Dirty bunny... Need advice!

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Mz_Mala, Nov 26, 2018.

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  1. Nov 26, 2018 #1

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

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    I have 2 buns, 1 male mini lop (2.5 years old) named Oreo and 1 English spot (< 1 year) named Zelda. Both belong to my son, who has gone off to college this fall, and so I'm now their primary caregiver. Zelda has no problems, but Oreo has a special bond with my son and hasn't been the same since he left. He seems down & cleans himself much less than usual. I had him fixed in August because he can be a bit aggressive, but ever since my son left he is just plain old DIRTY, and basically I'm not sure how to clean him. He blew his coat recently, and I'd brush him as much as he'd let me, but he hates his backside being touched & whoever tries it is in imminent danger of being bitten. Since he's blown his coat, a bunch of loose fur has created kind of a ring around his bum of fur mats and now I can see that it gets wet and also has some fecal matter on it. I know this needs attention pretty much ASAP, but I could use some guidance from some experienced owners! I've looked into rabbit groomers but can't find any. I've considered calling a vet for suggestions as well. I've thought about putting a small amount of water in the tub and letting him sit in soapy water to loosen things up (he's had full baths before and likes them), but not sure if this is the best approach. It doesn't help that I'm the only one who can really handle him, and even then it's difficult to get him to "submit" on his back. Any ideas on procedure, shampoo, etc? I really don't think a dry bath will cut it at this point. :-/ Thanks!
     
  2. Nov 26, 2018 #2

    Popsicles

    Popsicles

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    Carefully clip the matts away, preferable using clippers but can use scissors if you are very careful. Get as much as you can, then you can just give a butt bath using warm water and a cloth just getting minimal parts of him wet. You might find when you have removed the fur and dirt that he is very sore and red - if it is bad take him to a vet to have a look at. Don’t try getting him to “submit”. Prey animals don’t submit unless they are resigned to death, so it is very stressful for him. If you don’t. Have anyone around to help then you should take him somewhere else they can do it more effectively. A vet / vet nurse can de-matt for you, but I’m not sure how much that would cost you.
     
  3. Nov 26, 2018 #3

    AmberKoenders

    AmberKoenders

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    I did bathe my elder bunny when he could not clean himself anymore, but just be gentle and make sure the water is not too deep and lew warm, just belly deep max. You can try clean the area with a soft towel once things have loosened up. If he lets you then I think that is the best way to do it.

    Regarding shampoo you can try see if your pet shop has bunny shampoo (mine does!) or else puppy shampoo. Just don't get it in his eyes and make sure to clean it all off after his bath (so he can't lick it up, that might be harmful). If you can't find either go for a really mild baby shampoo without perfume. Or just don't use shampoo if you feel it's not needed, bunnies don't use shampoo themselves after all ;)

    If the bunny lets you you can try clipping the matted fur yourself, just be careful not to snip any skin. This would be easiest with 2 people. One holding the bunny in a good position, and one with the scissors.

    If he doesn't let you clip him yourself and the fur is really matted, the bum area seems red, wet and irritated I would suggest getting him to a vet let them sedate him. Then they can cut away the fur easily and treat any possible infection that might be under there. Infection can sneak in very quickly in that area so just do regular checks to see if everything still looks normal. Getting a bunny this age sedated is not a big deal and they can give him a reverser after he procedure so he will be awake very quickly, so there is almost no risk attached.

    Good luck with your dirty bunny ;)
     
  4. Nov 26, 2018 #4

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

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    That's very good to know (about the submitting part)! The vet was doing this in order to get a look at his incisions after his surgery, and she said that it was fine to do when I need to clip his nails (which he won't let me do with any ease). I don't want to traumatize the poor rabbit! Most vets around here don't see rabbits, and I ended up being very displeased with the place I went to. It seemed very dirty and the people were quite rude for the most part. Anyhow thank you for the advice!
     
  5. Nov 26, 2018 #5

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

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    Oreo actually had a dirty bum when he went in for his neutering, and I was very surprised after his surgery to see that they hadn't removed the mats in that area during the surgery. It seems more hygienic, especially considering that the poor bun developed an infection down there post-op and I had to take him back for antibiotics. Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. Nov 26, 2018 #6

    Popsicles

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    I think you need to try and find a more rabbit savvy vet in your area, as they don’t seem to have very good knowledge of rabbits.
     
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  7. Nov 26, 2018 #7

    JBun

    JBun

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    If his bum is staying wet and it's not an isolated incident such as from him accidentally standing in a puddle, having a wet bum and fecal matter stuck to the fur, can both be indications of underlying health issues. If he's dribbling urine then he could have a UTI and/or calcium build up in his bladder. This can cause discomfort and pain, which could explain his depressed attitude and maybe even his hind end sensitivity. So you basically need to get him into be seen by an experienced rabbit vet. It may be as simple as putting him on the proper antibiotic, usually smz/tmp or baytril, or he may also need his bladder flushed and a diet change if he has calcium buildup. The vet can also help clean up his back end and clip the matts away. Hopefully you can find a better rabbit vet on the link below.
    https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

    A poopy bum where the rabbit is still producing normal round fecal poop, is usually from mushy cecotropes. A few things commonly cause this. It could be because he is in pain from a UTI and it is uncomfortable for him to reach down and consume his cecals, so they are getting smooshed into the fur. The most common cause of mushy cecals is a diet too high in sugars/carbs and too low in fiber. Some rabbits are very sensitive and will be more prone to this happening without lots of fiber from hay in the diet. Rarely will a particular veggie or type of hay cause this, but it can happen. Usually the fix for this is to decrease pellets, eliminate sugary/high carb foods, and free feed a good quality grass hay. Sometimes when it's severe, removing pellets and free feeding grass hay(ensuring bun is eating it really well) is necessary temporarily, to help reestablish the proper bacteria in the rabbits gut.
    https://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/
    https://rabbit.org/disorders-of-the-cecum/

    Sometimes inclining a rabbit on it's back is necessary for health checks or clipping nails. I've never found any other way that works to clip my rabbits nails. It's not a recommended practice except when necessary, as it can greatly stress a rabbit. So it's just something to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

    Bathing a rabbit isn't recommended, but sometimes a limited butt bath is necessary if a rabbit is very soiled down there. Great care just needs to be taken when doing it. If you feel you need to give your bun a butt bath, you can take a look at this link as to how to go about that.
    http://www.disabledrabbits.com/baths--cleaning.html
     
  8. Nov 27, 2018 #8

    Popsicles

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  9. Nov 27, 2018 #9

    Mz_Mala

    Mz_Mala

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    That is a lot of great info - Thanks so much!
     

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