Often the owners of rabbits ask – why the wool falls to the rabbit and what to do if the rabbit has wool? Maybe it’s just a molt in a rabbit, and maybe he got sick with something? The reasons why a rabbit falls wool can be a lot. This article gives examples of why a rabbit may fall out of wool.
Wild rabbits molt twice a year, while home rabbits – more often: some rabbits molt all year round (especially those who live in houses with central heating).
As a rule, a rabbit intensively molts 2-3 times a year, and if everything is in order, a new one will soon grow in place of the fallen hair. In some cases, rabbit hair may fall out in clumps, and a completely bald spot may even appear on the body of a rabbit. If the wool grows back on the place of the bald spots for several days, most likely you should not worry.
A shedding rabbit needs to be brushed daily to reduce the amount of wool that enters the stomach (during molting, rabbits wash especially intensively, swallowing “dead” wool). It is necessary to ensure that the rabbit has constant access to hay – it is a vital food that will help the swallowed wool to pass through the intestines of the rabbit. Be wary of signs of a slowing down of the bowels – reducing the size of feces, dry balls, balls glued with wool, no balls at all. If you notice a decrease in feces or rabbit balls are glued with wool, but the rabbit behaves normal, you can give it a small dose (5-10 ml.) Of vaseline oil (available at the pharmacy). But if your rabbit, on an equal footing with a change in size, structure, or lack of fecal balls, demonstrates any behavior change, depression, etc., he likely develops a gastrointestinal stopper (slowing down the bowels). This disease requires immediate treatment by an experienced veterinarian.
However, if the wool does not grow, or hair loss is accompanied by a change in the skin integument (desquamation, inflammation, etc.), hair loss is most likely not associated with normal regular molting.
Abnormal hair loss can be caused by the following diseases:
Several types of mites infect rabbits, including a scabies mite (Sarcoptes spp.) And a fur mite (Cheyletiella spp.). The defeat of the scabies mite looks like a whitish, thin-crust on the skin of the rabbit, usually formed first around the eyes, nose, mouth, and fingers of the rabbit. Such a lesion causes severe itching in the rabbit, so it is necessary to begin treatment immediately. A “fur” tick, whose symptoms are not as noticeable as in the case of a scabies tick, usually does not cause such a strong itch as a scabies or ear ticks (if hair loss is accompanied by the appearance of thin crusts in the rabbit ears, you are dealing with a different type of tick) , but also causes hair loss in shreds. The “fur” mite is more scabby in size. It can be seen with the naked eye. The body of the “fur” tick is usually painted in two contrasting colors. So it is easy to see both on the dark and in the light fur. The defeat of this tick usually begins with the tail of the rabbit.
The ear tick (Psoroptes cuniculi) has already been mentioned above, these ticks penetrate the rabbit ear canals, where they cause severe irritation and produce a cortical exudate. This disease is quite common in rabbits. The first signs: the rabbit constantly scratches his ears. After two weeks, a perfectly defined gray-brown crust will appear on the rabbit ears. If the disease is not treated, the plaque spreads to the cheeks and neck of the rabbit. The treatment takes place under the supervision of a veterinarian: ivermectin injections (ivermectin) are usually prescribed to kill the tick itself, plus some means to soften the exudate. You can also use some anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve pain. Antibiotics are commonly used to control secondary bacterial infections and can be used either directly in the ears or orally and by injection. Sometimes the crusts cause the rabbit so much pain that it takes general anesthesia to remove this exudate after several days of treatment with a defrosting agent.
Another type of tick (less common than the above) is a subcutaneous tick. This type of tick is especially unpleasant – the tick gets under the skin and cannot be detected even if the rabbit skin is scraped. Even skin “biopsy” does not always help to determine this disease. Even though this species of tick is rarely found in rabbits, we observed several individuals that suddenly became very aggressive for no apparent reason, and after treating the tick, the aggression disappeared.
Fortunately, almost all types of mites are easily and effectively treated with ivermectin (ivermectin) or selamectin (selamectin) injections.
Rabbit fleas are very rarely found in (domesticated) rabbits. However, rabbits can become infected from cats or dogs. Some rabbits are allergic to flea bites, and rabbit hair can start to fall out badly. Fleas tolerate such a terrible disease as myxomatosis. It is necessary to periodically check the rabbit for the presence of fleas and during vaccination of the animal. It is especially important if your cat or dog walks freely on the street.
“Ringworm” (Microsporidia, Versicolor).
Intense hair loss by shreds is often associated with this microorganism. In the case of this disease, the bald spots are very clearly limited. Mild irritation may be noticeable on the skin, and sometimes small red spots are also noticeable. This disease is easily treated with miconazole or ketoconazole (ketoconazole). Check with a qualified veterinarian. Remember, you can not use ointments designed for people, because they are created without the expectation that animals wash, and ointment can get into the mouth.
Rabbits cuts and scratches.
Any cut or scratch in your rabbit can leak into the abscess, so it is essential to treat the wound carefully. It can usually be done by washing a small wound with salt water (1 teaspoon of salt per 500-600 ml. Of cooled boiled water), but if the cut is serious enough, you will need to seek help from a veterinarian. Large cuts and wounds require stitches (sometimes under general anesthesia), and the use of an antibiotic is also recommended to reduce the risk of infection. It is easier to stitch when the wound is fresh. But if your rabbit is injured in the evening, you can go to the vet only in the morning. The exception is when another animal has injured the rabbit, or the bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes of clamping the wound.
Rabbit syphilis is rare in (domesticated) rabbits – it is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. Rabbit syphilis is more commonly seen in nurseries where rabbits are kept for breeding. This disease is not transmitted to humans! In rabbit syphilis, ulcers from around the genital area of the rabbit and sometimes on the muzzle. In the case of this disease, penicillin injections are usually prescribed. It is impossible to happen a sick animal when the rabbit finally recovers mating can be carried out again (without the risk of infection of the second animal).
This disease resembles rabbit syphilis in symptoms. Smallpox appears as a crusty lesion around the genital area, on the lips and eyelids of the rabbit, which goes away after a few weeks or months. Usually, the diagnosis of rabbit pox is made when antibiotic treatment does not give any results. The same diagnosis can confirm skin biopsy and rabbit blood test.
Myxomatosis is a virus that, along with other symptoms, also affects rabbit skin. If the vaccinated rabbit still becomes infected with myxomatosis, the disease often proceeds less acutely, manifesting itself as a skin lesion (for example, as a tumor on the face). However, even a vaccinated animal may exhibit obvious symptoms of the disease. But vaccination gives the rabbit a chance to survive (if given the right treatment), while unvaccinated rabbits die if they become infected with myxomatosis.
There is a large list of causes causing various swelling, among them: abscesses, cysts, old scars, tumors, etc. Vaccination sometimes leaves little sores. If you find a new swelling (especially a bony one) on the body of your rabbit, check to see if there is a symmetrical similar swelling on the body of the rabbit, or examine another individual before running to the vet.
Sometimes the nature of the swelling can be determined by feeling the tumor itself — for example, a tumor filled with fluid — most often a cyst. However, for a more accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to make aspiration cytology (a special needle is inserted into the tumor and captures part of the tumor contents for analysis).
Very often, the treatment of tumors requires surgical intervention, but this depends on the age of the rabbit, its general state of health, and on whether the tumor is disturbing the rabbit. Abscesses, most often, must also be opened by a veterinarian.
Eating other rabbit fur.
You will have to “catch the rabbits in the act” in order to understand that this is precisely the reason for the loss of hair. Eating fur is not typical of rabbits, and may be a sign that rabbits are bored. Try to give the rabbits more time for walking, find new toys for them, etc., to distract them from eating each other’s fur.
Stressed rabbits that are bored or in pain can eat themselves. It is necessary to find out the cause of this behavior and eliminate it. Together with the treatment of wounds, sometimes it is necessary to treat the psyche of the rabbit (sometimes this disease is hereditary). We received reports on the beneficial effects of small doses of the haloperidol tranquilizer (haloperidol), which is used to treat schizophrenia in humans.
Fights between rabbits.
If you keep several rabbits, there is a possibility that rabbits occasionally fight, while you are not around. Check rabbits for scratches or bite scars. It will prove to you that the rabbits are fighting until you see. If your rabbits fight among themselves, it is essential to castrate/spay them (for their health and longevity).