Rabbit Ear Health : How to Select and Use an Ear Cleaner

Written by Tara Evans

Tara started her dream career in a mixed animal practice in Sussex in 2003. She qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2006 and continued to work in first opinion practice until she joined the Vita team in 2018. Her passion for the care and welfare of animals continues and couldn’t turn her back on veterinary nursing completely so continues to work regular shifts at a local first opinion practice.


In the world of rabbit care, many owners understand the importance of proper diet, appropriate ‘rabbit-proofing’ of homes and cultivating the perfect environment for their cotton-tailed friends to thrive. However, other more in-depth cleaning practices are often overlooked, despite being an important facet of rabbit care. For example, if you are a rabbit owner, how frequently do you clean your rabbit’s ears to maintain rabbit ear health?

Read on to learn the ins and outs of rabbit ear health, find tips for selecting the perfect ear cleaner and to discover the results of our recent owner survey.

Do rabbits clean their own ears?

Healthy rabbit ears do have a built-in self-cleaning mechanism, which is one of the reasons many owners overlook the manual cleaning process as an important step to maintaining rabbit ear health. Our recent rabbit owner survey revealed that 91% of owners agree that ear cleaning can help rabbits with ear issues. This is true, but what about rabbits with healthy ears? Should you clean their ears too?

The importance of ear cleaning in rabbits

While it isn’t always necessary to clean the ears of a healthy rabbit, it is important to monitor your rabbit’s ears for any signs of an issue, such as a build up of wax, a foul odour or unusual discharge.

This said, the use of an ear cleaner as a routine step in rabbit healthcare can improve rabbit ear health in the long run, reducing the chance of dirt or debris build up that could turn into a problem. This will also help to condition your rabbit to having their ear touched, which can make trips to the vets less stressful for the both of you.

How often should you be cleaning your rabbit’s ears?

It’s clear that it is important to clean your rabbit’s ears. But, how often should you be doing so? Depending on their breed and ear shape, rabbits require different frequencies of ear cleaning. For example, lop-eared rabbits are more prone to ear issues and may benefit from more regular cleaning. As a general rule of thumb, cleaning your rabbit’s ears at least once or twice a month will prevent any build up from occurring, and reduce the likelihood of an infection or other issues occurring that can impact their hearing or overall ear health.

What makes for a good rabbit ear cleaner?

70% of rabbit owners recognise the importance of looking for safe cleaners. Ensuring that the ear cleaner you choose to use is rabbit safe and provides a thorough clean is important to preserving the overall ear health. Cleaners such as Omniotic that feature anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties can serve as an excellent all-round cleaner.

Should you be using ear cleaning wipes?

When considering ear cleaning methods within our rabbit owner survey, 51% of owners reported that they use wipes to clean their rabbit’s ears.

Perhaps you are among these owners?

Is there anything wrong with this method?

Many people elect to purchase wipes for the convenience and ease of use. However, there are a few areas of consideration when using wipes.

  1. Technique: Cleaning a rabbit’s ears requires a gentle hand to preserve the structure of the inner ear and avoid damage. Using wipes forcefully increases the risk of discomfort or injury.
  2. Improper ingredients: Many wipes are a water-based method of cleaning, meaning that they are not antibacterial and fail to clean the ears effectively. Additionally, unless ears are dried thoroughly after cleaning with water-based wipes, the resulting moist environment could encourage bacterial growth.
  3. Inadequate depth of cleaning: Wipes often do not grant the level of cleaning that a solution-based option can provide, meaning that cleaning is less thorough and may have to be repeated more frequently.

What about homemade ear cleaners?

A massive 25% of all rabbit owners use a home prepared or homemade solution, such as saline, to clean their rabbit’s ears. Is this the optimum method?

While saline and other similar solutions are generally safe and gentle on rabbit ears, using an at home ear cleaner can be risky for many reasons. For one, home ear cleaners often don’t contain the level of antibacterial and cleansing ingredients required for a thorough clean.

Additionally, achieving the correct concentrations and blends of ingredients at home can be challenging. Inaccurate measurements can render the solution ineffective or, in some cases, too harsh for your rabbit’s sensitive ears. Home cleaners may also contain toxic ingredients, such as tea tree oil, which can do more harm than good.

Which ear cleaner should you use?

So, what is a better solution?

Our Omniotic ear cleaning solution is a fast-acting, highly effective solution-based ear cleaner that can be used on dogs, cats and rabbits, designed to remove earwax and debris from the outer ear using harmless anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral ingredients for complete rabbit ear health.

Join the 60%+ of rabbit owners who said they would want to use Omniotic and purchase yours today on our website or via Amazon.

Or, if you have any questions about the product, get in touch with a member of our team, who will gladly discuss the benefits with you.

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