Friday, 9 December 2011

Grooming your Rabbit

Grooming your rabbit is very important especially if they are lionhead rabbits. Here are some tips about grooming your rabbit:


 SHEDDING

They shed every 3 months and sometimes they shed more hair then other times. You should always have a rabbit brush handy all year round.

rabbits are very critical cleaners similar to cats. But unlike cats they cannot cough up hairballs since they don't have the muscles to throw-up. If they end up having a large hair ball in their stomach disallowing them to eat so they end up starving themselves. If this were to happen, their stomach would  look very large.

Make sure to brush your bunny AT LEAST once a week to get rid of any of there loose fur. If your rabbit looses their whole coat in one day, make sure to brush or use your hands to get rid of a majority of the loose fur instead of them digesting all of the hair.

If you find bald spots on your bunny, DON'T PANIC! This  is completely normal and is commonly found angora rabbits. This type of rabbit looses all of its fur apart from the head and the feet during shedding. If you find a bald patch on your rabbit, it will grow back in a week or two. Give it time.






LONG HAIRED BUNNIES

As you may know, this type of rabbit is truly lovely to look at. The only problem, is that they require a lot more care then their shot haired cousins. I recommend that you use your best scissors and keep their nice hair trimmed to about an inch long. If you don't do this, then you may have to battle hairballs most of the time.
If you are uncomfortable with doing the above, you can always visit a vet to do these tasks.


FLEAS AND MITES

During you having your pet bunny, you may come across them having fleas or anything else. If this does happen, these are you options to get rid the fleas:

You can go into a pet shop or visit your vet for a medicine that you put on them and rub into their skin

OR

you can use a flea comb which is harmless to them and non-toxic. This takes more patients but still does the job good! As well as most rabbits love the attention of you using the flea comb on them and can be used as a supplement to your main flea-control program. 

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OVER THEIR FUR FOR ANYTHING AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK

BATHS

Most rabbits hate being in water, but you will get the odd rabbit that loves swimming in the pool. Even giving your rabbit the occasional bath can put them under a lot of stress. NEVER- unless your vet suggests it to bring down your rabbits fever-should you give your sick bunny a bath. Bunnies that seem healthy, may have undiagnosed problems. It is the best to avoid putting them under the stress of having a bath. 

If your rabbit has extremely bad fleas, there is a good chance he has already compromised and will go into major shock when getting a bath. There are many safe alternatives of avoiding a bath if your bunny has fleas. As well as a soaked rabbit takes AGES to dry. Spot cleaning the dirty area with an application of baby cornstarch (found in baby isle at local shop BUT AVOID talcum as it is carcinogenic) then gently combing out the dirt with a fine flea comb. This is much BETTER then a wet bath. 

If your rabbit is wet, he/she can quickly become hypothermic. IF for any reason your bunny is wet to the skin, I strongly recommend that you blow dry them until under coat is dry and fluffy. The normal bunny body temperature ranges from 101oF to 103oF. Considering rabbit skin is very delicate and rabbits are sensitive to heat, NEVER use a blow dryer on a setting higher then warm. Also constantly monitor of the air on your bunnies skin by placing your hand in its path.

MATS
Bunny skin is delicate and highly susceptible to cuts, so if your bunny gets a mat in his fur do not cut it off with scissors. Instead, use a mat splitter or mat rake to simply get rid of the knot. Unlike cats and dogs, bunny fur requires a much finer blade.

SKIN

Itchy, scratchy, flaky skin with bald patches are usually symptoms of mites OR more rarely an allergic reaction to having fleas. Products described under the description "FLEAS" will normally clear up this problem or go into your local pet shop and find something under mites or anything for skin. You should consult a veterinarian for such conditions as open sores or chronic skin inflammation.

SCENT GLANDS 
Rabbits have scent glands under their chin (they use this to to mark items including people when they chin things!) and around their anus.  When the anus glands build up, the rabbit usually has an unpleasant odor. 
It is very easy to clean them, however. You simply dip a Q-tip into some Vaseline and hold your rabbit in a comfortable, safe position that gives you access to the genitals. if you can hypnotize your rabbit SAFELY, this is a good way to go. All you do is locate the two slits either side of the genitals. Use the Q-tip to swab away the brown buildup. It will take 2 seconds and you will be done!

FEET
Bunnies who live in the house and spend their time inside on carpet and other soft flooring's will generally need to have their toenails clipped  just like dogs and cats. 

From the risk of infection, declawing is definitely NOT recommended for your bun.

If your bunny excessively digs and claws and it is becoming a problem, then a large box of hay or straw where your bunny can dig should help this problem.

If the fur on your bun's feet for any reason is worn down, exposing inflamed or callused skin, then soft dry resting pads (rugs) should be provided. Exposed skin on the feet that becomes urine burned or broken is very likely to infect. Take lots of care that rugs and litter box's are kept clean and dry
EARS 

Ear wax can be removed with a cotton swab, as long as you take care not to push on the wax canal. You could also try a mild ear cleaner containing Chlorhexadine, such as Nolvasan Otic. For ear mite infestation, apply a topical medication. 


TEETH

Your buns teeth will grow continuously and if they grow to long without being cut shorter or ground  down, will make your rabbits teeth feel uncomfortable. They must also be checked that they are wearing down properly. Whilst you brush your rabbit or are clipping his nails, take a glance at their teeth to make sure there is no problem.


Bunnies who have straight teeth, will keep them worn down with everyday gnawing and chewing. Buns with crooked teeth, will need to have their teeth kept trimmed with guillotine-type clippers. If this occurs and is left untreated, the rabbit will not be capable of eating and may starve to death. Your veterinarian can show you how to clip a rabbits teeth or they can clip them for you if that is something you are uncomfortable with doing yourself.


NAILS


Bunnies nails can grow to be very long and sharp and will be uncomfortable for the rabbit. If the rabbit has light colored nails they will be quite easy to trim . You can easily see the blood inside the nail and you clip just before that point. The dark colored nails are harder to see where they should be clipped but this is still visible.


Some people are often afraid to clip nails for fear that they will cause the rabbit to bleed.If you are one of these people, DON'T PANIC!  You can purchase a product called Kwik Stop to keep on hand if this ever occurs, but I've found that just holding pressure with a cotton ball will work just as good. Your veterinarian will also clip nails for you if you are uncomfortable with that. They're nails should be checked every 6-8 weeks.


EYES

Watery eyes or and eye discharge needs to be diagnosed by your veterinarian. In addition to any medications or eye drops, the cheek needs to be kept dry and clean so the area will not become chafed or the fur peeling. A few clean tissues will absorb mild wetness. A touch of prescription anesthetic powder on a finger can be applied to the area if there are painful lesions.

Here are some bunny products which I thought you may like. Have a look if your interested!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the information. We have only had our rabbit for approx 3 months. Kenneth Gibbons LLC

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