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Molting in Rabbits

Have you recently become a bunny parent? Congratulations! Floppy is a very cute and lovable pet! However, rabbits do have some specific needs and traits. One thing that often takes first-time bunny owners by surprise is molting. This is basically a term for shedding in bunnies. Why isn’t it simply called shedding? Rabbits take shedding to a whole new level: they basically blow their entire coats out, and then grow all new fur. A Niwot, CO vet discusses molting in this article.

Molting Times

Bunnies generally molt about once a season. However, molting can also be triggered by other factors, such as stress or illness. Your cute little pet may not replace her entire coat every time she molts. While many rabbits have a few heavy molts a year, Floppy may also have a few lighter ones, which you might not even notice. Molts last from two to six weeks, on average. This time frame will vary depending on your pet’s breed, age, health, and coat.

Appearance

Floppy may look a little odd when she is in the process of molting. Her old coat may not come off evenly, so you may find your furry buddy looking a bit patchy. Don’t worry: this is normal. Your fuzzy pal’s coat will soon grow back!

Brushing

You’ll need to brush your bunny at least once a day while she is molting, to help get all of that dead fur out of her coat. It’s generally a good idea to get your furry friend used to being brushed before she molts. This will make the process easier when the time comes. Be very careful when brushing Floppy! Rabbits have extremely delicate skin, and it’s very easy to accidentally cut or tear it. Ask your vet for recommendations on grooming tools and tactics.

Hairballs

Molting is natural in bunnies, but it isn’t entirely benign. Hairballs are one thing to be concerned about. Unlike cats, rabbits can’t throw up their hairballs. If Floppy ingests too much fur, she could get very sick. In addition to regular brushing, your vet may recommend offering your pet a hairball remedy. We also recommend checking your pet’s droppings daily. If you notice any changes, call your vet right away.

Do you have questions about molting or rabbit care? Please call us, your Niwot, CO pet hospital, anytime. We have been providing great veterinary care since 1946!

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