The last few weeks I’ve experienced something new in my life as a rabbit owner – shedding “season”. Granted, with a Lionhead Rabbit, all spring/summer has seemed like the shedding season. Bugsey needs a lot of regular brushing to keep hair from flying all over the place. It’s worth it to have our cute, fluffy furball!
Recently however, I’ve noticed the fur right on the back of his neck was getting thinner, to the point that he actually has a bald spot. It is clean and pink, but I started to get worried! So, like any other curious owner, I started to search the internet to see what I could find. The information I was finding was starting to get scary…alopecia, allergies, parasites, ringworm, dental problems, other illnesses…yikes! I figured that couldn’t be! Bugsey is well cared for, loved, fed well, cage cleaned, etc.
A fellow rabbit owner advised checking the ears. I checked Bugsey’s ears and they were clean, perfect and pink inside. That gave me some relief! I continued to watch Bugsey. He continued to do a normal amount of grooming, nothing in excess of what he has done over the last year and did not appear to be scratching or chewing. That helped convince me there were no unseen fur mites or something along those lines. There were no rough marks or texture to the skin, no bite marks or anything.
After further reading, I was finally convinced this was a normal part of bunny molting and everything was fine. The spot was limited to the shoulders and nothing else. The good news is after about two weeks, the hair is coming back in like normal. If it hadn’t, Bugsey would have been seeing our veterinarian.
I’ve definitely learned a lot about different rabbit hair losses and what to look out for from all this reading. If you have a rabbit like us, be sure to watch for flaking, itching, bite marks, redness, small crusts, or anything but clean healthy skin.
If any of those occur, please consult your local veterinarian for help in treatment. There are many flea powders and other medications safe for rabbits, but ask your veterinarian what to use. It is not advisable to use a small dog dose of anything or a cat dose without specific veterinarian recommendations. Rabbits and other small animals are not like cats or dogs and have different reactions to different medications. Permethrin is one common item used in some flea and tick medications for dogs that can cause great harm in cats and rabbits.
If you have questions about your pet and are looking for some information, be sure to check out our Pet Education site.
Have you had any “scares” in your life as a pet owner? What would you like to hear more about from us?
- Rabbit Bonding – Did you know rabbits can bond with other pets, not just other rabbits?
- Bunny Pet Talk – Pet bunnies have quite a wide range of communication behaviors. The trick is to interpret rabbit behavior.
- Rabbit Myths Debunked! – Are rabbits low-maintenance pets? Should rabbits stay in a hutch outdoors…and do they just eat lettuce and carrots? Here’s some good information about pet rabbits.