are always elastic, do not fold in half when moving. If folded, then immediately returned to the original form. Stiffness is given by dense, elastic connective tissue - cartilage, and the muscles of the head - the ability to orient the ear in the right direction. In some cases, the ears suddenly fall. Consider the possible options for the reasons because of what falls ear in a rabbit.
Unilateral falling ear - a discussed marker of the absence of genetic load in the anomaly
Seven reasons why rabbits have ears fall
The vertical setting of the ear is physiologically optimal for the rabbit. It provides increased hearing acuity with a small visibility of the animal, the efficiency of regulation of heat transfer.
If a rabbit has one ear or both, this is probably one of seven reasons:
- Accidental injuries of rabbit cartilage (creases, fractures).
- Cartilage injuries inflicted on rabbit by caring personnel (birking, fixing)
- Damage to the muscular system of the ear (rupture, contusion, muscle inflammation).
- Violation of the innervation of the ear muscles (paresis, paralysis).
- Violation of the vitamin-mineral metabolism of cartilage (moulting, growth disorders, abnormalities).
- Inflammatory diseases of the ears (otitis).
- Climatic factor (heat or frost).
A photo. Sometimes rabbits that have a hidden gene of falling ears look like a normal breed.
Accidental cartilage injury of the ear
Rabbits are shy and mobile animals. When crabs are kept in cramped cages, large rabbit ears can get accidental injuries. The reason for the fall of the ears are kinks (bending) fractures of the cartilage. Defects are treated only for ornamental and dwarf species. The little rabbit is prescribed a massage, a stimulating growth of cartilage tissue, an injection of chondroitin sulfate preparations, and an ear support band is installed. It is proved that the cosmetic defect does not affect the rate of fattening.
Injuries to the ear cartilage caused by the staff
The most common injuries of the ears, leading to the fact that the ear becomes a cosmetic defect:
- Holding the rabbit upright only by the ears or tightly grasping the ear with horizontal fixation,
- Incorrect piercing of the cartilage during the attachment of ear tags to tribal krol,
- Treatment of ears with caustic drugs in the treatment of psoroptosis. Irritation of tender ears with burning medicines causes reflex shaking of the head. With prolonged shaking of the head, the ears permanently lose the strength of the cartilage tissue and fall.
Damage to the muscles fixing the ears vertically
The two groups of ear muscles are called abductors (diverting) and adductors (leading). Complete or partial rupture of the ear muscles is possible in small rabbits, even without mechanical dissection of their fibers. Manifested by severe pain and subcutaneous hemorrhage. Injuries (contusions) of the head muscles are manifested by edema of the subcutaneous tissue and pain. Breaks and contusions of the muscles are always combined with unnatural lowering of the ears. Inflammation of the ear muscles, manifested by an increase in local temperature on the injured side of the head. All damage to the muscles of the head ears in rabbits always fall on one, less often two sides.
Inflammation of the ears (otitis)
In this case, not inflammation of the muscles of the head, and severe pathology of the outer or middle ear (otitis). Manifested by the expiration of inflammatory exudate or blood from the ear. The destruction of the eardrum and the spread of inflammation on the middle, rarely on the inner ear, is manifested by the inclination of the rabbit's head on the side where the pain is stronger. Otitis causes shaking of the head first, and then a violation of the innervation of the ear, reflex falling off of the auricle. The consequence of inflammation is the leakage of lymph into the space between the cartilage and the skin. The consequence is an ugly shape, a dangling ear in a rabbit.
Paresis and paralysis
Usually are the result of injury, inflammation of the tissues of the head around the ear. Paresis is manifested by low tactile (touch) pain (tingling), temperature (cold, warm) sensitivity. Paralysis manifested a complete lack of sensitivity. Usually, this cause of the falling ear cannot be corrected and corrected.
Metabolic disorders in cartilage tissue
The strength and elasticity of the cartilage of rabbit ears strongly depends on the intensity and quality of water-salt and mineral metabolism in the cells. The level of vitamins in the body is of indirect importance. Lowering the ears due to a metabolic disorder occurs suddenly for no apparent reason. Soreness, swelling, hemorrhages in the head are absent. When feeling is diagnosed softness, doughiness, thinning of the ear cartilage. Difficult diagnosed lowering of the ear in rabbits almost always blamed on the errors of metabolism. Although lethargy ear and metabolism in the rabbit is very rarely correlated with each other.
Genetic. As you know, rabbits, rams belong to the lop-eared breed. Therefore, if a rabbit has ears in puppy age (for 4-5 months from birth), ask if there are any representatives of the sheep genus in its pedigree. ”Besides falling ears, such a rodent will grow faster than the others and rapidly gain weight - these are the features of this breed. Breeders noticed some differences in the loosening of pets with heredity from rabbits:
- classical sagging - almost simultaneous fall of both ears,
- half - only one ear droops,
- half-let, i.e. ears are tilted at right angles to the sides of the head,
- the end, when the ears of the rabbit drooped, and their base is elastic and in an upright position.
Nutritional. A drop in the ears of the young may signal a nutrient deficiency in the feed. In such cases, the cartilage plate may become thinner or stunted, so it does not stand up to the weight of soft tissues and falls. For its normal formation and development, such minerals and vitamins are needed as:
Useful for the growth of cartilage tissue are meat and bone meal, buckwheat and corn grits, vegetables.
- Hot weather conditions. Rabbit ears are not only the organ of hearing, but also perform the heat exchange function. Therefore, if the animal lowers them in the heat, it is so saved from overheating. Having noticed such a phenomenon, it is urgent to take measures to cool the rodents (move to a cooler place, pour fresh cold water, cover part of the cage with a wet towel).
- Micro injuries resulting from fights with rivals or bites of blood-sucking insects. Usually, in such cases, one ear falls on a rabbit and you can find small scratches, puffiness, wounds, redness on it. It is important to treat the damaged areas with antiseptics (brilliant green, iodine) and, as the skin heals, the ear will return to its normal position.
Pathological causes (diseases)
- Myxomatosis is a viral infection that breaks out among a population of rabbits in hot weather. Its distinguishing feature is the formation of large-sized cones on the ears of animals (sometimes with a pigeon's egg), such protrusions are found on the rabbit's head and legs. Many rodents survive the outbreak of myxomatosis, but remain carriers of the virus, i.e. can easily infect young. Therefore, veterinarians recommend routine vaccination of baby rabbits from this disease on the 45th day of their birth.
- Psoroptosis The defeat of rabbits with ear mites, most often occurs in autumn and winter. When it is parasites are introduced into the inside of the ear and begin to feed at the expense of the organism "owner". Внешне это выражается в образовании бугорков, заполненных жидким экссудатом, они лопаются, образуя на слизистой плотные корки.Psoroptosis is treated with the help of tick habitat treatment with a special solution (vegetable oil and turpentine are mixed in a 1: 1 ratio); additionally, as prescribed by a doctor, tick-borne preparations are used (Acrodex, Psoroptol, Cyodrin, Dicresyl).
- Otitis. Manifested by suppuration of the internal structures of the ear, combing them, dropping. The disease can be unilateral or bilateral and develop with a strong overcooling of animals or as a complication of infections. It is treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops.
Also, lowering the ears in rabbits can be a sign of a weakened immune system, hormonal disorders, a rise in body temperature during infectious processes, dehydration and intoxication during food poisoning.
It is possible to distinguish a non-hazardous (natural) lowering of the ears from a symptom of a developing disease according to the general condition of the pets. Healthy rabbits actively move, eat well, have a lush and shiny coat. Sick rodents are passive, disarranged, refuse food and water. In the second case, in order to maintain a healthy population, it is important to promptly contact the veterinarian and begin the treatment of pets.
- Observance of temperature conditions in places of keeping animals.
- Good nutrition and nutrition of rabbits with vitamin and mineral complexes.
- Vaccination against infectious diseases.
- Careful care of animal cages (regular bedding change, hygienic treatment).
- Compliance with the rules of drinking regime and feeding of rodents.
- Scheduled inspections of livestock by a veterinarian.
It is necessary to pay attention to your rabbits in a timely manner, to the state of its wool, behavioral factors, pus in the eyes. After all, it is always easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.
Heat and cold
During intense heat, rabbit ears fall due to a decrease in body tone. During a severe cold, the ears drop in view of frostbite and general cooling. It is easily diagnosed on the basis of their comparison of the clinical manifestation of a drop in the ears and the temperature of the surrounding air. To eliminate the defect, rabbits are placed in comfortable temperature conditions, then they are prescribed fortifying, vitamin preparations.
The main methods of therapy, if the rabbit has lowered ears
Not the characteristic appearance of the ears in a rabbit is not a disease, but a cosmetic defect (falling ear) - a consequence of one of seven reasons. By eliminating the defect that the rabbit’s ears are not symmetrical in the rabbit, veterinarians start if the defect interferes with development or the animal participates in exhibitions.
Treat illnesses that lead to a defect, not a defect
In our case, the treatment of diseases is indicated above. We will present the methods of conservative and operational cosmetic correction.
Defect correction is not a treatment for the cause of the defect.
To eliminate the defect, chondroprotectors are prescribed in the form of feed additives, injections and / or ointments. Recommend veterinary drugs based on glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. The drugs increase the metabolism of hyaluronic acid, which is involved in the formation of cartilage tissue.
List of veterinary drugs to restore the strength of the cartilage of the ears:
- Hondratron oral solution,
- Hondratron injection,
- Hondratron rubbing gel,
- Glucortin-20 (dexamethasone)
In some cases, the veterinarian prescribes sex hormones, but this is done taking into account the individual characteristics of the animal. Therefore, the dosage and methods of use of chondroprotectors and hormones is not indicated.
Rabbit otites are treated with antibiotics, blockages of the ear nerve, see hot ears, the general treatment guidelines section.
On the Internet the construction of bandages made of foam rubber and other materials is most popular. In practice, a foreign body in the ear leads to rabid behavior of the rabbit. He constantly shakes his head, trying to remove the bandage. By the way, even if it is possible to securely fix the ear with a bandage, this does not always lead to anchoring of the ear in an upright position. A fixed ear without therapy for restoring the strength of cartilage is not effective. Do not even try, verified. In some cases, the falling ear can be fixed with a ligature, imposing surgical stitches in places of the creases. But it requires a surgeon accuracy and experience.
Cosmetic defect in the falling ear in rabbits can provoke seven major pathologies and a genetic failure. It is most difficult to diagnose a drop in the ear due to the manifestation of the hidden gene of the hanging ears. Cosmetic treatment is carried out at the insistence of the owner of the ornamental rabbit. Productive rabbits with such a defect are not treated, it does not affect the rate of fattening.
Signs of ear pathology
Unfortunately, in different diseases at the initial stage of the clinical process, the clinic is very similar. And self-differentiate disease problematic.
The main signs of ear disease are:
- change in appetite
- omission of the ears
- vestibular disorders
- decrease in reproductive functions
- itching in the ear and pain,
- the appearance of an unpleasant smell from the ear,
- changing the color of the epithelium, its structure.
Itching is manifested by constant friction of the ears on the bars of the cell and scratching with the foot. In this case, the animal appears on the skin scratching. Damage may be infected, there is purulent discharge, a scab. With severe pain, the rabbit does not allow to examine the ear.
Causes of ear disease
The disease may be associated with a bacterial or viral infection in a pet, parasitizing an ear tick, or temperature exposure (frostbite).
One of the main pathologies that the rabbit breeder will have to face is considered psoroptosis. This is a parasitic disease caused by a miniature mite. It proceeds with the appearance of small bubbles with serous contents on the inner surface of the animal's ear. The skin turns red, bubbles quickly burst, crusts form. Rabbit worries very strong itching. Sores can become infected with pathogenic bacteria.
Otitis in rabbits is an infectious disease.
The complexity of the diagnosis lies in the fact that at the beginning of the process, the rabbit does not look sick. The pathological process begins behind the eardrum and there is no discharge.
But with the development of the disease in an animal there is an unpleasant smell from the ear, discharge of serous-purulent character, vestibular disorders.
If no help is provided, the pathological process can seize the meninges and cause the death of the pet.
This is a viral disease. It, in general, does not apply to the pathology of the ears. But it is characterized by the appearance of fast-growing cones on the muzzle and on the ears of the animal. If at the same time the eyes of the rabbit are suppurating and sour, the appetite and activity disappear, the body temperature rises, most likely, the pet has a serious illness - myxomatosis.
Rule the ration for setting ears.
If a rabbit does not get the necessary set of vitamins and trace elements with nutrition, his ears will no longer stand, regardless of his genotype. To better understand this relationship, let's delve a bit into anatomy. So, the basis of the ear is cartilage. In babies, it is always thin and soft, but as the ears grow, it acquires the necessary density. Cartilaginous tissue on the outside is surrounded by a perchondrium, which in turn is covered with skin. This auricular consists of two types of fibers: collagen and elastic. If the ear is bent or even rolled, it will quickly take on its original shape. You can try on your how it works. For the simultaneous density, elasticity and elasticity of the rabbit diet should ensure normal growth and maintenance in the tone of the fibers that permeate the body of cartilage. But you, of course, know from school or personal experience that there are no blood vessels in the cartilage. Their nutrition and growth occurs at the expense of the perchondrium, which is penetrated by a network of capillaries. Further nutrients penetrate into the cartilage itself by diffusion. There, young active cells, chondroblasts, are formed, which gradually fade out and turn into inactive chondrocytes. Here, in fact, the whole chain, briefly describing the growth of ear cartilage.
The growth of cartilage tissue occurs constantly, even after the growth of the ears. This means that the cartilage plate is constantly becoming thicker. But the opposite can happen when, due to the lack of sufficient building material (collagen and elastin), the thickness of the cartilage does not keep up with the growth of the ears. Then their stiffness does not withstand the rapidly increasing own weight, it begins to slowly sag. Also important is the normal activity of the perchondrium, which supplies building material (half-stem cells). Finally, the cartilage cells themselves constantly need to be replenished and their numbers restored. In each cartilage in parallel there are two processes: the synthesis and destruction of cells. If there is no recharge and regeneration, even an older and more prosperous rabbit will see the appearance of looseness.
What components in the diet we are obliged to control?
Specially check the feed and feed for the presence of the necessary micro, macronutrients, vitamins, be sure to. Otherwise there will be no guarantee of their proper growth and position. It must be remembered that for optimal functioning of the perchondrium, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, and nicotinoamide (vitamin PP) are important first of all. For those who use industrial feed, the presence of such is easy to check on the label and accompanying documents. If you make your own diet, check through the references if they are present in the food and feed you use. Pay attention to the bone (meat and bone) flour, which is very rich in these substances. Nicotinoamide is found in buckwheat, corn kernels, potatoes, beets, and watermelon flesh. Similar to the properties and nicotinic acid contained in carrots.
It so happens that we have been feeding rabbits with the same food for a long time and there are no problems with the ears. But at some point the problem is revealed. This may happen due to the dishonesty of the feed manufacturer, reduced immunity of animals, for example, in hot weather, after vaccination ... In these cases, I don’t recommend to use special dietary supplements based on plants and premixes to avoid the problem and quickly get out of it. , complex vitamin immunomodulator (gamavit).
Cartilage needs at least minimal compression load to maintain normal trophism. Unity of assimilation and dissimilation, synthesis and decay. It is unlikely that a large farmer will have time to massage all his pets. This section is more likely for owners of decorative creations. So, above we have already addressed the issue of feeding the ear cartilage. Since it, in the absence of blood vessels, occurs due to diffusion from adjacent tissues, we can make this process more efficient. In other words, massaging the auricles, we thereby increase blood circulation in the perchondrium, increase the flow into the ear cartilage of the necessary building components. This, in turn, will accelerate the process of lifting the fallen ears. Massage should be carried out, stroking them from the bottom up, gently releasing at the top point. The pressure on the fabric should not be strong to avoid injury. The rabbit himself will make it clear that you are doing everything right. He will lie quietly, showing by all appearances that he will like this procedure. The more often you massage the ears, the faster the recovery will occur. In each case, it happens differently. One small animal is enough for one day of intensive therapy, another for several days and even weeks.
The influence of heat.
Regardless of the breed, age, diet, and other factors listed above, in a strong heat begins massive "ramming" of our rabbits. They are especially affected by sustained heat, when the temperature exceeds 25 ° C and lasts for several days and does not allow cell dwellers to take a break even at night. Here the loss of general tone, lack of appetite, and therefore the flow of necessary substances into the blood, is sharply reduced. The “locators” themselves become heavier due to the greater amount of blood flow, they are already barely coping with their heat exchange function. The difference in body temperature and the environment is almost equalized. Add mosquito bites and black flies here. In a word - bad rabbit.
But we need to know that nothing terrible happened to the ears. The process is reversible. And as soon as the air temperature returns to normal, they will occupy their standing position. We can help by fighting the heat, applying all possible measures against cell overheating. You can also adjust the diet in the direction of the necessary micro, macronutrients and vitamins (see above).
Subscribe to our weekly newsletters: Relevant notes on the content of rabbits are waiting for you.