Why Is My Rabbit Pulling Fur Out?
Rabbits do not pull out their furs under normal circumstances. So, whenever you notice a change in this behavior, you should immediately understand that something is alarming, or unusual.
So, what causes the rabbit to lose its fluffiness? Should you immediately seek the help of a veterinary doctor if you observe your rabbit pulling fur out?
Such questions may come to your mind. This article will guide you about everything that you should know about the fur and why do rabbits pull it out.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Reasons for a rabbit pulling hair
It is not always the cause of concern, but if you know the reasons, you will immediately understand when to seek out veterinary help.
Pregnancy/ False Pregnancy
Good News! If your rabbit is pulling her fur out, there are 80% chances that she is pregnant. In this case, there is nothing to worry about. It is an instinctive characteristic that shows that the rabbit is well aware of her pregnancy and is preparing for an upcoming delivery.
The female rabbit wants her kit to live in a nest full of hay and fluffy fur. So, when she pulls her fur out, it means she is going to pile it up in the nest.
If you closely observe this behavior, you will consider it as nature’s manifestation of love.
There is also a scientific reason behind it. During pregnancy, the glands of the rabbit produce different hormones that result in the loosening of the belly and moving the furs to the sides. It causes pain and irritation but as a future mother, she is ready to face the pain for her kits.
But remember, she doesn’t only gather fur and hay but also line up any other leaves or bedding materials that she might consider comfortable for her kit.
So, if your doe is preparing for the nest, it means she is likely to become a mother in the next few days.
Here the question arises:
If fur pulling is an indicator of pregnancy, then what causes it in unspayed females who live with neutered males?
The reason is quite obvious, the rabbits with abnormal reproductive setups experience false pregnancies. The symptoms of false pregnancy are quite similar to the normal pregnancy, so you will not only observe fur pulling behaviour but also the swelling of mammary glands.
False pregnancies are not risky, and it is advised that you should get your rabbit spayed.
Grooming and adaptability issues
Is your rabbit pulling fur in patches? Here is something alarming and potentially dangerous for your rabbit’s health. If you are not grooming your rabbit properly or do not remove the fur on time, your rabbits start pulling their fur out.
This is an alarming situation that your rabbit is not happy at the place and you should start taking care of your rabbit in a proper way. As a result, he will be able to adjust to the given environment.
But we’ve not ended yet!
Bad brushing habits and unhealthy food are also the reasons behind fur pulling out. So there are chances that your rabbit can ingest her fur mistakenly, which can eventually lead to death.
Stress and boredom
Rabbit is an active and lively animal and does not like living alone. If you stop the rabbit from jumping, and digging, and leave him alone in the cage, he will start pulling her fur out.
So, rabbits do this pulling as happiness and to get rid of boredom. This is not recommended for the rabbit, as it can adversely affect his health.
Give her time to enjoy and jump. Let him play with toys and run in an open area.
Best of all?
Give your rabbit a chance to burrow. It will not only recover the fur but also keep your rabbit happy.
Lack of fiber in the diet
If you overlook a rabbit’s nutritional needs, your rabbit will likely find other sources of food. But how will he get more food if you won’t provide him?
So the result will be discouraging, especially if you give a diet to the rabbit that is low in fiber, he will start pulling out his fur and will look at it as the source of fiber.
But once you will start adding fiber-rich food to his diet, he will leave this bad habit and will recover his fluffiness.
Good fiber sources for rabbits are timothy hay, pellets, and leafy green vegetables. Understand the importance of keeping your rabbit healthy, and keep on updating his diet.
A dietary imbalance is the second major cause of fur pulling in rabbits.
Presence of parasites in the fur
If your rabbit does not have all of the above reasons for fur pulling, then a close physical examination of the rabbit can give you a clue. If you observe the presence of lice, mites, or fleas, then look no further.
But the good thing is that very few rabbits get affected by parasites.
So you should also consider other things like your rabbit may have skin problems if he continuously pulls fur out.
If you feel any kind of scars or injuries on the rabbit skin, don’t apply any medicine that is meant for cats and dogs.
When should you seek medical consultation?
If your rabbit is constantly pulling the fur out, the first step is to look at any apparent causes. In most cases, pregnancy is a major reason. But if the cause is here hidden, and your rabbit keeps on pulling fur out for more than two weeks, it’s time to immediately consult the veterinarian.
Rabbits are small fluffy creatures and are very sensitive to their environment. Special attention is needed to keep them healthy and active. So, whenever your rabbit pulls fur out, you should be very vigilant in finding the cause.
Now you’ve read about why your rabbit pulls the fur out, it’s time to share your experiences with us. So, did your rabbit ever pull his/her fur out?
Do a quick comment and let us know.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Bunny Poop Types