Bunny Butt

Bunny Butt
By Audra Watkins, Vet Nurse, Anexa FVC Ngaruawahia

We recently had a bunny rabbit, brought into our clinic at Ngaruawahia. His owner was concerned that he smelt funny and that he had a mass near his bottom.

On examination, I found him to be a healthy young rabbit. He seemed quiet comfortable with me handling him, so I slowly turned him over onto his back to check out the mass near his bottom that his owner was concerned about. During my check I found that he was still entire - so he had not been castrated.

On inspection of the mass, it turned out to be faeces (poo) and urine matted together under his tail to make a big ball of nasty fur. This can sometimes happen if they get loose bowel movements, as the faeces doesn’t drop away from their bottom but instead gets caught up in their fur.

The only way to fix it, was to carefully clip it away from his skin.

Rabbits have very delicate skin, that can be cut and torn very easily if you are not careful or if the rabbit moves at the wrong moment. So in some cases, it is necessary to give an injection to the bunny to cause a slight sedation.

Our boy was so chilled out with everything so far I decided it was ok proceed without sedation. I started to slowly work around the matted fur with a cordless pair of clippers. With the help of our receptionist holding him up and on his back, I was able to clip around his tail and genitals, without hurting him. After about 15 minutes of careful clipping the matted ball came away fully away and he was left with a shaved bunny butt. I put him back into his cage with food and water and he went about his business as if nothing had happened.

Rabbits, just like cats and dogs, also need to be groomed at least a couple times a week if they are short coated. Long haired rabbits need to be done almost daily, to ensure that no mats start in their fur and then cause problems for the bunny, when they start to pull on their skin.

Brushes can be purchased from most clinics for rabbits, and also if owners are comfortable handling their bunnies, special scissors can also be brought to use for removal of mats at home. If you are not happy with removing mats yourself, then please give you local Anexa FVC Vet clinic a call and arrange a visit with either a nurse or a Vet to give your companion a tidy up.

It is important that rabbits have nice shiny and smooth coats, as this means they are in a healthy condition. Some things to look out for in rabbits who are not doing so well are dull dandruff covered coats, thin in body condition, smelly back ends due to either urine scalding or diarrhoea (loose bowel movement), and no appetite. These rabbits need to be seen by a Vet.

If you have a pet rabbit - remember to check them regularly while grooming them, give them good food, plenty of exercise and toys to play with, and also have them de-sexed if you don’t want to have them breeding rapidly.


Date Added: Thursday, 7th September 2017


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