Rabbits shed every 3 months. A heavy shedding then a light shedding. They can get hairballs from grooming but can’t remove them causing blocking in the stomach.
Brush Them Weekly to aid preparation for daily brushing during heavy shedding. Some lose old coats in a day so these can’t be neglected once shedding starts. Remove Excess fur asap or your rabbit will do it during grooming. Bald spots on rabbits are quite common when they are shedding. Long Haired rabbits need more attention. Trimmed them to 1 inch, otherwise you may be fighting hairballs most of the time.
Safe treatments; Advantage, Program & Revolution (Advantage is known to irritate rabbits skin) Clean rabbit’s cage & exercise areas after treatment to control re-infestation. A flea comb is non-toxic device but takes more patience. Its physically & psychologically rewarding. Most rabbits learn to love the attention of being flea combed. The following products should NOT be used on rabbits: Frontline (fipronil) has been linked to neurological damage and death in rabbits. Flea powders, even advertised as “rabbit safe”, aren’t recommended for rabbits. Flea shampoos, even advertised as “rabbit safe”, aren’t recommended rabbits. Environmental flea control – sprays & “bombs” aren’t recommended. They may leave harmful residue that the rabbit can ingest.
Most rabbits don’t like getting wet. Even an odd bath is stressful. A wet rabbit can become hypothermic. If wet to the skin thoroughly blow dry the bunny until undercoat is dry & fluffy. Their skin is v.delicate & heat sensitive. Don’t blow dryer higher than “warm” & monitor temp of air.
Rabbit skin is delicate & susceptible to cuts, So use a mat splitter / rake to separate mass.
Mites or an allergic reaction can cause Scratchy, flaky skin with bald patches. Products listed under “Fleas” could clear this up. Consult your vet for open sores or chronic skin inflammation.
Situated under chin & around anus. If anus scent glands build up, Their will be an unpleasant odor. Clean glands by dipping a Q-tip into some warm water and hold your rabbit safely with access to the genitals. Locate the two slits on either side of the rabbit’s genitals. Take the Q-tip and carefully swab away the brown buildup.
House rabbits spend most time on carpet & linoleum so need their toenails trimming. Declawing has a risk of infection and is definitely NOT recommended. If digging/ scratching is a problem, a large box of hay/ straw allows them to pursue these activities. If padding on feet is worn, exposing inflamed/ callused skin, then provide soft dry resting pads. Exposed skin that’s urine burned or broken is likely to infect. Keep rugs & litterboxes clean & dry.
A urinary infection or a disabled older rabbit can result in saturated fur around the hindquarters. For milder cases, shave the areas that get wet so the skin can dry, rinse the affected areas daily, and follow up with a dusting of baby powder or corn starch. For worse cases, baby diapers-turned backwards do wonders for keeping moisture from the skin.
Ear wax can be lifted with a cotton swab. Careful not to push on wax in the canal. You can try a mild ear cleaner such as Nolvasan Otic. For ear mite infestation, use topical medication e.g. Mitox. The vet may also prescribe Ivermectin.
Rabbits teeth grow continuously and must wear down properly. While grooming your rabbit check to ensure no problem. Straight teeth get worn with everyday gnawing and chewing. Crooked teeth need to be trimmed with guillotine-type clippers. If untreated, the rabbit can’t eat and could starve. Your veterinarian can show you how to clip a rabbit’s teeth or they can clip them for you.
Rabbits nails can grow very long and sharp and will be uncomfortable for the rabbit. Light colored nails are very easy to trim. You can see the blood inside the nail and clip just before that point. Dark colored nails are harder to see where they should be clipped but it’s still visible.
They should be checked every 6-8 weeks.
Watery eyes or eye discharge needs to be diagnosed by a vet. The cheek needs to be kept dry and clean so the area will not become chafed nor the fur peel off. Clean tissues will absorb mild wetness. Ophthalmic saline solution carefully poured onto the cheek will crystallize tears so they can be removed with a flea comb.