Ear Mites in the Rabbit (Psoroptes cuniculi)
Do you have a rabbit that is constantly scratching at her ears? Do the ears look red and irritated? Are there big flakes of crusted material on the inside of your rabbit’s ears? Then you could be dealing with a common parasite in rabbits seen worldwide, the rabbit ear mite, also known as Psoroptes cuniculi.
These mites are easily identified on microscopic examination.
Although currently not approved for use in the rabbit, the easiest form of treatment for the rabbit ear mite is selamectrin . Selamectrin is currently marketed under the trade name Revolution® by Pfizer Animal Health. The hair is parted and the contents of a tube of medication is applied directly to the skin. A dose of 6 to 18 mg/Kg has been used without adverse effects in this species. Revolution is also effective against fleas, and in other species has been proven effective against ticks as well as various other parasites. Revolution is most effective if the ears are first cleaned out. Oti-Clens®, another Pfizer product, is a mild cleanser and rinse that will effectively remove ear debris and live mites. A second application of Revolution® should be used two weeks following the first.
For secondary irritation a short-acting steroid applied topically or administered systemically may be necessary.