Hairballs are or can be a common health problem with rabbits. Hairballs are caused by the rabbit grooming itself and ingesting its own hair, the same way cats groom themselves. A rabbit cannot regurgitate the hair it swallowed like a cat can. If left untreated this willget worse and worse and eventually kill the rabbit.

Here are some symptoms of a rabbit with a hairball:
* Slowing down on eating or not eating at all
* Smaller or less manure output
* "string of pearls" - droppings that are stuck together by thick strands of hair (some hair is normal)
* Decrease in activity level

Treatment for hairballs:
There are several treatments for hairballs.

* Take all pellets away for 24 hours and give a constant supply of hay.

* Give the rabbit a mixture of equal parts Molasses, Adolph's meat tenderizer, fresh pineapple juice, and olive oil. This can be given to the rabbit 1-3 times a daydepending on how bad the rabbits block is. If all of the above is unavailable give Molasses and oil (such as, mineral oil and olive oil) in a 1:1 ratio. It might be necessary to syringe feed the rabbit.

* I normally just use Adolf's Meat Tenderizer in water and within a day or less, the rabbit will have it's appetite back.

There are several things that can be done to help prevent a rabbit from getting a hairball.

* Watch the rabbit - Being aware of how much the rabbit is eating, drinking and eliminating and just how his normal behavior is.

* Good Grooming - Brushing a rabbit especially when it is molting is a good way to remove excess hair so it won't get in the rabbit's stomach.

* Good Diet - Always feeding a rabbit quality grass hay (such as Timothy hay or any other grass hay) and routinely feeding papaya tablets or fresh papaya and pineapple chunks.


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