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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11136
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Rabbit Question...Please do not respond unless you are ACTUALLY

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Rabbit Question...Please do not respond unless you are ACTUALLY dealing with rabbit well-being on a regular (preferably daily) basis. Thank you.

I would like to find out the best way/tool for removing hair mats from a long-hair rabbit. I tried to use a heavy-duty grooming clipper (judging by the box, it is intended for dogs), but my results were disappointing. My problem was that the clipper's "teeth" did not penetrate into the dense undercoat deep enough for the moving blade to actually be able to cut anything. And I did not want to solve the problem by simply pushing the clipper into the undercoat with more force because the rabbits' skin looks so delicate and thin...I did not want to tear it. I also tried with small scissors with rounded ends, but then ends would not penetrate into the undercoat easily, so no success with that either.

There has to be a better/safe(r) way to get the job done. So, I am wondering, what hair-cutting tool is available out there for long-hair rabbits? What does work?

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.
Hello,

I have been breeding and showing rabbits for over 30 years, and have owned many breeds, including long-haired ones. I'm sorry to hear you are having this problem. Unfortunately, it's common in pet long-haired rabbits. You were wise not to force the clipper into the coat because a rabbit's skin is indeed fragile. There are not special tools for mat removal in rabbits because the key is to prevent the mats to begin with, but pet stores seldom inform people of how much grooming is involved in rabbits with long hair.By the time a pet owner is aware of it, the coat is a matted mess. I'll give you some ideas in a moment, but often the best solution at this point is to have a rabbit-experienced vet shear off the coat. Don't go with a pet groomer because they aren't used to working with rabbits. If you want to go to a vet, this link will take you to a directory of rabbit vets:

http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html

If you want to undertake the project on your own, you'll need some sharp ball tip scissors. You can see what these look like here, and also order if you can't get them locally:

http://www.petsupplies.com/item/dubl-duck-straight-ear-nose-shears-4-inch/191514/?srccode=GPPETSUP&gclid=CKmur4SczrYCFa5DMgodVHQABQ

This won't be something you can do in one day because it will be too hard on the rabbit and too tiring for you. Work on it for a little while each day. It may take weeks. First, simply cut off any mats that are not down tot he skin. When you find one that goes too close to the skin, cut into it the long way, making it into two narrower mats, still connected to the rabbit. You may have to do this more than once, but eventually, you should be able to gently tease the pieces of the mat out with a comb.

Once all the mats are out, grooming has to be a daily thing. It's easier if you keep the coat short all the time. A daily brushing, using a comb and/or the ball tip scissors for any mats you encounter, should keep the coat in good condition. If you want to keep the coat long, more extensive brushing and combing will be needed.

Here are two sites where you can read more about grooming long-haired rabbits:

https://docs.google.com/vie wer?a=v&q=cache:rvj3MgCao6sJ:www.nationalangorarabbitbreeders.com/tipsforgrooming.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgZCY-1hJbjrpnh9rG4IalaJ5eTPFJDsuan-QMePiOlImRdzeNTKiHnzo7QMFfcDIwusnFrxPxEvKm2EhcypBsrGuj6eon2h9pG4p8Jas7-5Qqch8MIMIXw_Gj0kPaudqsxINfM&sig=AHIEtbScRXCTPtpvgwp-2dXU3u3G--1hsw

http://www.rabbit.org/care/angora.html


If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your rabbit will soon have a beautiful coat.

Anna
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