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Thread: Deafness in lops: resources?

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    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
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    Default Deafness in lops: resources?

    Anyone got some resources they could recommend for deafness in lops? We're going to be doing an outreach website at work (Hearing Sciences) and hearing in pets was mentioned, so we might try and provide some basic to more complex info on rabbits. How rabbits hear, the mechanism that is 'lost' in many lops, that sort of thing
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    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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    Warren Veteran DemiS's Avatar
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    This is the only resource I've seen but it doesn't talk much about hearing - https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/671859v1.full

    I imagine there is a mix of reasons that lops might not hear as well, obviously their ears cover their ear canal acting like ear muffs, but the fact that the ears are shifted further outwards towards either side of their heads is likely to have squashed the inner anatomy of the ear meaning it's harder for those sound waves to get in and things like wax build up and infection are more likely. Princess is the only lop I've owned since i was a young child and her hearing is terrible. She was fast asleep on bonfire night whilst some incredibly loud fireworks were going off. If she's asleep and someone gets close to her she wakes up incredibly startled as she obviously doesn't hear them coming. She also doesn't react to me shaking the food bag or calling her but once she sees that the boys have come up to me, she runs like hell, shoves her way in front of them and eats twice as fast as them to make up for those few seconds missed I used to think she was completely deaf but I think she has responded to a couple of very loud, very high pitched noises
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    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
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    Thanks both

    Quote Originally Posted by DemiS View Post
    I imagine there is a mix of reasons that lops might not hear as well, obviously their ears cover their ear canal acting like ear muffs, but the fact that the ears are shifted further outwards towards either side of their heads is likely to have squashed the inner anatomy of the ear meaning it's harder for those sound waves to get in and things like wax build up and infection are more likely. Princess is the only lop I've owned since i was a young child and her hearing is terrible. She was fast asleep on bonfire night whilst some incredibly loud fireworks were going off. If she's asleep and someone gets close to her she wakes up incredibly startled as she obviously doesn't hear them coming. She also doesn't react to me shaking the food bag or calling her but once she sees that the boys have come up to me, she runs like hell, shoves her way in front of them and eats twice as fast as them to make up for those few seconds missed I used to think she was completely deaf but I think she has responded to a couple of very loud, very high pitched noises
    LMAO Lopsy's the opposite, he only hears really bass noises, like twin-engine helicopters and older canal boats, which is great living here He's really good at perceiving stuff we can't fathom out but I also think he's stupid enough to be making some of it up ;P I guessed he must be mostly deaf when I walked out the back door which squealed horribly, was talking loudly to Aboleth who was in the run and then noisily opened the door on Lopsy who was cleaning himself with his ears over his eyes and facing the wrong way. He absolutely freaked and leapt down the tube when he saw me in the doorway XD I've startled him many times since, unintentionally but without success in prevention!

    I guess opening it up as a 'many lops are deaf, here's some reasons why' would provoke discussion. I can also include videos of Lopsy totally failing to respond to me while Chibbs totally does (which might end up having to be a bit staged but don't tell anyone ;P).

    I'm always intrigued by photos of bunnies too: most have one ear cocked towards the camera/viewer
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    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
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    Another request as I can't find anything (and this I thought would be the easier bit ): any articles on 'why lops lop'? It's something to do with the cartilage, right? I cannot find anything after multiple search iterations so some pointers would be really useful
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    I think Lopping occurred in Rabbits living in warmer climates. Rabbits regulate their body temperature via veins in their ears. Rabbits living in warm climates evolved to have longer, thicker ears. The weight of the ears caused them to lop. Lops of today originated from the breeding of Uppy eared Rabbits with the English Lop.

    I guess evolution is the reason why the Lop Rabbit appeared in the first place. Not only did this lead to the lop ears but also a change in skull formation. Lops are often brachycephalic, which of course comes with a variety of potential health problems.


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    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InspectorMorse View Post
    I think Lopping occurred in Rabbits living in warmer climates. Rabbits regulate their body temperature via veins in their ears. Rabbits living in warm climates evolved to have longer, thicker ears. The weight of the ears caused them to lop. Lops of today originated from the breeding of Uppy eared Rabbits with the English Lop.

    I guess evolution is the reason why the Lop Rabbit appeared in the first place. Not only did this lead to the lop ears but also a change in skull formation. Lops are often brachycephalic, which of course comes with a variety of potential health problems.
    Thanks Jane, that's really useful. Most of the stuff I've read says it was a 'bad' gene, but if you live in a warm climate you also don't need a long nose to warm the air coming in, which supports the evolutionary advantages of lops in very specific circumstances. I mean I wouldn't say it was a big advantage, getting middle ear infections :S I've found some drawings by Darwin of skull differences which I'd like to see in radiographs or at least not just top-down view, but Google's not beiing massively helpful I might try my Uni library to see if they're got anything in-depth on rabbits!

    This is today's work project: we've got a meeting about our Festival of Science and Curiosity participation tomorrow, and I'd like to have an idea about what I can put together. We figure making a page about how pets hear might interest more people (children) than just humans, and as I have rabbits it seemed like a good idea Wish Aboleth was still here though, she could be relied upon to react to me making sound Chibbs isn't as good at reacting to my noises! She's also shorter-skulled, so if skull anatomy plays a part then that might explain it, but a lot of the (anecdotal) evidence for lop deafness comes from otitis media and earwax buildup. Time also to be asking questions on Vet Twitter methinks!
    The geeky one...



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