With almost 100 rabbits in the wonderland, we have our fair share of experience keeping our bunnies neat and tidy! A well groomed rabbit does stay healthier and any sign of illness can be easier to observe. So regardless how busy we are, our volunteers will make sure all our bunnies are groomed at least once a month! Here’s some tips we will like to share to help our rabbit owners keep their rabbit oh-so-gorgeous!
Rabbits should be combed at least twice/week for short fur and daily for long fur. We like to use a slick brush to pick up loose fur and a flea comb to untangle knots. Serious clumps can be carefully trimmed using grooming scissors. Any stained fur can be gently cleansed using baby wipes and cornstarch (eg Pureen) can be used to absorb moisture. For our healthy rabbits, we NEVER bath them in water. For those who are heavily stained due to illness or old age, we will give them a simple butt bath and you can find good guidance on this website -> http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/buttbath.html.
Nails should be clipped at least once a month to keep them trimmed. Long nails can hinder movement and may get caught easily and caused injuries. A good clipper should give good grip to trim off the clear portion of the nail away from the ‘quick’ (red blood vein). If the rabbit has dark nails, shine a torch light through to ensure you avoid the quick. If you accidentally clip the quick and the nail bleeds, apply corn starch and pressure and monitor that it dries well without infection.
Our bunnies have sensitive ears that can get sick easily if neglected. We will gently lift out clumpy ear wax using cotton swab and wipe the surface with a slightly damped cloth. Do not push into the ear canals as that can end up hurting them instead. We will also take a quick sniff into their ears to detect any odd or sourish smell which can be signs of yeast/bacterial infection. This is especially important for lops who don’t get to air out their ears so often.
Our bunnies are always on their fours and it’s important to ensure their paws still well padded and comfortable. Bunnies housed on wired floorings can develop painful blisters known as sore hocks. We recommend solid surface floors lined with soft rugs to keep them comfortable and using separation grids in their litterbox to keep their feet clean. Vasaline or Centellase can be used to treat these persistent sore hocks. If the sore hocks are exposed or have pus, a vet visit is needed to ensure the infection is controlled.
THE STINKY BITS
Rabbits have scent glands both under their chin and around their anus. The anus scent glands can build up and can develop an unpleasant odor. You can find these scent glands on the two slits on either side of their genitals. We will dip a cotton swab in some water and carefully swipe away the buildup. This can be done on a monthly basis to keep them fresh and clean!
CHECK CHECK CHECK!
While you are grooming, there’s a few quick checks you can do to inspect their health. Their teeth should be neat and straight to indicate good chewing habit. Any crooked or overlapping teeth are signs of malocclusion which requires a vet visit. Their eyes should be bright and clear. Any signs of redness, discharge or fur loss indicates tear duct issues or infection that has to be treated by a vet. We do not recommend using human-grade eye drops unless recommended by a vet. Their fur coat should be smooth and free of specks or flakes which can be indication of external parasites.
PREVENTION IS KEY
At the wonderland, we regularly treat our bunnies with Revolution (selamectin) for flea and mites control. A safe dose of 0.1cc per kg of body weight using the 60mg/ml solution (concentration for kitten) is recommended for indoor rabbits 1-2 times a year. If this is your first time applying for your rabbit, please consult a vet to ensure accurate dosage and application. We do not use flea powder, shampoo or sprays and we also do not bring out rabbits outdoor.
For more tips on grooming and a list of our recommended groomers, please see our website at www.bunnywonderlandsg.com/care.