Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Ear: examination

Contributor(s): David Perpinan, Lesa Thompson

Introduction

  • Ear diseases are common in rabbits.
  • Lop rabbits are particularly predisposed to otitis.
  • Rabbits with otitis externa are more likely to develop otitis media/interna.
  • Ear examination is an important part of the physical examination of a rabbit and should always include otoscopic examination of the ear canal.
  • Endoscopy (or otoendoscopy) may provide better imaging of the ear canal (the approach is the same as with an otoscope).
  • Conditions affecting the ear pinna are mentioned in other sections.
Print off the Owner Factsheets on Ear base abscesses and Ear canker to give to your clients.

Uses

  • Simple and quick diagnosis for ear canal conditions, particularly otitis externa Otitis externa.
  • Follow up of ear conditions after treatment.

Advantages

  • Simple and quick.
  • Does not require anesthesia or sedation.
  • Requires only an otoscope - available in most veterinary practices.

Disadvantages

  • Conditions affecting the middle or inner ear, eg otitis media/interna Otitis media/interna, cannot be detected.
  • Some rabbits, particularly those with ear conditions, may experience pain or discomfort on ear examination, and may become nervous/fractious during otoscopy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Good for psoroptic mange, although it can recur.
  • Guarded to good for otitis externa when there is no otitis media/interna.
  • Guarded to poor for otitis externa when there is symptomatic otitis media/interna.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • de Matos R, Ruby J, Van Hatten R A et al (2015) Computed tomographic features of clinical and subclinical middle ear disease in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus): 88 cases (2007-2014). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246 (3), 336-343 PubMed.
  • Jekl V, Hauptman K, Knotek Z (2015) Video otoscopy in exotic companion mammals. Veterinary Clinics of North America Exotic Animal Practice 18 (3), 431-445 PubMed.
  • Budgeon C, Mans C, Chamberlin T et al (2014) Diagnosis and surgical treatment of a malignant trichoepithelioma of the ear canal in a pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 245 (2), 227-231 PubMed.
  • Eatwell K, Mancinelli E, Hedley J et al (2013) Partial ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy in rabbits. Journal of Small Animal Practice 54 (6), 325-330 PubMed.
  • King A M, Posthumus J, Hammond G et al (2012) Comparison of ultrasonography, radiography and a single computed tomography slice for the identification of fluid within the tympanic bulla of rabbit cadavers. The Veterinary Journal 193 (2), 493-497 PubMed.
  • Chow E P (2011) Surgical management of rabbit ear disease. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine 20 (3), 182-187 VetMedResource.
  • Chow E P, Bennett R A, Whittington J K (2011) Total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy for treatment of otitis externa and media in a rabbit. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239 (2), 228-232 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Chitty J & Raftery A (2013) Ear Sinus Surgery. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Hartcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. pp 213-232 Wiley.
  • Capello V (2006) Lateral Ear Canal Resection and Ablation in Pet Rabbits. In: Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. Orlando, Florida. pp 1711-1713 Medirabbit.
  • Hernandez-Divers S L (2005) Rabbit Ear, Mouth and Nose Endoscopy. In: Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. Orlando, Florida. pp 1330-1331 IVIS.


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