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Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#16  Unread postby GBov » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:12 pm


While I have not cleaned skulls before I have picked them up from the yard after the dogs dug them up and they have NEVER looked like that!

But perhaps my solid skulls were abnormal and not these lacy ones?

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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#17  Unread postby shazza » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:50 pm


the younger the rabbit the less lacy they are, i've found. you said these rabbits were adults - might have something to do with it?? it's almost like they get more holey as they get older. which is why i wonder if maybe they're lacking in calcium? like lacy seems to be "normal" but i wonder if it really is NORMAL or of most adult rabbits need a bit extra calcium or something. the rest of the skeletons seem fine, it's really just the skull that seems affected.
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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#18  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:44 pm


I do believe GBov's show more lacing than mine generally do. I usually don't keep track of which bunny skull belong but this was a larger skull so I'm assuming it was an adult I recently culled. Of course, I have yet to keep a rabbit over 2 yrs so most of mine will still be fairly young.

I use outside hutches and while most of them are in the shade, they do still get quite a bit of natural light. My reading led me to believe it was lack of vitamin D that caused problems because it hindered calcium absorption.

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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#19  Unread postby GBov » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 am


Am so glad I started this! I love learning new thing and this is all new to me. Have had a look on Etsy and all the skulls look either more or less like my one does but to my eyes they all look wrong.

I have collected skulls for all my life and have NEVER seen any skull like these rabbit skulls. That's why I thought it was abnormal.

Perhaps it is a lack of calcium or vit D so they can use it?

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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#20  Unread postby shazza » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:24 am


alforddm wrote:II use outside hutches and while most of them are in the shade, they do still get quite a bit of natural light. My reading led me to believe it was lack of vitamin D that caused problems because it hindered calcium absorption.

hmm. mine are under a lean-to shed and are also in the shade all the time. i let them out in a pen on rotation, one rabbit for a full day to dig and graze and run around, so they do get at least a little vitamin d. the mini lop doe i posted was raised totally in shade in a carport until i got her, the rex was raised by me on the pen rotation. with the amount of rabbits i have, it takes about two weeks for it to be each rabbit's turn again, so they have about 13 days with no direct sunlight.

i've really only read about house rabbits having vitamin d deficiencies, but now i'm wondering if it's not also a problem in outdoor rabbits. i have UVB lights for my bearded dragon and sprouting seeds (not at the same time lol)...hmm. if i had any kits currently i would do an experiment and see if i can notice a difference in the bone quality of growout rabbits on my normal system vs a few hours a day of UVB treatment. gotta wait til i get moved to start breeding again though
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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#21  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:32 am


I went through google looking specifically for wild rabbit (hare and cottontail) skulls. It's possible that many were mislabeled, but they all seem to have the same characteristics. I'm leaning toward this just being a natural characteristic of rabbits and hares.

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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#22  Unread postby shazza » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:51 am


i have an adult male cottontail skull (i have a skull for everything!):

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the pockmarking is noticeable, but not to the extent of the domestic rabbits. i would still be curious to see the result of some UVB treatment for x amount of months before cull.
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Re: Is there such a thing as lace bone?

Post Number:#23  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:05 am


It's would be an interesting experiment. I look forward to seeing the results. It is possible that since rabbits teeth grow constantly, that they are leeching calcium from their skull to grow the teeth.

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