Hair balls in rabbits 🐰- how to avoid?
Rabbits, like cats, ingest large amounts of hair in their cleansing sessions, which is conducive to the formation of so-called hairballs in the stomach. However, unlike cats, rabbits can not vomit, which means they can not get these balls out of their stomach.
CAT Spraying No More REVIEW
Cat Spraying No More is an excellent opportunity for the cat owners to learn about training the cat with a systematic approach. It helps in preventing the unwanted litter issues and other risks of bad feline behavior as well.
Thus, a ball of hair in a rabbit can cause an obstruction, which is serious to the point of being able to cause the death of the animal.
If you have one of these pets and would like to know how to avoid hair balls in rabbits , YourCatCareguide has prepared this article with everything you need to know!
The formation of hair balls
How and why do hair balls form?
Rabbits need to ingest large amounts of fiber. Sometimes tutors neglect to feed the rabbit and end up not giving enough hay (which should always be available unlimited), which causes a fiber deficit . To compensate for this fiber failure, the rabbit searches for other sources of this nutrient and begins to chew its own hair. The digestive system of rabbits is designed to digest high amounts of fiber and therefore, this is one of the main reasons that causes them to ingest abnormal amounts of hair.
Through the cleaning and hygiene that rabbits do to themselves, some hair is also ingested, although this is a less likely cause for this problem. Another possible reason is dehydration. If your rabbit does not ingest enough water , this can impair digestive motility and prevent the normal functioning of the digestive tract and so the hairs are not normally expelled in the stool.
When the rabbit ingests large amounts of hair, they can accumulate in the stomach because they can not pass normally through the digestive tract, thus forming the so-called hairballs.
The danger of hairballs
Since unlike cats, rabbits can not get those fur balls through their mouths, the situation becomes much more dangerous for these animals. If the hairs can not pass through the digestive tract and accumulate, they can cause obstructions, both in the stomach and intestine. Blockage of the intestinal tract is very dangerous because it does not allow its normal functioning and if it is not detected in time and treated, the animal may even die .
Symptoms of hairballs in rabbits
The clinical signs of the formation of these tricobezoars (name given to the accumulation of hairs and other materials) are varied. You should be aware of these signs :
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal distension
- Hard palpable ball in the animal’s stomach
- Absence of feces
- Tooth Ranger (Pain Sign)
If your rabbit has any of these signs, it is important that you visit your veterinarian for exotic animals as soon as possible. Even if it is not a hair ball situation, all these signs are abnormal in a rabbit and cause for concern.
How to Avoid Hairballs in Rabbits
The main point is to increase fiber intake in the rabbit diet. That is, if your rabbit eats too much ration and does not always have hay on hand, he is at high risk of having this and other problems. You should limit the amount of feed you provide to your rabbit and always have fresh hay and blue whiting available for him to eat! Sometimes a bad hay, very dry and thin, has little amount of fiber, which can also cause this problem, in addition to not avoiding the common dental problems of the rabbits .
The pineapple has an enzyme, called bromelain, which helps to digest the hairs . Sometimes pineapple juice is used to treat this problem. With the aid of a needleless syringe, we give a little juice directly into the rabbit’s mouth.
Healthy rabbits can eat pineapple once a week, which will help prevent the appearance of these hair balls in their stomach.
Brushing the rabbit regularly, especially if it is a long-tailed rabbit, is very important. By brushing you are eliminating the rabbit’s dead hair, decreasing the likelihood that it will ingest them by performing the normal hygiene of it.
Treatment of hair balls in rabbits
If your rabbit has an obstruction caused by a ball of fur, he needs urgent veterinary care .
Your veterinarian will initiate a hydration and support therapy in order to moisturize your rabbit and help improve the motility of the intestinal tract of it. In addition, the administration of analgesics may be necessary because it is a situation that causes a lot of pain and discomfort in the animal.
The exercise is essential to recover the intestinal motility. For this reason, in addition to a form of treatment, it is also essential in prevention. So you must loosen your rabbit and allow it to run and jump freely out of the cage for at least an hour a day!
With proper veterinary treatment, if the case is detected in time, the prognosis is favorable and soon your bunny will be jumping with happiness again.
If you want to see the last one , click the first one. , we recommend that you enter our Hair Care section .