Intestinal problems

Trichobezoars in Rabbits

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: February 22, 2018
Trichobezoars in Rabbits

See files for Rabbits

Just like cats, rabbits lick themselves to groom their coat. However, this hygienic habit can lead to serious trouble if your rabbit's diet is not supplemented with foods that help get rid of the hairballs that will eventually form in its stomach.

These hairballs in the stomach, called trichobezoars, are very dangerous. In fact, trichobezoars are one of the most serious problems that your rabbit can have, and they will gravely affect its intestinal health.

This is why AnimalWised will tell you all you need to know about trichobezoars in rabbits, including the symptoms, how to prevent them, and what to do as treatment. Keep reading!

You may also be interested in: Rabbit Constipation


  1. How to prevent hairballs in rabbits
  2. What is the best diet to prevent trichobezoars?
  3. Symptoms of trichobezoars in rabbits
  4. Treating trichobezoars with malt
  5. Causes of abnormal hair loss

How to prevent hairballs in rabbits

Daily brushing with a metal comb or a very thick horse hair brush is the best way to prevent trichobezoars from forming.

You must be especially careful when your rabbit is molting because rabbits lose a lot of dead hair during these periods. For wild animals, the molting cycle is determined by hours of sun exposure, according to the temperature. Rabbits and other domesticated pets do not perceive these factors. As a result, they molt throughout the year.

Here you can find the best tips to groom a rabbit at home.

Trichobezoars in Rabbits - How to prevent hairballs in rabbits

What is the best diet to prevent trichobezoars?

Rabbits should eat hay every day. Hay contains lots of fiber, which is beneficial for the regularity of their intestinal transit and will ease the passing of hairballs in the stomach.

If your rabbit is not overweight, alfalfa is also very suitable to regulate your rabbit's intestinal transit. Fresh pineapple in small pieces, once or twice a week, is also appropriate for getting rid of stomach hairballs.

There are snacks specific to rabbits that provide plenty of fiber.

Trichobezoars in Rabbits - What is the best diet to prevent trichobezoars?

Symptoms of trichobezoars in rabbits

If you suspect that your rabbit is suffering from hairballs or trichobezoars in the stomach, check if any of the following symptoms is present:

  • Swollen belly
  • Not defecating for days
  • Refusing to eat
  • Hairs attached to the stools when they defecate

If your rabbit presents these symptoms you should take it to the vet as soon as possible, as this condition gets worse faster than it does in cats.

Trichobezoars in Rabbits - Symptoms of trichobezoars in rabbits

Treating trichobezoars with malt

If your rabbit is more than 3 months old, you can give it malt for rabbits. It is not uncommon for rabbits to dislike its taste, so you can try slathering one of its legs with malt. Your rabbit will lick its leg to remove the sticky substance, and thus it will be indirectly eating the beneficial malt. It is a very convenient aide in getting rid of trichobezoars.

Causes of abnormal hair loss

Rabbits can suffer hair loss caused by dermatological diseases or abnormalities, as well as stress and nutritional deficiencies. Regular visits to the vet are a good way of detecting any disease affecting their health and damaging their fur coat.

Here you can learn more about why does your rabbit lick itself.

If you liked this article and want to continue finding out more about rabbits, don't hesitate to visit our complete articles on abnormal rabbit teeth growth, whether you can bathe you rabbit or not, the different pet rabbit breeds and why does your rabbit not eat hay.

Trichobezoars in Rabbits -

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Trichobezoars in Rabbits, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

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Trichobezoars in Rabbits