Shaving a rabbit?

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snap

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I didn't really know where to put this, so I apologize if it's wrong!

My Holland Lop doe has a history of peeing a lot and getting really nasty on her bum. Well for a while I've been too busy to check it((about two weeks)), and now it's extremely matted((I feel so awful, even though she doesn't seem to mind :/)). It's a LOT of matting, and it would probably just stress her out to cut it all off. She's not really one to sit still, and she hates the scissors((she gets little mats often)). I suppose I could work at it for short bits of time, but it would take days to do it because I, again, don't have the time and won't for a while.

I REALLY don't have the money to have a vet put her out and shave her((I don't even have money for gas until Wednesday)) so that's my absolute last option unless they can do it under $20 or so. Otherwise it comes out of my college savings.
So!
Is there a drug/something else I can give her to calm her so I can go in and cut it out in one sitting without her freaking out? Like I know there is calming paste for steers/horses/livestock, but is there something similar for rabbits?
 

tamsin

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You may find a groomer or a breeder specialising in long haired rabbits will be able to do it for you without anaesthesia and for less.

Is the matt just fur or poop matted into the fur? If it's the later you may find a bum bath (a few inches of water for her to sit in) will soften it and allow you to tease out the poop with your fingers.

It sounds like there is an underlying issue that needs addressing though. Rabbits should keep themselves spotlessly clean and f they don't you need to find out the reason why. There are lots of possible causes - is it just urine or sticky poop too? - that will narrow down possibilities.
 

jcottonl02

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Is the urine dribbling over her back end? Sounds like a possible urinary tract infection (which unfortunately would require a trip to the vets :( for sure as it will be extremely painful for her).

Is she an overweight bunny? If so this might mean she can't reach round to clean herself, hence her butt gets dirty a lot.

If you can't clip her fur (not sure about shaving? Rabbit skin is very sensitive and not sure it would be a great idea) maybe a butt bath to rinse the urine out her fur? Just fill the sink a FEW INCHES with warmish water, place a towell at the bottom of the sink for the bun to stand on and not slip. Place bunbun bottom in the water facing you and have her paws on her chest. She's at optimum position for kisses on her nose here too ;). Then gently rinse her bottom fur through and wrap her in a towell and hug her till she's dry.
I have to give Benji butt baths every now and then when he sits on his caecals... :/ bless him. He is so good with baths. You never want to give them a full body bath- the shock could be incredibly dangerous for them.

I agree that you should investigate the cause of this constant urine over her- it's not normal. I would definately save up for a trip to the vets...relatively soon considering she could be in pain.

For now, you should just try to keep her clean and dry. Don't want urine scald on her feet etc. either.

To cut off the matts, you'll need someone to help. Just get a mate to help you- it will only take 15 minutes or so.
Try you just holding her, hugging her to your chest. Have your friend (or the other way round) to very carefuly chop matts off. It may be a bit awkward but at least this way you can have access to her butt without her struggling.

Jen
 

snap

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It's just urine. I'm not sure if it's so much that she pees a lot as that she pees all over so there's nowhere for her to sit that isn't wet((she doesn't seem to like peeing in one spot)). I'm going to fix one of my outside cages so she can live out there and it might help so she's not sitting in pee.

She can clean herself, I've seen her do it many times. Today, not just in the past.

Like I said, she's not acting like she's in pain so I don't know if there's a cause other than her oddness. But I'll start saving, give her a bath, clip her, move her to a wire cage and see if it gets better.
 

Flash Gordon

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make sure u keep up on removing the soiled spots shes peeing on.sounds like u have litter in her whole cage right?...if she has no where to sit but where shes peed then maybe put a litter box in her cage...if u shave her butt and let her sit in urine again she will for sure get urine scald on her freshly exposed skin..seriously not a good idea.:nosir:
maybe try a dif litter also..sounds like urs isnt doin what its suppose to do...
ive also done the cornstarch thing for bad matts ..pour a bunch on them work it in and it really does losen it up really well...i really wouldnt shave her..i know ur thinkin this is prob the easiest way to fix the prob..but its only gonna cause more worse probs down the road...good luck :)
 

AngelnSnuffy

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Snuff peed all over his butt too not long ago. I put him in the bathroom sink and rinsed his bottom. Drained water, resoaked, wrap in towel. Poor thing. That's what I did w/ Snuff, now he's fine, even hair on his tail is growing back, so in my experience, it wasn't a uti.:D

I have to say that after u get to know ur bun, u have a gut feeling. Many times, it's right.;)
 

tonyshuman

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A pair of hair clippers would be best--the kind for trimming men's hair, beards, or dogs. They are less likely to cut the skin. I would get all the matting out of there and then figure out if she's peeing all over herself for anohter reason--it could just be that the hair got matted and the pee can't get out.
 

jcottonl02

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So is she not litter trained? Litter training may help a lot. If she just pees all over her cage, chances are she will sit in some wee. If she is litter trained it will all be contained in a corner.

Jen
 

GorbyJobRabbits

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Like Flash said you need to be cleaning this cage A LOT more often if she is sitting just where it is wet. Its bad for her feet, shes obviously getting matts, and if there is a smell, it is dangerous for their respatory system.

If you can't keep the cage clean, think about putting her on a wire bottomed cage where she's up in the air and everything falls to the ground.

If she's a holland those mats shouldn't need to be shaved out. She's got short hair and you could take baby wipes or a warm washcloth and wipe the area to get anything that is holding the hair together. Also where it is damp with water she may try cleaning the area herself afterwards.
 

tamsin

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It could be a urine infection - there might not be any symptoms other than excessive weeing/weeing in abnormal places.
 

AquaticRex

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i wouldn't shave when going into winter, unless your prepared to help accommodate for heat loss. i'd just attempt to cut it. have someone help you if she's afraid of scissors. have a family member or friend to cover her eyes and hold her. and do it only bit by bit and keep a feel for bunny for if she's about to struggle. and if she really starts struggling let her run around for a few minutes and try again. do this all in a run of some sort so that you don't have to go track bunny down through the house. and most definitely have a vet check when you can. as well, being afraid of scissors, only cut the matting bit by bit until she relaxes a bit instead of going flush under the issue. take your time with her.
 

Dulmit

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My lop had/has a similar problem. The first thing that made a HUGE difference was changing the type of litter I used. What would happen is that when I used newspaper the urine would not be soaked up fast enough and the bun would sit down in it which would cause mats. I switched to wood pellets with hay on top (to keep the pellets in place). These soak up liquid much faster and has reduced the issue to a seasonal problem.

When my lop sheds he really sheds and has very fine fur. He will get little matted around his bum and as soon as that happens it goes downhill very fast (about 1-2 days). The little mat starts which causes urine to not spray properly and creates a bigger mat. The only thing to do once it hits that point is cornstarch and scissors.

I feel you on the money issue. Wood pellets run about $7 or less for 40lbs and they work great (also helped reduce the smell)
 

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