Self barbering, UGH!

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Chewy-de-Lionhead

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Hi everyone. I have an issue that is increasingly becoming a worry for me.

Chewy is self barbering, I'm pretty sure. He's lost a LOT of his "skirt and today after his morning run time, he sat down and started pulling at his beard. I have seen a few poo's strung together and also found some that were pretty much all hair.

I've done all of the suggestions, reduced light intensity, more toys, so he's not bored. I got him a timothy tunnel to munch on while he's in his hutch at night, hoping that would keep him busy. He's 16 weeks and still on pellets but also gets unlimited timothy hay in his litter box as well as a hay feeder.

Overall he's a very happy and active bun, with run of the living room and the dining/ kitchen area pretty much all day. He will flop pretty much anywhere, but when he's ready to nap, he retreats to his hutch.

He's in "love" with the cat, and circles him when the cat is laying on the floor. The only thing that I can think of, is that he's still very nervous around our dog. When the dog comes in the room, he usually bolts for the hutch. Although he's getting better about it, and has been nose to nose to smell the dog at times, he's still nervous around the dog. The dog is very docile, and only barks when someone is at the door. He's not aggressive and mostly naps in the corner.

The other thing that crosses my mind is that I lock him in his hutch at night, and he's possibly not happy about that. But I don't have the luxury of a bun room, so confinement is a must when I cannot supervise him and the cat.

I plan to neuter him as soon as he's old enough and makes the weight that the vet wants him to be (2lbs... he's 1 lb 13.5oz right now). Obviously bonding is not going to work right now, since he's not neutered.

Any other ideas I'm open to. I'm concerned about self mutilation when I neuter him, if he's already in the habit of barbering.
 

TacoBunny

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Is it possible that he's licking himself a normal amount, and it's just because he's so fluffy that it seems like a lot is being taken away or has he not always done this?
Have you tried brushing him and getting rid of the excess fur?
One last idea, is he perhaps shedding more than usual because the weather is getting warmer?

Apart from those suggestions I unfortunately don't have much experience with hair pulling because my bun has shorter hair than Chewy.
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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Is it possible that he's licking himself a normal amount, and it's just because he's so fluffy that it seems like a lot is being taken away or has he not always done this?
Have you tried brushing him and getting rid of the excess fur?
One last idea, is he perhaps shedding more than usual because the weather is getting warmer?

Apart from those suggestions I unfortunately don't have much experience with hair pulling because my bun has shorter hair than Chewy.

He is an obsessive groomer, compared to my sons lionhead. I do brush him once a day, and I get a covering on the brush when we are done. I am also wondering if he's maybe starting his first molt. He will be 4 months on the 17th.

I recommend oxbow digestive support tablets. I give my rabbits one a day to keep things moving smoothly. My vet turned me on to them.

Where do you get those? We have an Earl May's here that carries the Oxbow products, I will check there. He is on Oxbow timothy hay but still on the alfalfa pellets, since he's still young.
 

ladysown

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rabbits who barber often have something missing in their diet.

so you need to figure out what he's missing.
trace nutrients? Protein?
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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rabbits who barber often have something missing in their diet.

so you need to figure out what he's missing.
trace nutrients? Protein?

Since he's only 16 weeks, what would that be? He's getting the Dumor alfalfa pellets and timothy hay. That's it. I didn't think you were supposed to feed them anything else until they are 6 months so their tummies could handle it. LOL
 

pani

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I started introducing salad to my buns at around 12 weeks, and they didn't have any problems. You might be able to start slowly introducing different vegies now. :)
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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What are you feeding him, and in what amounts?

Unlimited timothy hay and 1/4 cup of pellets in the morning and 1/4 cup at night. He always has pellets left over, so probably more like 1/8 each feeding in reality.

This is what was recommended by the breeder. Then to cut back alfalfa pellets and mix with Timothy pellets when he's 6 months.

He will be 4 months on the 17th, and I'd really like to get him neutered, but he's still not 2 lbs. And the vet feels more comfortable with them being a little heavier and a little older. She neutered my sons lionhead and he's doing fine. He didn't reach 2 lbs until 7 months.
 

ladysown

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are they plain alfalfa pellets? Not rabbit pellets?

if they aren't rabbit pellets, where is he getting his trace nutrients from?
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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are they plain alfalfa pellets? Not rabbit pellets?

if they aren't rabbit pellets, where is he getting his trace nutrients from?

No, they are a special Rabbit pellet with alfalfa base and other nutrients mixed into it. It's the only brand I can buy here for a young bunny. All the other pellets are for adult rabbits and Timothy based.
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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I'm now at the point of considering shaving him. Yesterday he had 4 droppings strung together and some very large droppings in the pile. I do not want to deal with wool block and am wondering if I shave him, if it would save him from that, since the hair on his main is over 3" long and he's pulling it out (obviously) and eating it.

Any other suggestions? I have changed his environment, changed his lighting, he's not old enough or heavy enough to neuter. I'm at my wits end here.
 

Chewy-de-Lionhead

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That's what I'm thinking, before I have a vet bill and a sick bunny. And hopefully he "forgets" when he gets his beautiful main and skirt back. :confused2:
 

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