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Thread: How can I bathe my bunny's feet and bum if she doesn't like water?

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    Default How can I bathe my bunny's feet and bum if she doesn't like water?

    My holland lop, Cookie, is almost two months old and terrified of water. I'm not placing her in water. I hold her and use a small cup to pour water on her feet and bum. She has urine on her feet and bum and I cannot get it off. I tried using water and scrubbing bunny shampoo in the areas but she will not let me bathe her. What can I do to clean the urine off without hurting and scaring her?

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiethelop View Post
    My holland lop, Cookie, is almost two months old and terrified of water. I'm not placing her in water. I hold her and use a small cup to pour water on her feet and bum. She has urine on her feet and bum and I cannot get it off. I tried using water and scrubbing bunny shampoo in the areas but she will not let me bathe her. What can I do to clean the urine off without hurting and scaring her?

    Welcome to the Forum

    She should be cleaning herself up. Has she a urinary problem?

    I never use shampoo and just stand the rabbit in half an inch of warm water to clean underneath. Then carefully dry, as their fur holds onto moisture.

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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Normally a bunny will be able to clean themselves. Do you now why she has urine on her feet & bum? What do you use in the area she toilets? Cookie is not alone in her hatred of water. Can you give her a wipe with a moistened flannel or similar? Does she still live with her mum & siblings?

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    She lives alone, and she lives in a cage that is connected to a large, beddingless playpen area. She has urine on her feet from walking in it after urinating. There is bedding in some of the area, but not all. She urinates in the bedding most of the time, but sometimes not-- and then she walks in it. The urine looks like it's stained in her fur and I'm not sure what to do. I've seen her try to clean herself, but it won't go away. I managed to scrub a little on my first attempt, but it would not come off. I can't bathe her anymore because she won't allow me, so I don't know how I can get it off. I've already tried wiping alone, but nothing will get it off.

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiethelop View Post
    She lives alone, and she lives in a cage that is connected to a large, beddingless playpen area. She has urine on her feet from walking in it after urinating. There is bedding in some of the area, but not all. She urinates in the bedding most of the time, but sometimes not-- and then she walks in it. The urine looks like it's stained in her fur and I'm not sure what to do. I've seen her try to clean herself, but it won't go away. I managed to scrub a little on my first attempt, but it would not come off. I can't bathe her anymore because she won't allow me, so I don't know how I can get it off. I've already tried wiping alone, but nothing will get it off.

    Then don't try any more, as it sounds stressful. The fur will grow out in time

    Keep a litter tray separate from any other area (is she outside?) as a rabbit will likely wee on bedding anyway, wherever it is. Also, how often do you change it?

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    Put down a litter tray part-filled with warm water. My Tabitha was a 'hands off' bunny and when she was older she could not clean herself properly, but would sit in warm water and let me clean her.

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    She has a litter tray inside of the cage. I change it weekly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookiethelop View Post
    She has a litter tray inside of the cage. I change it weekly.

    I change the litter tray (for a single rabbit) every day. I use newspaper with a layer of hay on top. Some people use fitch bedding:

    https://www.fitchrecycling.co.uk/ani...bale-20kg.html


    You will probably find she will clean her feet and they won't get dirty so quickly when the litter tray is cleaned every day

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    Thank you! I will try that and then come back if the problem is not resolved. I really appreciate all of the replies.

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    Once in while you may find you need to clean a bunny. As others stated, it is more common if a bunny has a medical issue (bladder issues, arthritic) or is overweight (can't reach to clean themselves).
    With my late CX who was elderly, I used a shallow plastic box/container that was close to the size of the bunny, lined it with a small towel or washcloth (so they have firm footing), filled it with only a little warm water (no soap), and put it on the floor. I only used enough water to wet the feet/butt. Offering a treat may help and you could even try to start with a dry box with a moist towel/washcloth on the bottom before you attempt water. Be sure to keep the damp bunny warm.

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