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Long Haired Bunny Care Guide: The Great Bunny Moult, What To Do When All Your Rabbit's Fur Falls Out

Updated on February 25, 2008

What If It's Not A Moult?

Your rabbit's fur loss may not always be caused by moulting. If your rabbit gets mites, its fur may also fall out.

You can tell the difference between mites and moulting by the fact that mites tend to cause patches of total fur loss, which usually take place around the ear region. There is usually something of a dandruff effect caused when there is a mite infestation.

If in any doubt as to the cause of your rabbit's fur loss, talk to your vet.

A relatively under discussed phenomenon in rabbit keeping is moulting. Owners of short haired rabbits should not have too much trouble with moulting, because the short hair falls out easily enough with just basic grooming and generally speaking does not give a rabbit too much trouble. Longer haired rabbits are a different story all together however. When your rabbit goes into a moult, huge chunks of hair come loose, and a good grooming regime becomes even more important. If you do not groom your rabbit and remove the fur there is a high likelihood that the rabbit will swallow some and develop a fur ball in the intestinal tract.

These aren't any cute laughing matter either, fur balls can quickly kill a rabbit, so you must stay on top of the moult in order to best keep your rabbit healthy. There are also various products on the market to aid in fur ball prevention, and some rabbit keepers swear by small weekly amounts of pineapple to help lubricate the digestive tract and ensure that fur balls do not form.

If your rabbit hasn't gone through a major moult as yet you might be puzzled as to why this is such a big deal. Trust me, once you pat your bunny and find that half his or her fur is coming away in your hand, you'll know why this is an important subject. You're at a certain advantage however, because many rabbit owners have no idea what is going on when their rabbit goes through its first major moult, and become afraid that perhaps their rabbit is sick. (It is worth noting that some rabbits never moult this way, and others do so a couple of times a year.)

This particular vision of bunnicular wrath is in the middle of a very heavy moult indeed. Most moults are not this severe, in her case, most of the fur on the back has fallen out, and only the darker undercoat remains. This is what is known in the rabbit keeping world as "blowing" a coat. The hair just comes away in chunky tufts, and the rabbit is left with very little hair in some areas.

If this happens with your rabbit, do not worry, the fur starts regrowing amazingly quickly, and although the rabbit certainly looks strange for a week or two, as long as they are in good health, full of energy and are eating and drinking well, there is nothing to worry about.

The first major moult normally takes place around 6 months of age, and then again every year around the rabbit's birthday. This is only a general rule however, and temperature shifts can have an effect on the bunny's moulting schedule, or he or she might simply march to the beat of their own bunny drum.

The three rules of long haired rabbit care when it comes to moulting go thus: Groom, groom, groom, and your rabbit will be a happy, healthy bunny.


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      jordan 5 years ago

      nice article not that my rabbits are moulting tho!

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      Kim 5 years ago

      I just got back from the vet with my mini lop. He constantly sheds but I have him in a room where the temperature is never constant. He's runs free range in my porch. He also had flaky skin on his back. He had mites and was administered Revolution. A topical ointment you put on their neck. Made for dogs and cats with fleas but works with mites as well. Make sure you get the right dose for the rabbits weight

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      yom 5 years ago

      wat do you do wen your bunny has paresites?

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      judy 5 years ago

      i'm anxious to see the response from gail's comment...have the same concerns.;...;

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      Gail 6 years ago

      My Rabbit will eat His Alfalfa Hay and snacks but he wont eat the rabbit pellets. I am concerned. H also is digging his hair out up around his neck. And there is white flaking on the skin. Is that a sign of mites? If so what can I do to correct the problem? Also, should I be giving my rabbit fresh vegetables to eat rather then processed rabbit food/ Look forward to hearing from you in regards to my bunnies health.

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      Tricia  6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the info. Found it to be a great relief that my bunny is going to be okay. We had no idea what was going on but thought it was some kind of extreme shedding or mange or heaven only knows what. Thank you so much!

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      I have a 3 months old white bunny and has fur loss on its back. I don't know if its a moult or parasites, her skin looks normal,can you help me please?

      thank you

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      Jonit 6 years ago

      thank you very much its soooooooooooo helpful :]

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      jessica 6 years ago

      oh my gosh...thank you sooooo much for posting this advice...i seriously didn't know what was going on with her xoxoxoxo

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      jessica 6 years ago

      oh my gosh...thank you sooooo much for posting this advice...i seriously didn't know what was going on with her xoxoxoxo

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      Aaron 7 years ago

      Luckily I raise Californians so I don't have to worry about cutting hair and stuff like that.

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      Raggits 7 years ago

      This article came in very handy for neighbors who purchased rabbits from us several months ago. Freaked me out because I couldn't get out to see them in person. Rabbits birthday is just a few days a way and it 'blew out' on the friends and scared them. They've never had rabbits do that before. Thanks so much for this great hub. :)

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      Marianne 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for this, your article is a life-saver. My rabbit started showing all the symptoms you described (fur coming away in chunky tufts with no resistance, only the dark undercoat remains, it's around her birthday, but still eating and drinking and super energitic) and I was beyond myself with worry thinking she had some parasite. I rushed to the vet this morning and even he couldn't tell me what was happening. He was very surprised because "her skin is perfectly healthy, no sign of parasite, it just looks like a super moult" so it matches and I'm overflood with relief.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you also for the pictures, because they really show what you mean and I could instantly see that it was what my bunny was suffering from. I'm so relieved.

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      Natalie 8 years ago

      Thanks for posting this, I've found it very helpful... and reassuring!

      My rabbit has been moulting for a few weeks now in huge chunks. I was horrified for the first couple of days! He's short haired and not showing any bald patches (amazingly) but the hair just keeps coming out... from everywhere!

      I've been sitting down with him twice a day helping to pull out the loose chunks and he sits quietly for me and even shakes his ears around and does a binky when he's had enough... nice to know this type of thing is normal!

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      Tj 8 years ago


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      haylee  8 years ago

      thank you so much for posting this article. i was starting to worry about my rabbit, charlie. he is a free range rabbit (no cage) so he is a very happy and healthy bunny. i noticed that he had a little bald patch one day so i was concerned. my friend told me to just watch it for the next few weeks. i noticed that he has been eating,esspecially his treats, and drinking water and no problems with his excretory system. i started to google rabbit health and was scared that he might have mites, a parasite or cancer, until i found this article.

      the hair is growing back very quickly with no dandriff or signs of mites or parasites. he is approx a year and half and this is the first time he has molted in this sense. ill continue to keep an eye on it. if i notice any signs of illness i will take him to the vet. imeddiately.

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      ruthy 8 years ago

      dude what kind of bunnie is that!!!!!!!!!!1111