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Thread: How to go about clipping nails of wary rabbits?

  1. #1

    Default How to go about clipping nails of wary rabbits?

    This is my first time using this website so I apologise if this is posted in the wrong place or anything.

    Basically, I rehomed 2 male rabbits (my first rabbits ever!) a few weeks ago who were rescued from a breeder who planned to kill them off. Both are really lovely, and they're surprisingly comfortable around me considering they didn't get much human interaction before they came to live with me. The problem is that their nails really need to be clipped, you can tell it hasn't been done in a long time. I've been attempting the 'bunny burrito' method where they stand on the towel and then you carefully wrap it around their lower bodies, but whenever I do this they're clearly frightened by it and hop away very quickly.

    They haven't thumped in response to it so I know it's not totally petrifying them, but I feel guilty as I haven't had a successful attempt yet and it feels like I'm scaring them for no reason. I'm also scared of hurting them and I don't dare get a proper hold of them, which may be why this just isn't working, but I'm worried I'll hurt their backs if they try to struggle out of my hands. Could anyone give me tips/advice on how to do this properly, and maybe make it a bit easier on the rabbits somehow?

    Thank you very much!
    Last edited by jodievaughan; 04-07-2018 at 08:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    I'd just take them to the vets

    I clip my bunnies nails myself but if your boys nails really long or a difficult colour this one time I'd probably take them to the vets just to get it sorted if you aren't that confident, you can normally book them in with a nurse.

    If you wanna attempt it yourself I'd just say hold them firmly so they can hop off - doesn't sound very helpful really, just my two hated having them done but I just didn't really let them win.. And treats were given after and now they accept it.

    One thing is the front paws you can do whilst they're sitting down, if you crouch behind them,which mine prefer.

    Hopefully someone else will have some tips x

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  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Welcome to the forum Would love to hear more about your rabbits

    I think this issue depends on the rabbit(s) and it will possibly be a case of trial and error.

    I have found with any of my rabbits though that they will tolerate most interventions and in particular nail clipping if they have all 4 feet on the ground. I kneel on the ground and put the rabbit between my legs facing forward to do the front paws. It's trickier with the back ones, but I use the same method but have the rabbit sideways on, facing one way and then the other.
    "The mind tells me this is our new reality, the heart aches for it to be just a bad dream" Frans Timmermans

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    Warren Veteran Pets mum's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome I always take my girl to the vets, they only charge me a few pounds. I would be terrified to attempt it myself, she has very fluffy feet, and it would be all to easy to nip her. Maybe take them to the vets this first time, at least it will give you a good idea how to go about it, also ask them (or a nurse) to let you have a little go under their supervision good luck !
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  5. #5

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    Thank you for the helpful replies everyone! : )

    I get how going to the vets makes a lot of sense, but I actually had a problem with them yesterday.. the vet didn't warn me of any of the side effects of the injections they gave to my chicken and she actually passed away right after because of it, but I came home and found tons of information readily available about the side effects online.. so I think for a while I'd rather not go there if possible.

    That idea about keeping their feet on the floor is great too! I'll try that today and see if it works. How would you actually restrain them between your legs while being sure you're not squishing/putting too much pressure on their bodies?

  6. #6
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodievaughan View Post
    Thank you for the helpful replies everyone! : )

    I get how going to the vets makes a lot of sense, but I actually had a problem with them yesterday.. the vet didn't warn me of any of the side effects of the injections they gave to my chicken and she actually passed away right after because of it, but I came home and found tons of information readily available about the side effects online.. so I think for a while I'd rather not go there if possible.

    That idea about keeping their feet on the floor is great too! I'll try that today and see if it works. How would you actually restrain them between your legs while being sure you're not squishing/putting too much pressure on their bodies?
    I'm so sorry to hear about your chicken

    You could take your bunnies to any vets really if that makes things easier x




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  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodievaughan View Post
    Thank you for the helpful replies everyone! : )

    I get how going to the vets makes a lot of sense, but I actually had a problem with them yesterday.. the vet didn't warn me of any of the side effects of the injections they gave to my chicken and she actually passed away right after because of it, but I came home and found tons of information readily available about the side effects online.. so I think for a while I'd rather not go there if possible.

    That idea about keeping their feet on the floor is great too! I'll try that today and see if it works. How would you actually restrain them between your legs while being sure you're not squishing/putting too much pressure on their bodies?
    I have about threequarters of their body between my legs, which are close to the rabbit. This means they definitely can't go backwards, nor have any room for turning. I use the clippers in my right hand and with my left hand I put it across and in front of the rabbit to do the right front paw, so they can't move forwards (well, I expect if they were really in a panic they could struggle, but they don't). Then to do the left front paw, I restrain them partly with the left hand holding the paw and partly with the right hand that's clipping the nail. With the back paws it's more difficult, but I still use my hands and arms to obstruct (not to hold) the rabbit.
    "The mind tells me this is our new reality, the heart aches for it to be just a bad dream" Frans Timmermans

  8. #8
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    Apart from going to the Vets the next best thing is to find a man who is willing to hold them while you do their claws, or a strong woman. Hope you manage somehow. Sorry about your chicken. Are you in UK?

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