Respecting Rabbit Claws

DSC_0002I keep telling myself that I will no longer be maimed by my rabbits.

I keep thinking I will always remember to wear gloves, I will always have long sleeves on, I will always have a thick shirt on. These are the areas the rabbits will get you. They will slash your wrists, arms and stomach as you try to transport them by the scruff or by cradling in your arms. A rabbit can kick its hind legs up behind its head and get you real good when you carry them by the scruff.

My arms and wrists are now a myriad of scars in various stages of healing. Usually I do remember to wear safety gear but sometimes I get an urge to move a rabbit right away who I think will be nice about it. All it takes is one second of hysteria though, something rabbits are all too prone to.

I remember a story told to me last year by a veteran rabbit raiser at a rabbit show. They once had an incident where a man holding a Flemish Giant in his arms was disemboweled by the kicking hind legs when the rabbit started to panic. His intestines spilled out and he was rushed to surgery, where he barely survived.

Yesterday I was reminded again that although my rabbits have never bitten me, their claws are not to be underestimated. Moving a Blue Rex doe for breeding earned me a deep wound in my left palm which makes chores a little more difficult. Rabbit claws will slice you right open like a scalpel. I try not to take it too personally.