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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11310
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I was giving our rabbit a bath when I noticed s hair coming

Customer Question

I was giving our rabbit a bath when I noticed his hair coming out so As I washed him anything that was lose in the water I pulled away. Then realized 1/2 his bottom was bare skin. I tried him with a towel and can see his hair seems to be just sitting on his skin and not attached. He gets a bath about once a week to once every 2 weeks. If a photo helps I can send one. Thank you. .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 2-3 weeks ago I found a small rat in his cage. It met his dimise I immediately cleaned out the cage wash the rabbit and bought new food and water containers. Could this have anything to do with bin buns hair loss?
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I'm sorry to hear of this incident.

Your photo would be very useful. 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.

Please note that this post is not your answer, but only a request for the picture. So, don't rate my service yet - we are just beginning. Thank you.

Anna

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

I hope you get my response on one of your questions. I'm waiting to see the photo of your rabbit so I can see exactly what is going on with him. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't seen any responses since I sent the photos, ai am wondering if you did not them, if I should resend them or if we can do a face to face chat I maybe able to show you that way.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

No, I didn't get your photos. I don't know what is going wrong. Try emailing them to***@******.*** Ask that they be sent to me. I should get them in the morning. If I don't, I'll answer your question then, as best I can without the photos. I appreciate your patience.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I still didn't get the photos, so I'm going to go ahead without them. There are several possibilities when a rabbit loses fur like this.

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. shedding is influenced by day length and by the rabbit's hormone levels.When the skin looks healthy and normal, heavy shedding isn't a problem.Look closely at the bald spots. If you see new tiny downy hairs coming in, you're probably dealing with shedding. If teh skin looks normal, but no new hairs are coming in, you may be dealing with an endocrine disorder. Thyroid disorders, especially, can cause extensive fur loss.

Let's look at other possibilities. The rat may have brought in a parasite or a fungal infection.

If it's very flaky - like a bad case of dandruff - you may be dealing with fur mites. If the skin looks red and sore, that might be an infection. Mange is another possibility. A vet is needed to treat any of these conditions. Rabbits are sensitive to many medications and can even die if some (Like Frontline) are put on them. You can read all about normal and abnormal fur loss at this site:

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

This site has a directory of rabbit vets, if you end up needing one:

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

While normal shedding, parasites, and infections are all possibilities, all the bating is probably a factor. Rabbits are not like dogs, and do not need to be bathed. In fact, it is recommended to never bathe them. They keep themselves very clean, and bathing completely strips the skin of its normal oils and dries out the fur. That can lead to fur loss. A bath is stressful to a rabbit and many of them will even get sick after being bathed. Yours is apparently an exception to that, but baths are still not good for him. I have owned hundreds of rabbits, and have never given one a bath. If a rabbit has diarrhea or gets into something messy, we may gently wash off the soiled part of the body, but not bathe the whole rabbit. You can confirm this information on the following sites:

http://rabbit.org/faq-grooming/

http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pdfs/BathingBunnies-RO.pdf

In summary, here's what I recommend. Examine the skin carefully. If it looks normal and new hairs are coming in, there is probably not a disease or parasites. If you see flaking skin, sores, redness, etc., or if no new hairs are coming in, schedule a vet appointment. Stop giving baths. Make sure your rabbit has a clean soft bedding that is paper-based, such as CareFresh. Wood and corn-based litters irritate the skin. If your rabbit lives outdoors, make the bedding extra deep to keep him warm as the weather cools this fall.

If you have more questions about this, let me know in a REPLY. I hope your rabbit will soon have a new full coat.

Anna