Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adventures in bunny grooming

Grooming bunnies has been discussed in prior posts, including Grooming - Proper Posture & Procedure. If you haven't seen it, you can check it out after reading this post.

Sunday morning is the big weekly clean-up. We empty their pen, vacuum, change litter boxes, groom the bunnies and give them a brief physical inspection. Grooming involves catching a bunny. None of them particularly likes to be groomed.

This first picture is actually from the earlier post - Ethel, always the little lady. She does not like it any more than the others, but she is usually pretty easy to catch and is compliant while being groomed. She tolerates us. She also sheds the least. However, this does not mean that she won't "flick" us off when we put her four (paws) on the floor after we're done.

Bunya is also relatively easy to catch, because he thinks you are going to give him a treat. We do give them treats after their turns (Bunya is the only one who will actually eat them during the process). However, his medical woes of a few months ago make him wary of being picked up and put on the counter (always watch and hold them - you don't want them to try to jump down from any heights because they can seriously injure themselves). He recalls being force fed the Critical Care and medicine. So, while there was no towel to wrap him into a bunny burrito, he was tossing the brush aside, so we got that on video...

By the way, we do NOT use the wire side of that brush on the bunnies. They have very sensitive skin and that would be too harsh. The other side is very soft bristles and that we do use.

Bunya getting his
shaggy butt groomed
with the furminator
(but gently - no pressure)
He's not happy about it,
so you have to hold on.

All three bunnies are good communicators. They know how to flick you off. If you are not familiar with this, we tried to capture it on video. However, Bunya still had papaya treat breath and perhaps recalled that we aren't all that bad, so he only flicked us off in his first hop away; after that, it was just about transportation. We'll get an extended flicking off on video sooner or later (one that lasts several hops until they are out of sight, in a box or someplace).

And here's Lucy's grooming position ...

As part of cleaning the pen, we empty it out, including all the boxes and tunnels. We groom before we put that all back (less places for them to hide). Lucy went in to check out the empty pen and we closed the door until her turn. However, when entering the pen, Lucy shot past like a bullet and headed under the desk. She backed herself in the corner and we knew that her weekly grooming was over.

Lately, she has been letting us pet her a little, like when getting treats and at meal time ... even rub her forehead and ears. We didn't want to inhibit that behavior, so we let it go. She won that round and her shaggy butt has little fur spikes coming out of it. She looks like a buncupine (bunny and porcupine mix). Bugs the heck out of us but she doesn't care ... these kids today with their crazy hare-dos, I tell you...

Have you had any adventures in grooming your pets?


  1. My Callie reminds me a lot of your Lucy...doesn't want to be picked up and gives a lot of evil eye just for daring to think about it. She's also a serious molter, so I have to suffer with the foot flicks and thumping and whatnot in order to make sure she doesn't ingest most of the fur that comes off her backside.

    In an effort to keep things "neat" inside, I take her out onto the porch and sit down in a comfy chair (figure, I might as well be semi-comfortable while trying to hold onto a nippy, grumpy bunny on my lap). I proceed to use a silicon brush on her and then after getting facefuls of fur, I give up and just pluck and toss into the wind. Gotta say, the birds in the neighborhood love it when Callie molts, they get lots of stuffing for their nests.

    After a few minutes of endured torture, she hauls off and bites my shoulder, arm, chest, fingers, whatever's in easy reach, and then gives me the double foot flick for a couple of hops, then at least two thumps before she runs under her hidey hole and pouts until supper time.

    1. Sounds like a good solution.
      I can't see us outside with any of our buns - afraid we'd lose them. Not just to running away ... our vet told us about one of his rodent patients that was being held by its owner outside; a bird swooped down and grabbed right out its owners arms.
      About Lucy: The three bunnies came hopping up to my wife last night when she was near one of the treat containers. Without thinking, she quickly bent down and picked up Lucy. So, Lucy got groomed this week, just a couple of days late.

  2. Adventures in grooming? Are you kidding? Have you seen Goldie? She could be endlessly groomed! It grows faster than we can comb!