Pulling out their own fur, or that of another rabbit, often puzzles owners. It looks painful and can leave bald patch.Why do rabbits pull out their fur?

Why do rabbits pull out their fur?Interesting things you should know

 Maya Zamir

Maya Zamir

Maya Zamir , [email protected] Vet Clinic
Maya has recently begun contributing veterinary content to a number of digital publications, and is eager to share her knowledge with a broader audience

Pulling out their own fur, or that of another rabbit, often puzzles owners. It looks painful and can leave bald patch.Why do rabbits pull out their fur?

Why do rabbits pull out their fur

Owners are frequently perplexed when their rabbits pull out their own or another rabbit’s fur. 

It appears to be painful, and it can result in unsightly skin exposure. It appears that your rabbit is under duress based on his actions.

 

Stress, boredom, and skin irritation are all factors that cause rabbits to pull out their fur. Fur from pregnant rabbits is used to construct a nest for their offspring. When one rabbit barbers another rabbit, it’s usually a sign of dominance on the part of the first.

 

Observe your pet’s behaviour and try to figure out why they are acting in this manner. An explanation will be provided, whether it is physical, medical, or emotional. Once you understand what is going on, you can respond appropriately.

Rabbit Constructs a Nest with Her Fur

Nesting is a frequent reason for female rabbits to pull out their own fur. 

This behaviour begins during pregnancy. 

She is instinctively motivated to provide a safe, warm environment for her young.

This may be illogical. 

You were able to fix your rabbit. Why would a spayed rabbit attempt to remove its fur? Your pet is suffering from a condition known as phantom pregnancy. 

The rabbit is convinced she is pregnant as a result of her hormones fooling her.

False pregnancies can happen to any female rabbit (doe) at any time. They are less common in spayed rabbits, but they are still possible.

It’s more likely if the rabbit has previously given birth to a litter. 

Once ovulated, a rabbit is never out of season.

In most cases, a false pregnancy is caused by one of two factors:

Taking a mount from another rabbit. This could be a dominance act or an attempt at breeding. In either case, sexual stimulation will elicit a response from the female. The same effect will occur if you are mounted by another female.

Stressful situation. If the rabbit is under extreme stress, she will ovulate. Rabbits are instinctively motivated to ensure the survival of their species. Without the presence of another rabbit, a female can experience pseudopregnancy.

Your rabbit will exhibit all of the pregnancy-related behaviours. She’ll become more hungry and territorial. Do not be surprised if your pet exhibits unusual aggression for a few days.

A phantom pregnancy typically lasts approximately 18 days. 

Pregnancy at full term lasts closer to a month. The final stage of a phantom pregnancy will be nesting.

Hormone levels in the rabbit will quickly return to normal following this procedure.

A Rabbit Pulling Fur from Another Rabbit

The reason for this behaviour is similar to the reason for solo barbering. The rabbits may be bored, or they may be confined in an insufficiently large space. 

Even bonded rabbits are capable of turning on one another in this situation.

What you’re more likely to notice is that one rabbit is more likely than another to barber another. 

This is a hegemonic act. One rabbit tugs on the fur of another to establish their pecking order.

Lagomorphs require hierarchy. Each pair consists of a dominant and a submissive rabbit. 

It is critical to establish this order when bonding two rabbits. Both rabbits will desire to be dominant until they have established their respective statuses.

Being the dominant rabbit has a number of advantages. They are entitled to eat first. 

While their dominant partner is sleeping, a submissive rabbit will guard them. At any time, dominant rabbits may request grooming.

Even submissive rabbits, however, have their limits. Rabbits occasionally like to gamble. 

The submissive rabbit’s fur may be yanked out. This is a leadership challenge. At times, roles reverse. Often, the animals simply fight.

As a form of punishment, the dominant rabbit may pluck out their subordinate’s fur. 

This could be due to their envy. You may have upset the rabbit hierarchy by petting the submissive rabbit first.

Whatever the cause, this behaviour must be stopped. Temporarily separate the two rabbits and allow them to cool off. Reintroduce them and be prepared to receive an apology.

Things will be fine if they apologise to one another. Otherwise, the bond may be lost. It’s difficult to re-bond two rabbits that have separated. They will almost certainly need to live in separate hutches in the future.

When a Female Rabbit is pulling a Male Rabbit's Fur

In all mixed-sex pairings, female rabbits are invariably more dominant. 

If you introduce a male rabbit into a female rabbit’s hutch, they will almost always be submissive.

Regardless, this dynamic must be established. The female will almost certainly use her authority to stamp out this intruder. 

At first, this is likely to involve tugging on fur. This behaviour should resolve itself.

Another possibility is that the rabbits mated or that the male caused a pseudopregnancy. Females encase their nests in their own fur. They will not shy away from requiring males to contribute their fair share of fur as well.

When a male rabbit is yanking fur from a female rabbit.

This is less likely than a male barbering a female. Male rabbits typically submit to their female counterparts. It is possible, however. 

The male rabbit is most likely un-neutered, which is the most likely explanation. Male rabbits are territorial, frisky, and aggressive until this process is completed. Neutering significantly reduces their anxiety.

If the rabbit is fixed, you should keep an eye on their behaviour. 

They may be bothered by something about the female. They could simply be a big bully. In either case, the hutch share may not be a long-term viable option.

My rabbit eats the fur that they pull out.

Rabbits constantly consume small amounts of their own fur. 

It’s a natural part of their grooming routine. They will, however, only consume small amounts. This is reflected in their waste. Fur will be woven into their poop.

This is because the hair was small enough to avoid digestion. 

It passed right through. Larger clumps of hair will be unable to accomplish this. They are also difficult to digest. 

They’ll be found in the rabbit’s digestive tract.

This may result in a digestive blockage. This is dangerous, if not fatal. The rabbit is in danger because it is unable to eat properly.Consult a veterinarian as soon as you notice the first signs of a gastrointestinal obstruction. These are some of the symptoms:

Diarrhea, or unusually small bowel movements
Drooling
Having difficulty swallowing and, as a result, failing to eat
Belly distention and swelling
Lethargy, which may result in collapse when attempting to exercise

Why would a rabbit eat their own fur?

There are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, They are concealing evidence. This is possible if the rabbit is barbering due to stress.

Secondly, they don’t want to be in hot water. If they’re barbering because they’re afraid of predators, the presence will be hidden as well.

Alternatively, your rabbit may be lacking dietary fiber. They feel something is lacking in their food, and seeking to replace it. Pile up more hay in their hutch to rectify this behavior.

A rabbit will always pull out a little of their own fur. They’ll do so by accident, while the groom themselves. They’ll also do it deliberately on occasion though, for a variety of reasons.

If your rabbit is pulling out their hair, there will be a reason for the behaviour, and often they’re sending a message. Try to understand what this message is, and take the necessary action.

References

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Hi, I am Div , Co-founder at Pet Paws Hub pet Blogs. We are passionate about pets and love sharing our knowledge and research with you. At Pet Paws Hub , we strive to be the ultimate resource for learning everything about caring for you pet!

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