View Full Version : New Bunny-Matting issues

09-04-2015, 04:46 AM
Hi everyone! I'm new here, but not new to owning little buns.
I recently adopted a new friend - she doesn't even have a name yet (her previous owners didn't give her one). She is a long hair breed, lop ear - I am guessing some kind of fuzzy lop. She is unfortunately overweight due to being fed exclusively alfalfa hay, low quality (high protein) pellets and the occasional carrot. (BELIEVE ME she is going to be on a better diet now)
Tonight when she finally moved in, I gave her a good feel and she has some serious matting. Her nails are also very long. She actually seems to have torn a nail because one is shorter and the fur appears to have blood in it (not red, dried). She is very sweet and allowed me to feel some of the mats to the point of being able to snip some out (*I am a dog and cat groomer; not with rabbits, but I have groomed my own in the past) but I didn't want to do too much on our first night together! I can hear her munching on some spinach leaves now, so I think she's ok.
So this is my dilemma: my last rabbit was a mini rex, so his grooming needs were not very many. I have the tools to groom this little bun, but I am cautious. I would like to have some advice from others; I am willing to go to a vet to do this, of course - but if I can do it myself, I think it could be a great bonding experience. She can't be very comfortable how she is now!!


10-04-2015, 12:12 AM
Aww bless, poor bunny.

With the sort of fluff you are describing and the mats, the best option would probably be to shave. It will look drastic but grow back much nicer, and it also means she'll have an easier job with grooming until she loses a bit of weight, and you'll be able to see how her skin is underneath. It wouldn't surprise me if you find she's quite horrible underneath around her bum. You might be able to shave her yourself as you're a groomer - rabbits have much thinner skin than cats/dogs so you need to be very careful but I imagine the technique is similar. If she's not keen it might be worth getting a vet nurse to help out - sometimes two people make it easier.

Try not to change diet too suddenly even if it's better quality - so reduce pellets but swap brand gradually. It's takes their gut time to adjust even if it's an adjustment to something a lot better!

Good luck with her, it sounds like she's landed on her feet :)

10-04-2015, 10:27 AM
I think Tasmin gave excellent advice, I just wanted to say well done for taking on this bun. It sounds like she has found a great home with you.

Looking forward to hearing more about her.


10-04-2015, 06:22 PM
Id do exactly as Tamsin suggested.It will give you a head start and you will be able to give her a proper check over,particularly as her first home wasn't ideal.
Well done for taking her on.She sounds lovely.

13-04-2015, 03:32 AM
Thank you all so much!! I had a feeling that a shave would be better. I have called a couple of vets, but as it's a weekend I'm sure I'll hear back tomorrow. When I was cuddling her last night I did see that the mats around her bottom are quite severe.. right to the skin. I am sure it's a job for a vet - if I saw a cat in this condition I'd certainly recommend seeing a vet! I have a couple of pictures.. Her name is Lola (though my sister insists upon calling her frisbee upon seeing photos).
https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/22829_10152800747313519_4509502087216761520_n.jpg? oh=aa8459e55aebfd77af96bb370f5c2c8e&oe=559A3B81
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/11146199_10152804775453519_4521702158816507796_n.j pg?oh=653d4d0464b955438a91fd7b1535dd6b&oe=55E0540B&__gda__=1440665373_abea741b66b1d89eda1aaeba5114a99 7

She is slowly transitioning to a better food with a much lower protein. She actually seems to like it more, often eating those pellets first! She is also having some leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach) and reluctantly eating some orchard grass when mixed with the alfalfa. I think that's going to be the hardest part - she really LOVES the alfalfa... but it's just not right for her diet!

13-04-2015, 06:57 PM
Shes lovely.:love:Lola suits her!
Im very glad you have her now.She deserves a happy home with an understanding owner like you to give her proper care and keep her coat lovely.

Keep us posted on her progress.x

14-04-2015, 07:46 AM
Hi everyone!!

I called every vet in my area and not a one would shave poor Lola for me. I decided to take the clippers up and see how she would respond. She stayed perfectly still the entire time and let me cut out all of the mats!!! I was soo proud of her (and myself!!) for getting this done.

After the groom I noticed her moving around a lot more, and FASTER!! She is a quick bunny! I never saw it before because she must have been so uncomfortable that she didn't want to move that way. Furthermore she wasn't eating her cecotropes AT ALL!! I have a bad habit of waking up at 2am so I usually peek in the litter to see and the past few days it's been full of cecotropes but this morning I don't see ONE!! I think she can actually reach them now!! Oh, and after only seeing one binky pre-shave, I've seen more than 5 in the few hours post-shave.

She did so well and I was right when I said before that it would be a good bonding experience for us. When we got home I put her carrier down and opened it, but she just hopped out onto my foot and started licking my leg. When I bent down, she put her head down for scratches and started purring. You're welcome miss Lola!

My phone is dead so I will have to post photos later but here is a video:



LMK if you cant view it! Those are two links to the same video

<3 b

14-04-2015, 12:28 PM
Bless her! She knew you were 'good people' and were helping her then!

Well done Lola for being a brave girl for Mummy. You're clearly enjoying your freedom!


14-04-2015, 01:57 PM
So glad that she is feeling more mobile. How sweet that she licked you and purred x

16-04-2015, 12:00 AM
That's great news, it sounds like the mats were bothering her alot, well done for sorting them out.

Quite a lot of long-haired bunny owners keep the bottom area short with regular trimming to make it easier for the bun and them to groom. Trimming the 'bottom fluff' keeps them cleaner and usually you can't tell by the time the side fluff covers it - I imagine with your grooming skills you can make quite a neat job of it.

16-04-2015, 11:37 AM
Lovely little fluffy bunny, well done for shaving her yourself.