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Getting Mats off of a Pregnant Rabbit

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Hello all! As of about an hour ago, I rescued a pregnant rabbit. She’s in very poor shape and her whole stomach is covered in mats. What is the best way to get them off - or should I leave them? I don’t want to stress her out too much as she does seem to be pretty far along. Any help is appreciated - thank you!
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zuppa

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Hi, can't really see her belly in this photo she shouldn't have long hair there what you mean by mats? Is that just matted like knotted or sticky or dirt or oil or something? If it is dry I'd try to gently brush them out then where it is not possible to detangle I'd cut them off with safe scissors that is if she will let you do that, then I'd clean her with baby wipes or a damp cloth, all depending on how bad it is. But she doesn't look that bad to me from where I am and she is very beautiful.

How do you know she's pregnant maybe just fat? What's the story where did you find her? You're very good for rescuing her, well done!
 
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Thank you! She came out of a pretty bad place - they had about 50 rabbits in a metal shed in their backyard in Florida. It was hard bringing only one home. It was like an oven in that shed and it was all muddy and filled with poop and random bits of metal and wire. Males and females were all mixed and she was hiding in the very back of a nesting box. The man said that all of the females are probably pregnant, and I would assume so. Her belly feels large and her nipples are very protruded and large as well. I can’t feel any babies when I feel her belly, but her whole stomach was sticky with mud and there’s dirt caked and matted into the hair. I’ve wiped her back down and brushed her and cut off some of the larger mats so far. She’s in a little kennel with a cardboard nesting box at the moment but I’m moving her to one of the extra Living World cages in the morning. I didn’t expect to bring any buns home today, lol. I can get more photos soon, I’m trying to give her some space at the moment since she’s very very scared of me and everything else. I’ve not dealt with a pregnant bun before, either, so any advice on that is welcome!
 

zuppa

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Oh poor thing! Sure she's pregnant. Now if there was her nestbox rabbits start nesting around day 28 and usually kindling on day 31, well it can be between day 27 and day 36, anyway you don't know due date just it could be very very soon.

Since you gave her a nestbox and she has some privacy there she'll be fine, it is important that she had unlimited hay and a plenty of water she will drink a lot when it begins. I am not too sure about food, you don't know what was her usual food? It is important not to overdose well she needs unlimited pellets while nursing but now because you will have to change it so quickly it could be shock and better give her in small doses and see if she eats quickly, she is maybe hungry as well. If she wasn't getting enough food during her pregnancy there is possibility that some of her kits can born deformed or weak, so don't be scared but maybe they will be all good, maybe they were fed okay let's hope for the best.

She won't need your assistance it is best to leave her maybe even cover her kennel with a blanket so she can feel safe. Is that her nestbox in photo? She will need more hay, lots of hay so she can build a nest maybe you can help her and you can pluck some fur from her belly around the nipples and line the nest with it. The box should be not too big because she will feed her kits she'll stand over them put her legs into corners for stability. Here's a short video how to prepare a nestbox might be helpful.
She uses a very large box because of her rabbit is a large breed but she explained everything clearly so just fill your box with hay and put something underneath to absorb the moisture or just to let the moisture go through they will need it for about 4 weeks so basically your kits will pee and poo into it you won't see poos they will be very tiny but you want them to stay dry so just be prepared. There are plenty more videos on youtube just search for rabbit nestbox


She will probably kindle in night time when nobody's watching so just check her nest every morning and keep us informed, any question just ask!
 
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Oh poor thing! Sure she's pregnant. Now if there was her nestbox rabbits start nesting around day 28 and usually kindling on day 31, well it can be between day 27 and day 36, anyway you don't know due date just it could be very very soon.

Since you gave her a nestbox and she has some privacy there she'll be fine, it is important that she had unlimited hay and a plenty of water she will drink a lot when it begins. I am not too sure about food, you don't know what was her usual food? It is important not to overdose well she needs unlimited pellets while nursing but now because you will have to change it so quickly it could be shock and better give her in small doses and see if she eats quickly, she is maybe hungry as well. If she wasn't getting enough food during her pregnancy there is possibility that some of her kits can born deformed or weak, so don't be scared but maybe they will be all good, maybe they were fed okay let's hope for the best.

She won't need your assistance it is best to leave her maybe even cover her kennel with a blanket so she can feel safe. Is that her nestbox in photo? She will need more hay, lots of hay so she can build a nest maybe you can help her and you can pluck some fur from her belly around the nipples and line the nest with it. The box should be not too big because she will feed her kits she'll stand over them put her legs into corners for stability. Here's a short video how to prepare a nestbox might be helpful.
She uses a very large box because of her rabbit is a large breed but she explained everything clearly so just fill your box with hay and put something underneath to absorb the moisture or just to let the moisture go through they will need it for about 4 weeks so basically your kits will pee and poo into it you won't see poos they will be very tiny but you want them to stay dry so just be prepared. There are plenty more videos on youtube just search for rabbit nestbox


She will probably kindle in night time when nobody's watching so just check her nest every morning and keep us informed, any question just ask!
Thank you, I’ll probably have bunches of questions. I’ve dealt with pregnant guinea pigs but not buns! That was just the box we brought her home in. I’ll get better pictures in the new cage tomorrow. She only had pellets I believe, not super sure what kind they were since they had a ton of chickens living with them too. She doesn’t seem to know what to do with hay or veggies. She has tons of alfalfa in her nest box with some bedding as well. Poor thing is so nervous, it really breaks my heart. She seems young, too. I’ll be getting her Oxbow young rabbit food tomorrow and starting her on it pretty slow, plus working on rich veggies for her. Thank you for your help.
 
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Wow! Were the other bunnies rescued too?
No, although I have intentions of reporting them to the local animal control center. They had some very skinny horses and whatnot as well. The poor rabbit still hasn’t moved out of the corner of the cage, hasn’t had any water or hay that I know of either. I’m not sure of what I should do. I’m hesitant to move her to a new cage simply because of the added stress.
 
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Here’s another photo - she finally started drinking last night. I’m hoping that she’s been munching on her alfalfa but I’m not sure.
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CharlieRae

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Get down on her level & talk softly to her. Don't touch her. Humm, or sing, really softly. It will let her know you aren't going to hurt her. When she seems to relax, very gently stroke her. If she tenses back up, stop petting her. See if she will eat some critical care & herbs. Those will upset her stomach the least. Rolled oats & black oil sunflower seeds are also good to give her since she seems underweight. I've had a lot of experience with neglected rabbits. It just takes time & a lot of gentle interaction.
 
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Get down on her level & talk softly to her. Don't touch her. Humm, or sing, really softly. It will let her know you aren't going to hurt her. When she seems to relax, very gently stroke her. If she tenses back up, stop petting her. See if she will eat some critical care & herbs. Those will upset her stomach the least. Rolled oats & black oil sunflower seeds are also good to give her since she seems underweight. I've had a lot of experience with neglected rabbits. It just takes time & a lot of gentle interaction.
She’s thankfully coming around, I’ve been doing similar things and it’s finally working a bit. She’s getting Oxbow pellets, rolled oats, BOSS, and stabilized rice bran. She’s picking up some weight - I’ll have to write it down and post it once I weigh her again.
 

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