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  • Writer's pictureGail Petersen

Talking Dirty about your Rabbits

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

I changed my shirt three times today.

The first one was a pink, cotton, long-sleeve tee I put on in the morning. I should have known better. My first bunny task of the day was cleaning Lena’s eyes. She has blocked tear ducts and her tears build up on her fur and need to be cleaned with warm water every day. It is not a difficult or messy activity usually. Lately however, Lena has uncontrolled, cecotrope expulsion. In other words, she drops raspberry-sized, sticky, muddy, smelly cecals at odd times. Like the exact moment when I pick her up to clean her eyes.

Snuggling her close to me to coo and kiss her, I put her down and see a smudge on my shirt. As if it were applied with a painter’s brush.

No matter. It comes out in the wash. I head to the closet for a clean shirt. The second one was a long-sleeve grey tee shirt. Doesn’t show rabbit fur as much as the pink one. Often a go-to piece of the wardrobe when bunny duties call.

It was now time for Rocky’s butt bath. Yep. Every few days Rocky gets a bunny spa treatment. By now you know that Rocky is blind and has paralyzed back legs. He gets around fine. Like a rocket in fact. His genetic defect, known as Max Factor, likely impacts his intestinal tract too. He gets a messy bottom. So with great care and tenderness, we soften his bottom in warm water to clean it. Then a blow dry, apply skin protecting ointment, cut his nails, clean his scent glands and ears and then the best part. He gets wrapped in a fleece and falls asleep on my chest. He purrs quietly and sleeps. I love the warm little body being so relaxed. BUT…when the loving is done, there is a two-inch black, mushy schmear on my shirt.

Never mind. I have a rabbit wardrobe. Plenty of tee shirts that do well in the washing machine. Shirt number three is sky blue.

The Reality of Rabbit Laundry

It is a fact of bunny-lovers’ life to deal with rabbit-created laundry. Rocky and Gigi need soft rugs, blankets and towels to help Rocky get around without hurting his back end. We change their bedding every day. Lena needs towels to keep her cecals off our house carpet. We change her bedding every few days. It amounts to about two loads of laundry a week. Same as I do for my me and my husband.

Although not typical, it can be the case that rabbits have health problems that cause them not to be as clean as they might be normally. Some rabbits have digestive or urinary track problems when they age. Just like people. In our case, none of our other rabbits ever caused me to have a multi-shirt day or change rugs so often. They were healthy and totally litter box capable. It depends on the bun though.

The bottom line (sorry, I couldn’t resist) is that we need to be prepared to care for our bunnies in whatever way they need. Accept who they are and what their issues may be. We love them all the same. Nobody is perfect. No bunny is perfect either.

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