Candy’s Ears

Candy has had dry-skin issues with her ears for years. I clean them. I use lotions. I use medicated creams, and still, the fur doesn’t grow in. Yesterday, I took her to my wonderful vet, Dr. Meade, (who, by-the-way gives his total approval to her happy, healthy outdoor lifestyle.) He took a skin scraping and looked under the microscope, thinking that mites or lice could be the culprit. (These nasty bugs are species specific, so she wouldn’t be getting them from the chickens.) Nothing found. By process of elimination, we think it’s a fungal infection. Actually, it reminds me of a fungus that I’ve seen on horses – which results in the same build-up of dead skin and clumping fur.

Dr. Meade took his time cleaning her ears and then teaching me how to apply the anti-fungal lotion. I have to be careful not to get it into her eyes. The vet tech trimmed her nails way down (much braver than I – and she didn’t draw a drop of blood!) so that Candy can’t scratch her ears red. A trip to the vets can be stressful for a bunny, but they know how to hold her securely and move calmly. When Candy came home, she hopped into her hutch and looked at me, waiting for the dried banana chips – her favorite things in the entire universe.

Candy will have to stay in her hutch for a few days while her ears get treated. Right now, there’s bare skin, and since she loves to sunbathe, I don’t want her to get sunburned. I also want to keep her very clean. Candy is not going to be happy about this. Nor is she going to like having her ears handled twice a day and having medication rubbed on. You’ll see me carrying her in and out of the pen, wrapped in a towel. As long as she’s in that towel, she’s calm as can be. Getting her in it will take some doing! I’m off to buy more banana chips.


  1. Our bunny, Curly, had an eye infection. We called the vet, thinking we would get simple eye drops. Instead, the vet worried it might be life threatening. Meds twice daily and pus elimination. Curly has been inside to sleep at night and doing office hours with my husband, hopping around his home office in the afternoons. Complete recovery and very happy bunny! He lost his sister shortly before this happened and this transition has given him a whole new life. It is still cool and rainy in N. CA, so he will not move out totally for a little while yet. I think we will keep up this variety for him, he seems to like it so much. I hope Candy’s situation clears up quickly too. Good luck!

    • It’s never simple, is it? Glad your bun is making a full recovery! Candy’s appetite is as big as ever – a very good sign, especially in herbivores, because if they stop eating the good microbes in their bellies get out of whack.

  2. I hope she feels better real soon!! Lop bunnies are prone to ear problems especially fungal because of the floppy ears air cannot circulate though the ears like a regular bunny. House Rabbit people will tell you outdoors are not for bunnies!! I have bunnies that are so much happier outside!! My 10.5 lb NZ boy & his Rex GF love being outside. I will adopt to a outdoor home as long as they live in a secure/animal proof area. I think being out in the fresh air is great for them.

    • Thank-you. I just got one of those unpleasant emails from a house rabbit person telling me how I was endangering and abusing my rabbit. She cited all of the “talking points” – and it was clear that she didn’t take a moment to notice that how I take care of Candy doesn’t apply! I agree that an isolated rabbit in a hutch, with no contact or outdoor play time is a sad bunny. That, of course, is not Candy’s situation. I have major issues with animal rights people who have an agenda, and truly don’t understand about good animal husbandry.

  3. In humans, too much sugar/carbohydrate in the diet can open the door to persistent fungal infections. Is it possible that the same is happening with your bunny? As much as she loves those banana chips, they’re very high in sugar, and I can’t imagine rabbits in the wild would eat much fruit.

    • She gets only one a day! All of my rabbits (Candy is my third) have loved bananas. But, she doesn’t like the fresh ones – just the dried.

  4. When adopting from HRS if you even mention the word outdoors and bunnies they will not adopt to you. If you want to put it out in a pen in your yard and you will be with it the whole time, they come up with a reason to not adopt to you!! I don’t know about back there but here the HRS people are sooooooo picky about who adopts there bunnies that most of them have waaaay tooooo many!!

  5. My friend has a ranch and she has a couple of huge areas outside like you and she has chickens, rabbits, ducks, guinea pigs etc that all live together. She had a very old turkey in the one area too, but he passed away.It’s very awesome.The funniest thing to watch is the bunnies breaking up the hens when they bicker.

  6. I think that Candy seems like a most happy bunny: she has chickens to keep organized; two goats she can visit; she is safe inside a very spacious hawk-proof/varment-proof enclosure in which she can make snow tunnels in the winter and take dust baths in the summer; she can hop inside the chicken house whenever she is so moved; she has her own hutch when she wants a little peace and quiet; and she gets a banana chip treat each day. Sounds good to me! But I bet that right now she is ringing her bell, trying to attract the attention of that nice maid (usually so competent) to let her out.

    • Thank you. She rings her bell. We are giving her clover. But, still, she’s sulking. Her ears are looking better already. I’ll post photos next week!

  7. Hi Terry,
    Thank you so much for telling us about Candy and thanks for writing me an email I should have looked here first, you have all the eyes of the world on your cam and I did wonder and worry if Candy was OK.
    Warmest Regards
    Ann-Marie in Australia