Do you trim your bunny's claws...

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by maherwoman, Jul 17, 2006.

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  1. Jul 17, 2006 #1

    maherwoman

    maherwoman

    maherwoman

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    So, my question for you guys is just that...

    Do you trim your bunny's(ies') claws even if they don't have the habit of growing too long?

    Is trimming them an absolute necessity?

    I ask because I don't think I've come across a single member that doesn't feel the need to trim their bunny's claws, and it makes me wonder if I should be, despite the fact that neither of mine have claws that grow curled, or too long, or anything along those lines.

    Is this something I should be doing, despite the fact that I don't see that their claws are too long? You can see Maisie's claws just a touch, but it's only because they are black. Flower's I don't see at all.

    So, I ask...am I neglecting my bunnies by not trimming their claws? Or due to the fact that they aren't growing all out-of-control...are they okay with my not trimming them?

    Your thoughts, guys? :)
     
  2. Jul 18, 2006 #2

    MyBabyBunnies

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    Rabbits who run (and dig) on grass and especially concrete need their nails trimmed much less than a rabbit who runs on carpet, lino, or wood floors. I've never actually heard of a rabbit not needing it's nails trimmed.

    I think you're best bet is a vet visit to be honest. Take them to get their nails trimmed and ask them when you are there what they think. It's hard to give you an answer without looking at it in person myself. The only way I learned was because all my bunnies have white nails and I can easily see the quick, I try to keep it near the end of the quick. I also notice that when they get less time to run outside in the winter, their nails get very long and make it hard to walk on the wood floor boards, so I trim them monthly in the winter.

    I wouldn't call it neglecting your rabbits, anyone will little experience on the matter may do the same and that's why I suggest taking them to get their nails cut and ask while you are there.

    Although I do wonder about the dew claw. It's the nail on the back of the leg (just like dogs). That nail is not worn down as easily and is especially important to trim because it can dig right into the paw and cause a lot of pain.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Jul 18, 2006 #3

    sheridan

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    I have never trimmed mine and I have had mine for a few months. I just let them out on concrete and they wear down themselves:colors:
     
  4. Jul 18, 2006 #4

    maherwoman

    maherwoman

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    Thanks for your responses, guys!

    MBB, mine don't go outside at all, but when they are hopping around indoors, I never hear their nails on the floor. Thus, they don't have any hinderance in their hopping around while out. This is pretty much why I ask. I hear their nails when they are being goofy and racing around their cage, but I suspect it's because they are using them for traction while racing around. Does that make sense?

    Another thing: when I had to give Maisie her medicine, she really had her claws out, but they weren't sharp. They were quite dull on the ends. Could it be that the pegboard they have for flooring in their cages wears down their nails enough?

    Edit: Oh, another thing. When I had to take Maisie in to the vet's recently for a small bout of GI Stasis, the vet asked me if I wanted her to trim Maisie's claws. I told her no, but asked her straight out if she thought they needed to be trimmed. She said no, that they weren't really that long, and if they didn't bother me (as in scratching me, and such) then she was totally fine. Does that help any? :) I asked this to begin with (about whether or not I should be trimming her claws) because I wanted to know if it was more a preference thing, or a health issue.

    If her nails aren't very long, and aren't a hinderance to her, would it be okay not to trim them?
     
  5. Jul 18, 2006 #5

    MyBabyBunnies

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    I don't know how pegboard affects the nails so I can't say. But I would liketo make one correction, a rabbit cannot retract it's nails like a cat can. They are in one rigid spot and do not move. Most likely the fur is padding the nails when they walk normally but when they run, there is more force which causes you to hear the nails. I've never heard my rabbits nails hit anything, they are very quiet at walking and running. So her nails are always out, I think that sometimes they place weight on certain points of the foot depending on how much grip they need.

    If the vet says they're ok, then I guess it doesn't matter but I still worry especially about the dew claw.

    The trimming nails is both a preference and a health issue. Some people trim them a lot to prevent scratches while others only trim them as needed. Long nails make it uncomfortable and awkward to walk and can dig into the rabbits foot if they grow too long.
     
  6. Jul 18, 2006 #6

    maherwoman

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    Okay, cool...thanks for the information! :)
     
  7. Jul 18, 2006 #7

    JimD

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    I've found that some of my bunnie's nails grow slower that the others.

    I try to check nails weekly and clip if there'smore than 1/8" past the quick.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2006 #8

    maherwoman

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    Ok, thanks, JimD! :)

    If I ever see that their nails are causing them difficulties, I'll definitely trim them. I'll continue keeping an eye out, and they'll be visiting the vet often enough that she'll be able to spot it if I can't. :)
     
  9. Jul 19, 2006 #9

    naturestee

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    Also keep in mind that your rabbits are still young. Their bodies are growing along with their nails. Mocha didn't need her nails clipped much until she was older. All of mine need them clipped every month or two now. They don't curl (except Fey and Sprite's "thumb" nails on the front feet) but they do get long. I've noticed that they sometimes fuss a bit and dig more if their nails are getting too long.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2006 #10

    maherwoman

    maherwoman

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    Okay...cool, thank you! I'll keep that in mind, and I'll be on the lookout and keep checking. I didn't realize that them being so young would make a difference. Hehe...I often have to remind myself that they're still such little babies! I mean, Maisie's just about seven months old, and Flower is just about four months old...they're not really even close to being a year old yet. It's hard to remember with Flower's size, and Maisie's big girl personality! :)
     
  11. Jul 19, 2006 #11

    MyBabyBunnies

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    That's a good point, I thought your rabbits were older for some reason.:dunno:

    But I never clipped my boys' nails until they were over a year old.
     
  12. Jul 19, 2006 #12

    maherwoman

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    Aah...lol...I guess as they get older, I'll get more why everybody trims their bunnies' claws. Hehe!! :)

    Thanks, guys!! :D
     
  13. Jul 19, 2006 #13

    tamsin

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    My bunnies are 5 years and 3 years and I never trim their claws :) If the nails aren't too long I don't see how you can trim them unless you cut them too short :?

    Their run is on paving slabs and they move about a lot, that seems to be enough to keep them short.

    I think it partly depends on the rabbit, the flooring and how much they run about.... obviously wild rabbits don't call in the vets for regular trims! I had a lop on the same housing as my current two and his claws needed trimming. They were much thicker nails than my lionheads though so possibly didn't wear as quickly. Plus he was a bit a lazy chap :D


     
  14. Jul 19, 2006 #14

    JimD

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    I have to share this!:)

    For the second time now I've had a bunnie sit patiently while I clipped their nails.
    First with S'more, and now with Benji.

    Every morning when I feed them, I also check them over a little while I pet them. Eye goops, ears, poopy butt(kind of reach under their tail whiel they're just sitting), nails, etc.
    The other morning I noticed that S'more needed a clipping. She freaks when I pick her up so I decided to try to clip them with her sitting normally in her cage. Once she realized that I wasn't going to try to pick her up, she let me gently lift each paw and clip the nails....even the dew claw!!

    And this morning, Benji let me clip his nails the same way.:D

    Does anyone else use this method?:?

    ~Jim
     
  15. Jul 19, 2006 #15

    HoneyPot

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    Jim - I do that with Charlie. I was so surprised when he let me just pull a foot out and clip clip clip while he was sitting still.

    They sure do surprise me a lot.

    Misty on the other hand fights like a maniac to clip her nails. Acts like I am killing her with every clip. Lots of groaning and flinching.

    Charlie is only 3 months and I have had to clip his nails twice already. Misty is 11 months and she gets hers done as soon as they are long enough to get clipped. I check on her every week - usually ends up being once a month. It makes it easier for her to get around on our hardwood floors.

    ___________
    Nadia
     
  16. Jul 19, 2006 #16

    JimD

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    HoneyPot wrote:
    Hi Nadia!

    S'more must be a lot like Misty when it comes to clipping her nails. And I think it's only because she HATES to be handled.
    We usually use the burrito method. She "huffs" and "squeaks" the whole time. Once she got so upset that she started to overheat and her muzzle got all damp.

    From now on I think we'll use the ACM (Alternative Clipping Method) :D

    ~Jim
     
  17. Jul 19, 2006 #17

    maherwoman

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    Though it wasn't for nail clipping, Maisie surprised me quite fully lately with her just letting me pick her up! I don't know if you guys remember, but she hasn't let me even touch her BELLY since she was four months old, much less pick her up! She used to LOVE me to hold her, and would crawl up my chest until I picked her up, and then would just melt into my arms for some love. It was adorable!

    Anyway, since bringing her home from the vet's, she's been much more relaxed about letting me pick her up, and even relaxes completely and lets me pick her up with my hand under her armpits, and then grabbing her bum on the way up! (Of course, I pay very close attention in case she struggles and I need to grab the bum straight off.) It's been so cute! I even held her the other night just to hold her because I was so happy she'd let me. I don't think she liked it much, because she kept her hind feet totally stiff the whole time, and I don't plan on continuing beyond that one time, but she just laid against me, and let me pet her. She didn't struggle, she didn't make a sound...it was nice. But, like I said, I could tell she was a bit stiff, instead of relaxed and fully enjoying it, so I won't be doing it again.......but it was nice for a one-time thing. Kinda shows me that once she's spayed, and lacking the hormones, she might very well go back to her cuddly "hold me" little self! :D

    I love my little sweetie!!
     

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