My bunny won't groom her bottom

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by XaeonsX, Dec 10, 2011.

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  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1

    XaeonsX

    XaeonsX

    XaeonsX

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    I don't know if this is the right place to put this or not... I am genuinely seeking help for my rabbit, I'm not here to be flamed for my care of my rabbit. I realize I may be doing something wrong, and am here for the advice of more experienced rabbit keepers.

    My rabbit will not groom her bottom. I have been unable to litter train her, although she uses her litter box for the most part.

    She often sits in her own feces and urine.

    Is there anything I can do this? It makes it hard to get her out to play or to sit with me when she is always so dirty.

    I give her a bath once a week or every other week, but she is often has poop on her feet the next day. I have to check her bottom about every day b/c sometimes there is pooped caked all over her and I have to clean it off with paper towel.

    Is there anything I can do? I don't understand why she is doing this. I am very frustrated, and feel bad for her and don't know what to do...
     
  2. Dec 10, 2011 #2

    I_heart_Fraggles

    I_heart_Fraggles

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    So how old is your rabbit? We rescued a rabbit who was older and could no longer groom due to arthritis. Also is your rabbit overweight? Sometimes when there overweight they can't groom themselves also. I have an overweight rabbit though we are working on it. She still grooms herself though.
     
  3. Dec 10, 2011 #3

    MandyK

    MandyK

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    The places where she is going the bathroom, are they comfortable to sit on? This happens a lot with rabbits - they find their litter bins comfortable and sit in them for leisure time. If she's going the bathroom in a pile of hay or something comfortable, move the hay to a hay bin or a box so she can't pee in it.

    Is there a chance she might be sore? One of my rabbits pulled a muscle in her back, which made it painful for her to groom her bum. Check to see if she has trouble doing other things (like stretching, laying out, or playing).
     
  4. Dec 11, 2011 #4

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    Need to clean litter more often. Give her someplace beside the pan to lay--we use carpet sample mats from carpet stores. Also use unscented baby wipes on ours when needed. Mya need to change food--some pelleted foods have a lot of alfalfa which doesn't agree with all our buns and also have to limit veggies with two or else they get crusted.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2011 #5

    XaeonsX

    XaeonsX

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    She is about a year old, and has been doing this pretty much as long as I've had her.

    I don't really give veggies often b/c my last rabbit got a few pieces of baby carrots and died of diarrhea the next day and I am terrified to give her any veggies with water in them. She gets a piece of banana every now and then along with store-bought food and hay, and that is about it.

    She is pretty chubby, but it doesn't seem like she is too fat to move when she wants. I don't get her out much b/c she just hides under a piece of furniture and sits in one spot for an hour and won't move. I don't know how normal this is, but she just doesn't seem to be active, and she doesn't want to interact with me when I get her out. I don't know how normal that is.

    Before winter I was taking her out and letting her run all over the yard which she seemed to really love, and was the only time I've seen her really run around since she was the size of my fist. So I'm hoping to start doing that more regularly once it warms up again and maybe she can trim down.

    Her entire pen/litter box gets cleaned almost every day, if not every day. She is so filthy I don't have any choice. The last rabbit litter trained within a few days and was very clean (which makes me extra sad that he died).

    I really don't know what to do. I hate for her to be like this, and for me not to be able to get her out b/c she is so dirty all the time. She'll sit on my lap when I watch movies and that is about as much of me as she can tolerate, she's not very friendly ;)
     
  6. Dec 11, 2011 #6

    MandyK

    MandyK

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    Even if she's not very active, she still needs time out of her cage (inside or outside the house). I wouldn't consider it "normal" for her to hide constantly from you.

    My advice is that you have to force social interaction. She won't go out of her way to get to know you - you have to make her do it. I'm not suggesting that you do anything to scare her or make her uncomfortable. But when she is out of her cage, sit on the floor with her. Give her some things to play with (either plain cardboard/newspaper, or some rabbit toys from a pet store). Even if she seems timid, pet her and give her treats while you do it. Most rabbits love to be pet between the eyes and on their cheeks. Get down on her level and lay right on the floor near her.

    I know this doesn't solve the grooming problem, but hopefully it'll help make her more social. Even the most miserable/grumpy rabbits should be able to run around and have fun. I have a very anti social rabbit as well, but she has learned to enjoy getting pet and run around to stretch her legs, even if she's not a big fan of me.
     
  7. Dec 12, 2011 #7

    jujub793

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    Could be the quality of pellets too.... Is it made of Timothy hay or the colored kibbles with seeds and stuff?
     
  8. Dec 12, 2011 #8

    XaeonsX

    XaeonsX

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    I agree she does need to get out more often. This week is finals and when I am done with that I will make it a point to get her out more.

    When I first got her I was fired from my job almost immediately fired from my job so I had a lot of time to spend with the rabbits. I was out of work for 5 months so I had them out for an hour + with me on the floor with them every night. I would sit on the floor with them, and only approach them when it was time to put them up. For the most part she would just find somewhere to hide and sit in that spot.

    She will only approach me when I am lying on the floor. She will put her paws on me and the run off as soon as I notice her. She will not let me touch her when she is outside of her cage. She has a lid on her cage so I often reach in and pet her in the mornings and evenings. I know reaching into the cage to pet her is not recommended, but it is about the only interaction she will have with me.

    If I can get her clean I will have her sit on my lap in a chair while I watch a movie sometimes. She seems to tolerate this ok. I have to pet her the entire time b/c otherwise she will bite or dig at my clothes. This is hard to do now also. I just gave her a bath last night, and she is already dirty enough that I don't want to hold her.

    I have given up on her being sociable. I have spent a lot of time with her on the floor. I watch a lot of movies, so I'd get her out and sit on the floor while I watched movies. That became a problem b/c I had to coat a large portion of the room in news paper as she would pee and poop everywhere. She had about 7 different spots in the room she loved to pee on and it was very time consuming to cover the room in paper and then clean up after her.

    I am extremely frustrated, but I am resigned to the fact that she will not be friendly. I know she will not be what I consider a good "pet" but she is my responsibility regardless. My main concern is just keeping her clean so she is comfortable, instead of sitting in puddles of her own urine and smearing her feces all over her feet and genitals. She will probably be my last rabbit.

    Her food is the colored kibble stuff with pellets seeds etc. She seemed to have a lot of loose stool every now and then, I'm not sure why. I know they are supposed to eat some of their one feces (the ones that look like grapes or whatever) but she leaves hers on the bottom of the pen and steps in it or it gets caked in her fur. I tried to switch her to a mix that was almost all pellets and she refuses to eat it. I tried mixing the food to switch her over, but she will not eat it. I suppose the food she is on now is not the best, but I feel like the only choice I have is either this stuff or starve her :(
     
  9. Dec 12, 2011 #9

    Maureen Las

    Maureen Las

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    She needs to have plain pellets and not the type with seeds and colored bits.

    I would guess that she is getting too many pellets and that they are not the right kind.

    You do not want a high protein content, or a high fat content nor a high calcium content.

    Are you free feeding pellets?. If you are this could be a huge part of the problems

    She should be fedsmall amount of pellets and be mainly on a very good quality grass hay that is not alfalfa( too rich) or this could be a serious medical issue

    I had a rabbit who sat in his urine , had a messy bottom and was beyond words messy. He had mega colon but also had kidney disease.
    I would strongly advise taking your rabbit to a vet and having a lab panel done on him to R/O serious illness. At the time that my rabbit was in acute kidney failure he was exhibitng the symptoms that you are describing above.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2011 #10

    XaeonsX

    XaeonsX

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    how should I switch her food over? she seems finicky and always picks out her favorite bits and leaves the rest
     

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