Vita Animal Health has published the results of an online survey it conducted1, which found that whilst 89% of owners agreed poor ear health can compromise a rabbit's quality of life, only 1% were aware that rabbits often show no or few symptoms of ear disease.

Tara Evans RVN from Vita said: "We wanted to raise awareness and start a discussion with rabbit owners about preventative ear care in rabbits, including how and when owners are cleaning their rabbits’ ears.”

91% of owners also agreed that cleaning is important for rabbits with ear health problems, but 49% have never cleaned their rabbit’s ears.

For the remainder, the most common reason owners gave for cleaning their rabbits’ ears was as a preventative measure (46%), followed by noticing signs of discomfort (25%) and following veterinary advice (25%). 

Tara added: “These results show us that owners are aware cleaning their rabbits’ ears is important which leaves us plenty of opportunities to educate on what owners should be looking out for.

"The survey showed that 57% of rabbit owners correctly identified lop ears to be a risk factor in ear health yet a contradictory 28% thought straight ears posed more of a risk.

"It is our job as veterinary professionals to share facts and impart our knowledge to our engaged audience.”

The survey looked into different options available for ear cleaning and identified that 51% of respondents would choose ear wipes, 25% home prepared solutions and 31% a designated rabbit ear cleaning product.

Tara said: “We want to be encouraging owners to be looking at their rabbits’ ears and cleaning them, however wipes can fail to provide a thorough clean and reach the deeper ear canal effectively, and homemade remedies may be irritating to rabbit ears.

"It is important to use an ear cleaner which is designed for and safe to use in rabbits, such as Omniotic.

"Our survey underscores the critical need for increased education and awareness surrounding rabbit ear health.

"It's essential for owners to understand the significance of regular ear cleaning in maintaining overall wellness and preventing potential diseases.”


  1. Survey carried out by Companion Consultancy on behalf of Vita Animal Health, online between 22nd November and 13th December. 102 rabbit owners responded to the survey. 

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vet nurses.