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Three Potential Causes Of Head Tilt In A Rabbit

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A rabbit will move its head in all sorts of different ways depending on its mood, but you might occasionally notice that your pet is holding its head at an angle that you haven't previously seen. If the rabbit's head is at an angle so that one side of its head is pointing at the ground, and the rabbit is maintaining this position, this is an obvious indicator of a serious health issue that is aptly known as head tilt. You should reach out to your animal hospital right away upon noticing head tilt in your rabbit because the pet will require veterinary care. Here are some potential causes of head tilt. 

Ear Infection

It's possible for a rabbit to develop an ear infection that doesn't cause the animal to tilt its head, but ear infections that are especially serious can result in head tilt. Rabbits can get ear infections for several reasons, but the presence of harmful bacteria is often a cause. If a rabbit has a mild ear infection, it will often scratch at the affected ear and you may also see discharge around the ear's opening. Should the condition progress as a result of your rabbit not getting the care it needs, the rabbit may begin to tilt its head.


Rabbits may also develop head tilt as a result of a parasite. This is a serious issue that can quickly cause your pet's condition to deteriorate to the point of it passing away. While you should always take your rabbit to the animal hospital if you notice head tilt, not seeing any obvious signs of an ear infection in addition to the tilted head may indicate the presence of a parasite. Your veterinarian will promptly run tests to determine if a parasite is the cause of the head tilt, and then discuss potential treatment options with you.

Ear Mites

Some rabbits can develop ear mites. This issue can range in severity based on several different factors, including how many mites are present and how long they've been there. In severe cases of an ear mite infestation, your rabbit may develop head tilt. As with an ear infection, the animal will also repeatedly scratch at its ears. You may also see redness and inflammation when you look inside the rabbit's ears. If your rabbit is showing signs of head tilt for any reason, get in touch with your local animal hospital.

Contact a local veterinary clinic to learn more.