If the rabbit suffers from hair loss, which the medical profession calls alopecia, this is usually a sign of a disease. But a disease is not always to blame for the fact that the fur falls out of the long ear.
Even healthy rabbits are affected by hair loss. For example, hair loss during the course of the year as part of the coat change is completely normal. And also in female rabbits, hair loss or hair plucking can be observed during pregnancy without any clinical relevance for hair loss.
Recognize hair loss – the symptoms
It is not difficult to recognize hair loss in rabbits. Obviously, the fur of the long-eared rabbit falls out more often. This can be selective, that is, only affect certain areas of the body, but also include the entire coat.
A certain hair loss is completely normal with the rabbit, as with other animals and humans naturally also. The “old” hairs fall out or break off and are replaced by new hairs. If more hair is lost than grows back, this is called hair loss. Again, a certain amount of hair loss is perfectly normal for the rabbit.
Causes and treatment of hair loss
As with hardly any other disease, research into the cause is of immense importance for targeted treatment, especially in the case of hair loss. First it must be clarified whether it is a normal hair loss or a disease-related fur loss.
For example, the long-eared animal changes its coat during the course of the year and, from a human point of view, loses an extremely large amount of hair during this time. Thus, at the end of the winter season, the warming undercoat is shed again, or at the end of the summer, the coat is replaced by the winter coat.
During pregnancy, hair loss can also be observed, because the doe uses it to pad the nest for her young. Hormonally induced hair loss can also be observed in female rabbits, even when “only” a false pregnancy is present.
If the hair loss cannot be attributed to a “natural” cause, other causes for the loss of fur in the rabbit must be located. The possible causes for hair loss can be quite diverse. Allergies can cause hair loss, as can parasite infestations or nutrient deficiencies. Also environmental toxins and even behavioral disorders and stress can show up in the form of hair falling out.
Home remedies for hair loss in rabbits
The best medicine against hair loss in rabbits is a balanced diet and species-appropriate husbandry. Often nutrient deficiencies and stress-related living conditions lead to a loss of fur. Fresh and varied green food and sufficient exercise and social contact should thus form the basis of rabbit husbandry.
Adequate health prevention is also advised to avoid hair loss. For example, parasite pressure (worms, mites, etc.) should be kept as low as possible through hygiene measures and, if necessary, combated with appropriate preparations.
If, despite prevention, hair loss occurs in rabbits outside of the shedding period or pregnancy, a possible allergy should be considered. This can originate both from certain feeds, as well as from materials from the environment of the animal. An exclusion diet promises the greatest success in finding the triggering substance.
If the hair loss refers to certain body regions or areas and the skin is affected, dabbing the affected areas with Pinus Fauna (pine heartwood extract) can be helpful. The wide spectrum covered by this natural product allows soothing the affected areas, relieves possible itching and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier.
If mites are to blame for the rabbit’s hair loss, bread potion can also be applied to the affected areas to put a stop to the hustle and bustle of the annoying co-inhabitants. Especially with long-haired rabbit breeds (Angora rabbits), regular brushing of the fur may also be necessary, as the rabbit is overburdened with fur care.
When to take the rabbit to the doctor
If the cause of the rabbit’s hair loss cannot be identified or if treatment does not work within a week, a veterinarian should be consulted in any case. With a blood test, a smear of the changed skin areas or a skin or hair sample and a fecal examination, he has various diagnostic options to get to the bottom of the cause and initiate a targeted treatment.
Even in the case of obvious parasite infestation, the visit to the veterinarian should not be postponed. Especially ectoparasites (those that are on the animal) are often accompanied not only by hair loss, but also by severe itching, which must be stopped as soon as possible.
In the case of circular hair loss with papery/scaly skin changes, it is also advisable to consult the veterinarian. This may be a skin fungus, which must be treated with appropriate antifungal preparations and in which transmission to humans is also possible.
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