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Help! Best method of washing a bunny’s bottom

beki

Mama Doe
Hi!
I’ve got to wash Betsy’s bottom to get rid of wee an matted pus from her abscess. I have been using a flannel and trying to gently rub it but it isn’t helping all that much. She also is getting a bit stressed out if I take too long (she is an easily stressed bunny and hates handling). Is this the easiest method to clean her or is there anything better? Should I be pouring water over her?

Vet gave me some hibiscrub to dilute in water.

She is getting pretty smelly. It’s the same smell of infection like last time. Hoping the smell will go within a few more days of abx. I haven’t actually cleaned her today as It takes 2 of us to wash her and my husband was out. I’m going to try and give her a wipe when I give her her meds in a little while .
 
Rabbit bum bath.…..Bum ONLY



Has her bum fur been clipped again ? This will be necessary

Is she eating, drinking, pooping and weeing OK?
Are you taking all precautions to try to avoid flystrike?
 
I would start by getting everything ready and lined up before you start. Use a bowl or sink big enough for her to sit in comfortably. Fill to about an inch with warm, slightly soapy water (I use dog shampoo, but have used baby shampoo in the past). Sit bunny in the water and wash down her bum with your hand (or a cloth if that's easier), probably with one hand on the scruff / shoulder area, or under her chest - to stop her jumping out. Don't use too much soap as it just makes it difficult to rinse it out.

Have a second bowl ready and filled to about an inch with warm water to rinse off the soap. Repeat with a diluted hibiscrub rinse. Then put bunny straight on to a towel laid flat at the side, and towel dry as much as possible. Use a second towel if needed. If she is Ok with it, use a hairdryer to completely dry the fur and comb through it at the same time.

If you don't need a proper soapy wash, just go for a hibiscrub wash. It's slightly soapy anyway.

It may help if you can clip some of the fur away from the affected area to make it easier to clean and dry thoroughly. Drying is probably the hard bit.

Another option is to shower off just the messy area if that's accessible to you and bunny, then hibiscrub with a wet cloth and dry her off - but it depends on how handleable she is and how agile you are.
 
I use the bottom of a small plastic box or storage container and line it with a small towel so it is less slippery. If you put the box on an angle you can have the water deeper near her bum. Lukewarm water seems most comfortable for my buns. Let her soak a couple of minutes before using your fingers or a soft cloth to gently message dirty area. You may not be able to remove it all.
 
Thank you for the tips. I will try this out later. She isn’t the easiest to handle and gets stressed easily so I’ll put her in a high sided storage box.

She could do with being clipped. I’m not confident enough to do it myself so I’ll see how well the washing goes and if I can’t clean it or cut bits of hair off I’ll see if I can get her to the vets so they can do it. She has lost a lot of hair in the area so there isn’t thick hair there.
 
If an area is almost permanently damp, the fur does tend to fall out. Clipping by the vet nurses ought to be quick and easy, and will make it much easier to keep on top of the bum baths.
 
Rabbit bum bath.…..Bum ONLY



Has her bum fur been clipped again ? This will be necessary

Is she eating, drinking, pooping and weeing OK?
Are you taking all precautions to try to avoid flystrike?
Yes she is eating. Mainly veg and grass rather than pellets but this is fine. The painkillers are working as she is pushing Bertie off the veg so she can eat first.

Flystrike wise, I’m just washing! Luckily with the rain there haven’t been many flys. I have rearguard but she has sore skin so I don’t want to use it. I’ve just ordered some F10. I didn’t get any before as her fit all grew back and everything looked better. I’ve also got a cat. I think I’m just going to have to take the risk. I’ll apply it outdoors, the cat mainly lives inside anyway
 
Yes she is eating. Mainly veg and grass rather than pellets but this is fine. The painkillers are working as she is pushing Bertie off the veg so she can eat first.

Flystrike wise, I’m just washing! Luckily with the rain there haven’t been many flys. I have rearguard but she has sore skin so I don’t want to use it. I’ve just ordered some F10. I didn’t get any before as her fit all grew back and everything looked better. I’ve also got a cat. I think I’m just going to have to take the risk. I’ll apply it outdoors, the cat mainly lives inside anyway
Does she live outdoors ? If so is there any chance you can bring her in. She really is a very high risk re flystrike. Just washing her won’t protect her. A case of flystrike would be utterly devastating and it can be fatal within just a few hours 😢 If you can’t bring her in can you cover her accommodation with fly netting ?
 
Thank you for your bum washing advice. I was out all day yesterday and didn’t get back until midnight so she had to wait u too this morning for a proper wash.
For an easily stressed rabbit she seemed to enjoy the wash. I expect it was soothing. I used a washing up bowl. Stuck her back end in and held her up under the front paws, stroking her head whilst she was soaking. The bit she didn’t like was me having to try and rub the dirt out.
I could have done that better but she started to shake so will have another go later. She wasn’t totally dry but she is in the run on the grass and has been licking her bottom so hopefully helping herself a bit.

She is pretty lively at the moment, hopping around.

Good news is (following on from my bunny abscess thread) she doesn’t smell of infection today, just like pee.

Bad news is as she was wet I could see a very large lump on her lower belly. Larger than when she was last at the vets. I think it’s a tumour :(
 
Does she live outdoors ? If so is there any chance you can bring her in. She really is a very high risk re flystrike. Just washing her won’t protect her. A case of flystrike would be utterly devastating and it can be fatal within just a few hours 😢 If you can’t bring her in can you cover her accommodation with fly netting ?
No she is outside.
I can’t bring her in. I have an 11 month old puppy who is super lively and he so desperately wants to play with the rabbits, he would be constantly trying to get to her and stressing her, so can’t keep her downstairs.
Puppy isn’t allowed upstairs but we don’t have any room up there for her :( no spare rooms and the landing is way too small for a cage or pen. I really don’t know what to do :(
I’m going to give the hutch a thorough clean now. As she doesn’t smell of infection im hoping that if I clean it and spray it with hutch disinfectant it won’t be so smelly for the flys.
 
No she is outside.
I can’t bring her in. I have an 11 month old puppy who is super lively and he so desperately wants to play with the rabbits, he would be constantly trying to get to her and stressing her, so can’t keep her downstairs.
Puppy isn’t allowed upstairs but we don’t have any room up there for her :( no spare rooms and the landing is way too small for a cage or pen. I really don’t know what to do :(
I’m going to give the hutch a thorough clean now. As she doesn’t smell of infection im hoping that if I clean it and spray it with hutch disinfectant it won’t be so smelly for the flys.
Cover the hutch with fly netting. It will be the scent of bacteria that blow flies will go for. Humans might not be able to detect any smell, but it’ll be there. Even if the infection is internal. I apologise if I am causing you more stress, but having seen the effects of flystrike on someone’s Rabbit irl it really is utterly horrific and the speed at which it kills is so fast 😢
 
I am sorry you noticed a lump, yet glad she enjoyed the soak and bum bath. Could the lump be the abscess? Sending vibes she continues to improve with abx.
 
I am sorry you noticed a lump, yet glad she enjoyed the soak and bum bath. Could the lump be the abscess? Sending vibes she continues to improve with abx.
She was previously treated with abx in March for an abscess and there were two lumps at the time, one which went down (as the abscess drained) and another one. Vet suspected a tumour. It could be the abscess though I suppose. She was quite swollen last time but this is bigger than it was last time.

She really likes the metacam. She licks it! Baytril can’t taste good though as she keeps refusing to swallow it. We have to tap her on her nose to startle her so she swallows!
 
I just had to post this update.
Betsy, a usually nervous bunny that isn’t keen on being handled, seems to like baths!
I’ve been putting her bottom in a washing up bowl of warm water and holding her front legs out. Letting her sit in for 5 minutes or so and then giving her a wipe to loosen the dirt. She doesn’t like the wiping part but today, when soaking in the water, I was stroking her behind her ears and she did a tooth purr! She has never tooth purred when being stroked before. She positively hates being loved. I then held her front legs very lightly with one hand whilst swishing the water round and she was so relaxed that she didn’t even move!
I felt mean to have to start wiping her bottom as she hates that part.

She also hates being dried but I have found if I leave her still a bit wet (haven’t mastered the drying, she bites the towel!) she gives herself a clean.

She also doesn’t smell too bad at the moment, but she had some poo stuck to her that luckily I managed to get most of it off, she is tackling the rest at the moment.
 
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