Friday, May 14, 2010

How to properly clean the underside of my dwarf rabbit?

I have a dwaf rabbit, and I usually use a rinse-free shampoo on her fur that you just comb through. However, I need to get to her underside and she can get a little skiddish, plus I don't think she'd sit still if I just flipped her over....any help? And should I be cleaning her with water or is the spray fine?How to properly clean the underside of my dwarf rabbit?
Rabbits should never be bathed in water unless they are ill and can not groom themselves adequately and have feces in their fur that must be washed out. It's very stressful to them. If your rabbit's underside is dirty, either:

1. Your cage is not clean enough and the rabbit is spending too much time sitting in her own mess or

2. Your rabbit is ill and can not properly groom herself.

Evaluate your cage conditions and figure out what is going on. I brush mine, but do not wash, other than perhaps a quick wipe with an unscented baby wipe if one gets into something messy or I feed a messy fruit like berries. You should not normally need to clean your rabbit's underside except for her scent glands ,which should be cleaned roughly monthly with Q-tips and either warm water or mineral oil. If you need to clean scent glands or she is ill and needs grooming help, just gently and firmly turn her over, supporting her spine, and put her down on your outstretched legs (cradle her between them). Gently stroke her head until she relaxes- they will go sort of limp like they are 'hypnotized' when properly and carefully put on their backs, it is a prey reflex.How to properly clean the underside of my dwarf rabbit?
I use warm water and a small amount of kitten/puppy shampoo when I need to clean my bunny's underside. Once the fur is wet it is so much easier to clean. Have you tried wrapping her in a towel and turning her over, I have a rabbit who HATES being washed and that is how I hold him. Just make sure you rinse her off well and blowdry the fur so she doesn't get a chill.
No it is not necessary to give your bunny a bath, I think I have given my bunny a bath once in his life and he is almost 8 years old and this was due to him having a very messy bottom due to being Ill, I will not go into the details. Most bunnies are very clean animals and groom themselves several times a day, in fact they have a tongue very much like a cats, like sandpaper, the only exception is that they can't cough up the hairball like cats, so you must take preventive measure that they do not get intestinal blockages. I give mine fresh pineapple and papaya tablets, if you are not already giving these things in your bunnies daily diet please contact your vet and ask the proper dosage to do so, it will depend on his weight and age.

I have included to great web site that you can go to if you feel that you must bath your bunny, it can guide you through the process, step by step. but here's appx what you should do.

1.) One make sure that you use lukewarm water, bunnies have very thin skin and it can get irritated very easily.

2.) Make sure that you use a shampoo made especially for bunnies do not use a human shampoo these are too harsh for your bunny and will burn his skin.

3.) Rise very well with lukewarm water until it runs clear

4.) Towel dry your bunny very very gently, remember they have delicate skin that can be damaged easily.

5.) use your blow dryer on the lowest warm settling and keep your hand there to make sure that it isn't hat and you are burning him.

6.) When he is dry and fluffy, check his skin to make sure that it isn't damaged, if it is clip the hair where it is damaged, BUT ONLY IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING THIS!!!!

due to bunnies skin being so thin even a small cut will bleed A LOT.

7.) when at all possible wash only the parts of the bunny that need to be washed, avoid washing the whole bunny if you can get away with it.

8.) as with him being a little skittish, you have to remember bunnies are usually prey animals and feel very defenseless on their backs and do not like being in this position, wrap him in a towel or they have little mesh cat bags you can place him in which will keep him calm, most pet supply store seel these...a lot of cats don't like baths either.

If you need more help email me I'll be happy to help you
when my hamster was ill i used to bathe him with a small animal shampoo that i got from the pet shop - as he was too ill to clean himself i ownly used alittle warm water and raised the water to him -do not cover the head with water as you will alarm the animal just the body area and speak softly to avoid the panic of any fast movements-i would just leave her on all fours and gently rub with water and shampoo under her belly i used the kitchen sink and only filled it a tiny way to allow my hamster to wander about -he actually grew to love the baths
Rabbits are very clean animals so generally don't need to be cleaned. If they can not clean themselves they are either sick or fat. My bunny rabbit started to get very overweight and became unable to clean himself. He would have encrusted poop on his butt all the time. I put him on a diet and eventually, he came back to normal and resumed cleaning on his own. In the mean time though I would give him baths. I know they say not to do so for bunnies, I found that when I filled the sink up with warm water and let him soak in there like a tub, he loved it . I would give him little body massages in the water and he would be in heaven. He hated coming out though and didn't like to be dried. He would stay in that water though for like an hour just floating and in between the massage I would gently clean his butt. It takes a lot of time but it can be done with some rabbits if you make the experience pleasurable.

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