Hair loss occurs because of hair follicle growth issues. Infections, parasites, nutritional and dietary deficiencies, or even cancerous masses can all be causes of hair loss. Your Farmington Hills veterinarian will need to examine your rabbit in order to determine the exact cause.
In addition, if you own two rabbits that live in the same cage, a behavioral issue known as barbering may be the cause of the hair loss. Barbering occurs when the dominant animal chews or snags the hair off of the other rabbit that lives with him. Ask your veterinary professional if this is a likely cause for hair loss in your pet.
Since alopecia can be caused by a number of factors, treatments will vary based on whatever is causing your rabbit’s hair loss. Bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections can be tested by skin-scrape procedures or biopsies. Urine analyses, blood tests, X-rays, and physical exams may also be performed by your veterinarian to determine a cause.
In the majority of cases, medication will be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of your rabbit’s hair loss. Medicine for mites or other parasites, as well as infection-fighting medication, will be prescribed as needed by your vet. If a tumor is the cause of alopecia, more severe measures like chemotherapy or surgery may be required.
Hair loss in rabbits cannot always be prevented, but the risk can be minimized. Keep your rabbit’s environment clean—a hygienic and healthy habitat will reduce the risk of environmental factors contributing to hair loss. Maintain your rabbit’s healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise. If barbering is the cause of hair loss, your two rabbits may need to be separated. Consult your Farmington Hills vet for more information on barbering, as well as any questions you may have about hair loss in your pet.