If you have a bunny, you may know that they regularly shed their coats and grow new ones. This is known as molting. Unlike what happens when dogs and cats shed, bunnies don’t just lose dead fur: they grow completely new coats. Read on as a local Pasadena, MD vet discusses molting in bunnies.
Bunnies molt for the first time when they are about 4-5 months old. During that first molt, they lose their baby fur, and grow adult coats. Adult bunnies generally molt a few times a year, or about once a season. Your fuzzy buddy may also have lighter, less noticeable molts in between heavy shedding times. Most molts last between 2-6 weeks, though every bunny is different. It’s also worth noting that, although molting is a natural process, it can be triggered by outside factors, such as stress or nutritional imbalances.
Your pet may look a bit strange while she is molting. Floppy may have bald spots for a while, or uneven patches of fur. Sometimes bunnies get ‘stuck’ mid-molt, and continuously keep shedding fur from certain spots. Ask your vet for specific advice if this happens.
As you may know, rabbits can’t vomit. It’s very important to get rid of your pet’s dead hair, so she doesn’t accidentally eat it. Floppy could get very sick if she ingests too much fur! Make sure that your adorable pet always has plenty of fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Feeding your furry friend black oil sunflower seeds may also help with this, though you’ll want to ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.
Grooming your furry pal gently can help her shed her old coat more quickly. Most bunnies should be brushed daily during molts, and weekly otherwise, but ask your vet for specific advice. You may find that your furball actually enjoys being brushed. This can be a great way for you to spend some time with Floppy! If your bunny has long hair, your vet may recommend trimming her fur. Just be very careful: bunny skin is quite delicate!
Last but not least, make sure to keep Floppy at a comfortable temperature. It’s very easy for molting bunnies to get too hot or too cold!
Please contact us, your Pasadena, MD pet hospital, with any questions about your bunny’s molting. We are here to help!