Rabbits/Rabbit Grooming - Dusty and Boaz
Thanks for your time. I have two questions for my rabbits, Dusty and Boaz. Both males, both fixed, they are a year and a bit old and both have trouble grooming different parts of their mini-lop bodies. They are housed in separate hutches and runs outside.
Dusty is grey and, sadly, had his right rear leg amputated earlier this year due to a bad break. He moves around fine and gets regular exercise but has difficulty cleaning the fur around his remaining genitals and especially under his tail. This fur gets damp (from rain, urine) and eventually dries into dense clumps. We have tried brushing, cutting away the clumped fur and a bum bath. We have also applied baby powder, on the advice of our vet. However, still not working well enough. Any ideas?
Boaz has issues at the other end. He is white/albino and a few months ago we changed our source/type of hay. Since then, the fur around his cheeks and whiskers has become thickly clumped and small bits of hay seem to be caught in the middle of each clump. I understand that this area is very sensitive so haven't attempted to clean yet. What do you recommend?
Many thanks again for your time!
I'm sorry to hear you're having some problems. Your boys sound super cute, so I hope I can help you get to maximizing their looks. There are a few questions I would like to ask, and a few suggestions/thoughts based on them, so I hope that some/all of this is helpful and I welcome any responses to help troubleshoot the issues you're having.
1) Any chance you can bring them indoors? That would eliminate one potential source of the fur problems you seem to be experiencing. Are they a bonded pair? If you can bond them, there's a chance they could help each other out with grooming and potentially solve each others fur issues. (Wouldn't that be absolutely PERFECT?!)
2) How often did/do you brush? If it's not daily, I might recommend making that part of your routine, at least until we can narrow down some other causes. Also, what are you brushing with? Doing so with a brush mitt might be a good product to use daily since a harder bristled brush might cause some skin irritation. It also doubles as "pet the bunny" time since it combines the motion of a pet with the grooming. Another option is the furminator. This is a product that a LOT of bunny owners use and swear by. I don't personally use it, but I know many that do, so I feel comfortable recommending it - http://www.amazon.com/FURminator-Small-Animal-deShedding-Tool/dp/B004A9UBUQ/ref=
3) What does their diet consist of on a regular basis? You mentioned a change in Boaz's fur once you switched hay and, for Dusty, urine getting in the mix and causing problems. Both of these issues could be an easy fix if there's something they're getting too much/little of.
Hope this helps, and let me know if I can answer anything else.