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You are watching: Why do rabbits pull their fur out


What is it?

Rabbit groom themselves consistently to save their coats clean and skin healthy. They ingest little amounts of hair i beg your pardon pass v the stomach and intestines undigested and also can be viewed in the faeces.

Overgrooming is sometimes called fur pulling, plucking or barbering. This frequently results in skin damage and also the sloop down of huge amounts that hair, i beg your pardon can form a hairball or trichobezoar.

What causes it?

Hairballs can occur in any type of rabbit, there room many possible causes:


As kindling (giving birth) ideologies a female rabbit will pull hair from her dewlap, chest and flanks to heat the nest. This is typically an noticeable cause that overgrooming as the fur is placed straight into a nest. Nesting is normal and also transient behaviour.

False pregnancy

Rabbits may nest in false pregnancy. This may be elicited by a dominant female or neutered male mounting the doe resulting in ovulation yet without triggering pregnancy. That can likewise happen spontaneously. Neutering your doe will avoid this.

Dirty or matted fur

In dirty problems a rabbit might struggle to clean their coat properly and also may come to be frustrated pulling hair out. Lengthy haired breeds need aid to regulate their fur and also should be groomed daily. Brief haired rabbits may need grooming weekly. Fur loss is generally worse in the Spring as soon as the winter coat is shed. Boredom

Rabbits room energetic, society creatures and also are quickly bored. Ideally, rabbits need to live v a companion or group. Hare housed alone room much an ext likely to hair pull with the stress of isolation. Providing your rabbit numerous attention, time come play and explore and toys have the right to help.


Overcrowded or unsuitable enclosures cause stress and also fur pulling. Life in a permanently bright or according to area can reason frustration and stress. If dogs. Cats or two foxes have access to the hutch, her rabbit may fur pull because of fear.

Skin disease

Rabbits will hair pull if your skin is irritated by flea, mite or tick infestation. Dermatitis and allergies can also cause barbering.


Rabbits who lack fibre in their diet will fur pull as fibre modulates typical gut movement. Feeding a diet comprised of 80% hay or grass will prevent this. Pelleted food should comprise 5% of their diet through fibrous vegetables completing it. This diet will carry out the minerals and also vitamins castle need and also fibre.

Why is it important?

Rabbits cannot vomit, so ingested hair mixes with undigested food and also can cause an obstruction. The hare cannot eat, develops bloating and gut stasis – a life threaten condition. Rupture of the gastrointestinal street can take place causing peritonitis i beg your pardon is usually fatal.

Barbering can additionally cause skin damages leading come infection. This skin infection deserve to make the rabbit unwell.

How carry out you know what’s walk on?

You may an alert a patchy coat, sore inflamed skin or view the rabbit barbering. Their us or enclosure may be littered with fur.

If hairball is present, ns of appetite and also weight loss may be the very first sign of disease. Lock may come to be lethargic, disinterested, irritable or aggressive.

You may notification that they are not pass faeces, there are no pellets or caecotrophs in the cage. If pains is severe, they might sit in a hunched position and grind their teeth. The abdomen may show up swollen. This is a veterinarian emergency.

What have the right to be excellent for fur pulling?

If you notice that your rabbit is fur pulling or organize excessively, visit your vet. The vet will certainly ask you around your rabbit’s behaviour, diet and also hutch and carry the end a complete examination to recognize the cause of the fur pulling.

If your rabbit has made your skin ill or over there is infection present, he or she will require topical or oral medication. Parasite epidemic can additionally be identified and treated, along with other skin diseases.

Your vet may confirm her doe is pregnant and assure you that her hair pulling will protect against after kindling. In cases of false pregnant neutering the rabbit will protect against recurrence and also associated barbering.

If your rabbit is having challenge grooming climate the vet will inspect for dental disease and arthritis. Both problems can it is in treated.

Your vet may make recommendations around your enclosure to minimize stress. Occasionally rabbits can fight. Bonding advice or a break for the 2 warring rabbits may help. A companion might be recommended if her rabbit stays alone. Puzzles or toys can be added to the atmosphere to avoid boredom and much more exercise, digging and also burrowing might be a beneficial distraction.

If a short fibre or deficient diet is suspected her vet might advise a diet change.

What have the right to be done because that hairball obstruction?

If your rabbit is unwell, sitting hunched v a distended abdomen, no appetite and also not happen faeces climate a hairball could be leading to obstruction. Take your rabbit to the vet as shortly as possible.

If her vet can feel a hairball or identify one ~ above ultrasound or x-ray then therapy will be intensive. Her rabbit will certainly be hospitalised and also intravenous fluids may be used to rehydrate them.

Pain relief and medication to increase gut activity will likewise be administered. Most tiny hairballs will certainly pass right into the faeces and also these patients commonly go house with medication. Bigger hairballs might not relocate with this treatment. The rabbit may need surgical treatment if conservative treatment is no effective. This can lug increased risk as the rabbit is unwell and the stomach or intestine may be fragile because of the obstruction.

It is way to take her rabbit to the vet if you suspect this condition. Residence remedies might be suggested but none room proven to be effective and also may delay essential treatment.

What have the right to I execute to protect my pet?

Observe her rabbit for signs of overgrooming behaviour, exposed skin or a patchy coat. Keep in mind the amount of hair in the hutch and passed in the faeces. Over there will constantly be a little amount of hair in both but an increase suggests a problem. Groom your rabbit regularly, specifically when that or she is moulting. Clean the us and/or enclosure often. Ensure that it is in a serene area, safe from predators. provide companionship, toys, exercise, an ideal diet and also fresh water daily.

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In summary

Fur pulling might be a symptom of disease or boredom and stress. Identifying and also treating the cause will effectively prevent skin damage and also hairball disease.

In summary

Fur pulling may be a symptom of condition or boredom and also stress. Identifying and treating the cause will efficiently prevent skin damage and also hairball disease.