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Grooming a Longhaired Bunny

March 15, 2021

Have you recently adopted a longhaired rabbit, such as an Lionhead or an Angora? 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.


Summer

In summer, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep your pet rabbit dry and clean. Otherwise, she could develop flystrike, which is very painful and dangerous, not to mention 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!


Molting

A few times a year, Floppy will shed her old fur and grow in a new coat. This is called molting, as it’s a bit more intense than regular shedding. Grooming is especially crucial at these times. If your pet swallows her fur, she can’t vomit it back up the way a kitty could. That means those hairballs can cause very dangerous—and even life-threatening—intestinal blockages. Ask your vet for what to look for.


Problem Areas

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


Tools

Be very careful when selecting grooming tools for Floppy. Whether you opt for combs, a slicker brush, a mat rake, or another brush, be careful not to pull too hard. Bunnies have very delicate skin, which rips extremely easily. Generally, you’ll want to start with a wide-toothed comb or special mat comb. Then, finish with a tool that has narrower teeth.


Bathing

You should never, ever bathe a bunny. If Floppy gets something spilled on her fur, you can gently clean off the dirty area. One option is for you to hold your rabbit carefully and, if possible, submerge just the part or her that’s dirty into a tub or sink of lukewarm water, and swish the water around. Never submerge your pet’s head or her entire body. This is extremely scary for bunnies. They can actually go into shock, which can be fatal for them.


Convincing Floppy

Bunnies vary quite greatly in how they react to being groomed. Pick a time when Floppy feels relaxed and happy. 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 plenty.


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

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