View Full Version : Claws clipped and picking up problem

10-12-2004, 11:35 AM
Hi there

I hope everyones well, I introduced myself and my bunny Humphrey a little while ago and I have my first bunny related question!
Humphrey's claws need clipping and I am a bit worried about doing it myself as he absolutley refuses to be picked up. He is very affecionate but generally (as I understand this is the case for many buns) it is always on his terms! Even if I touch his toes to check his nails he does not like it.

I am prepared to take him to the vet to get them done but he hates going so much that I hate putting him through it.

He is a big lad (being half french and half dwarf lop) and I guess I am not that confident with him when I try and pick him up as he struggles so much. I am new to owning buns and so I guess I am not that confident generally yet when it comes to his care.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how I get him to tolerate being picked up as I have really tried and am failing spectacularly! Are there any "Bunny Whisperers" out there?!!

Many thanks
Helen and Humph

10-12-2004, 11:51 AM
I wrote an article here which might give you some ideas: http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/care/handling.asp

The trick is to start things slowly so both you and he can build up your confidence. Get him used to having your hands around him in like your about to lift him, to start with he may get upset as he associates that with being lifted but as he learns nothing bad happens (you don't actually lift him) he should relax about it. Then you can gently lift him a tiny bit, that just might be lifting some of his weight without his feet even leaving the floor to start with and again carry on until he doesn't get upset when you do it.

A good time to practice is just before dinner as getting fed afterwards is another way to make it positive, a reward.

In the mean time use a carry case to transport him, put it down and shepherd him in then close the door and use that to move him where needed. That stops any more bad experiences for both of you whilst your learning the new ones.

You'll need patience, it will probably take several weeks/months of working at it but you will get there.

For claw clipping I would use the carry case to move him from where he usually is to a table. Then have someone hold him steady. You should be able to fish out a back leg from underneath without having to turn him over. If you can't manage then you'll have to go for the trip to the vets unless you have a friend locally that can do clipping or you could ask your local rescue if they are closer than the vet.

I hope that helps.


kimbun's mum
10-12-2004, 06:43 PM
When you get round to do the clipping be careful as bunnies have blood vessels which go quite a way down into their nails and if you cut into them it will be very very sore.

The best thing to do is to make sure you have the proper clippers and to work in really bright light. When you look at the nail closely you should be able to see where the blood stops. Leave a space and then clip.

If you are at all anxious or unsure then it would be best to take them to the vet - you would only need a nurse appointment so you wouldn't be charged for a consultation and the nurses usually have more time and don't stress the buns out as much.

When Kim got her nails clipped she gave a wee jump everytime the clippers made the cut - I think the noise gave her a fright so you need to make sure your bun is held firmly but gently.

lol Pam

10-12-2004, 07:06 PM
When Kim got her nails clipped she gave a wee jump everytime the clippers made the cut - I think the noise gave her a fright

When I clip my own nails, Bear shoots back to his room and thumps after every clip noise, so it goes like this: clip, thump, growl, 'it's ok Bear', clip, thump, growl, 'it's ok darlin'', clip, thump, growl, 'it's only me Bear', and so on, 20 times :roll: :lol:

10-12-2004, 07:48 PM
I have just picked myself up off the floor laughing, Lynda that is sooo funny!

Many thanks for the great advice!

11-12-2004, 07:35 PM
One thing that works for me, is if you position the rabbit, lying on its back, on ur lap. Run your thumb, fairly firmly, up the rabbits head from just above the nose to the ears a few times. Then blow gently into the rabbits nose a couple of times. Yes, you may look like a freak but it usually works! :)
Judges sometimes do it on the show table. Ive had rabbits fall asleep in my lap lol
It might help calm your big chap down?

victoria bradley
12-12-2004, 11:38 PM
Baby, my french lop hates being picked up so when its time for her nails I whip out my trusty 1 ikea baby bath. i put plenty of hay in it and she lays in it so whilst she is distracted eating I clip her nails (she hates her feet touching) but somehow this seems to work xx