A sticky and matted coat on your rabbit’s back is a red flag that you should never take lightly.
We have summarized possible causes and treatment options for you in this article.
5 reasons for sticky rabbit fur on the back
If your rabbit has sticky fur on its back, external influences, including mites, may be responsible. Back pain and age-related restrictions in movement are other causes.
We have summarized the 5 most common reasons for you.
1: Mite infestation
In case of mite infestation, the skin reacts by scaling heavily. The dandruff itself is slightly greasy or contains a lot of sebum, which can cause it to stick to each other and to the coat hairs.
The result is sticky fur, which is mainly found on the neck and back.
So-called predatory mites are responsible.
These mites feed on the dander and can burrow into the skin. This triggers an itching. So your rabbit may scratch remarkably often. However, the neck and back are difficult to reach, so a kind of scab forms here and cannot be removed by the animal itself.
If the condition remains untreated, the skin appearance changes and the fur can run out in places.
In addition, mites can also spread to other pets and even to humans. Itching and redness are the typical signs.
In humans, these symptoms occur primarily on the arms and upper body. If you do not get infected again and again, these symptoms usually disappear within a short time. In sensitive individuals, however, the areas affected by redness can become very inflamed and the itching can be particularly intense.
In this case, medical treatment is definitely advised.
In addition, you should clean the cage thoroughly!
Do not only change the bedding. The floor tray and grate must be disinfected and all furnishings removed and cleaned with steam, for example. Otherwise, your rabbit may become infested with the parasites again, even after appropriate treatment in its housing.
The predatory mites can land on the animal primarily in spring or fall due to its stay outdoors. It is also possible that the parasites are introduced through green fodder or hay.
They are difficult to see with the naked eye, so infestations are often not noticeable until the fur on the back is sticky.
Rabbits are exceptionally clean animals. Nevertheless, it can happen that they are overwhelmed by fur care.
This case occurs primarily in long-haired breeds.
If soiling occurs due to resin, mud or other sticky substances, these can cause the fur to stick together.
As a rule, however, these problems only occur when the dog is kept outdoors.
Treatment here is extremely simple and, above all, imperative. Because under stuck together fur bacteria, viruses and fungi can accumulate and spread. These in turn can cause inflammation or ulcers and thus cause considerable pain.
In addition, the fur sticks together in the consequence not only due to external pollution.
3: Injuries and inflammations
Even minor injuries and resulting inflammation can cause the coat to stick together in places due to wound fluid and scabs.
This is more common on the back for several reasons. On the one hand, this is exposed to a greater risk of injury during jumps and races. On the other hand, licking the wounds is more difficult.
Scabs or escaping fluid can therefore get caught in the fur hairs and lead to the formation of adhesions or even felt. This carries the risk that the inflammation under the fur initially worsens and spreads unnoticed.
It also makes treatment more difficult.
If adhesions have already occurred, you must first loosen them or remove the fur. For softening and loosening, wound spray is recommended, which can also be used for scabs and for disinfection.
If necessary, you must first shorten the fur in the affected area to enable a comprehensive treatment. Find a helper who can hold your rabbit securely or have the treatment performed directly by a veterinarian. In the case of larger wounds, an unpleasant odor or severe swelling and redness, this is advisable anyway.
In this case, disinfecting and using ointment may no longer be enough.
4: Movement restrictions
Injuries or age-related wear and tear can limit movement. It is then more difficult for your rabbit to clean itself.
Especially the back area is difficult to reach anyway.
Add to this osteoarthritis or arthritis, and your pet may not be able to turn enough to reach the neck and back.
A veterinary treatment of the cause for the movement restriction is necessary in any case. This is because they are usually associated with pain and can significantly reduce your pet’s quality of life.
Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can at least alleviate the discomfort. In addition, you should support your rabbit in grooming. This not only prevents tangles and knots.
Brushing and combing will also stimulate blood circulation and increase well-being. You can also remove dander and dirt.
Fur care can also be used to examine the rabbit. Especially with older animals this is important to detect tumors or other changes early and to have them treated.
5: Lack of grooming
While short-haired and young animals usually groom themselves sufficiently, this may not be possible with long fur.
Regular brushing is then absolutely necessary.
Dead skin flakes, dust as well as other dirt and loose fur hairs are removed thereby. The formation of knots and adhesions is prevented and the bond with your pet can also benefit from this.
When is a veterinarian necessary?
If you don’t know the cause of the sticky fur on your pet’s back, the problem is recurring, or there are additional complaints, a visit to the vet is urgently needed.
Treatment by the veterinarian is also necessary for inflammation or wounds.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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