September 29, 2022
Why is my rabbit losing patches of fur

5 reasons Why is My Rabbit Losing Patches of Fur?

Why is my rabbit losing patches of fur – The article is about the rabbits who lose patches of their hair. At the beginning of the article, we will tell you about the basics of rabbits. After this, the article has a little brief introduction about the patches of the rabbits. After that, we will tell you the difference between normal shedding and abnormal shedding. Then, we will discuss the causes of fur loss in rabbits. Read the article thoroughly, and you will know the reason behind the loss of patches from your rabbit’s fur.

Rabbits vs. Hares

A significant difference between the hares and the rabbits is that earlier, people kept the European rabbits as their pets, but they were not keeping the hare as their pet Or livestock. Rabbits are the Altricial animals. Altricial animals are born as underdeveloped organisms, and these animals mature after their birth. On the other side, ares are precocial animals.

These precocial animals are mature enough at birth, and Precocial animals are mature enough even when they are born. Rabbits are born without hairs, while these hares are born with a thick layer of fur on their body. Hares have excellent vision, while rabbits are born blind. In the Middle Ages, people were giving preference to the European rabbits, and even they were keeping them as their livestock.

Basic diet of Rabbits

Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system. So, you have to be very careful before feeding something to your rabbit. A rabbit can not eat everything. Some foods that a rabbit should not eat and a few of them can eat but in a limited amount only. Their food diet should have a good quality of hay.

Also, add some fresh green leafy vegetables to their diet. A lot of fiber is essential for rabbits. Give them enough water to drink. Also, give the rabbits some timothy hayes. These timothy hayes keep their teeth short naturally. You do not have to make them cut manually. Also, take your rabbit to the veterinarian to cut its teeth manually.

It will be excruciating for your rabbit. Rabbits are one of the cleanest animals. They lick their bodies to keep them clean. These rabbits even eat their poop to clean their surroundings. If your rabbit is getting old, make them feel more comfortable as they will need more care and understanding than before. Their diet should have a high amount of cellulose.

Losing patches of fur

Hair loss is also known as Alopecia in scientific terms. Most of the owners have the same hair loss concern. However, shedding hairs from their body is perfectly fine for a rabbit, and they shed their hair according to the climate changes around them. But If your rabbit is shedding their hair abnormally and they have flaky skin and show a crusty appearance, they have dandruff on their hair and skin.

These, including open sores and inflammation in the rabbits, are a few very concerning causes. Suppose your rabbit is losing its hair. It may be because they have parasitic infections such as mites, fleas, lice, fungus, etc. This parasitic infection is only one reason which your rabbit can have.

Besides this parasitic infection, your rabbit can have dental issues, urinary tract disorders, bacterial infection, hormonal imbalance, overgrooming partners, false pregnancy, etc.In most cases, rabbits have severe itching problems, and this itching problem causes pain in them, and the rabbits feel uncomfortable. You can treat these itching issues with the help of medication, but it also needs your extra attention and care.

Why is my Rabbit losing patches of fur?

A rabbit can shed their fur entirely or partially. Every rabbit sheds the rabbit’s fur throughout the rabbit’s life cycle. Rabbits shed their hair according to the temperature and weather conditions. For instance, a rabbit grows an extra coat on its body during winter.

When it is summer, a rabbit sheds its hair from its body. Most of the rabbits lose their hair slowly or suddenly. Before the rabbits shed hair, they show some hair loss symptoms in them. These symptoms and the sign will determine the hair loss in the rabbits.

A rabbit shed their hair from its body due to Alopecia. Alopecia is a condition in which an organism loses its hair. It is a permanent hair loss in rabbits, which also causes baldness. The several causes will help you find out the reason for hair loss in your rabbit. You will be able to find out the exact reason behind the hair loss in your rabbit. It will tell you whether there is some medical illness or it is a natural process only

Abnormal shedding

Experts say that a rabbit’s hair is in the mirror to their health. It means that if a rabbit’s fur is in good condition, it means that they are perfectly fit and fine. But if your rabbit’s hair health is not good, it means that there is something wrong. The rabbits can have some underlying health issues.

If your rabbit is shedding their hair and finding them abnormal, take them to the veterinarian. You will find some solution to the problem that your rabbit has. Few of them are contagious by nature and can spread to other species. Suppose you notice every symptom and think that your rabbit has some underlying disease. Take your rabbit to the veterinarian immediately.

An appropriate and immediate medical treatment will be very beneficial for your rabbit. Your rabbit can be fit and fine again as they were previously. A quick cure for rabbits is very effective for their health. They can get to their everyday lives and live healthy lives once again. When you give your rabbit the proper care and treatment, they get back to their same energy level and behavior.

Symptoms of abnormal hair loss

  1. Your rabbit’s skin will have a crusty appearance.
  2. You will notice inflammation in them. Inflammation is a health condition in which the white blood cells protect you from infections of outside invaders. The symptoms of inflammation include joint stiffness, joint pain, swelling, redness, etc.
  3. Your rabbits will have flaky skin and dandruff.

Normal shedding

A rabbit sheds once every three months. It is a normal fur shedding cycle. In a typical process, the hair regrows after they shed their hairs from their body. The process is known as molting. In a normal molting process, a rabbit regrows their fur on its body. When a rabbit sheds its hairs from its body, they start losing hair from their neck, stomach, back, etc.

This whole process takes at least two weeks to six weeks. Suppose we talk about the time and the quantity of shedding the body hair. It depends upon the type of breed they are. A rabbit sheds their hairs in clumps which result in bald patches. When there is an average shedding in a rabbit, it will be a consistent process. If your rabbit is shedding their hair, you should ensure that the hairs are not a result of any stress or bad health. It is crucial to keep an eye check on your rabbit’s health. Ensure better health for your rabbit. If your rabbit has any stress, your rabbit can lose its hair due to stress, boredom, or bad health.

Natural molting in Rabbits

Suppose if your rabbit gets any infection or disease, it can lose its fur due to side effects. Illnesses and disease can lead a rabbit to patchy hair loss in the rabbits. Some other symptoms accompanying hair loss in rabbits are sores, redness, crustiness, itchiness, etc.

Natural shedding of hair or natural molting is a standard process in a rabbit’s life cycle. But if your rabbit sheds an excessive amount of hair throughout the year. The rabbit must visit the veterinarian for a regular check-up. A healthy and fit rabbit breed changes its coat at least twice a year. Usually, the hair they shed regrows after some time.

Causes abnormal fur loss in Rabbits

Suppose your rabbit is shedding their hairs, whether patchy or general, but if few of these symptoms accompany the problem. It means that there is something wrong with your rabbit. You should see every other possible way to cure their health issues. The symptoms accompanying the shedding of hair in the rabbit are bad for a rabbit’s health.

The symptoms are as follows.

  1. Inflammation
  2. Open sores
  3. Crusty skin appearance
  4. Dandruff
  5. Flaky skin

The following table will tell you the condition and the factors they generally cause.

Condition Types
Urinary tract disorders Urine burn ( rabbits lose their hairs on their hindquarters )
Dental problems Saliva burn ( the rabbits lose their hairs from their chest and chin)
Parasite infestations Fur mites

(Cheyletiella parasitivorax)

Mange mites

( Sarcoptes scabiei or chorioptes so)

Burrowing mange mites

( Trixacarus caviae)

Ear canker mites

( psoroptes cuniculi)

Ringworm fungus

( Microsporum spp.)

Tropical rat mites or feather mites

( ornithonyssus spp.)

Other health problems Sore hocks

Bacterial infections

Overgrooming

False pregnancy

Fighting among rabbits

Cancer

Abscess and lesions

Hormone imbalance

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange happens due to the Sarcoptes scabiei. It is a constraint in commercial rabbit rearing. A persistent case of sarcoptic mange can cause lethargy, anorexia, emancipation, etc. Sometimes, it leads a rabbit to death. The most vital factors of the sarcoptic mange are poor hygiene and increased housing density.

When a rabbit gets affected by the sarcoptic mange, the rabbit’s eyes, mouth, and nose get a whitish crust on the affected areas. A mite named scabiei and other species of the Sarcoptes causes the sarcoptic mange in the rabbits. These crusts smell unpleasant and have a musky smell, especially in their ears.

Suppose you will not take it seriously and will leave it untreated. It will spread throughout the entire body. This spreading will cause itching problems and will further result in hair loss. So, you have to be very careful from the beginning only. Take them to the veterinarian and take all the necessary medications. Hair loss will further increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

These fungal and bacterial infections are the worst condition in rabbits, and that is why you should take immediate action. Give them immediate care and treatment to stay fit and get back to their healthy lifestyle. However, veterinarians treat them quickly, and it is not difficult to treat them. It is a curable disease if you give immediate treatment to your rabbit.

Parasite problem

Flea infestations can also cause hair loss. Flea infestations cause itching problems in rabbits. Excessive itching causes hair loss in the rabbits as they scratch their skin constantly to get relief from the itching. And similarly, it happens in the case of fleas. Different types of mites can affect a rabbit, for example, ear canker mites, fur mites, mange mites, etc.

But, there is no worry. You can quickly treat the parasitic infection as several medications are available to cure the disease. These medications are very safe and secure for rabbits, and one can safely rely upon them.

It is safe for lagomorphs and if a vet treats a rabbit and gives them the treatment. The medication kills the parasites rapidly. It does not have any other side effects, and even they are very relaxing for the rabbits. This medication treats the parasitic infection and heals the cause of fur loss in rabbits.

Fur mites

Fur mites are also known as Cheyletiella parasitivorax. It has mild and subtle symptoms. Suppose a rabbit has fur mite problems. If we compare them with other mite issues, they face the least itching problem. It is not a severe condition like other mite problems. This fur mite appears as flakes in the skin, and it resembles dandruff in it.

After this, the rabbit’s hair begins to fall off. When the rabbits lose their furs, it leaves patches on their skin. A few mites are present that we can not identify with a visual inspection. Treatment for the fur mite is possible, efficiently curing them. An appropriate medication like selamectin can treat the fur mites quickly.

Ear Canker

Experts study says that an ear canker is a severe infection in rabbits. The rabbits experience so much pain, and the symptoms of the ear canker include the following.

  1. Skin Irritation
  2. Scabs and the crusting
  3. Scratching
  4. Ear flapping
  5. Shaking of the head
  6. Hair loss
  7. Pain

Twisting the head and Spasms of the eye muscle are more symptoms of ear mites in rabbits. Suppose a rabbit has this ear mite disease. The rabbits experience skin loss from their ears. This ear Infection can even damage the inner ear. It even reaches the central nervous system.

The vaccine is the most appropriate treatment for ear mites disease. If you go to a veterinarian, they will give the rabbit three doses of ivermectin and moxidectin injections. When a rabbit has a mild infection, they can treat it using ear drops only. If you also have other pets at your home, they need a health checkup.

It might be possible that your other pets will not show any symptoms, but it is your duty that you take care of them. You have to take all of them to the vet and have regular checkups. Sometimes, other pets do not show any symptoms of the disease, but they have it. When you visit the vet, they will recommend a few painkillers to get rid of the irritation. The painkillers relieve the rabbit from severe pain and irritation.

Burrowing mange mites

Burrowing mange mites is a rare disease among rabbits. When rabbits get affected by this burrowing mange mite, the rabbit complains of painful itching and discomfort. Severe itching problems lead the rabbits to hair loss problems. It is complicated to recognize the burrowing mange mites through skin biopsy.

This disease is more common in pigs than rabbits. It makes the rabbit react aggressively, reclusive, and alone. When a rabbit gets affected by the burrowing mange mites, they become aggressive. Even those rabbis who always stayed calm became aggressive. And if a rabbit gets affected by the disease, scratching is the only complaint they show.

It means scratching is the only symptom of this disease. They can treat mites and cure them with selamectin only. This selamectin injection offers excellent relief from itching. It relieves the rabbit’s pain in just 24 hours, and this treatment is very effective. When you take your rabbit to the vet, they will treat them and alleviate behavioral and physical issues from the rabbits.

Tropical rat mites

Tropical rat mites are also known as ornithonyssus bacoti. You can find these mites in temperate and subtropical regions. If a rabbit gets affected by tropical rat mites, they affect the rabbits so much. The rabbit owners complain about the frequent itching problem in the rabbits, and the rabbit scratches their skin hence. As a result, they lose the hairs from their body.

When you take your rabbit to the vet, they use ivermectin injections and selamectin injections to treat the rabbits. These injections provide relief from the tropical rat mites, but it is not a permanent solution for the disease.

There is no permanent solution or treatment because these tropical rat mites permanently stay on a primary host like pigeons and rats. So, until the transmission goes on. It will continue to transmit from your rabbit to your other pets, and it will not stop until and unless you remove the primary host from the surrounding area.

What are the things to avoid with parasite infestations?

When your rabbit has a parasitic infestation, you should avoid the use of shampoos that contain pyrethrin or permethrin. Also, avoid the powder which includes these elements in them. These elements have harmful components which are not suitable for rabbits, and they can treat the disease with the help of ivermectin and selamectin. A study by the Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica says that these two drugs, ivermectin, and selamectin, are very effective. These drugs cure this mite infection in rabbits very quickly and very effectively.

Frontline

One of the most vital elements is that a lousy rabbit owner should never use the flea control product. A frontline product can be hazardous for rabbits. Fipronil is one product that experts announce is safe for other species, but it is very harmful to rabbits, and it has severe neurological effects, which can even cause death in rabbits.

Ear ointments

The vet also recommends the owners some mineral or topical oil ointments. You have to instill these ointments in the ears of your rabbit. These ear ointments are, however, not so effective. It can create some significant issues in your rabbits if there is an underlying problem, and it can make the condition worse than ever.

It would be best if you did not avoid the treatment of your rabbit, who is having some parasitic infestation. Do not try to treat the infestation through home remedies or on your own. It would be best if you visited the veterinarian for proper treatment. They will give your rabbit an adequate treatment and diagnosis.

Insecticidal dips and baths

A rabbit owner should not use insecticidal dips. In severe cases, it even leads the rabbits to death. People think that using these insecticidal dips and baths is entirely safe; however, it is not secure. Following are some products you should not use for your rabbits.

  1. You should not use baby shampoo at all.
  2. Rabbits have to be distant from the pyrethrin shampoos and pyrethrin dips.
  3. A rabbit owner should not make use of the Carbaryl shampoos and dips.
  4. It would be best not to use lime sulfur dips for your rabbits.
  5. Suppose you will use these products on your rabbits. It can cause severe body reactions in your rabbits.

Even using these products leads a rabbit to severe health problems and then death—the stress of bathing, dipping, and dying causes too many complications. Even sometimes, it shows the rabbits to end. You should consider all the other problems other than chemicals.

These problems include overheating, liver problems, and chilling. You should regularly check them up to see the symptoms of the shock and other symptoms as well. Depression, weakness, pale mucous membranes are symptoms that a rabbit shows when in a shocking state of mind.

If you notice these symptoms, take your rabbit to the vet. They need immediate treatment to cure their disease quickly. You should take extra care of them, such as you should provide warmth, fluids, and corticosteroid to your rabbit.

Urine burn

Suppose your rabbit is losing their hair from its tail part and between the hind legs. Sometimes the rabbits lose the hairs from their feet and their belly. There are possibilities that your rabbit has some urinary tract problem in them. The urinary tract problem includes bladder stones, bladder sludge, urinary tract infection etc., and all these urinary tract problems cause urine leakage in the rabbits.

Urinary tract infections cause burning in their skin, and also, a rabbit starts shedding their hair from its body. Because of this severe urine burn, a rabbit’s skin becomes red and raw. Suppose you notice any of these problems in your rabbit.

Take your rabbit to the veterinarian for adequate treatment. Proper treatment is crucial as a subsequent urine burn can lead to other urinary issues. If the veterinarian finds urinary tract infections in your rabbit, take extra care of your rabbit. The rabbits must be comfortable in their own space.

Take care of your rabbits well until the medications get over. The veterinarian can also recommend a dry bath for your rabbit. Urinary infections burn the butt of a rabbit, and if the butt of your rabbit is also poorly burnt, you should keep it fully dry. Keep the butt of your rabbit protected and dry.

When you cleanse their butt, do it very gently as they are susceptible and their skin. Gentle cleaning of their butt avoids too many complications that will be coming. This future or coming complications can be ileus and GI slowdown. Also, you should be very careful and need to know that a rabbit should never have a complete bath. Sometimes, it leads the rabbits to death as well.

Ringworm fungus

Ringworm fungus occurs with a red circular lesion on their body. A rabbit who gets affected by the ringworm fungus sometimes gets bald. The rabbit’s skin looks patchy. This ringworm fungus causes skin irritation in rabbits. The skin irritation occurs in the rabbits with some red and tiny spots on their body.

Scaling, bald spots, and crusting are widespread in rabbits. They rarely get red rings or spots on their body. These bald spots occur on the rabbits’ heads, faces, and ears. If your rabbit has small lesions, they can treat it using miconazole or ketoconazole.

Vet generally recommend these creams to treat the fungal infection. But again, you should first consult the vet and then only take some steps. The vet also treats Fungal infections using the program ( lufenuron)—this lufenuron helps in stopping the formation of the structural components, known as chitin.

Dental issues

If your rabbit has some dental problem, they may shed their hair from their chin area. They also shed their furs from the folds of the dewlap and from down the chest. All these problems come with some more symptoms such as wet skin etc.

Rabbits are animals who pick anything and eat them without knowing the different causes for them. They pick things from outside and eat. You should feed them properly and give them more hay to eat to avoid this.

Through hayes, they will be engaged in chewing activities and will not find wrong things. Sometimes, if you give them hay, they will not wish to eat them and will want to eat more pellets, but as you know, excessive pellets are not suitable for the rabbit’s health. And, Some of the rabbits avoid drinking water, and some do not want to eat pellets and eat something else.

These are some symptoms that show your rabbit has some dental issues. Other signs include molar abscess and molar spurs. In such a situation, the rabbits drool, which burns the skin. Other than these, there are more symptoms like pododermatitis, hormonal imbalance, bacterial infection, fight among the rabbits, false pregnancy over-grooming, etc.

Final words

The article is about why my rabbit is losing patches of fur. There is basic information about the rabbit at the very start of the article. We have shared details about rabbits’ food diet, drinking habits, and essential things about their living. After this, we discussed the causes of losing patches of fur. I hope you like the article, and if you like it, you may leave comments below in the comments box. Also, if you have any suggestions or queries regarding the article, you may write them down in the comments section.

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Peyton Taylor

Hey readers! My name is Peyton Taylor, and I help others to have a great experience with their pets. Nothing compares to the happiness of having a healthy and affectionate pet. My sole purpose is to assist newbies and experienced pet owners to learn more and more about the behavior and character of their pets.

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