Have you ever been so curious and asked yourself– why does my rabbit have a double chin?
If you ever notice that your fluffy bunny has this weird and funny looking flap under its chin and you may wonder if this is normal or not.
Rabbits have a double chin, and this extra flap is called a dewlap, which contains fatty tissues.
These excess fats are commonly found in female bunnies but are fewer occurrences in female rabbits spayed at an early age.
Dewlap does occur with males but not that possible for females.
In this article, we will talk about why rabbits have a double chin, purposes, and other reasons for them.
To find out more, just keep on reading!
What Is Dewlap?
A dewlap is a flap of skin found under the chin of a female rabbit once they have been sexually mature. Dewlap looks like a pillow under their chin.
Rabbits do have different sizes of dewlap, depending on their breeds.
Naturally, the larger the bunny, the bigger it is, while some of the male rabbits do have developed small dewlap, but this is not very common in most rabbit breeds.
Only sexually mature female rabbits will produce and develop much of this, but a male can develop dewlap, but it is only an extra fat, nothing more, nothing less.
What Is The Purpose Of A Rabbit’s Dewlap
A dewlap is developed when a female rabbit is spayed and enough to reproduce in an early stage. They use their dewlap in making a nest when it is nearly their time of the arrival of their babies.
During the rabbit’s nesting stage, the female rabbit pulls out her hair in her dewlap and starts building its own nest for her babies and fur to insulate the nest.
A bunny’s nest is where a female rabbit (doe) spend her offspring, sleep and raise her babies, putting it with her fur to keep her and her babies comfortable and warm.
Is It Possible For Male Rabbits To Have Dewlaps?
The answer is yes, male bunnies can also have dewlaps, but in most cases, females have the majority of these.
If ever male rabbits have a double chin, then it might have a high level of estrogen than some of the male bunnies, but this estrogen doesn’t use for breeding.
Males with higher estrogen levels might be the result of a dewlap with their neutering stage before their puberty.
Does Dewlap Indicate Overweight?
Having a dewlap doesn’t mean that your rabbit is overweight though heavier and bigger rabbit breeds might have bigger dewlaps.
In addition to that, rabbits do develop bigger dewlaps, but it is naturally expected.
However, if you ever think that your rabbit might be overweight due to its prominent fatty dewlap, then contact your vet and talk about the rabbit’s weight loss plan.
My rabbit Thumper is a big mama rabbit, and I am was worried that Thumper might be suffering because I saw her ample dewlap that made me asked myself, why does my rabbit have a double chin.
So we went to the vet and find out that she is overweight. The vet recommends me to reduce treats and food and maintain Thumper’s diet.
Health Issues Dealing With Dewlaps
Dewlaps indicate how healthy and normal a rabbit could be until this deals with major destructive health-related issues.
#1. Improper grooming
Your rabbit might experience difficulty grooming on its own, especially when eating; the folds of its dewlap may have food trapped under it that won’t be able to get by your lovely rabbit.
That trapped dirt could cause bacteria that could lead to some serious bacterial infections and, worst, can lead to a surgical reduction.
Trimming and grooming your bunny regularly could prevent bacterial infections and severe cases.
#2. Moist dermatitis
Moist dermatitis or wet dewlap is a painful skin condition in rabbits. For the older bunnies, this is mistakenly an abscess.
This type of skin condition occurs and developed in rabbits dewlap.
Symptoms Of Wet Dewlap
Some symptoms of wet dewlap or moist dermatitis are having a hair fall in the dewlap and redness of the effective skin; this may look raw and sore.
In bunnies, if the skin is infected, this eventually turns into a greenish color, so as a rightful owner, you need to take care of your bunny correctly; this kind of skin irritation is very attractive to flies that may lay eggs and cause maggots to produce.
How Wet Dewlap Occurs?
Rabbits dewlap might get wet and infected because of the following reasons:
#1 Your rabbit always got its dewlap wet because of drinking in a bowl instead of a bottle
I suggest you install a water bottle inside your rabbit’s habitat. It is easier to clean instead of a bowl.
#2 Water is leaking from the bottle
Rabbits are jolly, and sometimes they might break their water bottle by some of their unnecessary movements.
#3 Dirty and lousy living conditions
One of the things your bunny might get moist dermatitis is because of unsanitary living.
As a pet owner engaging to have a pet would be a big responsibility, and regular cleaning and check-up are among them.
Rabbits might get a wet dewlap due to drooling.
Hyperventilation or some dental problems might be the reason why drooling occurs.
Saliva is corrosive and can trigger different skin problems if prolonged for an extended period of time.
Tips On How To Prevent Moist Dermatitis In Rabbits
The most efficient and effective way to prevent is to keep the rabbits’ dewlap dry and clean here are some useful tips:
Step #1. Use a rabbit-proofed and non-leaky bottles
This would be a big help for your bunny. You can buy non-leaky bottles online or in pet shops near you.
Step #2. Regular grooming and trimming of rabbits hair
If you are too nervous about grooming and trimming your bunny onto yourself, you can seek your veterinarian in case.
Step #3. Cleaning and removing wet and soiled bedding in their cage
It is necessary to spot clean your bunny’s cage and maintain the sanitation of its area.
Step #4. Taking the bunny to the veterinarian for a regular check-up
Regular check-up might be pricey, but your adorable bunny would be pleased.
The dewlap is normal to rabbits, but too much of this could bring different medical health problems, such as irritation of the skin, dermatitis, and even obesity.
If you ever have a female rabbit that has dewlap, it is better to keep it dry, healthy, and clean to avoid all of these problems.
Learning and knowing everything about your bunny will save you and your pet in the near future.
The more you understand, the more you will appreciate all of your bunny’s uniques features.
I hope this article helps you and answered your question– why does my rabbit have a double chin. Thank you for reading!