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Grooming of a longhaired bunny

July 25th, 2007, 01:50 PM
We got in an abandoned bunny (dumped at a local park) who was very thin and extremely matted. I believe she is an American Fuzzy Lop. She has long, very fine hair like an angora, and it had matted so bad, it was pulling on her skin and she had some open sores from it. I've been carefully brushing the mats out, but it is difficult, they are right down to the skin, and her skin is very thin and delicate. There's no way we could shave her without cutting her skin, the vet said there's nothing to do but brush her out. I've gotten her back and sides done, but her stomach is all matted, and I have no idea how I am going to fix this! I know if you put a bunny on it's back, it becomes sort of paralyzed with fear and doesn't move, but I don't think she would remain still for the brushing, since I know it hurts her. She is a nice bunny, but hates being brushed and struggles to get away. Any ideas?

July 25th, 2007, 05:14 PM
If someone holds her on her back, in their lap, and you work quickly for maybe 5 minutes at a time, would that be possible? Try using a small, fine-toothed comb, snatch gently at the fur without pulling.
On the other hand, if there are no sores or anything else that might be painful, you could leave it for her to deal with, as she gets stronger.
Lucky bunny, that you found her!

July 25th, 2007, 07:28 PM
Oh, the poor dear! She's very lucky you found her, SableCollie.

I've never had a bunny that was matted, but what I've done with dogs that have gotten badly matted is to cut the mats off to about a half inch to an inch from the skin. With dog hair, this actually make it easier to comb the mat out without pulling too hard. I can usually tease the mat apart from the cut edges with a fine-toothed comb--don't dig deep with it--just sort of comb the edges at an angle and it loosens up.

Maybe try it with a small patch on her belly and see if it works with rabbit hair? :fingerscr Good luck with her--I hope she's feeling (and looking) better soon!

July 26th, 2007, 07:48 PM
I've been de-matting her a bit every day with a flea comb. It is so bad, her skin is pulled into all of the mats, I can't use scissors for fear of cutting her. It takes me a good 15 minutes to get out a mat (I'm pretty proficient at de-matting, but these are large horrible mats!) That's why the stomach is a problem, she will not stay still for it, and I don't want to stress her too much, since bunnies can literally die from it's tough and it is taking a long time! She is getting spayed as soon as she gains enough weight, so I think the vet may have to get all the mats out while she is under anesthesia. I've finished de-matting her neck, and she seems more comfortable, it must have been so painful for her before, there was an open wound under the biggest mat from the skin being pulled apart. I think she was probably matted even before she got dumped, I doubt that people who would just dump a rabbit outside spent time brushing her every day...

Her name is Flopsy now, from the Peter Rabbit stories (Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail were Peter Rabbit's sisters).

October 20th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Hi! I'm pretty new to this forum but have a couple of ideas. I have a Dwarf Hotot named Bunny Phoo Phoo. Phoo for short. He has a tendancy to not shed out all of his old hair. I also have a dog who is fear aggressive and has to be tranquilized to get the mats out of her hindquarters. The only reason why I mention her is that my vet suggested the new Furminator tool. It works great. so I thought I'd give it a try on Phoo. It worked! I had to be very gentle because thier fur can tear easily and of course a terrified bunny can have a heart attack. I was also wondering if you could ask the vet about some of the dematting sprays the groomers us to help the knots and mats slip apart easier.
Just an idea. Sounds like your bunny has found a forever friend. Good work. I will run it by my vet too.