Do you need to clean a rabbit's scent glands?

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pet_lover48

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Hi! I am thinking of getting a rabbit and have been reading/searching the interent a lot about the proper care of them. I saw on one site that rabbit's need to have their scent glands cleaned.
Is this true?

If so,does this apply to all rabbits, including ones that are spayed/neutered?

How often does it need to be done?

Is it a difficult job?

Any comments/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Kaylee

PS: The rabbit that I am getting (I think) isa 7 month old spyed female lionhead rabbit.
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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Some rabbits need the scent glands cleaned more than others. Any rabbit could need it, it doesn't really have to do with them being spayed or neutered.

I do check the glands on a regular basis, usually when I clip nails, but I only clean them when I need to.

I use a q-tip with a bit of vegetable oil. Put the rabbit on its back and clean each gland. You might need a few q-tips to get it done. It isn't really hard, but it can smell. Some rabbits don't like being held and flipped on their back, so that can make it harder. Having another person to help can be a good idea if you don't know your rabbit.

I have found that rabbits with longer fur or that have trouble grooming down there rend to have more clogged glands. I have shaved very matted rabbits that have had a lot of gunk in the glands.
 

jcottonl02

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irishbunny wrote:
Never have and probably never will. I don't believe in it :p
Just curious, why don't you 'believe in it' ?


I had my vet clean Pippin's scent glands once, when they seemed impacted and had the dark, waxy substance almost spilling out of them. I didn't know what it was at the time, so I took him to the vets and there he explained it was his scent glands.

It seems to be in the rabbit's best interest- I don't see why anyone would put themselves through that stinky smell (lol) if it wasn't for the sake of the rabbit, so, yes, if they need cleaning, then it is best to do so.

I doubt you'll need to clean your bun's scent glands though. Check them every week or so, just in case though. They are located either side of the genitals, like little slits.

Here's a good website, with very interesting info actually:

http://www.runningbun.com/2009/08/rabbit-scent-glands-why-they-need.html
Jen
 

tonyshuman

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It's usually not necessary, but it's gross if you don't, and bunnies sometimes stink if you don't. It's not very hard, just a bit gross.
 

Mrs. PBJ

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I clean my buns every month. Normally not that dirty but i do clean them every month.


There scent glands are two spots on either side of there anus/private parts. Its like a pocket there. The look is almost like ear wax.

The smell is horrible and will knock your socks off the first time you do it. I use a Q-Tip and sterile water.

I hope that helps.
 

kirbyultra

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I've never had to do my boys'. Other people have checked their glands for me and they're always cleans as a whistle. So, I figure they're doing a good job on their own and I don't bother checking anymore. If they start to stink I'll check. I might check penny's but ... I'm not in any rush.
 

tonyshuman

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Forgot to mention, I use a Q-tip and lukewarm water at the shelter, and baby oil at home. The baby oil makes it easier to get the goop out without hurting their sensitive skin. We don't have baby oil at the shelter... maybe I should pick some up on my way in tomorrow.
 

Happi Bun

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I clean my bunnies scent glands monthly and do all the glands for the bunnies at the rabbit rescue as well. Needless to say I do believe in it. Especially because I've seen what a build up looks like and it smells bad. Not to mention it does look uncomfortable. When a buildup finally does come off it can leave the skin raw and irritated. It only takes a minute or two to do, I just use a Q-tip. All rabbit's have scent glands, regardless if they are spayed/neutered. Monthly should be sufficient.

:bunny24
 

irishbunny

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jcottonl02 wrote:
irishbunny wrote:
Never have and probably never will. I don't believe in it :p
Just curious, why don't you 'believe in it' ?


I had my vet clean Pippin's scent glands once, when they seemed impacted and had the dark, waxy substance almost spilling out of them. I didn't know what it was at the time, so I took him to the vets and there he explained it was his scent glands.

It seems to be in the rabbit's best interest- I don't see why anyone would put themselves through that stinky smell (lol) if it wasn't for the sake of the rabbit, so, yes, if they need cleaning, then it is best to do so.

I doubt you'll need to clean your bun's scent glands though. Check them every week or so, just in case though. They are located either side of the genitals, like little slits.

Here's a good website, with very interesting info actually:

http://www.runningbun.com/2009/08/rabbit-scent-glands-why-they-need.html
Jen
I'd love to know who is the person going around cleaning wild bunnies scent glands :p

But ya, all joking aside, when I first got bunnies a few years ago I did a ton of research on this and it just doesn't seem necessary. Plus, if you do it once, you have to keep doing it cause it gets worse next time around.

Just a personal decision.
 

pamnock

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For most rabbits, it's generally not necessary. However, I have noted that French Lops get pretty nasty and smelly and some require cleaning.
 

jcottonl02

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Hmm that seems fair.
To be honest, I don't really know loads about scent glands, but it seems to be the consensus among vets and experienced rabbit owners that if they need cleaning, then it should be done.

But I really don't have enough knowledge or experience to have an opinion on this, tbh. Pippin's have needed cleaning once, so I got them cleaned, but other than that I've never had any problems with it.

Thing is, some rabbits, dogs and cats occasionally need their anal scent glands cleared- some dogs need it done routinely!-, I guess because they just don't use them to mark any new territory? Perhaps they can't exhibit this behaviour enough, so the scent glands get clogged?

Not sure really :?

Jen
 

RandomWiktor

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I'd say it depends on the rabbit. Back when Brindam was still overweight, she couldn't do her own cleaning "downstairs," and hers would get loaded to overflowing with this crusty orangey FOUL smelling stuff. Now that she's slimmed down, she must be keeping it clean herself, because I've checked a few times and they're very clean looking.

Wendy has never had a problem with hers, thank goodness, and we don't seem to be having an issue with any of Steve's rabbits either. I think where you're apt to run into an issue is a rabbit that has trouble grooming that area, be it due to weight, abundance of pelt, or other reasons. But as everyone's said, each rabbit is different.
 

BrittsBunny

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I didn't even know about their scent glands until this post...or where they are located...never even dreamed I would have to check...ohhh Wranglerrrr :whistling
 

elrohwen

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According to my vet it's unnecessary. My personal feeling is that there are some rabbits who need help down there, especially overweight buns, but in general it doesn't need to be done.

I also don't feel comfortable mucking around down there with a q-tip, especially since my bunnies aren't good about being handled, so I'll leave it up to my vet's office to decide if my buns ever need it.
 

jcottonl02

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I never do it myself, either, Laura- it's just too sensitive down there!!!! So sensitive, and I would worry I would hurt him, as I'm not experienced in cleaning scent glands at all.

If, when I am checking him over, I see the brown substance bulging out, then I take him to the vets to let them do it. But this has only ever happened once, but I do still check, just in case, because it can't be comfortable if they DO get bogged up with it, and can't release it themselves.

Jen
 

BrittsBunny

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Yeah...next time I get ahold of Wrangler, I'll flip him over and see whatsup...but if he looks okay, then I'm going to let him be, if not, well I'll try to clean the scent glands as best as I can...

It's kind of like taking care of my gelding...I have to clean him out every month and it gets dirty up in there :shock:and you talk about smelly! :yuckBut I love him and I am a responsible horse owner, therefore I don't mind doing it at all ;)But as it goes for horses, you have to clean their "private areas", or they can get seriously infected. Like a male horse should have the "bean" removed at least once a year, if not twice a year. Note: for all of you non-horsey people, the bean is a sort of build-up you could say...I'm not 100% sure of what it's made up of, I just know that if it's there, it needs to be removed.
 

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