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View Full Version : Best bathing methods please?



mokwa32
11-01-2015, 02:31 PM
One of my little buns isn't great at cleaning her back legs area. I mean she is always out sitting in the wet and rain. So are my other 3 yet they are always clean dry and fluffy. She always looks wet and yucky.

About 3 weeks ago I took her in and washed her with warm water around her legs, she hated it. Her bottom and lady bits looks clean and healthy when I checked her over.

But again I am noticing her back legs are black. Yes there has been a lot wet yucky weather, is this normal?

What Is the best way to wash a lazy washer? It's just her back legs. Is there a soap I can use, like a vegetable soap? Thank you x

yaretzi
11-01-2015, 03:00 PM
Rabbits are generally very clean animals, and if they are getting wet and dirty - especially around the back end - it's likely indicative of another problem.

I would definitely want to take her to the vet asap - if she's unable to clean her back end she may have arthritis or something which is physically preventing her from keeping herself clean or there may be a digestive problem which is causing her to wet herself or poo on herself. Although you say she's sitting out in the wet and the rain, a healthy rabbit is usually capable of keeping themself clean even if they're constantly walking through mud etc.

Please be very careful about bathing her - she may be in pain with her legs/spine and thrashing around and struggling may be very painful. In addition, bathing rabbits (even just their back end) is not recommended unless completely necessary due to the fact that it's extremely difficult to dry both layers of the fur so rabbits can easily die from hypothermia afterwards and obviously with this weather that's more of a concern.

If a vet check eliminates any actual problem with her then I would look into changing their setup - perhaps covering more of the top of the run to prevent it getting so soggy or laying materials on the floor to help drain the water away. Things like rubber stable matting with grooves can be quite good at draining the water away etc, and clear tarpaulin makes a good waterproofing material.

hoppetylop
11-01-2015, 03:02 PM
Is her mobility normal in every other way?Is she hopping about,reaching up and round etc?I don't know what your set up is but is there a way of putting tarpaulin or other plastic sheeting over the area that tends to get wet?
As far as cleaning her goes I know there are shampoos designed for small animals but I tend to just use warm water and a soft cloth.Obviously make sure shes totally dry before putting her back out.

mokwa32
11-01-2015, 03:40 PM
Rabbits are generally very clean animals, and if they are getting wet and dirty - especially around the back end - it's likely indicative of another problem.

okay, well i didn't think that there might be something sinister i mean her tail and bottom are clean but i'l definitely look into this possibility.


I would definitely want to take her to the vet asap - if she's unable to clean her back end she may have arthritis or something which is physically preventing her from keeping herself clean or there may be a digestive problem which is causing her to wet herself or poo on herself. Although you say she's sitting out in the wet and the rain, a healthy rabbit is usually capable of keeping themself clean even if they're constantly walking through mud etc.

Well i did wonder why she had dirty wet legs. I'l call the vet to make an appointment.


Please be very careful about bathing her - she may be in pain with her legs/spine and thrashing around and struggling may be very painful. In addition, bathing rabbits (even just their back end) is not recommended unless completely necessary due to the fact that it's extremely difficult to dry both layers of the fur so rabbits can easily die from hypothermia afterwards and obviously with this weather that's more of a concern.
I was very very careful with her, i held her and used a soft sponge to trickle water over her legs. i used a tea towel to snuggle her so she was quite secure. But clearly she wasn't happy. I dried her before i put her back out.


If a vet check eliminates any actual problem with her then I would look into changing their setup - perhaps covering more of the top of the run to prevent it getting so soggy or laying materials on the floor to help drain the water away. Things like rubber stable matting with grooves can be quite good at draining the water away etc, and clear tarpaulin makes a good waterproofing material.


Okay, thank you, i will. I was planning bringing her indoors and his would enable me to assess if she is weeing herself, rather than hopping in puddles. She doesn't seem in pain, i know it is hard to tell with rabbits but she is active and hops and stretches out. But she is to precious to take a risk. I'l look more into this.

mokwa32
11-01-2015, 03:46 PM
Is her mobility normal in every other way?

Yes, i am sure it is, i was just watching her stretching out and she stands on her hind legs ect..


Is she hopping about,reaching up and round etc?I don't know what your set up is but is there a way of putting tarpaulin or other plastic sheeting over the area that tends to get wet?

Yes she is, she darts about quite normally. She has an enormous double hutch with a run round it, so she goes in and out as she pleases. It has a ramp and she goes up and down happily. Yes i could alter her set up. But i was planning taking her in the house so i might go ahead and do this.


As far as cleaning her goes I know there are shampoos designed for small animals but I tend to just use warm water and a soft cloth.Obviously make sure shes totally dry before putting her back out.

Hmmm i'm not sure i would use a shampoo, maybe warm water is best after all.

Thanks for your advice :)

MightyMax
11-01-2015, 04:24 PM
As far as washing is concerned, I would use only an inch or so of water in a bowl and no soap. Dry thoroughly afterwards.

If there's no health problem making the situation worse, is there any way you can alleviate the situation so that she doesn't have to be on mud so much? Can you lay any slabs or decking in the area, as if she has to go on mud to get exercise, you will have to keep washing. Or maybe you can provide a bit more shelter from the rain?
Also, washing a rabbit and putting them out again in this cold weather isn't advisable.

hoppetylop
11-01-2015, 04:52 PM
I think your idea of maybe bringing her in,even if just until the spring is really good if its at all possible.I did this with one of my bridge buns because of the constant need to clean him and the worry of him becoming sore or chilled even with thorough drying afterwards but with him I quickly realised he was"leaking urine"in between "normal wees"-not that im suggesting that's whats going on with your bun!

mokwa32
11-01-2015, 05:26 PM
As far as washing is concerned, I would use only an inch or so of water in a bowl and no soap. Dry thoroughly afterwards.

If there's no health problem making the situation worse, is there any way you can alleviate the situation so that she doesn't have to be on mud so much? Can you lay any slabs or decking in the area, as if she has to go on mud to get exercise, you will have to keep washing. Or maybe you can provide a bit more shelter from the rain?
Also, washing a rabbit and putting them out again in this cold weather isn't advisable.
Yes she is on slabs but with all this rain it has gotten very wet and muddy at times. I'm always brushing the patio 3 times a day to keep it as clean as possible. She isn't spayed yet, I only got her August (rescue in my eyes) so she has been settling in. I have other rabbits and I wonder if she is weeing (spraying) to mark her territory and standing in it. Surely she should keep herself dry and clean though.

I have just taken her in however and set up a large pen in my bedroom to keep an eye on her and see if the problem persists.

I was watching her cleaning her back legs, yet she was only cleaning the paw area, I will need to observe to see if I see her cleaning the back of the leg.

mokwa32
11-01-2015, 05:32 PM
I think your idea of maybe bringing her in,even if just until the spring is really good if its at all possible.I did this with one of my bridge buns because of the constant need to clean him and the worry of him becoming sore or chilled even with thorough drying afterwards but with him I quickly realised he was"leaking urine"in between "normal wees"-not that im suggesting that's whats going on with your bun!
Okay well I just took her in. Set up a pen in my bedroom with all of her bits and bobs. Well you never know, she seem very fit and supple, she doesn't seem sore at all. So I'm just have to be very vigilant from now on.

As far as bathing, if I have too, should I stand her in a very shallow warm bath? Or hold her and use a sponge type thing?

This little lady is the one I may be rehoming in my other thread. But not before I am confident she is okay in herself.

MightyMax
11-01-2015, 06:05 PM
Okay well I just took her in. Set up a pen in my bedroom with all of her bits and bobs. Well you never know, she seem very fit and supple, she doesn't seem sore at all. So I'm just have to be very vigilant from now on.

As far as bathing, if I have too, should I stand her in a very shallow warm bath? Or hold her and use a sponge type thing?

This little lady is the one I may be rehoming in my other thread. But not before I am confident she is okay in herself.

I have always found standing them in shallow water and 'swishing' it around to be more effective than sponges, cloths or baby wipes etc

mokwa32
11-01-2015, 06:18 PM
Okay thank you. Well she is investigating her pen and I watched her stretch up high her tail and bum look clean. Its the back of her legs only look wet. I'm know more once she has bern in for tonight as to whether she is dry and okay, or wet tomorrow then I will know if there is something untoward. I think its time to get her spayed also. I have just switched vets so hopefully they will be better with rabbits.

Glingle
11-01-2015, 06:24 PM
Hope the vets can help. When I had to wash my old rabbit as she'd get a lump of sticky poo stuck to her bum. I used to use a washing up bowl and pop about an inch or two of warm salted water in it. I'd then hold her so her front paws were resting over my left forearm and my hand was coming round onto her back, so that only her back legs and bottom were in the water. Rabbits have incredibly delicate skin, so I just used my other hand to go under her and gently massage her fur. It's important to make sure they don't get a chill after bathing so being indoors is great. I used to towel dry her as best I could and then use a hairdryer on a cool setting to speed things along slightly before letting her dry in the warm.

yaretzi
11-01-2015, 06:38 PM
Bringing her in sounds like a really good idea - it should really help identify what it is that's causing the wet legs.

Fingers crossed your vet is good. You could always make a thread in rabbit chat (if you haven't already) asking for a rabbit savvy vet near where you live and hopefully people will be able to recommend someone for you, then at least you'll be able to have a bit more trust in them :)

mokwa32
13-01-2015, 07:53 PM
Okay so she has been indoors now for this will be her third night. The morning after i took her in i managed to get her close to me (she is very skittish) and i could feel under her legs and they were completely dry! So this is a great thing, i can be sure she is not weeing herself now. She is eating well and drinking and she has been free ranging in my bedroom happily. I'v seen her stretch up and all manner of activity including running around so i'm fairly happy she is well. I have booked her in to the new vet for her spay for Monday 26th January and she will get a check up and all her vacc's then. Still keeping an eye on her though.

MightyMax
13-01-2015, 10:03 PM
Okay so she has been indoors now for this will be her third night. The morning after i took her in i managed to get her close to me (she is very skittish) and i could feel under her legs and they were completely dry! So this is a great thing, i can be sure she is not weeing herself now. She is eating well and drinking and she has been free ranging in my bedroom happily. I'v seen her stretch up and all manner of activity including running around so i'm fairly happy she is well. I have booked her in to the new vet for her spay for Monday 26th January and she will get a check up and all her vacc's then. Still keeping an eye on her though.

Sounds all good news. Thank you for the update :wave:

yaretzi
13-01-2015, 10:25 PM
Fantastic news! Silly bunny was obviously just sitting there in the wet then :lol::roll:. Rubber stable matting might be a good way to keep her away from most of the wetness, and you can get big clear tarpaulin sheets off eBay for about 20 which will fully cover anything but the biggest of runs and cover a bit of the sides to to help protect from the driving rain :D

mokwa32
15-01-2015, 11:50 AM
Yes doesn't suprise me she came from very cramped conditions with no run. She was a breeders rabbit and kept in a breeding hutch, very small. So she probably just loves being outside, even in all weather's, poor little poppet. :)

Sarah1989
15-01-2015, 12:09 PM
When I bathed Dexter, (he had EC and was paralyzed in his hind legs so was unable to clean himself and I needed to avoid urine scald), I ran the kitchen sink with warm water, and kept it shallow. He couldn't sit up like normal rabbits so I'd support him with one hand whilst washing him with the other as otherwise he'd have laid in it which obviously isn't good either. I used a rabbit shampoo from p@h - I wasn't on the forum then to know any different.

Once he was clean, I'd wrap him up in the tea towel to get the worst of the wet off, then I used the hairdryer on its lowest coolest setting to dry him completely. He was laid on my lap when I did this so I could monitor the temperature. He was also an indoor bun so he didn't have to go outside & be exposed to the temperature differences either.

If he had big lumps of poo stuck to him (he was part lionhead so very fluffy), which was often, I'd gently remove those as best I could before he had his bath. I either had to cut them off, or I was able to brush it off with a small animal comb.

I used to have to do this daily for him until he regained the use of his back legs and could manage not to soil himself any more.