Rabbits are very clean animals and spend a huge amount of time grooming. But from time to time they can get a bit messy underneath due to diet and/or weather. Usually, we trim away offending dirty fluff and dreads.
Bunny bath time
Last Thursday we gave Tofu his first bath ever. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as we thought it would be, but it was a 2 person job. One to hold him firmly and dip his bottom into the sink and the other to shampoo and rinse. That was pretty successful and we got all the brown bits out.
But then come Friday evening, Tofu was wet all underneath which is unusual for him and very uncomfortable. He was eating as usual and running around the backyard quite happily but his fur was wet, smelly and dreaded and the skin inflamed.
Local vet visit
We usually take Tofu to a miracle worker of a vet which is quite a long drive away, but this didn’t seem to be a life or death situation, so we decided to try out our local vet instead. Anti-inflammatory, anti-biotics, antibacterial shampoo and some curved scissors later, we were kitted out with everything we needed to fix him up.
Tofu weighed in at 2.5kg and apparently he could do with a whole kilo less. It’s hard to imagine a 2.5kg rabbit a that much lighter, but we’ve cut down pellets now to just a sprinkle a day and lots of hay. I phone our regular vet clinic and in 2009, Tofu weighed 2.7kg. I guess it is good that he isn’t gaining weight. We will just have to keep an eye on it.
First we cut off as much of the offensive fur as possible.
Then we bathed him for the second time that week with the regular pet shampoo first, then a third time with the medicated shampoo which had to be left in for 15 minutes. Tofu was very good about it and quite relaxed when I massaged the shampoo in. Picture a bunny on his back, bottom half wet and thin looking (fluff tends to make anyone look a bit chubby) and relaxed, bliss face on. A warm rinse and the washing part was done.
Afterwards we sat him on a towel on the table and set a cool hairdryer on him for quite a while. Constantly check the temperature by fluffing up the fur with your hand as you dry. If the air feels too warm on your hands, it’s too hot for bunny.
From what I’ve read, you really need to dry a washed rabbit properly because the parts that you have to wash are the parts they can’t reach to clean. If they can’t reach to clean, they can’t reach to dry either.
We have been giving him his Baytril, but he absolutely hates it. It smells like horrible chemicals like nail polish remover so it’s no wonder he tries to kick and scratch us when we force feed it to him. Poor thing!
It was just as well he got a good bath and a blow wave because the next day we had everyone over for a high tea. A smelly, wet rabbit just wouldn’t have been quite right at a high tea.
Lagomorph at Sunday’s high tea.