Fortunately, His Majesty enjoys a good grooming to a certain extent, and we have also had the good fortune of some sunny weather that's not too chilly, so I have been able to bring the grooming sessions outside instead of filling my mudroom with clouds of fur. Today, I decided to make it a full day of bunny beautification by adding a pedicure and an ear cleaning.
First came the pedicure, which was a bit of a necessity as somebunny's nails have been pretty dang sharp lately. Mickey tolerates the procedure, but neither of us really like it because of one thing; blood. (WARNING: the following details are not particularly graphic, but if blood makes you woozy, you might want to skip to the next paragraph)
A rabbit's nails are like a hollow tube, and can bleed when being cut for the first time, but usually after that, the nail seals off and does not bleed when cut unless you cut too much. Sometimes, though, for some reason the nail doesn't seal and will always bleed, no matter how little you cut it. Mickey has two nails like that, one on each paw on his left side, and they always seem to bleed like a stuck pig when cut, which makes things very messy. I don't mind the sight of blood, but I hate it getting all over him and I always worry about the possibility of infection. Mickey seems to get extra-jumpy when I do those nails as well, but they have to be trimmed like the others, so there's not much I can do. We both lucked out this time; there was much less bleeding than usual--I'm guessing the result of the cooler weather, but I'm hoping maybe the nails are going to seal up after all.
Once the nails were done, it was time for the actual grooming. I try to keep the grooming to between 45 minutes and an hour, since that's usually the point where I'm never sure if I'm causing more shedding than fixing it. Mickey enjoys being groomed, although he tends to always want his left side facing me for some reason; when I turn him around to get his right side, he manages to maneuver himself so that he's facing left again. If I turn him so I can get at his back end, he decides that he wants to explore the table for a bit, so I'm alternating between combing and retrieving. Facing forward is his favorite part; he likes to sit up and place his paws on my shoulders, then he leans against me and tooth-purrs sweet nothings near my ear and gives me kisses...then tries to chew the neckline of my shirts.
In between grooming, I cleaned his ears as well. According to my vet, lops seem to have more trouble with accumulating ear wax (probably because of the positioning of their ears). I was mortified the day she took a swab and removed a humongous lump of waxy buildup from one of Mickey's ears during an exam, so I have been vigilant about cleaning them out at least once a month. Mickey does not approve of this, although he tolerates it to an extent. He certainly doesn't make it an easy process; there is much head-shaking and bobbing and weaving involved, but I managed to get them reasonably clean.
The final detail is combing his underside, and he hates it with a passion because it means being flipped on his back. It was even worse today, because I found not one, but THREE large snarled fur clumps at the base of his tail and had to very carefully comb them out without completely de-furring his poor little cottontail.
The entire beautification process complete, I brought him back inside and even posed him for a quick photo. (Yes, I was a bad bunny-mum and combed his fur backwards to make him look super-fluffy):
"I had better be getting some extra treats for this
--and stop calling me Mr. Fluff-n-puff!"
Hopefully, the birds and squirrels can use all the excess fur I left outside to line their winter nests. There's certainly enough of it out there; my husband says it looks like the bunny exploded.