How to cut your rabbits nails

It’s important that your rabbit’s nails are trimmed when necessary and not allowed to grow too long.

Positioning

You can either keep your rabbit on the floor and gently bring one foot forward slightly so that you can access each nail. Or you can hold your rabbit tightly and firmly in the crook of your arm, this usually requires two people. In you choose the latter option it is important that you DO NOT trance your rabbit. Follow this link on how to safely pick up your rabbit.

Clipping your rabbits nails

  • Make sure that you use nail clippers that are suitable for rabbits.
  • Only cut the nail and not the quick (blood vessel) in most rabbits you will be able to see the quick as it is a visible red blood vessel.
  • If your rabbit has black toenails then you won’t be able to see the quick. Shine a torch under the nail; this should make the blood vessel visible.

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If you are not confident cutting your rabbits nails then take your rabbits to a rabbit savvy vets and ask them to show you how to cut them.

First Aid

If you cut the blood vessel (quick) on your rabbit’s toenail then there are some measures that you can take:

  • Use a silver nitrate pencil on the tip of the nail. This should stem the bleeding.
  • Dip the toenail in cornflour this should help the blood to congeal and stop the bleeding. Do not use baking soda.
  • If the nail is still bleeding after you have used the silver nitrate/ cornflour you will need to compress the nail with constant pressure for 10 minutes. You can continue to do this until the blood flow stops. If you have concerns about the amount of blood flow then phone your vet for advice.
  • Bandaging the foot can also help stem the blood flow. Be warned though this is not an easy option as your rabbit will probably try their hardest to remove the bandage! But it allows constant pressure to stem the blood flow without the stress of having to hold your bunny for ten minutes, which some rabbits may find stressful.

bandaged rabbit foot

For more on rabbit first aid essentials follow this link.

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