Claw Clipping: How To Guide

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Claw Clipping: How To Guide

Post by Happy Hoppers on Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:42 pm

You can clip your rabbit's claws at home and, with a bit of practice, it can become an easy part of your grooming routine. As a general rule claws should run almost level with the fur trim on a rabbits paw, exceptions are long haired or rex rabbits. If your rabbits claws are more than a few millimeters longer than this, are growing at an angle or are starting to curl then they require a trim. Don't forget to check the dew claw on the inside of the front legs.

If a rabbit is not used to being handled or to having its claws trimmed it may fidget and become stressed so it is important to have your bunny on a non-slip surface. Many owners find it easier to hold their bunny whilst trimming claws by either inverting him between your knee's so he is on his back with his head against your stomach or wrapping him in a towel so that just his head and the paw that needs attention protrude.

Bear in mind that most rabbits are not keen on being held upside down or restrained in anyway so they are liable to struggle. Rabbits placed on their back often go into a 'trance' like state which makes it easy to examine them. Do not confuse this with relaxation, the rabbit is actually behaving this way due to fear, so we advise that rabbits are tranced for as little time as possible. Whilst some owners are completely against the use of trancing we feel that it is one of the safest ways to clip a claw as the rabbit will often remain totally still, greatly reducing the risk of injury to both bunny and owner.



Another good way of holding your bunny is to tuck their bottom into the crook of your left elbow and support under the length of their body with your left arm, cradling their front legs in your left hand. This leaves your right hand free to trim the front claws and the bunny can be turned around to trim the rear claws. Whatever your method, make sure your bunny is secure, supported and safe.



White and lightly coloured rabbits usually have translucent claws, allowing you to see the blood supply, or ‘quick’ and making them much easier to trim. Black and darker coloured bunnies are harder as the claws are generally opaque but you can make a conservative estimate as to where the quick stops. A good tip is to shine a small torch from behind the claw as this should illuminate the quick. We recommend cutting away the nail in a few small pieces rather than making one large cut. You can often see when you are getting close to the quick by monitoring the appearence of the freshly exposed claw end.



You can buy special rabbit nail scissors which look like ordinary scissors but with a hole through them, guillotines and spring loaded clippers but the latter methods often appear to crush the claw rather than cut through it. Always make sure your nail clippers are sharp to enable a clean cut and prevent damaged or split claw shafts. Nail clippers can be purchased in most pet stores or from online shops.


This Document is Copyright © Helen Coulson, HappyHoppers Forums Uk . June 2008.UK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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