Why is My Lionhead Rabbit Molting and Losing Fur?
Rabbits shed a lot. They need to switch fur between weather seasons to adjust their tiny bodies to new arriving temperatures. However, if you own a lionhead rabbit, you may be experiencing fur tornado around your home.
If that is the case, you are probably asking yourself why is my lionhead rabbit shedding and losing fur that much? Well, this particular breed has quite the heavy and long fur, so first-time owners can get worried when major shedding arrives.
To help understanding the healthy shedding patterns and learning how to distinguish them from the unhealthy ones, we are answering all the biggest questions about such funny behavior below.
Lionhead Rabbit Shedding so Much – Is This Normal?
Lionhead rabbits may seem to shed excessively because of their thick fur. However, losing fur is completely natural and normal, as this is their way of adapting to different weather seasons.
As long as there are no visible signs of health-related shedding such as itchy and irritated skin, there is nothing you should worry about. Instead, try helping your rabbit out by regularly grooming it.
In general, all rabbits need to go through two major sheds each year, along with occasional minor ones. During the major sheds, there will be a lot of fur around. In fact, lionheads need to lose all their super-heavy and thick fur to grow a new one.
Healthy molting usually starts from the head, especially from their foreheads, and later continuing all the way to their back.
Side bodies are mostly the last parts to be shed, and this is exactly when there will be lots of fur flying around your home. It is really important to help your lionhead by brushing it multiple times each day during the major shedding season.
Sometimes, you may see a shed line separating the old fur from the new one. Additionally, your pet may lose its fur in tufts and you may notice different color shades along their bodies.
There is no need to worry about any of that, as long as there are no signs of health distress. Some rabbits simply take more than others.
In terms of the shedding duration, this can vary anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on how much fur they need to lose.
What Months do Lionhead Rabbits Molt?
In general, rabbits shed majorly two times a year, before summer and before winter. Depending on the area where you live in, this may be either March or April and later October or November.
Apart from that, lionhead rabbits can experience two or more minor molts in between the seasons. However, do not take this as a rule. Indeed, many domestic indoor rabbits tend to shed all year long if not getting enough sunlight.
Rabbits do not feature a calendar in their heads, so they rely on the conditions around themselves to know when to start shedding. If your rabbit is an exclusively indoor pet, it will be living all the time under similar temperature levels.
In such cases, they use sunlight as a point of reference. Those rabbits which are not getting enough of natural light can get confused overtime by artificial light and so their shedding will be irregular, too. That is why providing enough natural sun rays to your pet is essential.
Other Causes of Hair Loss in Lionhead Rabbits
Sometimes, lionhead rabbits may seem to be shedding but in fact they are just losing hair or fur due to some health complications.
In such cases, there will be other signs to look for, so it is important for every owner to be prepared on how to recognize them.
External parasites such as fleas and mites may cause a rabbit to lose hair, mostly in patches. This is also valid for almost any kind of bacterial infection.
In such cases, you will be able to notice either red and irritated skin, but also excessive itching and even the tiny parasites sometimes. It is also important to look for any crusting or conditions similar to dandruff and to contact your vet for treatment instructions.
– Teeth Problem
If a lionhead is experiencing teeth problems such as overgrown teeth, there will be excessive hair loss under the chin and chest.
A rabbit which is not able of properly closing the mouth will start drooling and this will ultimately cause irritations. Other than hair loss, look for skin irritation and monitor if your pet is eating normally.
– Bacterial Infection
Bacterial infections which manifest on rabbit’s skin can also lead to excessive and unhealthy hair loss. Try to look out for skin redness or any irritation.
If you live in a particularly humid area, bacterial infections can be quite often due to the great sensitivity of a rabbit’s skin toward wetness. Also, if your pet had a recent injury or cut, it is important to closely monitor it to avoid any infection.
– Too Much Grooming
Yes, over-grooming is indeed a possible health concern for many rabbit pets. Rabbits will groom themselves but also their living partners, so make sure to monitor both if you own two rabbits.
Lionheads which are feeling highly stressed or abnormally bored can often overgroom and cause excessive hair loss. This can be quite difficult to spot, but the best is to keep an eye at how they act when they are not grooming themselves.
– Skin Problem
Some rabbits, just as humans, can be born with skin problems. Others can develop them over time. Although rare in lionheads, it is worth to ask your veterinarian for advice if there is no other reasonable explanation why your pet is losing fur excessively.
Many first-time rabbit owners surprise themselves during the first major fur shed of their lionhead. Indeed, when being super-young, bunnies lose just tiny amounts of fur. However, once they start doing their “real” shed, there can be so much fur flying around the home.
Regular grooming and brushing are therefore a must, as well as vacuuming. Not just to keep your home clean, but also to help your pet getting through it without ingesting fur balls. All it takes is patience and love.