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Thread: Not cleaning himself

  1. #1
    Mama Doe Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Not cleaning himself

    Joey has never been very good at cleaning himself, I've had him for about 4 years and he's never really cleaned his back end much. It's not terrible but it seems like he almost constantly has some mess around his bum, some of it is loose and some of it is just normal that's got stuck in his fur. I've tried cutting the hair short around his bum but it doesn't seem to make a difference so now he's having almost daily bum baths, which I don't mind doing but I'm still worried about fly strike especially as the weather gets warmer. I bought fly free and use that on him too. I've never taken him to the vets because I'm not sure there's anything they would be able to do about this. He's quite old now (around 8/9 I believe) but he's always been like this. He's not overweight. Him and Izzy share 3 small handfuls of pellets a day, they have unlimited hay and also access to grass as well as veg/fruit in the morning which is normally a mixture of apple, carrot, celery, cucumber, baby corn and kale varied throughout the week. They don't have all that every day. Can anyone offer any advice? Would the vets be able to do anything?


    Archie - born October 2010
    Izzy - born July 2009

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alicia View Post
    Joey has never been very good at cleaning himself, I've had him for about 4 years and he's never really cleaned his back end much. It's not terrible but it seems like he almost constantly has some mess around his bum, some of it is loose and some of it is just normal that's got stuck in his fur. I've tried cutting the hair short around his bum but it doesn't seem to make a difference so now he's having almost daily bum baths, which I don't mind doing but I'm still worried about fly strike especially as the weather gets warmer. I bought fly free and use that on him too. I've never taken him to the vets because I'm not sure there's anything they would be able to do about this. He's quite old now (around 8/9 I believe) but he's always been like this. He's not overweight. Him and Izzy share 3 small handfuls of pellets a day, they have unlimited hay and also access to grass as well as veg/fruit in the morning which is normally a mixture of apple, carrot, celery, cucumber, baby corn and kale varied throughout the week. They don't have all that every day. Can anyone offer any advice? Would the vets be able to do anything?
    Even though the problem is not 'new' as such I would still start with getting him thoroughly checked over by a Rabbit Savvy Vet. There are several possible causes for a mucky bum, although diet tends to be a major contributory factor.

    http://www.towervets.co.uk/pet-facts...4_286474.shtml

    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00d...ccumRabbit.htm

    I'd also get him weighed to have a baseline weight to work from. If the Vet gives him a clean bill of health I'd make some dietary adjustments. I'd cut out all fruit and carrots. You say they have 'unlimited hay' but does Joey actually eat A LOT of it ? If he fills up on pellets/fruit/veg then he probably only nibbles at hay. This alone can lead to a chronic 'mucky bum' problem.

    What pellets do you feed ? Many Rabbits seem to get a mucky bum when fed Excel Pellets. Personally I prefer my Rabbits to be on a pellet free diet. But this needs to be done carefully and it is not always suitable for every Rabbit. It is always best to discuss the situation with a RS Vet. A suggestion of a diet plan here:

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/art...t-rabbits/view

  3. #3
    Mama Doe
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    It's definitely worth getting him checked out - weight, teeth, ears, general mobility, etc. As Jane says, it will give a baseline to work from, and you can get advice on diet and other possible issues eg arthritis. Fly strike is an awful thing to happen and can be very quick (ie hours in warm weather) - so it's definitely worth getting professional advice to see if there's anything else you can try. It could make things easier for you as well if you no longer need to do the bum baths.

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    Mama Doe Alicia's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies I have booked a vets appointment for 4.50 today. I've checked him this morning and he's still clean from last night but this is an ongoing issue so I'll get him checked anyway. He was on burgess excel he's now on tesco as work was making it hard to get to the shop during the day, very bad organization on my part. Would anyone be able to recommend good food (pellets and veg/fruit) for him. I can order online. I don't know how much hay he's eating I know I feed more pellets than the recommended amount but they're quite old and I worry they'll get hungry - they're very good at acting starved!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alicia View Post
    Thank you for the replies I have booked a vets appointment for 4.50 today. I've checked him this morning and he's still clean from last night but this is an ongoing issue so I'll get him checked anyway. He was on burgess excel he's now on tesco as work was making it hard to get to the shop during the day, very bad organization on my part. Would anyone be able to recommend good food (pellets and veg/fruit) for him. I can order online. I don't know how much hay he's eating I know I feed more pellets than the recommended amount but they're quite old and I worry they'll get hungry - they're very good at acting starved!
    As I mentioned in my previous post, I'd cut out feeding fruit for now. Do take a look at the diet plan link I posted previously too

    Online supplies:

    https://www.petmeds.co.uk/Vetcare-Pl...ula/p/I9081969

    https://www.petmeds.co.uk/Fibafirst-Rabbit/p/I0040408

    https://www.petmeds.co.uk/Oxbow-Bunn...OsyRoCzTfw_wcB

    https://galensgarden.co.uk/product-c.../herbs-forage/

    http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_...s/herbs/301239

    http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_...s/herbs/301187

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    Thank you for raising the issue it helped me a lot!

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    Mama Doe Alicia's Avatar
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    Sorry Jane, I don't think I was fully awake this morning when I checked this thread, I'll have a look through those links now. The vet said possibly arthritis, but she wants me to give him protexin profibre on his pellets to begin with and if that doesn't work she is going to give metacam. She also mentioned rearguard but I have this johnsons fly free thing which I think does a similar job although when that runs out I'll try rearguard as it seems to be more popular so hopefully it's better. I'm going to buy protexin profibre online now


    Archie - born October 2010
    Izzy - born July 2009

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    Mama Doe Alicia's Avatar
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    I've ordered the protexin and some new high fibre food and also a big bag of Timothy hay from hay and straw. I'm going to cut out the fruit and see how all this goes. Fingers crossed this will make a difference
    I've also used the diet plan to make a shopping list for some new veg for Joey


    Archie - born October 2010
    Izzy - born July 2009

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    Mama Doe Alicia's Avatar
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    The protexin arrived today so I mixed some in with the rabbits food, they've eaten around it. They're not stupid are they I have left it there in the hope they might come back to it but if they don't is there any other way to try and get them to eat it? I've got a big tub of the stuff! The guinea pig loves it which is great but she doesn't need it really, whereas Joey does!


    Archie - born October 2010
    Izzy - born July 2009

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    Mama Doe roxyroller88's Avatar
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    Have you tried switching out some of the more sugary fruit/veg options (carrot, apple etc) for fresh herbs instead? xx

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