Q:

Why do rabbits pull their fur out?

A:

According to Dana Krempels, Ph.D., healthy rabbits shed their fur coats twice a year. However, she explains this as a natural process. If a pet rabbit experiences abnormal fur loss, such as bald patches with skin irritation, it could be indicative of other factors.

According to MediRabbit, rabbits may pull out their fur due to a stressful environment, annoying parasites, a crowded living area, boredom or it could be the time of year. Dr. Krempels says a rabbit’s loss of fur could be the result of parasites, dental problems, a urinary disorder, a bacterial infection, a false pregnancy, over-grooming, fighting or hormonal issues. A false pregnancy, also called a pseudopregnancy, can happen to a female, says MediRabbit, if a female rabbit lives alone, lives with neutered males or other females. MediRabbit also says that a false pregnancy is suggested when a rabbit pulls out her fur. According to Dr. Krempels, rabbits pull their fur out to build a nest for their young. It is a good idea to be watchful of a pet rabbit’s behavior; if the fur-pulling is stress-related, the owner should take steps to reduce the problem. A veterinarian should be consulted to ensure that the rabbit is healthy.


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