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Thread: Ear Flushing - How Complicated is it?

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    Default Ear Flushing - How Complicated is it?

    Rabbit savvy vet has been furloughed til June. I think Fudge might need his ear flushed again and really anxious about who else to get to do it.

    My local vets were warning of death/head tilt etc. The rabbit specialist we have been seeing instead did it no drama. But now Iím really anxious about having someone else do it. How much risk is involved with it?

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leesa View Post
    Rabbit savvy vet has been furloughed til June. I think Fudge might need his ear flushed again and really anxious about who else to get to do it.

    My local vets were warning of death/head tilt etc. The rabbit specialist we have been seeing instead did it no drama. But now I’m really anxious about having someone else do it. How much risk is involved with it?
    It depends on the individual case. If the tympanic membrane is ruptured then it is a very risky procedure that IMO should only be done by a Rabbit Savvy Vet with the Rabbit sedated. The risk of infection going into the inner ear/brain is high if the tympanic membrane is not intact.

    Did the Rabbit Savvy Vet give you any instructions/medication to carry out 'maintenance' ear cleaning at home ?


    Reference links for various Rabbit health problems
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    It depends on the individual case. If the tympanic membrane is ruptured then it is a very risky procedure that IMO should only be done by a Rabbit Savvy Vet with the Rabbit sedated. The risk of infection going into the inner ear/brain is high if the tympanic membrane is not intact.

    Did the Rabbit Savvy Vet give you any instructions/medication to carry out 'maintenance' ear cleaning at home ?


    Thanks that sounds worrying! So thankfully he's looking much better (he was showing signs of gas and going into statis), appetite is full on, poops are back to normal size and he's back to bouncing around again. I am concerned about a little bit tooth grinding/purring but mainly it's when I'm stroking him so not sure if he's just enjoying it, he does this now and again.

    So in terms of his ear, he started getting a wax build up. So had a CT scan that showed it there wasn't any infection. I'm not sure about the membrane, nothing was said about this so I'm assuming it is still intact. In terms of care, not so much in the initial appointments. The vet thinks as he lost his partner who used to groom him a lot and as he has arthritis (he's on painkillers twice a day now) that he hasn't been able to dig out the wax himself. Looking at him on the painkillers you would never know he has arthritis, he has the energy of a baby and will happily bounce around doing binkies, hopping on the couch etc. There has been a noticeable increase in his energy though since starting him on painkillers in terms of him jumping more again. He seems to scratch his ears and clean them fine but he's never been the cleanest bunny. I asked the vet about trying to clean his ears (I'd took him back as he was still itchy) and she told me to get the pet wipes from Pets At Home. I hadn't been able to buy them in store so my partner asked in his regular vet when he had his vaccination. They told him about a product and then checked with the other vets he was seeing for the ear that it was okay to sell it to us. It's Tris-NAC to have 1ml in each ear per day and massage base of ear - TRIS-EDTA BUFFER + N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). I must confess to not having got it up to doing it everyday yet because things have just been madness and it stinks so trying to remember to do it in the morning before showering because it goes everywhere when he flicks his ears and the last few days I haven't because being trying not to stress him out further after looking like he was going into statis.

    I did a google search yesterday and was seeing people somehow getting lots of ear wax from their rabbits ears, his you can't really see much in his ears, it's like it stays inside. Theres nothing coming out so far with the Tris-Nac, I'm not sure if it is supposed to. This is the first ear issue I've dealt with so haven't a clue about any of this. The vet showed me you could feel a lump where the wax had built up, so I could check for it. I'm trying to feel for this myself and must say I'm not very good at it. It doesn't feel like it was I don't think, although I do think it's starting to build a little bit as it feels slightly different. He isn't itching his ears a lot, but does itch them but it's nothing like when he first had to get them done. I'd had him back in the vets to check him out previously when he was itching them (I thought maybe he had mites too as thats what he was originally diagnosed with) but it seems he's maybe just more itchy now he doesn't have Coco cleaning them for him.

    So the monitor I'm trying to got off is statis and itching. He's got so demanding since Coco passed in his behaviour with me, he doesn't sulk per say but will stamp if he isn't getting food quite enough if I bring in a veggie treat or if he thinks he's missing out on something, so he his new behaviour since being on his own is quite different. Like I feel maybe that if he is snuggling a lot (he was never a snuggly rabbit before) that maybe he's ill etc - part of it is anxiety on my part. And has now started bouncing up on the couch to me to scratch/scrabble at my chest to tell me something (usually it's he wants food) or if I've put him on my bed he was doing it to tell me he wanted me to take him 'home' (he has the lounge, he's one of those rabbits who eats everything in sight it's hard to bunny proof other rooms). The other day he was out on the patio with me before the statis so I suspect he could have managed to eat a falling flower etc that maybe made him gassy rather than it necessarily being his ear, he was trying to get his head in some bunny safe dead plants I planted last year in a pot). Patio has now been jet washed and dead plant pot removed so I can try and make sure he is as safe as possible when we go back out there.

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    The Tris-NAC doesn't say anything about cleaning up the solution with cotton wool yet just watched a video on Youtube doing this with a different solution and massaging a different place to what I was doing so I have probably been doing it wrong too!

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    I would try to continue with the daily ear cleaning as the wax may take several days to soften enough to break down and come out. If you can actually feel a lump at the ear base I would be concerned that this might be indicative of an abscess having now formed.

    It sounds as though Fudge is feeling a lot better now, so it could be that it was not ear pain at all. It is possible that he may have aggravated his arthritis by being a bit too energetic. This can happen, it certainly does for an arthritic Bunny I have.


    Reference links for various Rabbit health problems
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    Thanks, I started it up again and will make sure keep doing it everyday. I looked with a torch and can see some wax at the bottom. Iím really unsure as to if thereís a defined lump, it doesnít feel as boney as the other ear but I donít think I can feel it to the extent where it was when the vet showed me. Iíll see how he is and keep going for a few days. If he starts going downhill again Iíll take him straight in. He was doing binkies the day before he started showing Statis signs as it was our first day out on the patio and as found the key to the door he could come in and out as he pleased which he was enjoying so as you say could have been that.

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    Just an update on this, Fudge hasn't gone back into statis, has been doing lots of binkies running out on to the patio when we had good weather. I'm cleaning the ears everyday but nothing coming out of them, they just look the same to me, so not sure if it is working. It seems really strange as looks like other people just stuff out when they clean, theres literally nothing coming out except the solution on the cotton wool.

    He's a bit grouchy today (digging in his hay box just at the plastic side etc) so keeping an eye on him but is desperate for food so good on that account, we stayed up later last night and he hasn't had a nap yet today (think he is just settling down for one now) so might just be that he's tired.

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leesa View Post
    Just an update on this, Fudge hasn't gone back into statis, has been doing lots of binkies running out on to the patio when we had good weather. I'm cleaning the ears everyday but nothing coming out of them, they just look the same to me, so not sure if it is working. It seems really strange as looks like other people just stuff out when they clean, theres literally nothing coming out except the solution on the cotton wool.

    He's a bit grouchy today (digging in his hay box just at the plastic side etc) so keeping an eye on him but is desperate for food so good on that account, we stayed up later last night and he hasn't had a nap yet today (think he is just settling down for one now) so might just be that he's tired.
    Are you massaging the ear bases well after each application ? This is necessary to loosen the wax. It sounds as though Bunny is in good spirits, which is certainly a positive sign


    Reference links for various Rabbit health problems
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

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    Warren Scout Leesa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    Are you massaging the ear bases well after each application ? This is necessary to loosen the wax. It sounds as though Bunny is in good spirits, which is certainly a positive sign

    There's no guidance with the product (other than syringe it down the ear), so I after I searched for a YouTube video to see what to actually do, I have been holding his ear up after syringing in and massaging at the same time for about a minute then trying to mop it up with cotton wool whilst he shakes it out, then wiping the wetness out of the ear. I'm not even sure I am doing it right! Any guidance on how long it should be in for please? And then how long to massage after that? I haven't been doing it afterwards so maybe this is the problem. Thank you!

    He seems right in himself today, lot of binkies when the sun came out and we were able to able to go out in the patio.

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leesa View Post
    There's no guidance with the product (other than syringe it down the ear), so I after I searched for a YouTube video to see what to actually do, I have been holding his ear up after syringing in and massaging at the same time for about a minute then trying to mop it up with cotton wool whilst he shakes it out, then wiping the wetness out of the ear. I'm not even sure I am doing it right! Any guidance on how long it should be in for please? And then how long to massage after that? I haven't been doing it afterwards so maybe this is the problem. Thank you!

    He seems right in himself today, lot of binkies when the sun came out and we were able to able to go out in the patio.
    You need to massage the ear bases for a couple of minutes after each application Bunny will then usually have a good shake of his/her head and a scratch of the ears. This too should help break up and remove the impacted wax.


    Reference links for various Rabbit health problems
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

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