How to trim your nails to a rabbit
Rabbits are small animals that have a furry and smooth appearance, which can sometimes remind a small ball of fur, making them lovely beings.
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The rabbit is a delicate mammal that needs a lot more care than one might think at first, it is not enough to just give it carrots.
That’s why in YourCatCareguide we want to explain how to cut your nails to a rabbit , because we know how much these animals can be frightened if you approach it inadequately when it comes to helping you with your hygiene routine.
When should you trim your rabbit’s nails?
Surely you’ve already wondered if it’s really necessary to cut your rabbit’s nails, and the truth is, especially to avoid scratching you or other pets you have at home, or that your nail gets stuck in and hurt him.
In the wild, the rabbit does not need to cut its nails because digging, racing and unearthing on the ground will naturally wear the animal’s nails, but this is very unlikely if your rabbit lives in an apartment or house in which it has no contact with the outside.
The nails of the front legs of rabbits grow faster than the hind legs, so they need to be cut more often. How often to cut will depend on the speed at which the nails grow. However, every 4 to 6 weeks you can check its length as it is likely that you will need to cut your nails.
How do you know if it’s the right time to cut them? If your nails bend or you can hear them when your rabbit jumps on the floor, then it is because they are too long and need to be cut.
Factors to consider
Before cutting your rabbit’s nails, you need to know a few things to avoid accidents and prevent this routine from causing trauma to the animal:
- You’ll need the help of one or maybe two people , because even though they are small, rabbits can be very strong when they feel threatened.
- You need a special nail clipper for rabbits or, failing that, one for cats.
- The nails have a sloping shape , you should respect this when making the cut.
- Just like the cat’s nails, the rabbits are very delicate and can hurt them if you cut them incorrectly. Each nail has a white section and inside this can see a red part, which is called live flesh . Live flesh is made up of blood vessels and under any circumstance must be cut off as it is painful for your rabbit and may bleed. If your nails are darker, approach a light to detect the area where the flesh is, which will appear as a stain. It should always cut away from this section, only at the tips.
- If you cut more than you should, you should immediately apply an anticoagulant to stop the bleeding.
- Throughout the process, reassure the rabbit with caresses and sweet words.
- Cut your nails in a bright place to avoid accidents.
Chopping the rabbit’s nails
Once you have located the part of the nails of your rabbit that should cut, it is time to get to work. For this you will need:
- One cuts rabbit or cat nails.
- A helper.
- A towel.
- A hemostatic or flour for cooking.
Before you begin, you and your helper should be calm , as a nervous attitude can put the rabbit on alert. Ask your helper to hold the rabbit and caress it until the animal is calm and relaxed. When the rabbit is calm, you can do either of these things:
You may choose to ask your helper to hold the rabbit against your chest, immobilizing it but without exerting pressure, as the body of this mammal is very delicate and can easily hurt you . Never put pressure on your back as it could break your spine.
If your rabbit is very nervous, you can lightly press your hips and sides as this will remind you of the tight movement of the other rabbits when they are inside a burrow.
While your helper holds it, grab each paw and remove the surrounding fur. Make small cuts on each nail, one by one, being careful not to touch the raw flesh. When doing this, remember to caress her and say sweet words.
If in spite of all these cautions, the rabbit continue to squirm, you should opt for the second option that is to wrap it in a towel leaving the head and ears out, and go pulling each paw out to cut the nails. To prevent the animal’s body from overheating, give it a rest off the towel as you finish with each paw.
In case you cut the blood vessels by accident , apply hemostatic on the wound to clot the blood. The hemostatic is a powder that can stop bleeding. Use it if necessary and observe the recovery of the nails. If you find your condition worsens, consult your veterinarian right away.
Repeat the entire cutting process with each nail. In case you can not get someone to help you and you have to do it yourself, we recommend that:
Put it upside down on your knees, with your head close to your elbow as this will cover it with your arm. With one of your hands take one paw and with the other cut the nail. If this method to cut the nails without help does not work, try with the technique of the towel that we have already explained.
Do not forget that some rabbits are afraid of heights, so if you notice that you are especially frightened when you or your helper grab you, it is best to try doing the procedure on the ground.
In the latter case, consult a veterinarian who cuts the rabbit’s nails if it is impossible to do it yourself. Remember that the most important is the health of the animal, so if you do not feel safe and are afraid of cutting your blood vessels, it is best to leave this work in the hands of professionals.