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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11466
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Rabbit veterinarian

Customer Question

Rabbit veterinarian
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I am not a veterinarian, but a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I may be able to help you if you'd tell me what is going on with your rabbit. If you'd like to continue with me, give me the details, and we'll proceed from there. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have a 6-year old Holland Lop, 4.2 lbs. He is in good overall health but has suffered since I first adopted him from ear inflammation, cause uncertain. I've had him to rabbit-savvy veterinarian numerous times. First Zymox was used, then 2 months ago Dr. B switched him to 2 drops of Mometamax/day in each ear. After 2 weeks, he was re-checked. That re-check was 3 weeks ago. Dr. B dropped the dose to 2drops/ear 2X per week and scheduled an ear flush for tomorrow, Tuesday. He said one ear was so completely blocked, the meds couldn't get through.Chaco evidenced GREAT improvement with the Mometamax. His ear scratching dropped about 80%, and he was noticably calmer and more comfortable. I was eager for the ear flush, but Dr. B was suddenly called out of town for 2 weeks. This is a problem only because we were due to leave with Chaco on a road trip to my family in Colorado in 10 days. Unlike many rabbits, Chaco is comfortable traveling in our RV and enjoys it.Here's my concern: We won't be back for 5 weeks and I'm wondering:
1. Is it best to wait until our return? If so, should I continue the Monetamax at same rate?
2. Will Chaco experience pain in high altitudes because at least one ear is so blocked?
3. Would it be better to find another vet and have it done before I leave There aren't many in this area that are experts on rabbits but I can try some that are fairly good.
4. How risky is the ear flush if I have it done? Is the risk primarily the anesthetic, the intubation, or the procedure itself?
5. Which course would you advise? Thank You!
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Well, you are really in a touch situation. My main concern with the traveling is that Chaco is very likely to ear pain in high altitudes. The pain could be severe enough that he will lose his appetite. That, in turn, could lead to gastro-intestinal stasis, which is life-threatening. Based only on that, it would seem best to have another competent vet do the ear flushing before your trip. I'll post this much now for you to read while I type some more. I'll be back in a few minutes. I appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.
The primary risk with the procedure is the anesthetic. Rabbits are very sensitive to anesthesia. Holland lops (which happen to be my present breed) are especially frail. Even though we often read that rabbit lifespan is about ten years, a Holland lop is a senior citizen by age five. I have had many through the years, and a few lived to the age of 10 or 11, but about 75% pass by age 7. I'm not telling you this to scare you, but only to explain why anesthesia will be especially risky. I believe you deserve honesty.If you have time to have the procedure done by an experienced vet well before your trip, that would probably be the best way to proceed. You would not want to leave shortly after the procedure because side effects and complications can occur several days after a procedure. You would not want to be on the road if something happened. If your schedule us such that you'll have time in between the procedure and the trip, the other precaution I would take would be to have your relatives locate a rabbit vet in their area, just in case.If you decide to wait until your own vet is back, and you complete your trip, then you would go ahead with the prescribed amount of Monetamax. Another alternative would be to have someone care for Chaco at home so he wouldn't be subjected to the high altitudes.I can't tell you what to do, but only share the benefits and risks as I did above. I can tell you what I would do. If there was time between the procedure and the trip, and I had confidence in one of the available vets, I would go ahead and have the ear flush done.If you have more concerns, just let me know. Thank you very much for bringing us your question. I hope that whatever you decide to do, it will work out well for Chaco, and you will all have a wonderful trip.Anna