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Thread: Alternatives to Lateral Ear Canal Resection in elderly rabbit

  1. #1

    Default Alternatives to Lateral Ear Canal Resection in elderly rabbit

    Hi Everybun,

    I need some like minded people to bounce some ideas off.

    A year ago, both my lop ear buns had their ears flushed due to infections. Sadly we lost Patch several days post procedure and we never found out why.

    A year on, his 9 year old partner Sprout has got another ear infection (diagnosed by feeling a hard lump at the base of his ear). His ears were the worst of the two, with lots of pus being drained from it last time.

    My vet is well respected for being rabbit savvy. She gave us two options of treatment: another ear flush or a lateral ear canal resection (likely for both ears). I asked her opinion of what the better option is and she suggested the surgery.

    I知 at a loss as to what to do. Sprout is showing no signs of discomfort (although I知 aware they are good at hiding it) and is otherwise in good health. I知 just not sure I can put him through such an invasive surgery at his age. However, if it痴 likely to return, is it cruel to put him through multiple ear flushes?

    I知 just wondering if there痴 any alternative options. Should I be treating this more palliatively? What would you do? Obviously I知 feeling quite nervous about it all after losing poor Patch under similar circumstances.

    Sorry for the lengthy post!
    Last edited by hoppin_mad; 10-07-2019 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Bunny Buddy's Avatar
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    My five year old Lolly had the surgery earlier this year. My vet said she felt surgery was the best option given her age but wouldn't put an elderly rabbit through it. I also had Esme, around the same age as your rabbit - somewhere around nine years discovered to have a lump at her ear base (at health check for vaccination, I guess), she wasn't showing any symptoms either. She was just monitored for the last two years of her life and it never obviously bothered her.

    I think you are right not to rush into doing it.
    My heart is in a thousand pieces for my soulmate stopped running today (22.05.13) and 12.12.20

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny Buddy View Post
    My five year old Lolly had the surgery earlier this year. My vet said she felt surgery was the best option given her age but wouldn't put an elderly rabbit through it. I also had Esme, around the same age as your rabbit - somewhere around nine years discovered to have a lump at her ear base (at health check for vaccination, I guess), she wasn't showing any symptoms either. She was just monitored for the last two years of her life and it never obviously bothered her.

    I think you are right not to rush into doing it.
    I agree. It is a major and painful procedure and I would struggle to agree to putting a 9 year old Rabbit through it. I had a Rabbit whose chronic ear disease was managed in a palliative way for over 3 years. Surgery was not an option I would consider as he had other health problems too, including heart disease.
    I AM NOW POSTING AS 'InspectorMorse' BECAUSE A TECHNICAL PROBLEM HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY 'Jack's-Jane' ACCOUNT ON SOME DEVICES !!

  4. #4

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    Thank you both for your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    I agree. It is a major and painful procedure and I would struggle to agree to putting a 9 year old Rabbit through it. I had a Rabbit whose chronic ear disease was managed in a palliative way for over 3 years. Surgery was not an option I would consider as he had other health problems too, including heart disease.
    When you say you managed your bun in a palliative way - what did the vet prescribe? Is it just a case of giving daily pain relief like metacam?
    Last edited by hoppin_mad; 05-07-2019 at 06:48 PM.

  5. #5

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    Update:

    So I have decided to cancel the operation. Going back to the vets this week to discuss our options.

    Does anyone know of any alternatives?

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppin_mad View Post
    Thank you both for your replies.



    When you say you managed your bun in a palliative way - what did the vet prescribe? Is it just a case of giving daily pain relief like metacam?
    Sorry I missed this post til now. My Rabbit was prescribed long term injectable antibiotics (Depocillin). This was given every 48 hours. He was also prescribed Metronidazole (another type of abx) daily. Pain relief was Metacam and if pain was not well controlled with this then Tramadol was added. The Rabbit concerned also had heart disease, so he was on various other drugs too. I would say that the 'palliative care' he received kept him comfortable for over 2 years. In the end it was not his chronic ear disease or his heart condition that took his life, he developed an inoperable tumour in his abdomen.

    The things I would ask your RS Vet are the options of non surgical management of your Rabbit's ear infection. Personally I would struggle to subject a 9+ year old Rabbit to a bilateral LECR, but others may disagree.
    I AM NOW POSTING AS 'InspectorMorse' BECAUSE A TECHNICAL PROBLEM HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY 'Jack's-Jane' ACCOUNT ON SOME DEVICES !!

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