Rabbit Focus

Do Rabbits Pull Fur When Not Pregnant?

It is easy to go into panic mode once you see your rabbit pulling its own fur. But worry not because fur plucking or pulling is often a normal behavior, mainly observed in female rabbits, especially pregnant ones.

Do Rabbits Pull Fur When Not Pregnant?

But what if your bunny is not going through pregnancy? Do rabbits pull fur when not pregnant?

Rabbits may be small yet their tiny bodies pack lots of fluff. It is easy to be alarmed when your rabbit is not pregnant, but you find fur in its hutch. What can make your rabbit pull out its fur, then? Do you need to seek vet care for this?

False Pregnancy

An unspayed female not living with other rabbits or is only living with neutered males or other females may experience the so-called false pregnancy. It commonly occurs with some rabbits and getting your pet spayed is often the only way to put an end to it.

While false pregnancies don’t pose any harm, getting your bunny spayed may help lower the risks of certain reproductive cancers. This means that if you don’t plan to breed your female rabbits, spaying is a good move.

During a false pregnancy, female rabbits will usually have swollen mammary glands and even build a nest. The symptoms are expected to just last several days before she goes back to normal behaviors.

Stress or Boredom

When you leave your rabbit alone inside the cage all day long, it is likely that it will be stressed out and bored at the same time. Just like other active animals, rabbits also need space and time to dig, jump, run, and just be their rabbit selves. Stuck in a small space without anything to do and stressed out, your rabbit might start pulling its fur out just for the sake of having something to do.

To prevent the fur-pulling behavior, try giving your bunny more time outside the cage and give it lots of boxes or toys to play with.

Dietary Imbalance

Rabbits require a diet rich in fiber. When their diet doesn’t give them all the fiber they need, they will often turn to their own fur as their source of fiber. Rabbits need to eat lots of fresh timothy hay every day that is the size of its body in addition to fresh greens and quality rabbit pellets.

Grooming Problems

Pulling fur may also take place in rabbits with tangled fur mats, something that tends to occur more in long-haired rabbit breeds. This is why it is important that you feel your rabbit all over every week to check if things are fine.

For example, grooming your long-haired every day or your short-haired bunny every week is a great way to help prevent the formation of mats and stop the fur-pulling behavior. Grooming can also help you form a stronger bond with your bunny.

Rabbits tend to have sensitive skin, so avoid using combs or brushes made from hard metal. The ideal option to use here is a rubber brush.

Insufficient Grooming

If your bunny has started to pull its fur in patches, this may also indicate that you are not grooming your pet as much as it needs to be. Long-haired rabbits in particular will start doing the grooming on their own, especially when going through shedding periods and you don’t remove their full properly.

Make sure you brush your money well and hope that the fur-pulling habit will stop soon. The last thing you want is for your bunny to pull out its own fur because your pet will not only injure its delicate skin. At the same time, there is also the risk that your pet will end up ingesting some of its fur that might get stuck in its digestive tract.

Skin Issues or Parasites

Make sure you check the skin of your rabbit by parting its fur to closely inspect its skin. Fleas, lice, and mites can all affect rabbits and can make their skin extremely itchy, causing them to scratch off their fur.

Rabbits also have their own flea species although they can also catch exactly the same fleas that are often living in dogs or cats. The good news is that it is not common for rabbits to have external parasites. However, if your bunny got them, the best thing you can do is to consult a vet for some treatments.

Avoid using topical flea medicines meant for dogs and cats on your bunny because it may have fatal results.

Itchy Skin

Female and male rabbits alike can suffer from mites and fleas that might lead to discomfort in these adorable animals. Ear mites can make your bunny rub its ears and shake its head. One specific mite that burrows under the skin of rabbits and their fur might appear patchy while the skin below may look scruffy.

If your bunny has mites, it may spend lots of time rubbing itself along the hard surfaces and even pulling at its fur. When you suspect that your bunny is suffering from mites, never try treating the issue on your own. Instead, it is best to consult your vet for expert help and professional advice.

When to Seek Medical Care for Rabbits Pulling Fur When Not Pregnant

Rabbits pulling fur when not pregnant can be quite distressing for owners. However, keeping a watchful eye on your rabbit will help you identify the cause and with any luck, address it accordingly.

If your bunny has bleeding and raw skin patches, a vet may prescribe medications that can prevent your rabbit from suffering from an infection. When the fur-pulling behavior of your rabbit doesn’t have any obvious cause, or if the condition has been going on for a few weeks, it might be a wise idea to consult with your vet.

There are other common reasons aside from the ones above for fur pulling in rabbits. If you got any concerns or worries, take your bunny to the vet for a check-up at the soonest time possible.

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