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Grooming a Longhaired Bunny

June 1, 2021

Have you recently adopted a longhaired rabbit, like a Jersey Woolly or an Angora? These fluffy bunnies are of course super cute. However, Floppy won’t be able to keep up with all that fur herself. You’ll need to groom her regularly. A veterinarian offers some advice on this below.


Heat

Make sure that your furry friend doesn’t get too hot or cold! Floppy should live indoors, and she should enjoy climate control when it’s hot or cold out. 


Flystrike

In summer, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep your fuzzy buddy clean and dry. Otherwise, she could develop flystrike, which is both dangerous and disgusting. Check your pet’s skin and coat daily. Your vet may also recommend a flystrike preventative. 


Molting

A few times a year, your rabbit will shed her old fur and grow in a new coat. This is called molting, and it’s definitely more intense than regular shedding. Grooming is especially crucial at these times. If Floppy swallows her hair, she won’t be able to vomit it back up the way a cat could. That means those hairballs can cause extremely dangerous—and even life-threatening—intestinal blockages. Ask your vet for specific advice..


Convincing Floppy

Bunnies vary greatly in how they react to being groomed. Choose a time when Floppy feels relaxed. As you brush your little friend, 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.


Tools

Be very careful when selecting Floppy’s grooming tools. 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. No matter what you use, you’ll need to be careful not to pull too hard. 


Bathing

Did you know that you should never bathe a rabbit? If Floppy gets something spilled on her, you can gently clean off the dirty area. One option is hold your furry friend 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 gently to clean her. Never submerge your rabbit’s head or whole body. This is extremely scary for bunnies, and they can actually go into shock.


Problem Areas

With longhaired bunnies, their ‘armpits’ and the spots between their legs often get matted the most. Your vet may recommend clipping or even shaving these trouble areas. Ask for specific advice.


Please contact us for more information about rabbit care. We’re hoppy to help!

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