Are you a first-time bunny owner? If so, you may be in for quite a learning curve in the coming year. Bunnies are lots of fun, but they are quite different from dogs and cats. One thing that may be new to you is molting. Molting is the term for what happens when bunnies shed. As your Marion, IA veterinarian, I am happy to provide great veterinary care for bunnies. Read on to learn about molting.
What Is Molting?
Molting is what happens when bunnies shed. Bunny shedding is a little more extreme than what happens when Fluffy or Fido shed. Floppy will basically blow her whole coat and grow a whole new one. Bunnies molt about once a season, though some molts will be heavier than others are. Your pet may look a little funny during the process, as she may lose huge chunks of her fur at once. Don’t worry: it will grow back before you know it!
You’ll need to brush your bunny regularly when she is molting. Many bunnies should be brushed every day when molting heavily, and once a week otherwise. (Note: you may want to wear an apron when brushing a molting bunny.) However, super fluffy bunnies will require daily brushing at all times. To teach Floppy that being groomed is a good thing, choose a time when she is feeling relaxed, and settle down with her in your lap. Start by petting her, and then incorporate the brush. Offer your adorable pet treats and praise, so she knows she’s being pampered. When Floppy decides that she’s had enough, just let her go. You can’t win an argument with a rabbit!
The main medical problem associated with molting is hair ingestion. Just like cats, bunnies cannot digest their own fur. However, Floppy can’t vomit up her hairballs the way cats do. Therefore, if your pet swallows too much fur, she could get dangerous intestinal blockages. Your veterinarian may recommend supplements or hairball remedies. It’s also important to make sure your bunny always has plenty of fresh grass hay. Keep a close eye on your pet when she is molting. Look for signs of illness, such as lethargy and/or lack of appetite. Call your veterinarian right away if you notice anything amiss.
Please contact me, your Marion, IA veterinarian, with any questions or concerns about your bunny’s health or care.