Matted Hair and Hairballs in the Stomach in Rabbits

5 min read



Severe bloating of the abdomen can be life-threatening, so prompt treatment will be vital to the life of your rabbit. If you find your rabbit with an abnormally distended belly, you will need to take it to the veterinary clinic to be evaluated as soon as possible. Treatment will consist of immediate administration of fluid therapy to re-hydrate the gastric contents in the hope of making the contents more motile. Stomach massage can also sometimes help relieve impacted contents from the stomach cavity.


Decompression may also be helpful. Activity is often recommended for more mobile animals to help promote action within the gastrointestinal system, and a proper diet is essential for restoring proper growth of intestinal flora, and prevention of the overgrowth of bacterial pathogens that could disrupt the healthy growth of bacteria in the gut.


A large selection of natural greens, including collard greens, romaine lettuce, parsley, and spinach are a few of the many greens that are recommended as part of a healthy daily diet for rabbits.


Living and Management


If your rabbit is capable of moving, you should continue to encourage it to do so, avoid pellets and other unhealthy snacks unless otherwise advised by your veterinarian. Rest and relaxation is recommended, with frequent breaks for stretching and motion.


Analgesics (pain relievers) can be helpful for relieving intestinal pain, and antibiotic therapy may be helpful for patients with the diarrhea that is associated with bacterial infections. Be sure to continue the full prescribed treatment until the medication is completely used, and then follow-up with your veterinarian for further advice.


Some drugs, such as NSAIDs, are not indicated for rabbits that are suffering from renal (kidney) failure, and in fact could be placed at further health risk of administered the wrong drugs. You will need to make sure that your veterinarian is aware of your rabbit's health history, especially if your rabbit needs to be treated on an emergency basis and the animal caregiver is not familiar with your rabbit's background health. There are safer drug alternatives that can be just as effective. Rabbits that are treated promptly and effectively for trichobezoars have a good prognosis for a complete recovery.