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Thread: Need advice about severe inner ear infection

  1. #1

    Default Need advice about severe inner ear infection

    Hi everyone! I am new to this group and looking for advice in regards to my one year old mini rex, Peter. About a month ago, he stopped eating and was barely moving. We also noticed that he was having difficulty maintaining his balance. We took him to the ER vet and I was told that both of his ears appeared to be inflamed, but the right ear was worse. The vet said that he likely had otitis media that had spread to the inner ear. He was prescribed Duplocillin injections (procaine and Benzathine) every two days. He also prescribed a 28 day course of Panacur (in case of E cuniculi) and meloxicam for inflammation/pain. At first, he seemed to improve. He was able to run around and he seemed to feel better. After about two weeks, we followed up with our regular vet and while we were at the appointment, he was non-stop rolling (symptoms were likely aggravated by stress). We decided to continue the medication regimen, but his condition continued to worsen over the next few days. He got to a point where he couldn't even stand without rolling over.

    We took him back to the ER vet, who prescribed Baytril, metronidazole, eye drops, and cerenia (for his dizziness). Once again, he seemed slightly better over the next couple of days. His appetite returned, his poops returned to normal and he was better able to groom himself. But the rolling was still a major issue and it wasn't getting better. We followed up with the ER vet yesterday (two weeks later) and he said that if he is still rolling, it means that the antibiotics have not dealt with the problem. He discontinued the metronidazole and the baytril and prescribed azithromycin instead. He prescribed metoclopramide for the dizziness instead of Cerenia. He also suggested that we continue giving the subQ Duplocillin every two days, along with the meloxicam, eye drops and critical care feedings. The vet said that Peter has pus in his inner ear (which cannot be visualized) abscess...that is compressing his vestibular apparatus and for which the only definitive treatment is surgical drainage. However, we didn't do a CT or any imaging to confirm that.

    The strange thing is that some days, he is able to walk relatively normally with a slight head tilt. He still rolls over and loses his balance constantly, but he gets back up and continues running around. An abscess wouldn't change in size day to day, so how could his condition/sense of balance vary so much if he had an abscess? I'm sure he has pus inside his inner ear, but the balance issues may in fact be caused by the inflammation itself, no? The surgery is about $3000 (plus the initial CT scan, follow up, etc). Quite honestly, I just don't think that is feasible for me at this point. We have already spent about $1500. Today is his second day of the azithromycin and he is still rolling continuously. He looks miserable. He has had this issue for nearly 6 weeks now and this is his fourth antibiotic. We have another follow up booked with the vet in 2 weeks. Do you think that there is any hope for him? The thought of putting him to sleep breaks my heart because he's such a young, vibrant little guy. But I just don't know what to do anymore. Any insight or advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2


    Hello, it sounds as though the ER Vet is clued up about Rabbits; the treatment and advice given thus far appears to be spot on given the severity of Peter’s condition. Unfortunately with otitis media/interna systemic antibiotics are not always curative, they may ‘hold’ the infection for a while though. Major Surgery is often needed in severe cases.

    If you are on Facebook there is Group on there that offers help and support to people caring for a Rabbit with any type of vestibular disease.

    I would recommend joining the Group if you can

    I do hope that Peter can pull through, some Rabbits do, against all the odds x
    Last edited by InspectorMorse; 14-08-2020 at 06:13 AM.

    I used to be ‘Jack’s-Jane’ but I have been logged out of that account and I can’t get back in !



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