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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BEHAVIOR Over grooming

  • This topic has 7sd replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Bam.
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    • meg1
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      31 posts Send Private Message

      Hi I’m new on this site and I have a question I hope someone will be able to answer!

      I have just acquired my second housebunny, a little netherland dwarf boy bunny. We have had him neutered and he has bonded really well with my older lop girl bunny, which is great. The only problem is that he is over keen when grooming her. I know bunnies do this as a sign of submissiveness and affection, and that they nibble a bit when they groom each other – henceforth my lop bunny has a big bald patch between her shoulder blades! She has had to have fuciderm cream from the vet as Mr Bunny’s constant attentions made her sore. I tried putting a little tshirt over her bald spot to discourage his grooming of that area – but he worked out how to get it off!! I’ve now had them seperated for a week so she can have time to heal over, but they both look so sad being apart. Also I fear that as soon as I put them back together I’ll be back at square one! I thought when she is healed I might try coating between her shoulders with lemon juice or something similarly nasty tasting to discourage his grooming. But I really have no idea what I could use to solve the problem! Does anyone have similar experience of this and can you offer any advice?

      Ideally I don’t want to keep them seperate forever because the whole point was so my female bun could have a friend to play with!

      Any thoughts anyone?

      1610454063471.jpg


    • Gravehearted
      Participant
      2428 posts Send Private Message

      how long has Mr. Bunny been with you? overgrooming is often caused by stress – which could be from the bonding process or being in a new home.
      Some overgroomers just like to lick things, so you might try a stuffed animal friend for him. If the overgrooming problem has just begun, it might evolve into a less aggressive form of grooming later, if you just give them enough time together.


    • meg1
      Participant
      31 posts Send Private Message

      Hmm, thanks for that. I will try getting him a stuffed toy and see if that helps. I didn’t realise it might be stress orientated. He has been here for 7 weeks now so maybe he is finding it all a big adjustment. Do you think it is possible to use Bach Rescue Remedies with rabbits? I wonder if that might help?

      Attached is a pic of the cute little fella!

       

      1610313759971.jpg


    • cookie627
      Participant
      387 posts Send Private Message

      oh how cute!!!!!!


    • wendyzski
      Participant
      1312 posts Send Private Message

      I am on the natural rabbits Yahoo Group and many of the members have had a lot of success wuth Rescue Remedy.  They advise either adding it to the water dish or rubbing a couple of drops on their ears.

      I tries it a little when I was trying to bond Pepper & Frisco, and she didn;t like the taste in her water.


    • MooBunnay
      Participant
      3087 posts Send Private Message

      Hello Meg and welcome to Binky Bunny!

      Its so funny because I had this EXACT same problem when I adopted a little netherland dwarf for MY girl – I think our buns have Napolean complexes

      The two things that worked the best for helping the situation were:

      1) Seagrass mats: My little boy became more fixated on pulling the pieces of the seagrass mats apart than the overgrooming

      2) Giving a fixed schedule: The vet told me this can happen when the bunny feels unsettled, or nervous.  There had been some changes in the house (new foster bunny) and Kramer was probably feeling a little unsettled, so for a few weeks, I fed him at the exact same time every day, played with him for an extended amount of time, but at the same time every day, and sat and petted him for a period of time at the same time every day. 

      After a few weeks of these two things the excessive grooming stopped!

      My boy Kramer still gives Juli some teeny bald spots from time to time, but the fur just is mising – the skin is not irritated and its very tiny spots so Juli does not seem to mind.

      Also, putting ointment on the area or anything else could have the effect of the boy grooming the girl even MORE because he wants to "clean" her.  Seperating the two just long enough for her to start getting her fur back is the best solution, but make sure they can still see each other, and lie next to each other by putting the separate cages right next to each other so that you don’t interupt their bond.  Once her fur starts to grow back, he will not be as concerned with this area!


    • Addie
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      1 posts Send Private Message

      Hi, I’m new here.. Just really needed to see what to do. I have a bunny, no idea what she is, the ad said that it was a male Netherland dwarf. But isn’t even a female Netherland dwarf. She has been with me for almost 2 months now, and has had the same cage and bedding since the day we adopted her from another family. But lately she’s been super aggressive, growling and scratching us. And now she’s grooming herself to the point she’s got bald spots and scabbing on her hind legs. She has a salt block and had a chew block up until today when I threw it away since she had urinated on it multiple times. I have tried to give her hay and veggies, but refuses to eat anything other than her pellets. She has plenty of water and food as I am always on track of keeping it full. Her beding is wood chips for animal bedding. And that is changed every other day like we were told. She has a home made chew toy in there with her. I’m not sure what to do. This is my 1st bunny and I’m new to this. I try to give her all I can, but being a college kid with barely enough money to feed myself, there’s not much I can do. I know vets usually require some sort of payment at the time of appointment, and I don’t have the money for that. But she’s otherwise healthy as far as we were told. What do I do??


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15827 posts Send Private Message

      Hi Addie!

      This is an old thread, and we ask our members not to revive old threads, because it can create a bit of confusion on the forums. I started a new thread for you here: https://binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/54/aft/166787/Default.aspxthread

      I’m locking this thread now.

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Forum BEHAVIOR Over grooming