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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9356
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I noticed yesterday my rabbit has several bald spots (completely

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I noticed yesterday my rabbit has several bald spots (completely bald down to the skin) on her back. She is about 2, otherwise in good health, and the skin is not broken and looks healthy. The bald patches are pale pink skin, she is a black furred rabbit. Some of the skin seems to have black pigment - the two main bald spots are about 1-2 inches and irregular in shape. Do I need to be concerned? It is also the time of year when she molts, but has never molted like this before.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I've been raising and showing rabbits for over 30 years, and I would like to help you with Tula.

Check the bald spots carefully. Do you see any fine, downy hairs there?

Does Tula seem to itch in those spots? Have you seen her biting or scratching herself?

Thank you.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much - on the pink spots, no, they are completely bald. On the pigmented spots, yes, there's some fine hair.


She seems to notice the spots...maybe trying to clean there (it's hard for her though they are on the center of her back). They don't seem to itch or irritate her.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Heavy shedding in the fall is quite common. Losing large amounts of hair and bald spots appearing are also not unusual. I've found that individual rabbits may have a different shedding pattern from year-to-year. They may shed heavily in the spring one year, but not until October the next. The amount and pattern of shedding is influenced by day length and by the rabbit's hormone levels.

I suspect Tula is undergoing a normal, but heavy, molt. You don't need to consult a vet at this point. Just monitor the situation. Watch for those fine hairs to appear on the pink areas. If they don't appear within 2-3 weeks, there may be a problem. Also keep an eye out for redness, sores, or flaking. When the skin looks healthy and normal, heavy shedding isn't a problem. If it's very flaky - like a bad case of dandruff - you may be dealing with fur mites. They would need to be treated by a vet. You can read more about normal and abnormal fur loss at this site:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/furloss.html

If Tula lives outdoors, make sure she has a good deep bed to stay warm. As long as the skin appears healthy, she has a good appetite, and passes normal stools, I don't think you have anything to worry about. If abnormalities appear in the skin, then you'll want to see your vet. If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.


Anna

Please be sure to rate only SMILEY FACES to complete this transaction, or, if you need more help, click on REPLY and let me know what else you need. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Just one quick follow up question - you've actually seen rabbits have bald spots during molting? I've had a pet rabbit for the last 15 years (only 3 rabbits total, though) and I've never seen this. Also, there is a slight iridescence to her pink skin - but no flaking - does that sound normal? (I guess that's two questions)

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I see bald spots every year during molts. I generally keep between 10 and 25 rabbits in my rabbitry. Right now I have three with bald spots. It really isn't unusual.

The iridescence might be a concern. Can you post a photo of it? You can upload a photo by clicking on REPLY, then at the top of the area where you would type is a tool bar with icons. Click on the little paper clip icon (it's right next to the YouTube icon). Instructions will pop up. On some browsers, this doesn't work. if that happens, you can put your photo on one of the free photo sharing websites, such as www.photobucket.com. Then come back here and paste the link to your picture in a REPLY.

Anna
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't think it would show up in a picture - there's no texture to it (other than incredibly soft bunny skin), just a subtle sparkle if the light hits it right. No dandruff that I can see in any of her fur.


I really appreciate your help in this...it's just SO noticeable and odd to see on a jet black rabbit.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Without seeing it, I suspect that is not abnormal. Yes, bald spots do show up more on dark colored rabbits. If you're worried, you can take the precaution of having your vet check it out. There may be a minor infection present. the vet would probably have to inspect the spots and perhaps do a skin scraping to determine if there is a problem.

If you want to, you can apply a very thin layer of plain Neosporin (not the kind with pain relief) for a few days and watch to see if there's any change. Whatever you choose to do, watch for new hair to come in. If it doesn't, then you definitely need to see your vet.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you! I'll keep on eye out for hair regrowth and any changes. I appreciate your help.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. I hope you'll see some hair in the next couple of weeks, and no abnormalities in the skin.

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9356
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Anna and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jill,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Tula. How is everything going?

Anna
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for checking on her! I'm happy to report her hair is already starting to grow in over about 50% of the bald area, with no new bald spots showing.
Thanks so much for your reassurance and advice.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
That's great news. I suspected that was what would happen.

Anna

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