Shedding

Because of shedding, rabbits need to be brushed at least weekly. In addition to removing loose hair, this weekly brushing session helps prepare them for the multiple daily brushings that they must undergo during their heavy sheddings. Rabbits will shed in different ways: some rabbits will take a couple of weeks or more to lose their old coat, while others will lose theirs all in one day. These rabbits cannot be neglected once they start shedding. A very large percentage of the hair can often be removed by just pulling it out with your hands.

Bald spots on rabbits are quite common when they are shedding. If you notice bald spots during your rabbit's shedding season, do not be alarmed; the hair will begin to grow back within a week or two.


Nails

Rabbits nails can grow to be very long and sharp and can be uncomfortable for both you and the rabbit. If the rabbit has light colored nails, the quick (the portion of the nail containing the blood) is highly visible making them very easy to trim - just clip the nail right before the quick. Dark colored nails make it much more difficult to see the quick, and therefore, harder to trim the nails. A scissors or guillotine type nail clipper available from any pet or pet supply store is suitable.

People are often afraid to clip the nails for the fear that they will cut the quick and draw blood. If bleeding occurs, it can be stopped by one of the following methods: apply flour to the area by dabbing it on with your fingers and applying pressure (the flour will help clot the blood); apply pressure to the nail with a cotton ball; or use a product called Qwik Stop which is available at most pet shops. Your veterinarian will also clip nails for you. They should be checked every 4 to 6 weeks. Never declaw a rabbit! It is unsafe, inhumane, and is not recommended for rabbits (or any other animal for that matter).


Angora and other long-hair rabbits

These types of rabbits are truly wonderful to look at but require much more attention than short haired rabbits. They must be groomed daily to prevent matting of the fur and, of course, hairballs.

Grooming also provides an excellent opportunity to give your rabbit a quick overall check- up (see health check section). This includes checking teeth for misalignment (malocclusion), eyes and nose for any discharge, condition of fur and skin, etc.

 
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