Normally, it is not necessary to trim the claws. Rabbits that live in an enclosure where they can dig, run and dig to their heart’s content and the ground is not too soft will automatically wear down their claws through this behavior. Sometimes, however, it is necessary, especially with rabbits kept indoors, to help them out a little.
Recognize too long claws
You can tell that the claws are too long by the fact that they are significantly longer than the fur, and also by the noise that is made when the rabbit walks across smooth ground. When it clicks, it’s time for the nail clippers!
If the rabbit is already larger and therefore has relatively thick claws, special claw clippers from the pet store are required. For smaller rabbits with thinner and softer claws, a regular nail clipper may be sufficient.
For cutting the rabbit should be placed on his lap and hold the paw well – the risk of injury when cutting claws is not to be underestimated! Because blood vessels run in the claw and if you catch them when clipping – even if it is only because the rabbit fidgets, it can bleed and then the claw become inflamed.
So: Take a close look beforehand to see where the blood reaches. With dark claws, however, it is difficult to see – but with the help of a lamp, the bloodstream can be made visible. It is better to cut off a little less first and then trim again – that is the motto here. By the way, cutting is only allowed up to a distance of approx. 5 mm from the bloodstream.
By the way, it is easier to cut the claws if there are two of you. One holds the animal well, the other cuts. Relatively well it goes mostly in the sitting: One person holds the rabbit tightly around the chest with one hand and sits it on his lap with the rabbit’s back to his stomach. Now the second person can trim the claws. Or you can sit the rabbit in front of you and put a towel over its head as well as a treat in front of its nose but again, keep in mind that all animals are different! For some rabbits, claw trimming goes completely smoothly, for others it’s a struggle every time.
Learn to cut claws
If you don’t have the confidence to cut the claws yourself, you can also ask the vet to do it for you – even for the first time this might be useful, because then the doctor can show you exactly what to look out for.
What to do if it bleeds?
If it does start to bleed and possibly become infected, then it is helpful to cover the bleeding claw with some hemostatic absorbent cotton. Even if it bleeds heavily: this is normal, so keep calm for now! When the bleeding has stopped, you can dab the claw with some disinfectant. Both are available in the pharmacy.
After that, the wound should be kept in the eye and only if it does not heal, after a few days the visit to the vet is announced.
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