Excessive grooming

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Devi

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It's a issue with the female of my bonded pair she is excessively grooming the male to the point he has a bald spot between his shoulders and it's growing. And when I say excessively grooming I mean she's grooming him at least a minimal of 9 times in the course of 2 minutes. Any help on how to deal with her excessive grooming?
 

Aki

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I never encountered that problem in particular, but it sounds like repetitive behavior which is caused by stress. How long has she done that for? Does she do it all the time, night and day? Did anything change in your home? Did the male go to the vet or something? Generally you can just observe the rabbit to try to pinpoint what's troubling the rabbit (I remember a woman who's rabbit was disturbed by the way the litterbox was positionned, she just turned it the other way and it stopped months of repetitive behavior... rabbits are weird ^^) and try and change it. I assume here you already closely examined the male to check that he had no parasits, skin problems or anything...
Your male has to be really submissive to take it without trashing her which makes it weird that she's the one doing the grooming...
Just made a quick search and those people seem to have had the same problem than you do :
http://www.binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/54/aft/7964/Default.aspx
 

Devi

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She's been doing it pretty much since they had access to each other. And Nothing's changed in the home and the male is fine health wise no skin or parasite issues just a very submissive but yet she does all the grooming he has only groomed her once in all the months they been together.
 

loumatt

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^ Like the above user, but more specifically from that different forum post one user said this:

" The two things that worked the best for helping the overgrooming situation were:
1) Seagrass mats: My little boy became more fixated on pulling the pieces of the seagrass mats apart than the overgrooming
2) Giving a fixed schedule: The vet told me this can happen when the bunny feels unsettled, or nervous. There had been some changes in the house (new foster bunny) and Kramer was probably feeling a little unsettled, so for a few weeks, I fed him at the exact same time every day, played with him for an extended amount of time, and sat and petted him for a period of time at the same time every day.
After a few weeks of these two things the excessive grooming stopped!"

& About the bald spots they said -

"My boy Kramer still gives Juli some teeny bald spots from time to time, but the fur just is missing - the skin is not irritated and its very tiny spots so Juli does not seem to mind.
Also, putting ointment on the area or anything else could have the effect of the boy grooming the girl even MORE because he wants to "clean" her. Seperating the two just long enough for her to start getting her fur back is the best solution, but make sure they can still see each other, and lie next to each other by putting the separate cages right next to each other so that you don't interupt their bond. Once her fur starts to grow back, he will not be as concerned with this area! "

Hope that helps.
 
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Devi

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Sorry for the late reply. But thank you everyone for your advice and we seem to have it handled. It seems she was upset and stressed out about her current hiding place and a switch seemed to of fixed the issue and He is no longer being groomed constantly and can start to regrow his fur.
 

doodlebugger

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I found this to be an interesting post. I am having a similar problem, but our bunny Chester does not have a bonded mate. He is over grooming himself, and we have taken him to our very rabbit savvy vet who has no concerns. He does take pain meds for arthritis (likely caused by an injury he had prior to us "rescuing" him), and she suggested it could be from being in pain or having some sort of irritated feeling from the arthritis. No signs of mites or other issues, skin is not irritated, just fur missing. I was interested in reading recently that this could be psychological or behavioral. And your post confirms that is a possibility. I'm glad you were able to figure it out. Hopefully we will find a solution soon too!
 
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