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Featured Baby Wild Rabbits Article
Grooming Your Pet Bunny Rabbit 101
by Andrea Austin,
Rabbits are naturally clean creatures, but your job as a pet owner is to help them out by doing the grooming they can’t do on their own. This section is all about the essentials of getting your rabbit to look as great and as healthy as he feels!
Just as other pets do, rabbits need regular nail trims. In fact, think of a rabbit’s claws as being like your own fingernails—they grow regularly and don’t naturally get worn down, so you must take care of that yourself.
Make a monthly date to give your rabbit a trim, or to take your pet to a groomer or the vet to have a clipping done.
To clip bunny’s nails, all you need is a nail clipper. Remember, the object is NOT to clip down too short. You’ve got to be very careful not to cut off too much, because there are actually blood vessels deep down in the nail, and you don’t want to nip them.
In fact, it’s a great idea to take in your bunny to the vet to observe a nail clipping so that you can follow your vet’s lead in the future.
Checking the Teeth
Just like nails, rabbits’ teeth grow and grow and grow. In fact, this is why rabbits love to chew things so much! Chewing helps to wear down the teeth so that they remain healthy and comfortable.
Sometimes, if a rabbit has a malocclusion or the teeth aren’t lined up properly, problems can occur. Teeth that are too long will stop a rabbit from eating, and your bunny could starve. Therefore, you need to check regularly to make sure that the teeth are being worn down properly.
If they look too long or aren’t getting worn down, you’ll need to have your vet trim the teeth or trim them yourself. As with the nail clipping, it is a good idea to observe a tooth-trimming first so you know how to do it on your own in the future.
Do You Need To Clean Your Bunny’s Ears?
Rabbits’ ears should generally be clean, and you’ll need to take a look from time to time to ensure that there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be. But—if you see any sort of waxy buildup or dirt, you will need to make a trip to the vet.
As a rule, you should not try to clean your bunny’s ears yourself. If you do, you risk hurting the delicate inner ear, so it’s best to leave this to the professionals.
Cleaning the Eyes
If your rabbit has a little crustiness in his eyes, you can simply wipe it off. It’s totally normal and nothing to worry about.
However, if your rabbit’s eyes are very watery or you notice any unusual discharge, there could be a more serious illness. Take your rabbit to the vet and get him checked out. Your vet may need to prescribe medications or eye drops—be sure to follow the directions to the T.
Keeping the Scent Glands Clean
Last but not least, we come to the scent glands. Similar to skunks and ferrets, rabbits have scent glands. These glands—two of them, to be exact—are located on either side of the animal’s anus. Unpleasant though it may sound, you really need to check the glands regularly and clean away the scent, which can build up and “clog” the glands.
All you need to do this are some Q-tips or cotton balls and a bit of warm water. Simply wet the cotton or Q-tip and then dab gently at the scent glands.
In order to get at the glands, hold your bunny upside down, and be extremely careful that you have got him in a secure grip. If you cannot do this safely on your own, get a helper to do the holder while you do the cleaning. Remember that rabbits who struggle while being held are at risk for breaking their back, so try to calm and soothe your pet.
I know this may not be the most pleasant task, but it’s essential as part of your rabbit’s healthy grooming routine!
by Andrea Austin
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