Ever wondered if you can scruff a rabbit?
We know that veterinary doctors employ scruffing to temporarily restrain a rabbit’s movement during administering medication, grooming, or examination.
But it is necessary to note that rabbits are delicate animals and should be handled with extreme care and caution to avoid getting injured.
In this article, we will let you know if safe to scruff your bunny and whether you should do it.
Can You Scruff a Rabbit?
No, you should not scruff a rabbit.
Scruffing is mostly used on pets, like cats, where the skin on the back of the neck is held firmly to restrain them.
Rabbits have different anatomy and are more delicate pets.
Scruffing a rabbit can cause severe injury, pain, or even paralysis due to its spine and the risk of fracturing its vertebrae.
To handle a rabbit safely, you should gently support its body with one hand under its chest and the other hand supporting its hindquarters.
Make sure the rabbit’s body is well-supported and always lift them close to your body to minimize the risk of injury from squirming or falling.
If your rabbit is nervous or struggles, it’s better to use a towel to gently wrap them like a “bunny burrito” for handling, as this can help them feel more secure and minimize the risk of injury.
What Happens If You Pick Up a Rabbit By The Scruff?
Picking up rabbits, especially adult rabbits also known as coney by the scruff causes them severe pain, discomfort, and possible injury to the spine or neck of the rabbit.
The skin at the back of the neck of baby rabbits or kits is very loose which makes it easy for the mothers to be able to pick them up by the scruff and move around.
On the other hand, the skin at the back of the neck of rabbits’ becomes less loose which makes scruffing painful in adult rabbits.
How To Hold a Rabbit By The Scruff
Extreme caution needs to be employed if the need arises for you to hold your rabbit by the scruff.
We recommend that you avoid holding your scruff and leave it for a veterinary doctor to avoid harming the rabbit.
Below are the safest ways to hold a rabbit by the scruff:
- Approach the rabbit calmly and slowly, using a gentle tone of voice.
- Grab the loose skin at the back of the rabbit’s neck with one hand, using your fingers to gently spread the skin apart.
- Slowly and gently lift the off the ground, supporting its body with your other hand or by placing them on a flat surface.
- Hold the rabbit securely but gently, taking care not to put too much pressure on the scruff or to allow the rabbit’s body to twist or contort.
How To Hold A Rabbit By The Ear
We do not recommend holding a rabbit by the ear as it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves and can also cause severe pain, injury, and distress to the rabbit.
If there’s a need for you to handle your rabbit, you should hold your bunny gently around the body in such a way that one of your hands would support the chest region while the other hand supports the hind area.
How To Pick Up A Rabbit By The Neck
Picking up rabbits by the neck can cause pain, and discomfort, and may even adversely affect the blood vessels and nerves of the rabbit.
As a rabbit grows, the skin at the back of the neck becomes less loose and causes severe pain to pain if you picked them up by the neck.
If the need arises for you to handle your rabbit, we advise that you gently grasp the bunny around the body with one of your hands supporting the hind area while the other hand supports the chest region.
How To Pick Up A Rabbit With A Towel
Picking up a rabbit with a towel can be a safe and effective way to handle your bunnies especially if you need to administer medication, groom, or examine them.
Below are the safety steps for picking up a rabbit with a towel:
- Choose a soft, clean towel that is large enough to wrap around the rabbit’s body.
- Place the towel on a flat surface, with one corner pointing towards you.
- Gently place the rabbit on the towel, with its head facing the corner of the towel.
- Wrap the corner of the towel over the rabbit’s head, taking care not to cover its nose or mouth.
- Use one hand to hold the towel securely around the rabbit’s body, while using your other hand to support its hindquarters.
- Lift the rabbit gently and securely, bringing them close to your body for support.
- Hold the rabbit securely but gently, taking care not to squeeze or apply too much pressure.
- Gently set the rabbits back down on a flat surface and remove the towel when you’re done handling them.
How To Hold A Rabbit That Kicks
Holding a rabbit that kicks could be a tough task especially if it is your first time.
Below are the safest and most effective ways to hold a rabbit that kicks:
1.) Use A Firm But Gentle Grip
Maintaining a firm and gentle grip while handling your rabbit is very important to avoid harming the bunny.
We recommend that you always hold them around their body with one of your hands around the chest region while the other hand supports the hind region.
2.) Remain Calm And Quiet
Rabbits are hyperactive in nature and are very reserved and sensitive to sudden movements and loud noises in their environment.
While handling your rabbits, maintain a gentle voice while talking to them and endeavor to avoid sudden movements that can frighten them.
3.) Provide Support
Bunnies can become stressed and anxious when they feel unsupported.
Gently hold them close to your body to provide additional support, which can help them feel more secure.
4.) Use A Towel Or Blanket
You can also use a towel or blanket to help calm a kicking rabbit.
Place the towel or blanket over the rabbit’s eyes and hold them close to your body.
This can help them feel more secure and less likely to kick.
5.) Avoid Restraining Them
Restraining your rabbits can cause them to struggle more especially kicking rabbits.
Endeavor to keep the bunny calm and supported while handling them.
How To Pick Up A Rabbit Without Scaring It
Bunnies are easily frightened especially if they notice unusual movement or sound around them.
It is therefore important to pick up your rabbits in a way that would not scare them.
Below are the effective ways to pick up a rabbit without scaring it:
1.) Approach Slowly
Bunnies easily get scared when they notice unusual movement and sound around them.
We advise you to speak to your bunnies in a calm, gentle voice to help them feel more comfortable.
2.) Provide A Treat
Providing treats like nectarines, pasta, dried fruits, etc. to your rabbits is effective in avoiding scaring your rabbits when picking them up.
3.) Use A Gentle Approach
Approach your rabbits from the side, using a gentle and supportive approach.
Gently hold them with one of your hands on the chest region while using the other hand to support their hind region.
4.) Use A Familiar Object
Using objects that your bunny is familiar with is effective in preventing them from getting scared while handling them.
5.) Provide Support
Providing support for your rabbits while handling them, makes them feel more secure and reduces the risk of injury.
How To Pick Up A Rabbit From The Ground
We recommend that employ the following steps if you want to pick up a rabbit from the ground.
- Approach the rabbit slowly and calmly, speaking to them in a gentle voice.
- Position yourself next to the rabbit, on the same level as them.
- Place one hand under the rabbit’s chest, while using the other hand to support its hindquarters.
- Lift the rabbit gently and securely, bringing them close to your body for support.
- Hold the rabbit securely but gently, endeavor not to squeeze or apply too much pressure.
- If the rabbit struggles, remain calm and gently reposition them to help them feel more secure.
Can You Hold A Rabbit Like A Baby?
Rabbits have delicate spines and holding them in an upright position can put stress on their back and cause discomfort can even lead to injury
We recommend you simply provide support for the rabbit’s body and provide a secure and comfortable hold that keeps its spine in a natural position.
Endeavor to provide support for the chest and hind regions of the rabbit, and to avoid squeezing or applying pressure to the rabbits’ body while providing support to them.
Gently holding your bunny close to your body makes them feel comfortable and safe around you.
Where Is The Hock On A Rabbit?
The hock is located on the hind legs of a rabbit just above the foot where the long bones of the lower leg meet the smaller bones of the foot.
The hock is the joint in a rabbit’s leg that is similar to the ankle joint in humans.
The hock joint provides support and flexibility for the powerful hind legs of rabbits’, which they use for jumping and running.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
Are There Any Potential Risks Or Dangers Associated With Scruffing Rabbits?
Risks and dangers associated with scruffing rabbits include spinal injuries, fractures, dislocations, and increased stress levels. Rabbits have delicate spines, and improper handling can lead to severe or even life-threatening injuries.
In Which Situations Might Someone Consider Scruffing A Rabbit, And Are There Safer Alternatives?
There are no situations where scruffing a rabbit is recommended. Instead, you should use safer handling techniques, such as supporting the rabbit's body and hindquarters or using a towel to gently wrap them.
Are There Any Specific Rabbit Breeds Or Ages For Which Scruffing Is More Or Less Appropriate?
Scruffing is not appropriate for any rabbit breed or age, as it can cause injury and stress regardless of the rabbit's size, breed, or age.
What Are Some Signs That Uncomfortable When Being Handled?
Signs that a rabbit is stressed or uncomfortable when being handled include struggling, kicking, grunting, biting, and attempts to escape. If you notice these signs, calmly put the rabbit back in their enclosure and give them time to relax before trying again.
Rabbits are delicate animals, hence extreme caution should be applied while handling them to avoid inflicting injuries on them.
If you have any questions, comment below and we will answer them.