Why Do Rabbits' Ears Go Down?

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Rabbit ears go down for a variety of reasons. They may go down as a way of communicating. They may go down due to a medical condition, a sign of aging or simply genetics.

Purpose of Rabbit Ears

  • The rabbits' long ears are its most prominent features. They aid in regulating body temperature and detecting sound. The ears are also a good indicator of how a rabbit is feeling and provide an excellent means of communication.

Communication

Medical Problem

  • Another reason rabbit ears may droop down may be a medical condition. A drooping ear may be an indication of disease within the ear such as a bacterial infection. Drooping ears may be associated with other signs of illness such as head shaking, waxy ears and loss of balance.

Sign of Aging

  • Rabbit ears tend to droop down as the animals get older. Rabbit ears may collapse due to weakness in the cartilage and bones structure, causing arthritis with age.

Genetics

  • Finally, due to genetics, certain breeds have ears that naturally go down. Lop eared breeds such as the Holland Lop or Lionhead tend to have characteristically long droopy ears.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Rabbit Bite's Buns and Chou Chou Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jannes Pockele Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mark Fosh
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