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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Hair loss (also called alopecia) in rabbits can be caused by several disorders - and a veterinary diagnosis is necessary to treat the underlying cause

Hair loss can occur as a normal part of moulting, after which the coat can look sparse but it will grow back again. Moulting usually occurs seasonally, after the winter has ended and the thicker coat that has grown is not needed for protection against the cold.

There are many diseases that can lead to excessive hair loss including the following :

  • Nest building - rabbits will pull out hair to add to other materials in the nest
  • Dominance behaviour by other rabbits
  • Excessive grooming by overzealous owners
  • Behavioural vices - boredom, stress
  • Ectoparasites - eg mites such as sarcoptes and demodex which cause itchiness and self-trauma - rubbing or biting
  • Infections (bacteria or fungi) - causes localised hair loss, and self-trauma - rubbing or biting
  • Nutritional deficiency - eg inadequate fibre intake  has been reported to result in hair loss
  • Local reactions to injections such as vaccines can result in hair loss

Last updated : September 2013