The Mystery of Dewlaps

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Carolyn

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Can anyone tell me if they know of any research or findings about dewlaps?

Is it genetic?

Why do some males get them?

How come within the same breeds, some females get them while others don't?

Is it a sign of puberty coming into being ready to breed? Does the ageor the opertion of spaying or females have an impact on dewlaps?

At what age will a rabbit develop a dewlap, usually, or does age have anything to do with it age?


-Carolyn
 

Dwarf_Angel04

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This is a Pam question. :)

I don't have a problem with dewlaps and don't want to LOL! They are adisqualification for my breed. However, in my breed it seemsthe does who do develop dewlaps get them after being bred.

Sorry I couldn't help much but I know Pamcan, most likely:p

Amanda


 

Elf Mommy

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I'm not sure if it's relevant or not, but it'sthe main place where Elf has been pulling tufts of fur from to line her"nest". Maybe that's what it's there for? Not sure why males woulddevelop them, though, unless to pull fur during a cold spell. Just athought, no research behind it though, LOL :D
 

Carolyn

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Thanks.

As to relevance, I'm just curious about the answer.

I know that they're disqualified in shows. Not looking for the mostbeautiful rabbit or show quality. Understand it's excess skin, etc.

I just want to know why some rabbits get them and others don't and if anyone knows why.

-Carolyn

 

Dwarf_Angel04

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Carolyn wrote:
I know that they're disqualified in shows. Not looking for the mostbeautiful rabbit or show quality. Understand it's excess skin, etc.


They aren't disqualifications for all breeds. Some breeds do allowdewlaps on does. :) I hope Pam knows the answer to this oneas I'd like to know too.;) No pressure Pam! LOL! :pI've heardlots of 'reasons' for dewlaps. Such as using the scuff to pick the upor turn them over , over a period of time. It seems my does get themafter being preggers. It's something I normally over look but now thatsits brought up, my brain is ticking for a new knowledge to enter. :?

From my experience it doesn't seem to be gentic. I have a brood doewith a big dewlap, but her daughters haven't even thought of having adewlap and all have kindled. I've also noticed that all my does withdewlaps are overweight or close to being.


Amanda

 

pamnock

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I had posted some info on a previous thread aboutthe genetic tendency of the skin to lose it's elasticity.Weight can also be an issue. It's a similar genetictendency as women who get "gobblers" hanging under their necks or looseskin hanging of their arms. When, where, and how the dewlapdevelops may differ in each individual.

Certain breeds that have looser skin will be prone to bigger dewlaps --Lops, Flemish and Giant Chins have a tendency to get the massivedewlaps, where rabbits known for their drum tight pelts with littleelasticity are less prone to developing a large dewlap unless they areover weight.

It really doesn't serve any purpose -- I've never seen a wild rabbit with one.

Pam
 

Dwarf_Angel04

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Thanks for explaination Pam. ;)

I'm discussing this with Sue right now. :DShe also says itsgentic and notices it in mature does and does after they are preggers.

I guess it just hasn't 'popped' out in my herd yet. :DThegrand-daughters of the doe I was speaking of are yet to start todewlap. I'm glad it doesn't seem to be gentic in my line.... so far! ;)

Amanda
 

showrabbits

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My older flemish does have gorgouse dewlapssometimes. I actauly like the does that get double dewlaps althoughjudges dont always. Carolyn you may notice that Cali is starting to getone. The sandy does tend to get the biggest ones. I dont think that itis heritory because as much maybe because so many factors play into itlike baggy skin, wieght, age, and yada yada yada yada. I have had a doehowever that developed a unbalanced dewlap, it was big but didnt comeall the way across her chin or chest. When I took her to a show I didntthink anything of it at first but the breeder saw her and automaticallygave me another doe and said that her mother did the same thing. Shenever did balance out and actualy since I didnt want to breed her Igave her to my best friend who had always said that she was in lovewith her. LOL. The vet that spayed her also did a little cosmeticsurgery since it was so big and she was off balanced and kicking itwith her foot. She now looks like a dog without it.

I have seen wild rabbits with it though although they are little kindof like a bucks, or a young does. There is a wild rabbit that I handraised once and she hangs around and I can get close it her. She is twoyears old now and she has a dewlap although it is more like a doublechin.

I have also seen my rabbits use their dewlaps for a number of things oratleast the dewlaps have come in handy a number of times. AJone of my sandy does with a very large double dewlap used hers with herfirst litter. She built the nest in the corner of her nest box andeverytime I would go out she was laying next to the nest with herdewlap layed over the nest. The other time I saw a rabbit use it was mylight grey mouse. With her last litter she had them on the wire, and Iraced inside to grabb supplies since she just started to have the kitsand when I got back out she had built a nest in her box eight feet awayand had just started moving the third kit to the box. She rolled itwith her chin positioned it and the kit kind of climped a little bitand she held it pressed under her chin and although she dropped ittwice on the way she got it to the nest box and nosed it into the nest.I have never saw that happen before although I had wondered what hadhappend with mouses litters before hand because everything looked likeshe had them in one part of the cage and not in the nest if you knowwhat I mean. My rabbits have never pulled hair from theirdewlaps but I have heard tons of people say that thats where theirrabbits pulled hair from. Also I have noticed my rabbits have usedtheir dewlaps for warmth and comfort when it gets cold. They lay withtheir front feet under it and their cheeks, and noses pressed into it.
 

MyBunnyLovesMe

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Maggie has a dewlap now, but, she's also pretty chunky, so I'm assuming that's why.

I figure if she loses weight she'll lose the dewlap as well. But, maybe she likes having her own built in pillow.
 

Carolyn

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Thank you, showrabbits.

Cali doesn't have one now, but I wonder if she'll developone. I know Diva (Fergi's Flemish) is developing one andshe's a couple of months younger that Cali.

I've checked with Kathy Smith, the author of Rabbit Health in the21st Century. She also didn't know the specifics aboutthe questions I've asked, but is going to research it more thoroughlyand get back to me. I'm also checking with Rick Stahl, whohas had rabbits in his family for generations. I'm trying toget in touch with a vet that Kathy had referred me towhospecializes in rabbits. I'd like to gather as muchinformation as I can on this.

Since there's not much money to make researching them, as they don'tseem to be a health issue,thereprobably isn't muchinformation, but I'd like to at least try. I'm sure are,inherited, while others don't seem to follow a pattern. Ifound your observations and comments quite interesting. Thankyou for your reply.

-Carolyn


 

pamnock

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There are actually proteins that control theelasticity of the skin. A number of diseases are associatedwith this protein, but in the case of dewlaps, it appears to be aharmless mutation that doesn't affect other body systems. Itwould be helpful when researching for info to find info on thatparticular protein and also on mapped mouse gene mutations of thisprotein.


Also, mutations of this protein are inherited in a number of differentways. Some of the mutationsare recessive, somedominant, some X linked, etc. Of course, only a small portionof them have actually been identified so I doubt that anyone will beable to come up with any more specific info. on the exact mutation thatcauses loss of elasticityspecific to the neck area, that alsodoes not affect another body system. At least one has beenidentified that causes the skin to loosen, but it is linked topulmonary disease also.

On final edit LOL A geneticist who specializes in that particular protein would be your best best.

Yes -- dietis a contributing factor.


Pam


 

Carolyn

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That's one of the things I had asked about,Pam. If diet had any influence good or bad. Thanksfor the note.

-Carolyn
 

Buck Jones

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Love this kind of thread! Topics likethis tend to increase my overall general knowledge of rabbits and isworthy of any time spent on it.

We should see more of this kind of material here on the Forum. IMHO

Buck
 

Gabby

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Can anyone tell me if they know of any research or findingsabout dewlaps? I've found very litle information on themout there.But from what i have heard read or know, i will address thefollowing.

Is it genetic? I think sometimes yes sometimes no. What i mean is ithink they have a higher chnce of developing them if in runs in theirline, but i don't think having it run in their line means that theywill get them.

Why do some males get them? Why do some human males develope abreast? I have a slim male who has developed one... Why does he haveit, unknown, but i know all his sisters have one (a friend has them) Ido think hormones play a part in it. And the more "womanly" buns tendto develop those nice dewlaps LOL For the most part even though they donot have nipples in them, i have always compared them to the humanequelvent of breasts. I do howeve have a male who has onethat is uneven.. he has develped it later in life, and his is caused byabnormal cell groth, they do not appear to be cancerous, justabnormal... And then i have my lil holland boy who looks like a girl,dewlap and all.. Maybe he has more female hormones than the average boy?

How come within the same breeds, some females get them while othersdon't? I like comparrasions, why are some people naturally skinnylittle waifs, while others of us need to work at keeping ourself trim?
Is it a sign of puberty coming into being ready to breed? Does theage or the opertion of spaying or females have an impact on dewlaps?I have found tHat neutered males were more prone todeveloping them.. which then again would lead me to think hormones havea hand in it.

At what age will a rabbit develop a dewlap, usually, or does age haveanything to do with it age? I'm not sure age applies completely. Butthe older more mature buns do seem to have a better developeddewlap.

I see my guys using them as pillows, i've seen buns usethem as a place to pluck nesting fur. When I was a kid, that was thecommon remark, that a dewlap was for pulling fur for a nest. Then whydon't all females have them?I think alot of it has to do with ech oneis different, and domestication has developed them moreso than theyonce were. Not a very "scintific approach", but an opinionjust the same... I myself stick to, why are some people naturally flat,while other well endowed.... :pto humanized??? LOL Notfeeling scientific today,, ask me later LOL however should i comeaccoss any info pertaining to it i tink relitive i'll be sure to postit.
 

pamnock

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Buck Jones wrote:
Love this kind of thread! Topics like this tend toincrease my overall general knowledge of rabbits and is worthy of anytime spent on it.

We should see more of this kind of material here on the Forum. IMHO

Buck

I agree! There is far more information processed and analyzedhere than I see on any other board, and I learn so much fromcontinually checking my references and searching form more informationand the most recent advances in rabbit information.

Pam
 

lanna21974

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I'm loving this thread too. I was curious aboutdewlaps as well. I ahve one doe in the barn with a dewlap, and shedidnt develop one until after she was bred.After having thebabies hers is almost non-existent.

Lanna
 

Carolyn

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Thanks Gabby. :dude:

Cali has no dewlap. She was spayed at 4 months. Diva has one, andalthough she's younger - she seems to have a different build from Cali.

I wonder what will come back through the phone line or the email -- isit age-related? genetic? puberty? weight? diet? All, or some, of theabove?

Wonder if my Cali girl will ever get one. And if she does, I'm curiousas to why Diva got one at 4 months, while it's taken at least 10 months- if ever, for Cali to get one.

Just Curious.

-Carolyn
 
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