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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Grooming, Shedding, Molting

Rabbits are typically fastidiously clean animals, and spend a good deal of time grooming themselves. While this means they usually do not need baths, regular brushing helps keep their coat in good condition and help prevents hairballs. 

 Taken from the books 'The Essential Rabbit' & 'The Rabbit Handbook'
Rabbit breeds have four different types of hair : -

  1. Normal fur is a dense undercoat with coarse guard hairs extending past the undercoat.
  2. Satin fur is fine and has a hairshaft that reflects light, giving it a spectacular sheen.
  3. Rex fur is denser than normal fur and the guard hairs are about the same length as the undercoat. Rex fur also stands up perpendicular to the skin, giving it a unique feel.
  4. The last type of fur is wool and is found on Angora rabbits. There are actually four different types of wool found on different types of Angoras.

If you have a short haired rabbit, it is a good idea to brush them at least once a week. When they are shedding (they usually shed about every 3 months), more frequent brushing is recommended. During the heavy part of a shed, daily brushing is ideal. Keep in mind that rabbit skin is quite fragile, so be gentle and use a brush designed for rabbits if possible (bristle brushes are preferable; metal toothed slicker may hurt their skin). A fine toothed comb can also be used. Following up with a rubber grooming tool such as a Zoom Groom (see this one at LeithPetwerks, or check the cat section at your pet store) can help clean up loose hair too, or try running a damp (not wet) washcloth over the coat after brushing. You can often remove a very large percentage of hair by just pulling it out with your hand. But, however you remove it, remove it as soon as possible or your rabbit will do it during grooming.

If you have an Angora rabbit, grooming must be a daily ritual. Unless you are showing your long haired rabbit, it is easiest to keep the coat trimmed to a length of about 1 inch or else the coat will be very prone to matting and your rabbit prone to hairballs ("wool block"). You can trim it yourself or get a groomer to do it and just do touch-up trims at home. You must be very careful about trimming hair though since rabbit skin is quite thin and easy to cut accidentally. With these rabbits, daily brushing should become part of the daily routine from a young age (it is a good chance to bond with your bunny, too). For pet Angora rabbits, it is quite acceptable to keep their hair cut short so that it does not get as dirty and is easier to manage. If you do cut the fur, do not trim it right to the skin level. Fur offers natural protection against heat, cold, and anything that may injure the skin.
Always be careful about trimming the hair over a rabbit's hocks however, or sores may result.

Removing Matted Hair If your rabbit does develop mats in its coat, never try to trim them out with scissors as it is very easy to accidentally cut into the skin doing this. Gradually work out the mat by gently separating and combing hair out of the mat a tiny bit at a time, being careful not to pull on the skin. It may take several grooming sessions to work out a mat. Alternatively, you can take your rabbit to a groomer to have the mats trimmed out with electric clippers.

 Informative video:

Grooming Angora Bunnies:

If your rabbit is going through a heavy shed, you should brush them everyday. Brushing should be done in the natural direction of the hair coat; if you reverse the stroke and go from tail to head too frequently, you will damage the hair.
Rabbits shed every three months. One shed will be light and may not even be noticeable; the next shed will be heavy. Rabbits can lose a lot of hair during a heavy shed and may even develop bald areas. Rabbits are fastidious groomers. They insist on being clean & tidy and will lick themselves like cats, and like cats, they can get hairballs if they ingest too much hair. Unlike cats however, rabbits cannot vomit. If hairballs are allowed to form they can become gigantic masses of tangled hair & food and will block the stomach exit, causing the rabbit to starve to death while his stomach appears to be very fat.

*Also see "GI Stasis". If bunny is not eating, see vet immediately.

It may be easier during these periods to gently pull out loose hair with your fingers and follow up with a brushing. Dampening your hands with water and stroking your rabbit from head to tail will also help remove dead hair.
Note : Each rabbit sheds for a different period of time. For some rabbits, the shed will only last a day or two; for others, it will last two weeks.

Shedding Link:

Does My Rabbit Need Baths?
No. Rabbits do not need baths and generally find them very stressful. If absolutely necessary it is better to just do a "spot cleaning" of the area that is dirty rather than subjecting a rabbit to the stress of bathing. If it is absolutely necessary to bathe your rabbit, keep in mind that it takes rabbit fur a long time to dry and it is a good idea to use a blow dryer (on a warm, never hot, setting) to speed the process. Rabbits are prone to overheating, so be cautious. It is best to avoid baths if possible.

Cleaning those scent glands!!!

Bunnies & Hairballs:
** http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/rabbits/a/rabbitsrooming.htm


What If It's Not A Molt?

Your rabbit's fur loss may not always be caused by moulting. If your rabbit gets mites, its fur may also fall out.
You can tell the difference between mites and moulting by the fact that mites tend to cause patches of total fur loss, which usually take place around the ear region. There is usually something of a dandruff effect caused when there is a mite infestation.
If in any doubt as to the cause of your rabbit's fur loss, talk to your vet.