Hairballs (Trichobezoar)

Etiology:  Hairballs can form in the stomach when hair is ingested as a result of grooming or nest-building behavior.

Incidence:  Gastric hair masses are an incidental finding in about 25% of rabbits.

Clinical Signs:  Generally, hairballs are not a problem.  In cases where there is a large, organized hairball, rabbits may become anorexic due to gastric/intestinal stasis.

Diagnosis:  Palpation of a gastric mass and/or contrast radiography may be used to diagnose a hairball.