Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hair Loss in Rabbits

Hair loss in rabbits is also known as alopecia. It is when there is a complete/partial loss of hair where there is normally hair on your bunny. This isn't something they can get on its own, its caused through something like an infection, trauma or immune disorder. Also any rabbit as the same chance of this happening, no breed/age is worse than another.

The number one sign of alopecia is hair loss. The symptoms can all be different, but the one thing which is trying to be worked out is if it is a condition that is primary or secondary. Primary is when it happens on its own and could be something like a genetic descendant (passed from mum and dad to bunny, but they both had no signs of it - were carriers of this) and secondary is when it is caused by something else, like if your bunny had an infection, then started to loose their fur.


Disruption to hair follicle growth - from parasitic infection, infectious disease, nutritional defect or neoplastic causes.
If there is multiple areas of loss of fur, then its most frequently associated with bacterial or parasitic infection.
Can result to a behavioural problem called 'barbering' (where a dominant bunny will pull out its cage-mates hair) fur loss here, normally appears on their flanks.
Can occur from normal shedding patterns as well.


To see if there are any bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, a skin scraping and biopsy will happen.
Other tests which may be done are urine and blood sampling and x-rays.


If it is some sort of bacterial infection/other infections, medication will be prescribed, and if it is more serious, as in your bunny having a tumor, chemotherapy will be done, but only if necessary.

The recommendations to try to keep this away is to keep them on a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle, yet not all can be prevented.

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