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Bathing / grooming question

22 11:38:35

A friend of mine has 'acquired' an Satin Angora rabbit that has not been taken care of - at least not to my standards (I don't know too much about rabbits, but huge matted fur can't be good).
Yesterday I began to pull some of the matts apart to dislodge and break them into smaller peices so I can start looking at the rabbit itself.
The problem is the tail end of the animal. It has sat in poor living conditions and the fur around his butt is matted and infused with poop.
I began to cut into the fur with scissors, which I didn't want to do but could not break it free into smaller peices to work with.
While doing so, I knicked his tail ~ I kept trying to feel the hair mass to locate the tail, if it had one, and I couldn't find it. I knicked it and it bagan to bleed - minimally. I stopped what I was doing, put perixode on the cut.
The rabbit did not object to being cut nor the treatment that I tried.
But, from here: how is the best way to remove the remaining mass? Should I try to wash him to dislodge the poop or will this make it harder for me to try to clean the mass once it is wet?
Just short of shaving it's rear end, I really see no other way of cleaning it so it is sanitary.
Like I said, I don't know much about rabbits and am only tring to help out a friend, I do have several dogs (cocker spaniels) that require the same techniques in grooming and am asking if I am on the right path for what I think needs to be done to the rabbit.
I have no problems with taking the rabbit to a professional groomer, if this is what needs to be done ~ but I don't want to stress the little guy out any further than what I have to.
I figured doing it at home would be best since that is his environment he is accustomed to ~ such a timid little creature.
Any help or recommendations would be most grateful.
Thank you and best regards.

Dear Shea,

Sometimes it is necessary to use scissors to cut away hard feces in the fur. It can also be very difficult, as you are aware, because the mats can be so close to the skin. At the point you are in trying to clean up the matted mess, I would start by giving the bunny a bath. Set some sort of fairly shallow (sanitary) tupperware (or the like) tub in a bathtub, and fill it a couple of inches deep with warm (not too hot) water. Place a clean towel on the bottom of the tub to keep the bunny from slipping, then set the bunny down in the tub. Always supervise bathings.

Let the bunny soak for five to ten minutes or so, wetting the fur on its back with a soaked warm washcloth, and "fluffing up" the bottom area a little every now and then to try to loosen up the mats. You can use a little unscented baby shampoo and gently scrub the fur, especially the messy part. Be careful not to get any soap or water in the bunny's eyes, nose, ears, or mouth. Rinse well, and ring out the fur as much as you can. Set the bunny on a towel and rub dry with another towel. Try to keep the bunny indoors for the night so it can dry out.

After the bath, it may still have messy stuff, but it should be easier to cut or brush out, and if necessary you can do another bath the next day, or whenever you can. You should not need to go to a professional groomer, and you are right that it would probably be pretty stressful for the bunny. Sounds like you are doing a good job taking care of it so far!

I hope this helps.
God Bless