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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26135
Experience:  25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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What is a false pregnancy in a rabbit How do they behave if

Resolved Question:

What is a false pregnancy in a rabbit? How do they behave if they are going through this? What causes this, and how long does it last?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
Hi there.

This can be common in some rabbits and is caused by a surge of hormones from either some unknown cause or being around a human or other animal that is in heat. they act like they are pregnant with all the signs until after their 35 day gestation period inn which time they will go back to normal with no bad side effects.

Watch you rabbit if you think this may be a false pregnancy for these signs and for them to all go away after 35 days.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
But what are some of the symptoms that will present if she is in this false pregnacy?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
The most obvious sign id nesting at 4-6 days before they are to give birth. They will pull hair from their dewlap to make a nest for the kits.Most breeders give them a box twice as big as the rabbit for a nest and put grass or hay inside. If, after this, there are no kits, then this is false and she will be normal after this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has been like pushing her way up under the hay, up over her body, but what is this pulling hair from her dewlap? Is the pushing under the hay like making a nest? She doesn't stay there very long. This is the first time I have ever had a rabbit for a pet.Please bear with me and my simple questions, thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
No problem, this pushing into the hay could be nesting but the pulling if the hair is very significant. If you do not see her doing this, this is not a false pregnancy. This behavior could be due to something else such as boredom or that she is hiding.

Just watch her....this hair pulling is obsessive and really obvious.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well she has areas from neck to back of tail that hair is missing, but there is fine fur starting back. I thought that rabbits sometimes molt or do they? The reason I say that is I have not noticed any loose fur in her cage it is just not there. Do you think that i should add more hay for her or what?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
Yes, they will lose hair at some periods and this hair loss sounds normal. If there is no loose hair seen, this is not a false pregnancy.....I am not sure why she is doing this behavior but it is a good start to add hay or hay that is softer such as Timothy hay or grass.

If she is eating well, this does not sound serious...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How much fresh green leafy veg. is she to have daily to keep her healthy? This fur will grow back won't it, esp.. before winter? Are lionhead rabbits okay to stay outdoors in the winter?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
It is hard to know how much to feed your rabbit....if she cleans it all out, then give her more. Clean out the old leaves before giving her more. Every rabbit is different with different requirements.

Yes, the lion head rabbits are ok to stay inside during the winter as long as they get some sunlight for the vitamin D requirements such as near a window or spending some time outside when the weather permits.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I asked if it is okay that she stay outdoors during the winter with the appropriate shelter?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
Rabbits are very sensitive to heat and cold but as long as she has appropriate shelter, she will be fine outside...sorry, I was confused.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's okay, I get that way many times. One more issue that I am not sure if you can help me, but Sept. 4th I set up an acct. with this program and was given a temp. password XXXXX my e-mail, and I had forgotten it and a new one was assigned to me today under the same credit card. What do I need to do to get the other one taken off, so I want be double charged? Please try to find a phone number or someway that I can get this corrected. Thank You so much. Please reply back even if you don't know the answer now will you send it via e-mail soon?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 3 years ago.
No problem...email XXX@XXXXXX.XXX and I will notify them about this through his question...

have a Great Day!!
Dr. Loretta, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26135
Experience: 25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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