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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Trying to trim my skiddish bunnys nails
Last Post by Gravehearted at 8/14/2007 10:47 AM (4 Replies)
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User is Offline Cadburysmommy
2 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 7:12 AM

Hello everyone!  We have recently aquired a small male bunny who is about 2-3 years old.  Someone at my husbands job was giving him away and since I can't stand to see an homeless animal, we took him in.  I had never even touched a bunny and researched eveything I could immediately.  While everything else seems to be going okay, he will still will not let us trim his nails.  We are his third home and he is still somewhat skiddish toward us.  Although he lets me pet him and comb him, he will not let me hold him or pick him up.  I don't force him because then he just hides in his cage and refuses to come out.  His nails are getting pretty long but I just don't know what to do.  I don't think I should hold him down and force him because I fear that he will not trust us anymore.  I have researched this topic everywhere and have nowhere left to turn.  The only other option I have is to take him to a vet and let them do the grooming but chances are they'll just hold him down there as well.  I know that we are not hurting him when we attempt to trim his nails but he sruggles to get away and makes snorting sounds.  If anyone has any advice for me and my bunny I would love to hear it.

 

Thank you


User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 11:52 AM

Hi and welcome to BinkyBunny!

Bunnies by nature don't tend to like being held at all, and unfortunately there is no magic formula. Try to think of it this way: Trimming nails is a necessity of daily care and health and it needs to be done no matter what. Try to make to make him as comfortable as possible because really, a bunny just needs to get used to it. I know it sounds cruel but thwen you are ensuring that they are well cared for and their health is sound, sometimes you just have to brave it, otherwise you'll need to take him to the vet to have it done. Hurt feelings are nothing from your the bunny compared to what could happen (offer a treat afterwards) and they will forgive you.

What I have done in the past with my two is dose them with Rescue Rememdy (Bach flower essence), give them a mini-massage, burrito them and trim (be sure to have long sleeves or a smock on with them and a heavy towel or blanket in your lap. It sounds like your guy is not going to sit still for the massage so you may just want to head for the bunny burrito method. Keep a firm hold on him too and if you have to trim one or two nails at a time, then do that. I'm sure he'll sulk afterwards and give you an ostentatious thump, but know you did it to better his life.

Your guy has had a past with lots of change and different enviornments, who knows what he has been through maybe kids picking him up and accidentally dropping him (it's really hard to say) or someone who pulled his ears. It takes a while to earn his trust and try bonding with him if you're up to it by just sitting or laying on the floor by him and if he comes up to you, offer up a treat so he knows that humans aren't bad after all. He'll soon warm up to you once he knows that you're OK and this time the home he is in is permanent.

Also equally important here, has he been fixed at all? That could also be why he is so squirmy as well. If a bunny is not fixed they can be quite a handful and I highly recommend finding a bunny-savvy vet and having him fixed (and nails trimmed too if you are not able).


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 7:55 PM
welcome to BinkyBunny, Cadburysmommy :-)

I'm so glad that you were able to take in the bunny since he likely needs lots of TLC. Over time he'll likely become more comfortable with you, but many bunnies don't like to be picked up.

I find that trimming nails is much easier with two people, if possible. I generally wrap the bunny in a burrito and then one person holds the bunny and the other clips. I've noticed that if the bunny can't see you doing the clipping or has their eyes covered they tend to calm down a bit. I try to do the clipping as quick as possible and then give a nice treat as a reward. Yes, he likely will be mad and hide, but he will get over it. The benefit of clipping them far outweighs the potential risks of not cutting them. The below has some photos and more info too.

http://www.ontariorabbits.org/diet/....html#Nail

Good luck, and keep us posted.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Cadburysmommy
2 posts Send Private Message
8/14/2007 3:46 AM
Thank you to everyone that offered the advice! I have since tried to trim his nails twice but even with the assistance of my husband, he will not let us do it. He just squirms out of the towel and hides and refuses to come out. He didn't even want the treat that I offered him. So I figure that our best bet is to just take him to a vet and watch how they do it. At this point, the important thing is that his nails are trimmed. Thank you again!

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
8/14/2007 10:47 AM
aww, I'm sorry to hear it didn't go very well :-( Bunnies can be awfully squiggly when they want to be. I usually wrap them in the burritto and hold them VERY firmly to my chest and knee while the other person is clipping. It VERY important to really get them wrapped in the towel well, since as soon as they can wiggle free those back paws it's very hard to keep them staying still

Another way is to putting the bunny on his back holding him still between your knees. This works very well for many of the other volunteers at my rescue to do nail trims.

You might see if there's a local rescue group that does the trims, since the money goes to a good cause and they might have some great tips and guidance for you.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!
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