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Old 05-17-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
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Location: Nowhereville, Nebraska, USA
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I've googled the tutorials, youtubed videos, etc. But all the pictures/videos/tutorials show perfectly well behaved bunnies - they let the people stand them on their hind legs, grab their feet, sit in their laps perfectly still, etc. My Powder is NOT that sort of bunny.

I want to be able to clip his nails myself, since the vet is pretty far away and no one else does bunny nails any closer.

I read a few threads on here that suggest a bunny burrito... but what exactly IS a bunny burrito?

He won't sit on my lap, he hates being held, he struggles, wiggles, jerks and claws to get free. I tried to see if he would let me touch his feet while laying on the floor chilling out, but he was not happy with his feet being touched at all. I haven't tried to clip yet, just trying to find a way to even get near his feet.

I bought clippers and I have styptic powder (I have to keep that around for broken blood feathers anyway). My boyfriend will help me hold him. I just am not quite sure how to hold him, without hurting him and still being able to access the feet.

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Old 05-17-2011, 03:58 AM   #2
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A bunny burito is bascailly wrapping a bunny in a towel so they can' move easily. This allows you to check things a bit easier and can make nail clipping easier. To do it, lay the towel out on a table and put the rabbit in the middle. Wrap the towel around the rabbit so that it is under the chin and tight enough that they can't wiggle out easily without being too tight. You may need to adjust it a few times while you do the nail clipping. For nail clipping, it might be easier to put the rabbit on the table first, then wrap the towel to the ends are on the bottom of the rabbit so that you can get better access to the feet.

Stressing your rabbit a bit can help. Try putting him in a carrier and driving around the block then do the nails in an area he does not know. Rabbits tend to act differently when away from 'home', so you can try to use that to your advantage.

When doing the nails, get one of you to hold him so that his back it against their chest but he is not upside down on his back. Some rabbits really don't like to be on their backs, so this can make it easier. Then clip the nails as carefully as you can.
It might also help to cover his face so he can't see. This might calm him down a bit and prevent him from fighting you as much. I think it would be the same thing with birds and even horses.

You should work with him on getting him used to being handled. Make sure you wear long sleeves and don't wear your nice shirts, an apron might be good too to prevent scratches. Don't let him go when he fights you as that just reinforces the behaviour. Again, try it in an area he does not know so he is a bit calmer.

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Old 05-17-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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My rabbit hates to be picked up and he will bite. I've been taking him to the vet to get his nails clipped for the last couple of years. I found that he is so much better at the vet but I think partly it's because he's stressed. I really like Kate's idea of driving him somewhere.

Either he's finally mellowing out with age or he's finally getting used to it but lately I've been able to get him quite relaxed during nail clipping by wrapping him in a towel and stroking his head and cheeks constantly while someone else clips. He doesn't relax at all for my husband and I think that is because I'm usually the one to pick him up, pet him, brush him, etc. I've had to be the one to hold him while someone else clips.I have done back nails one day and front nails a couple of days later. I think that helps too. He used avoid me for days after a nail trim or brushing and now he comes right back to me for attention later in the day or at least by the next day. I think the more you do stuff like that, the better it gets.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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The videos help in showing what you can acheive. I've a herd of bunnies out side and when it's nail clipping time they know what's going on and how to behave.

Honestly work on it allll the time. Don't let the rabbit get away with anything. I like a rabbit that will lay on it's back in my lap with full trust in everything that I am doing so I can clip their nails. It takes time and practice. Just let the rabbit lay in its back in your lap and work from there. Some of mine still need some hand support, but over time you can have both hands free to work o the animal.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:18 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks guys I've only had him since late april, so he doesn't exactly 100% trust me yet, so I haven't really tried to get him used to anything he won't like - like being held... only picked him up twice when he got into trouble and had to be moved.

But, now that he is getting used to me, I will try to work on him. I think the first clip we will end up letting the vet do, he doesn't need it quite yet and he's going in for a neuter checkup/surgery anyway. But, in the meantime I will try to get him less stressy about being handled. He loves being petted, so maybe if boyfriend holds him and I pet him he'll calm down.

He doesn't bite, thankfully - he does claw me though lol last time I picked him up to put him to bed since he wouldn't go himself, I got a nice criss-cross of scratches along my chest, through my shirt, think I will need to borrow some of the boyfriends thicker ones!

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