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tijya 10-03-2017 06:40 PM

Life with bunnies
So, I've had bunnies since 2003. I've been through various illnesses, heartbreak, and joy.

Right now, I've got a six-year-old dwarf-rex cross. She is free-range. Technically there is a 'pen' in the room but it's completely opened up. Over the course of the day, you may find her under a side table in the living room, under the kitchen table, or by the front door.

In theory, she's litterbox trained.

However, she's got E-cunniculi which is a chronic illness that is kind of like an immune disorder in that it will wear her down. She will likely go through bouts of head-tilt, loss of mobility, etc.

We've been down this road with 4 of our other bunnies. Bunny 1 had an abscess that ended up causing issues in her brain (she lived to be about 18 months). Bunny # 2 had E-cunniculi (and other issues) but didn't live long (2 years max). Bunny # 3 needed a dental operation and passed away during the process. And the rest lived to be 7+ years [one might have been 12+]

In Naveen's case, her symptoms are a bit of a loss of litterbox habits - this has improved so much since getting her on meds. But yes, you will find bunny poop in various places in our house. And some bits of hay.

She's also got some chronic sneezing thing, but it's not bad this week.

A typical day:

- husband gets up, feeds her pellets/hay/water
- She sleeps
- I get up, give two meds
- She sleeps
- At dinner time, she begs at the table for food the birds drop
- She sleeps
- At 8 PM, she begs for her veggies
- At 9:30 PM, she begs for her pellets
- At 11 PM, she begs for her meds

Now that she's a 'single' bunny, I do make more effort to spend time with her. When we are rodent-free, this means sitting on the floor. She's not allowed on the couch because she was peeing on it.

She may or may not have couch time once my husband goes to bed. We haven't had any pee incidents. But shhh. No bunnies on the couch. Ever. ;)

When he's around...Naveen will sit on the floor getting attention longer than I'm willing to sit with her. She rewards me with kisses.

In the less fun stuff, there is litterbox cleaning, meds, brushing, etc.

And the highlight of today was cleaning poop off her butt. (this is relatively common in older bunnies, particularly with E-Cunniculi)

So, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

Pictures in the next post.

tijya 10-03-2017 06:49 PM

Because bunnies belong on bookshelves. This was our mini-rex. He would try to steal food and run away.

And they belong on beds. She was probably the most stand-offish of the bunnies. But if you followed her rules, she'd totally snuggle.

Hope you don't plan to sit on your chairs either.

In our house, bunnies don't belong as a serving on the plate. But that doesn't mean they were never found on the table.

This is the only one who stayed on the floor. But she's also the bunny that was already 6 years old when we got her. She loved her stuff cow so much, we had to get a second one so they could take turns in the wash. Once my husband soaked one in a bucket. Upside down. He was trying to drown it. Very traumatizing.

And our current bunny, as a baby (about 4 months here)

We also lost one in the dryer (not on), the garbage can, off-limits rooms, in the tv stand, etc.

While they are cute, they can also be quite destructive due to their curious nature. We've had holes in the wall (by a bunny not pictured here), ruined carpets, chewed phone cords, computer cords, etc.

rizzie5022 10-03-2017 07:47 PM

Cute, when our boys were little we got a mini lop...... our friend had baby bunnies.... nothing mini about that breed lol.

My father in law built a reall nice hutch that we kept outside, it was like a condo for goodness sake.

We brought "smokey" in evey day and he would play with the boys in their playhouse. He was so cute except he was not litter trained and he would sit on your lap let you pet him and then right before your eyes before you could tell he would make a hole in your pants! we had to have rabbit pants because he was ruining our clothes.

tijya 10-03-2017 09:51 PM

Yep, holes in clothes. Just like birds. :P

tijya 10-03-2017 10:23 PM

And an update to show how quickly things can turn.

Naveen has been pretty normal lately. Eating us out of house and home. Ate her veggies fine at 8:00.

9:30, upset tummy and she's off food.

Just sharing that this is exactly why I don't leave her for more than 12 ish hours unattended. You just never know.

I've given her some tummy meds, a belly rub, pain meds, and now we wait. She *should* eat in 2-4 hours. If not, vet bound tomorrow. (I'm fairly confident it won't come to that).

laracroft 10-05-2017 04:10 PM

Thanks for telling us about your buns! They're adorable. Your bunny's routine sounds very similar to my dog's (he's almost 15, he spends a lot of time asleep, and if he's awake, he's begging for something). I hope Naveen is feeling better now?

theteenygirl 10-05-2017 04:34 PM

Thank you for sharing! As a kid my dad brought home a rabbit one day. White with grey tips on her ears and red eyes. We named her Alice. I remember him saying he wished he could have brought them all home.. he had gone somewhere he saw an ad in the Classifieds section of the newspaper and when he got there all the rabbits were in horrible conditions in their cages. When we let Alice out of her box she was too scared to go on the grass.. she'd never been outside before! Anyway we had this HUGE hutch for her in the backyard. It had a sleeping section, a living section.. it even had shingles! It was amazing. She was amazing. She lived to be about 7 or 8 I believe.. reading what you have described here I think she must have had E-Cunniculi at the end. We just figured she was getting old... man if only the Internet existed back then to the extent it is today.
Being from the country you can imagine I was SHOCKED to find out that people kept rabbits in their homes! Inside! Trained to use a litter box! They were always outside animals to us in the country :)

GracefulWolf 10-05-2017 08:15 PM

27 Attachment(s)
This is so great! All your buns are/were so precious. Thanks for the info on the other post too It's always more helpful reading first hand experiences and stories. I've been leaning towards a rex or mini lop. Its great to know they're generally sweet and fun. I don't mind letting them do their own thing (like our birds) but cuddles are much appreciated Sounds like I'll need to save up for bun vet emergencies. How do you tell if Naveen hasn't been eating? Just from her behavior?

tijya 10-05-2017 08:33 PM

Naveen is eating again. It took about 2 hours after meds, which is what I expected.

One of the benefits of not 'free feeding' is that it's easier to catch if she goes off food. If we offer her food and she doesn't take it, there's a problem. They do need to have hay available at all times.

But we can also tell by her body language. If she is shifting a lot and unable to get comfortable, something is up. There's also a certain position that tells me something is up.

As far as that $600 vet bill, an emergency is usually closer to $400 if you need xrays. This was at a specialist and had extra testing and stuff.

Generally, I'd say there was one 'real' emergency/year - but not always with the same rabbit. Our Dutch only had one I believe, until the EC.

Other things to consider is nail trims if you aren't up for doing it yourself. The hay can be pricey if you do pet store hay.

I might get Naveen a stuffed toy to snuggle with. Not sure she will go for it, but she might. :)

tijya 01-22-2018 11:37 AM

It's been a while. I did end up getting Naveen a stuffed toy. She snuggles him sometimes. Humps him others. :P

Around the beginning of December, her peeing issues were back. We had moved her room around, so we moved it back. No real improvement, but I was hoping after being boarded for 2 weeks over Christmas, that would get her back to normal. No such luck.

We took her back to the specialist on Friday. $550 later it might be behavioural after all. We are going to make changes and if it's still going on in 2-4 weeks, the vet will revisit the issue.

And because the specialist is 3 hours away, it throws her off her routine for about a week after. She's still not really eating as she should.

In more 'fun' stuff, I've slept on the couch for a couple of hours here and there because I had a bad cough and wanted my husband to get some sleep. She has to jump up and check me out, and then she races around the living room, happy to have some night time fun.

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