Hair Pulling Hare | 3 Reasons Your Pet Rabbit Could Be Pulling Its Own Hair

Posted on: 14 May 2015

With their gentle disposition and ease of training, rabbits are a popular pet choice for a lot of people. Most rabbit breeds are relatively free from health problems and they do stay healthy as long as they are fed well and given the appropriate shelter. One of the biggest problems your pet rabbit may have is a tendency to pull its own hair out and leave giant clumps of fur hanging out where he sleeps or around the house. Sometimes, this seemingly strange behavior is due to pregnancy, but it is not uncommon for hair pulling to be related to a different kind of problem.

Rabbit Pseudo Pregnancy

If your doe is fully grown and matured, she may start puling her own hair if she believes that she is pregnant. The technical term for this behavior is pseudo pregnancy, which basically means false pregnancy. If you are positive that your bunny has not been bred, it can be alarming to see her pulling hair for her nest and even eating more food. However, this is really pretty common behavior and is no cause for running to an animal hospital for help. Keep in mind that adult rabbits can breed as much as once a month, and therefore, this behavior could be displayed many times throughout your bunny's life.

Skin Disorders or Irritations

If the area where your rabbit is pulling hair from looks irritated, they could be pulling their hair to relieve the irritation. This can sometimes be an automatic reaction when a rabbit is feeling sensations that may not be comfortable, such as burning or itching of the skin. You should take your rabbit to see the veterinarian for a test often referred to as a scrape test. During this test a few skin cells will be scraped from the affected area and sent to the lab for testing.

Overheating Related to High Temperatures

Some rabbit breeds are more sensitive to high temperatures than others and this sensitivity may lead to hair pulling. If you suspect that your rabbit is pulling hair because of the heat, you should make an effort to keep your bunny cooler. Move their enclosure into the shade or even bring them inside when the temperatures get really high. You can also provide your rabbit with a frozen bottle of water to snuggle with to stay cool.

Your pet rabbit likely has a reason for pulling its own hair. It is your job as their caregiver to ensure that you track down the root of the problem and do what you can to help. In some cases, this is natural behavior, but sometimes, hair pulling can be the indicator that tells you to head to the closest animal hospital for help. To find out more, speak with someone at a business like Metzger Animal Hospital.


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