Hair shed from your rabbit’s coat can lodge in its’ digestive tract. Some rabbits may develop a habit of eating their own hair or may even pull hair from other rabbits. If hairballs are a problem, rabbits may become listless, and fecal pellets may decrease in size and number, due to a reduction in feed intake. Your rabbit’s belly may appear to be full, but upon closer examination, you may notice that is has lost weight and that it may actually be suffering from malnutrition.
Regular brushing can help to remove much of your rabbit’s loose hair. A high fiber diet will also help to maintain good digestive function and aide in the passage of ingested hair. Be sure to limit feed intake based on the breed size, and production goal of your rabbit. Feeding a limited amount of diet can improve functioning of the digestive tract and reduce the potential for hairballs.
Purina Show Formula and Rabbit Chow Gourmet are designed to produce rabbits with superior coat quality and contain papaya. Papaya contains the enzyme papain. Papain enzymes do not breakdown the hair itself, but may help breakdown the mucous which holds the hairball together. You can also add small amounts of grass hay to your rabbit’s diet to keep him from getting bored and playing with his hair.