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Acu in Practice: Gooey Ear-itation!

Welcome to Acu in Practice and Happy Halloween! This week I’m featuring Stuart, a 7 year old bunny with a “frightening” amount of thick, gooey exudate in both ears. Stuart has been shaking his head and scratching at his ears for 2 years. At first glance, his ears look normal but using the otoscope, I found the thick, irritating exudate deep in the canal. Stuart’s people have taken him to vet several times, but there has been no change in his symptoms or any of the topical treatments. Other than the otitis, Stuart’s physical exam is normal. However, he has always been prone to weight gain and is currently overweight. He gets the same amount of food and the same ratio of hay, pellets and greens as the other rabbits in the house, but they do not gain weight. His digestion is normal. His personality is laid back and he usually just goes with the flow. He has a good energy level, but is also happy just to lounge around. Stuart is an Earth constitution rabbit. His pulses and tongue color are normal. Ear cytology revealed occasional yeast and plenty of debris.


TCM Diagnosis:

Wind Damp Heat in the ear/GB Channel, Earth Constitution prone to Damp


Treatment Principles:

Clear Wind and Drain Damp Heat from the Ear/GB Channel, Support Spleen and Prevent Dampness


Acupuncture RX:

GV 20, SI 19, GB 2, GB 20, GV 14, BL 20 9 (Vitamin B12 Aquapressure), ST 36, GB 41,

BL 23 (Stuart is a senior rabbit so the Kidneys need to be supported)


Other treatments and recommendations:

Reduce pellets to 1 tbsp per day in order to decrease source of Damp and lose weight.

Herbal Formula: Damp Heat Derma Relief tincture by Kan Herb – 10 drops twice per day.

Ear cleansing daily for 1 month.

Revisit for follow up in 1 month or sooner if no improvement by 2 weeks.


This post was created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.