The Bun Zen Center helped out the Rabbit Haven with community surrender a couple weeks ago; a community surrender is a rabbit that was adopted through the Rabbit Haven and for one reason or another the people could no longer care for the rabbit. Toto, a silky black Angora, was adopted two years ago unfortunately his person got cancer and is currently undergoing chemo for the second time. A friend of Toto's person saw that she could not take care of Toto and took him away, then he realized that he could not take care of him due to the travel requirements of a new job. Toto and his gear was transferred to one night at a nearby Denny's parking lot. It's better to have a neutral meeting ground, past experience shows if regular people know where rabbit people live the rabbit people can receive a whole lot of unwanted rabbits. When I picked up Toto I couldn't see into his carrier, it was very small, all I saw was his black face looking out through the grid. The surrendering human said that he had a few mats. At the Rabbit Haven we literally had to pull the bunny out of the carrier he was so stuffed in and he didn't have a few mats he was a mat. His back was one huge mat about a foot long, eight inches wide and three inches thick, he had a mat under his chin like a giant felt dewlap. His rear end and butt were completely matted over. First we took him into tub to clean the underneath mat and make an opening so his poop would not be trapped in the matting. Amazingly the matting on his stomach was minimal and his genitals were free as well. Clippers where useless, scissors were very slow. I suggested we use an Xacto knife, this was rejected as first but in desperation tentatively tried and it worked the best. With huge mats like this one has to be careful because the skin can get pulled up into the matting. Careful work is required, checking by pinching to be sure that there is no skin in the mat where one intends to cut. I don't recommend using an Xacto as a grooming tool unless you have an extreme situation. Toto was very patient as the mats were coming off, his skin under the mats was sensitive, the mats pull the hair, so I gave him a day to recover between grooming sessions. The second day I got the turtle shell off, it took two or three hours, and there were still some mats, but he could move better and when I put him outside to stretch he hopped, raced and binkied. Angora rabbits, as you may know or have guessed require special maintenance grooming so Toto's new home had to be with groomers. Fate smiled on Toto, Rabbit Haven found just such a family for him and he is settled in his new home. Three cheers for a story that has a happy ending.
|This shows the dewlap mat and his back, |
you can see his nails were terribly long as well.
|His butt mat before washing and trimming, his tail was caught up in the mat.|
|This was the progress of two people working for three hours the night he arrived. |
You can see the thickness of the back mat, AKA the turtle shell, .
|After hours of cutting and opening the mats, combing and clipping |
he looks like a rabbit!
|We finally managed to free his tail.|
|Toto enjoying a day in the sun at |
the Ben Zen Center's Blueberry Bunny Park.