Rabbits/Rabbit Fur

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Question
I have a very bonded pair of rabbits we adopted. What can I give them to help them digest their fur, since they're licking each other practically non-stop and are very affectionate? They're about 6 months old.

Answer
Dear Martin,

There's nothing you can give them to digest the fur, but you can help prevent undue intestinal trouble from ingested fur by:

1.  Grooming them well to reduce the loose fur when they are shedding.  It can really help to take bun up onto a secure surface (table top with a traction-backed mat), and with moist hands, rub back and forth where there's loose fur.  It will come off on your  damp palms, and you can then rub your palms together to get the fur off.  You will get a lot of felt!  :)

2.  Provide a diet rich in long fiber to help push the hair through the GI tract:  This means lots of fresh grass hay (timothy, brome, oat, coastal, orchard, or whatever grass (not legume) hay your bunnies like best.  Rotate hay types for variety!).  Also be sure to provide a daily serving of lots of fresh, wet greens.  You can read more here:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/diet.html

3.  Provide a constant supply of fresh water in a heavy crock, NOT a sipping bottle.  Bottles are okay for back-up.  But a bowl will promote more drinking, and in a more natural position than a bottle.  A well-hydrated bunny can pass things through the GI tract much more effectively than one who's not getting enough water.

Those things should help keep the lovebirds healthy and happy.

For all the best information on keep your your rabbits happy and well, please go to:

http://www.rabbit.org/

Happy snuzzling!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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