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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Advice on grooming a terrified bun??
Last Post by Gravehearted at 9/25/2006 2:05 PM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline Elena Niznik
Glasgow (Scotland)
132 posts Send Private Message
9/21/2006 1:45 PM

My new rabbit Rollo is settling in alot slower than Boo did. he isnt a nervous rabbit just very ppl shy. I can live with the fact that he wnt be a social bunny when it comes to people although its still a bit early to tell. The problem is, is that he is long haired and is currently moltng so needs groomed daily. He wnt let me near him to groom him so I have to catch him in his carrier which he finds stressful. I groom him using a soft bristle brush but its not any use. When I use a slicker brush the poor blight grinds his teeth so I'm scared im pulling his fur out and hurting him even when I do it as light as possible.

Any suggestions on how to make grooming more relaxing for the poor little guy would be much appreciated. I'm terrified that he will get hairballs but I dnt want him having a heart attack every time he has to be groomed.

Would a damp washing up glove be any better? ( I find this works a treat at removing animal hair from the carpet and sofa) or do you think this would split his hairs? Also am I right in saying that rabbits HATE being damp or wet?


Thanks In advance x

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
9/22/2006 6:52 AM
I'm able to groom Pepper only when she is face-down in her greens

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
9/22/2006 9:05 AM
I understand your plight! My lionhead bunny Kahlua doesn't like grooming either, but he's learn to tolerate it. How old is Rollo? It could be that you have to get him use to it a little at a time. Rabbits love a calm, soothing, singing type voice. I use that with Kahlua when it's time to groom, cuz Kahlua can be a little grumpy! Good luck.

I'm lucky enough to live near an HRS chapter that provides professional grooming for rabbits and have showed me how to groom long-hairs. Keep us posted!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8990 posts Send Private Message
9/24/2006 6:12 PM

So when you say he's grinding teeth - he's grinding in anxiety or pain - not as a purr?

The reason I ask is Jack hates to be groomed too, but  I have to because his fur is so course that it really just sticks to everything, and I worry about Rucy ingesting too much of this course hair, because she grooms him alot. (and he's twice her size so there is a lot of fur for her to groom)

I know what you mean about those soft bristle brushes - they aren't very affective with my bunnies.  And the slickers bother Jack. 

The HRS chapter I volunteer for introduced me to this comb.  "HairBuster",  Here is a picture of it, so you can search for it on the net.  (I use the red one)  I don't know anything about that particular online store, but at least this can help you with your own search if you decide to try the comb.

You use it by coming with the fur; you don't even really touch skin.  You still have to be gentle when you get to a tangle.  But usually what I do is brush, and follow with my hand - petting.   So I pet, brush, pet, brush

 If you can at least touch him, then use the wet hand method.  Get a damp towel or damp hand cloth, a spray water & a water bottle.  Spray your hands, rub your bunny, spray your hands thoroughly again and wipe your hands on the towel to get rid of a lot of the fur, and do the whole thing again. 

WIth Jack, sometimes I just have to force the issue, but after about 5 -10 minutes, he calms down and actually begins to tolerate it, and lately he's been getting used to it.   I would usually take him into the bathroom so he wouldn't constantly be trying to escape in his familiar territory.   (of course, I would try the "force" issue as a last resort, especially since your bunny is so new to your household - needs to establish trust) 

I'm lucky that Jack never holds any grudges, and even after being forced to be groomed he still approaches me to get attention. 

Let us know how it goes.



User is Offline Elena Niznik
Glasgow (Scotland)
132 posts Send Private Message
9/25/2006 4:30 AM
I dont think he is grinding his teeth in pain i think it is just anxiety its definately not a pur its more of a clicking without any crunching noises. Before I adopted him he had never had any human attention so he is very people shy. I have been grooming him twice a day for 5 minutes a time and it is gradually getting better. He still doesnt like it much. Thanks for the link on the comb I will check that out. I have a tiny slicker brush that seems to be working for now.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2443 posts Send Private Message
9/25/2006 2:05 PM
I know you're trying to cut down on his anxiety - but honestly the handling likely is good for him. He just wasn't handled enough before and is going to have to get used to it! I am betting over time he'll come to trust you and maybe even like it.

Maybe give him a treat after grooming, as then he'll know there's something to look forward to afterwards
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Advice on grooming a terrified bun??

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