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Overgrooming

 
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I have a bonded pair of spayed females who have been living together for three years now, and the dominant bunny has started to over-groom the other one to the point of licking off a huge patch of fur. The skin is red and cracked. I tried separating them but they both went on a hunger strike. So I put them back together and they bunny-danced for joy.

What should I do?

Anna K. Clemmensen
Oakland, CA

Two of my rabbits get along really well except that one of them nibbles on the other's ear. They never fight, but every couple of days one of the rabbit's ears is bleeding.

Any suggestions?

Mickey Hall
Lilburn, GA

--It may be stress-related, in which case you should look for possible things that may be stressing your rabbit out, as well as possible tension between the girls, and whether there is adequate diet, and exercise.

--Some overgroomers just like to lick things, in which case you just need to try to get the bunny a different outlet for her licking.

--If the overgrooming problem has just begun, it might evolve into a less aggressive form of grooming later, if you just give them enough time together.

--To treat the inflamed area, you can use any rabbit safe antibiotic cream. You should probably hold the rabbit for about a half an hour after putting the ointment on, so that it doesn't get licked off.


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