Have you recently adopted a longhaired rabbit, such as an Angora or a Lionhead? These super fluffy bunnies are of course super cute. However, your pet won’t be able to keep up with all that fur herself. You’ll need to groom her regularly. A vet offers some advice on this below.
In summer, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep your bunny dry and clean. Otherwise, she could develop flystrike, which is painful and dangerous, not to mention really gross. Check Floppy’s skin and coat daily. Your vet may also recommend a flystrike preventative. It’s also very important to make sure that your furry friend doesn’t overheat!
A few times a year, your rabbit will shed all of her old fur and grow in a new coat. This is called molting, as it’s a bit more intense than the shedding dogs and cats do. Bunny grooming is especially crucial at these times. If Floppy swallows her fur, she can’t vomit it back up the way a kitty could. Because of that, hairballs can cause very dangerous—and even life-threatening—intestinal blockages. Ask your vet for more information, including tips on hairball prevention and warning signs.
Be very careful when selecting Floppy’s beauty tools. Whether you opt for combs, a slicker brush, a mat rake, or another brush, it’s very important for you not to pull too hard. Bunnies have very delicate skin that rips easily. Generally, you’ll want to start with a wide-toothed comb or special mat comb. Then, finish up with a tool that has narrower teeth.
With longhaired bunnies, their ‘armpits’ and the spots between their legs often mat the most. Your vet may recommend that you clip or even shave these trouble areas. Ask for specific advice.
You should never bathe your rabbit. If Floppy ever gets something spilled on her fur, you can gently clean off the dirty area. One option is hold your bunny carefully and, if possible, submerge just the part or her that’s dirty into a tub or sink of lukewarm (not hot) water, and swish the water around. Never submerge your rabbit’s head or whole body. This is extremely scary for bunnies, and they can actually go into shock, which can be fatal.
Bunnies reactions and opinions on being groomed vary greatly. Some love it. Others? Not so much. Pick a time when Floppy feels relaxed. As you brush her, talk to her gently, and offer her treats and praise. Don’t try your pet’s patience with long sessions. About 10 or 15 minutes is fine.
Please contact us your local animal clinic in Fort Myers, FL for more information about rabbit care. We’re hoppy to help!