Rabbit won't let me clip his nails.

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Stinkerbunnies

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My bunny, Chan, won't let me clip his nails. His nails have grown out too long. I'll touch his paw, and he will pull away. I managed to get a tiny bit off, but he wont let me get anything else off. I really need some help. One of his claws might have fallen off a while ago. He won't let me do anything, and I'm worried that this might be causing him pain, not allowing me to clip them. I'm worried that since his nails are too long, he is afraid to let me clip it, causing him more pain. I really need help. I'm able to clip Big Wig's nails. I try holding him close to my body, but he just won't have it. Please give me any advice, I'll take anything.
 

Luigi

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How and when do you approach Chan for this? I don't think his nails being too long would be reason enough for him to refuse trimming. He probably doesn't understand what you're trying to do, and he shouldn't feel anything as long as you don't clip the quick.

I have much better luck with my bunny when he's resting and relaxed. Does Chan like to "loaf"? If you catch him resting on the floor and he enjoys being petted, you could ease him into a nail clipping session this way. This is how I did it with Luigi, even though I only managed to clip one nail yesterday. I've actually been preparing him for this for quite some time now. When I took him to the vet to be neutered last month, I realized he would be very difficult when it comes to handling and nail clipping. The vet needed another nurse to hold him down while they trimmed his nails. That's how much he hates being handled. But I've noticed that Luigi is very relaxed whenever he loafs. He LOVES being petted and practically demands it half of the time. He used to dislike his hind legs being touched, but nowadays I can give his body a long stroke (from head to toe), and he'll let me touch his legs more and more often. When I pet him, I also pet his front paws, to get him used to being touched there. It's all about getting him used to being touched/handled and expanding his comfort zone.

It's also a lot easier if you have someone to help you. Have another person pet him and cover his eyes (so he doesn't see what you're doing) while you go in with the nail clippers.
 

Blue eyes

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Having had a few very difficult bunnies when it came to trimming nails, this video shows a surprisingly effective method. Following her suggestions exactly is key and I can say it worked for me. (I even set up a folding table to get bunny at the right height level for me as shown in video)
 

samoth

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My buns won't let me, either. I just take them to the vet and eat the cost, as I don't usually have someone around to help hold them while I clip.
 

Stinkerbunnies

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Luigi, yes, Channie loves to loaf. I let them run around for a couple hours, set up during that, and then pick him up, and start trimming. Channel is a Havana Lionhead. He loves attention. The only reason I think he won't allow me to clip his nail is because he used to be great about letting me trim them. But I will definitely try the covering his eyes trick. Blue eyes, I have seen that video. I actually used it to clip my bunnies nails, and 6 other buns. And Samoth, unfortunately, the only money I have is in case of an emergency. Thank you all so much for you help, and I will take all the rest I can get.
 

Blue eyes

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I should also mention that many rabbit rescues will clip nails either for free or for a nominal fee. Before I knew of the video method above, I used to take my troublesome rabbits to the rescue. They would do a visual check up as well.
 

Luigi

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Having had a few very difficult bunnies when it came to trimming nails, this video shows a surprisingly effective method. Following her suggestions exactly is key and I can say it worked for me. (I even set up a folding table to get bunny at the right height level for me as shown in video)
How calm is your bunny?

I've watched this video a few times, and it makes me so salty/frustrated that they have a calm bunny in these demonstration videos. Luigi is nothing like this black bunny. You can't so much as pick him up without struggle or attempts to escape. For me to get him up on a table, I would have to use a pet carrier/cage to transport him. I simply can't pick him up. After that, you can bet he won't sit still or stay still. Maybe there will be a miracle and he'll let me trim his nails like this at some point, but it's more likely than not that he won't cooperate. These demonstrations frustrate me to no end, because they use a calm and cooperative bunny, and then make it look so easy.

I've trimmed two more of Luigi's nails today. It's a struggle and I have to do it bit by bit, spread out over several days. Good luck with Chan, OP!
 

Popsicles

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@Luigi my bunny used to be the same, Just persevere, try picking him up for just 30 seconds or so without clipping nails or anything, so he knows it isn’t only when something bad is going to happen. When you put him down give him a treat for a job well done - my rabbit knows now that getting picked up is a good thing because she will get a treat afterwards. Keep going!!
 

Blue eyes

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How calm is your bunny?

I've watched this video a few times, and it makes me so salty/frustrated that they have a calm bunny in these demonstration videos. Luigi is nothing like this black bunny. You can't so much as pick him up without struggle or attempts to escape. For me to get him up on a table, I would have to use a pet carrier/cage to transport him. I simply can't pick him up. After that, you can bet he won't sit still or stay still. Maybe there will be a miracle and he'll let me trim his nails like this at some point, but it's more likely than not that he won't cooperate. These demonstrations frustrate me to no end, because they use a calm and cooperative bunny, and then make it look so easy.
I totally get what you are saying. Yes, they are using a calm bunny BUT it will still work.
My rabbit hates to be picked up and does struggle. The table thing is deliberate. A rabbit isn't going to be comfortable on this table. That is to your advantage. It doesn't matter if bunny struggles to be picked up and it doesn't matter if you have to use a carrier to get him there.

I had my doubts when attempting this. Don't. Once he's on the table and you keep him snug against you as in video, I was amazed -- truly amazed -- that my rabbit acted like the one in the video. The tapping under foot... all of it... really worked.

I thought -- no way is my rabbit going to let me raise him up on his back legs like that. But it really worked. Just be calm (they sense if you are not) and deliberate. Review the video many times if you have to just to double and triple check the mechanics.

After being stunned that my rabbit allowed this, I was even more surprised at the one-clip, two-clip idea. A partial (just pressure) clip, she explains, allows the bunny to flinch if the clippers are placed too short. I didn't trust this until I clipped anyway at what I thought for sure was not too short. I was wrong and he bled. The pressure thing to test the placement of the clippers does work.

Don't be discouraged before you even try it. I've had rabbits for decades and tried many ways to trim nails with difficult bunnies. I was truly shocked that this worked as well as it did.
 

CharlieRae

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I had a rabbit who I had to wrap in a dish towel and then trim his nails if I didn't have somebody to hold him. I made sure his nose was poked out so he could breath and I sort of rolled him up in it and then exposed each limb. He stayed calm the whole time.
 

Luigi

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@Blue eyes your post is extremely encouraging. I'll definitely give it a try. I have to successfully trim his nails anyway before we going on vacation, so it's inevitable.

@Popsicles I think you're right, and he does have to get used to it. The only thing that hinders me is that I don't have an xpen or anything to keep him to a confined area. He can run around the whole room, and he'll pretty much run away before he even gets to struggle.

@Stinkerbunnies did you ever manage to trim Chan's nails?
 

Alyssa and Bugs♡

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I get my bunny to submit or fall asleep when I am clipping nails. I will put my arm on his head and clip. He won't move unless I move my arm on his head. I'll attach a picture so you can see what I mean. Snapchat-1467042868.jpeg
 

lavendertealatte

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Sigh.. I can't get Bunster to stay still either but I haven't tried moving her to a tall table ... I'm still afraid she'd freak out and jump off. I'm not able to pick her up usually and if she allows it, only for like ten seconds. If you try the video let us know how it goes!!
 

katlupe

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I had a hard time trimming Rabbit's nails too, until I set him on my bed. He was so curious about exploring my bed that I was able to do almost one whole foot at a time. Sometimes I can only get one or two nails clipped. Sometimes more. I have started making this part of our routine, including him getting on my bed which he seems to look forward to. I find the key for him and me is to do it regularly, like every couple of days or so. I stay on top of this job that way and he is used to it.
 

lavendertealatte

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lol I'm very confused how you were able to clip nails when he was curious exploring?
 

lilnaugrim

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One thing that I was taught to do by a dog trainer was to, every day touch Wiki's paws and pet them. If he stayed and did good, he gets a treat. Wiki is VERY treat motivated though. But by touching his paws daily, it's trained him to know that something good is coming of it. Also clipping smaller amounts more often at first helped him to get used to sitting there for a bit while I clipped. He's great now! I definitely stand by this method, especially for a treat motivated rabbit. My other rabbit is less enthused with treats but she is much calmer and will submit much easier than he will.
 

Hermelin

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I just go to the vet with my buns, the big one it’s easy but can’t get the hind legs if I’m alone. But the buck it’s a pure nightmare, when I trim him I just take one paw a day. Have no problem picking him up or holding, he’s an angel but trimming the nail: that’s when he can’t be still and do everything to not let his claws being trimmed.

I often wrap him into a burrito lay him on the back and let him eat a banana/ something that distract him for a long time while trimming one paw, so it takes me 4 days to trim his claws. So I just use a lot of food for my bunnies but it helps a lot if you are two.

Don’t really know how I will do with the third bunny which can’t even handle being picked up or being touched xD

If you find a good method on trimming your bunny nails, give me some tips that worked :3
 
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