Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 9/30/2012 4:00 AM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline Katy McL
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9/15/2012 10:49 AM

My new bunny, Kingsley, was just rescued from the side of the road and brought to a shelter. He and his sister are covered in this brown stuff that I thought was dirt. I tried to give him a gentle bath to remove anything that could help him get clean. Nothing has worked, not bunny shampoo, water, anything. I feel so bad because he is still dirty and needs a good cleaning. The stuff seems to be oil based since the water won't clean him. I want to be careful that he doesn't ingest something he shouldn't while cleaning himself. 


User is Offline LBJ10
Bunny Name Master
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9/15/2012 1:02 PM
Would Dawn be safe? I'm thinking since it is oil-based...

User is Offline bmt87
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9/15/2012 1:52 PM
I was going to say the same thing as LBJ10 - I've worked on marine mammal and bird rescues after oil spills and we've always used Dawn...just be sure to keep it away from their eyes and mouth. I've never used it for buns but think it would be okay if it was okay for ducks (even baby ducks), otters, and other birds...I'm not sure though. Maybe try a small spot and see if it would even work before going all out?

User is Offline bmt87
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9/15/2012 1:53 PM
Oh, and I wanted to add - if you do use the Dawn a little goes a LONG way. If you use too much of it it's almost impossible to get all out - so you definitely want to err on the side of caution and use a little bit and build up if you need more. You'd be surprise how much that stuff will sudsy-up in fur and feathers!

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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9/15/2012 6:51 PM
When I adopted Stickers she had stuff matted in her fur as well - I was told not to use dawn, due to how sensitive a bunny's skin was. So I would call and ask your vet what they recommend. Ours just shaved the offending section of fur off, since it was a small part of her fur and the gunk was mostly on the top layer.

User is Offline bmt87
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9/15/2012 7:09 PM
Ya - I just looked it up and there seems to be conflicting info online - I know other animals they clean with Dawn have sensitive skin as well...but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures BUT I have been thinking about it and I would also call a vet anyways because if it is motor oil or some kind of chemical they got on the side of the road it could be a health hazard. Rabbits are constantly grooming themselves and ingesting any of that would be awful. Let us know how it goes!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
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9/15/2012 10:13 PM

I forgot what was used at the Rescue I volunteered for years ago. I tried to find some good info about situations like this and I did find an extreme case where the bunny was covered in Vaseline and coconut oil. Rabbit-Savvy Dana Krempels offered some advice to someone regarding their situation, and though your bunny isn't as bad as the one she is talking about, there are some tips in her answer that may be helpful  (you have to scroll down a bit to get to her answer)

User is Offline jerseygirl
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9/16/2012 1:42 AM
Happy to hear the rabbits are out of dangers way now. I'm sure I'd read Dawn recommended on here before also. Don't recall if considered safe or not.

I'd probably try the clipper route if able. On the longest length setting so only the tip of fur is taken off. Or doing it with round tip scissors.

If shampoos / detergents arent working, you might have to remove worst stuff with another oil base first. Liquid paraffin (medicinal grade) rubbed into the tip of the fur may loosen the brown goop. Then wipe oil out with paper towels or use corn starch to soak up excess then brush out. You then might have to give a normal bath. But be careful not to overdo the bathing if already attempted this few time. The rabbits could get overly stressed.

I think clippering would be less stressful in the end.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Elizabeth Paige
Sunny Seattle
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9/18/2012 2:40 PM
Dawn is great! thats what my vet said to use on my buns babbity! she really liked it and it didnt irritate her skin now all the weird stuff she gets into/rolls in are out of her fur and she is all clean and shiny! i recommend dawn!
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User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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9/18/2012 2:47 PM
I am glad that it worked out for you! binky binky!
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User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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9/18/2012 6:00 PM
Hrmmmm I think clippers. Your vet (actually vet tech) could do this for you if you aren't comfortable yet with something like shaving a bunny. I agree it's a good idea to get this stuff off sooner than later, because they groom themselves so much; so I would suggest clipping -and getting help if needed. Try phoning vet clinics to see who has a free tech to help you out!

Good luck and kudos on your new rescue! I'd love to see pictures-hey some before and after...

User is Offline Katy Jean
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9/29/2012 2:50 PM

Hi All! 

I started this topic with my older account that suddenly went wonky on me! Darn technology! So Kingsley is all clean now-we went to the vet for a check up and the vet did a bit of a hair cut. He has a bunny mushroom cut right now, but looks much better! He is doing so great and the vet said he is perfectly happy!

So sorry I've been late responding-and thank you so much for your responses!

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/30/2012 4:00 AM
Glad to hear all is well.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless