About Us!

Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How Can I Keep my Rabbit from Getting Hairballs

  Question: How Can I Keep my Rabbit from Getting Hairballs

Answer: Hair balls in rabbits are a potentially serious problem and prevention is definitely easier than treating them once they have developed. When rabbits groom, they can ingest a lot of hair which can accumulate in the stomach. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot vomit so if the hair doesn't move out of the stomach into the intestines, it can form a large mass (medically known as a trichobezoar) in the stomach. This condition is also sometimes called wool block. A similar mass of mostly undigested food can form if a rabbit is kept on an inappropriate diet, so sometimes large amounts of hair isn't the whole problem. In any case, the ability of the rabbit to digest food is affected and the rabbit can become very ill, and possibly even die. Prevention
  • High fiber (and low carbohydrate) diet. A diet high in fiber (lots of fresh hay and vegetables) stimulates motility of the gastrointestinal tract and keeps food (and accidentally ingested hair) moving through the stomach. See "Feeding Rabbits" for more information on the proper diet for house rabbits.
  • Lots of exercise (also aids gastrointestinal motility and digestion). This means playtime outside of the cage along with toys to encourage activity. "Rabbits for Toys" discusses good toys and activities for pet rabbits.
  • Grooming. Regular brushing especially during a heavy shedding period will help reduce the amount of hair swallowed.
  • Low stress environment. Rabbits kept in stressful (crowded, unclean, noisy, presence of possible predators, etc.) are more susceptible to this condition. 
The "string of pearls" when the hair is passing through the digestive system. 
This is definitely time to see a vet, start feeding dried papaya,
and make sure bunny is drinking plenty of water along with daily brushing.

Rabbits affected by hairballs (or or any other materials accumulating in the stomach) will often show a decrease in appetite and eventually weight loss. The amount of feces produced usually decreases too. The rabbit may act depressed or lethargic as well. If your rabbit is showing any of these signs you should see your vet immediately. Remember that if your rabbit stops eating, numerous other digestive problems often result and your rabbit's health can deteriorate very quickly. If hair balls are diagnosed a number of treatments can be attempted to treat the problem medically (Enulose or CatLax); if they progress to the point when surgery is required the chances of recovery are reduced. Providing the appropriate high fiber diet along with opportunity for exercise are critical to you rabbit's health.
For many bunnies it doesn't matter what time of year it is when they decide to shed. What's important is you keep up the brushing on a daily basis during this heavy shedding period. We know bunnies constantly groom themselves taking lots of fur into their digestive tract. This is when blockages can occur and it's why making sure his diet includes unlimited fresh Timothy hay and other roughage is so important. You can also offer papaya cubes, unsweetened of course to help with general digestion. Make brushing time with your bunny an opportunity to bond and to give him a general body scan to make sure he is healthy. Enjoy this time with your bunny!
 ** http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/rabbits/f/rabbwoolblock.htm