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View Full Version : Should I get a "Special" Bun?



Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 08:46 PM
This is not a query for now, its one for later in the year when I finsh my course, as currently I'm not at home 3 days of the week, so until I'm home full time its not fair to get a animal that needs lots of care.

Anyway....

I'd quite like a a small rabbit, I love the little netherland dwarfs we have at my college, everyone else is afraid of them because of their red eyes, but I think they're cute :love:

What I wanted to ask is this (as the "official" legislative answers we are taught at college, are not always right) as I wanted to ask the people who have real experience.

What size indoor cage would you need for a small rabbit?
How would a rabbit react to a pet cat? (Our cat doesn't touch furries, or try to stalk them, but he does like to sit and watch them, or try to play with them, he once popcorned with Ozzy! would this bother a rabbit?)

Finally, If I do get a bun, Should I get a "special" bun?
I run a rescue for reptiles that have special needs, and am no stranger to caring for rabbits and piggies, have done all my life and now do so at college, but I've never OWNED one, they've all been family pets or college animals.

I would love to home a bun that was, just a little more "special" than the average, but as rescuers and re-homers, would you re-home a special bun to me, if it was to be MY first bun in a sense?

Thanks everyone in advance:p

(Oh and feel free to ask about my "special" reptiles )

sillyrabbit
28-01-2009, 08:57 PM
:wave: Welcome to the forum

Its very good that your doing your research well in advance :)

Lots of people with indoor rabbits use dog crates as a base, or use pens to section of an area or just give them there own room :lol: I think the indoor cages actually aimed at rabbits are ok as litter trays and not much else :(

My rabbits are all ok with my cat, although I wouldn't leave them alone because I would be frightened the rabbits might hurt my cat if they got a little too playful :) I even trust my cat 100% with my rats, but just wouldn't chance it leaving either unsupervised with her because it only takes one second for something to happen

Im not a rescue but if you have the experience caring for special needs buns I don't see why it would be a problem, would depend on the rescue and the buns problems though :) I would say special need buns need an awful lot of time and vet bills are likely to be high but you probably already know this :)

There are loads of rabbits that are overlooked in rescues because of their looks or due to problems they may have, I think rabbits with dental problems are amongst these :(

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:11 PM
:wave: Welcome to the forum

Its very good that your doing your research well in advance :)

Lots of people with indoor rabbits use dog crates as a base, or use pens to section of an area or just give them there own room :lol: I think the indoor cages actually aimed at rabbits are ok as litter trays and not much else :(

My rabbits are all ok with my cat, although I wouldn't leave them alone because I would be frightened the rabbits might hurt my cat if they got a little too playful :) I even trust my cat 100% with my rats, but just wouldn't chance it leaving either unsupervised with her because it only takes one second for something to happen

Im not a rescue but if you have the experience caring for special needs buns I don't see why it would be a problem, would depend on the rescue and the buns problems though :) I would say special need buns need an awful lot of time and vet bills are likely to be high but you probably already know this :)

There are loads of rabbits that are overlooked in rescues because of their looks or due to problems they may have, I think rabbits with dental problems are amongst these :(

Thank You for that x

I've been looking through the rescuer's sites on here and can't believe how many deaf bunnies there are looking for homes :(

What difference does it make if a bunny can't hear you? People can be so petty and perfectionist when it comes to picking their animals.:censored:

I have 12 reptiless, 8 of which are special needs.
Most get on well without much extra help, you just have to take small things into consideration.
E.G, I have a girl with a missing foot, she gets on very well but has quite bad grip, so I can't put anything too high in that she could fall off.
That simple little adjustment that someone couldn't be botheredto make..... so she ended up with me :love:

Vets fees are not a problem, bunnies I can get on the PDSA, but unfortunatley they don't condone reptile keeping so te rescue reptile fees are paid out of my own pocket, luckily I get a discount at my local vets and unless it was something serious, I wouldn't need to visit the vets too often, I'm not veterinary qualified but am trained in mammalian diagnostics and animal first aid x

Would you say the blind and deaf bunnies, that rescues seem to be swamped with, need lots of extra care? or is it just making simple adjustments?

sillyrabbit
28-01-2009, 09:24 PM
Not sure because ive never had a deaf or blind bunny :) Someone will be able to help though :lol:

Is that an insurance company? Its just I believe its very hard to insure a bunny with problems and they won't be covered for illness/injury they have had in the past so you may find that you will have to fund a rabbit yourself depending on whats wrong with them :wave: x

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:25 PM
Not sure because ive never had a deaf or blind bunny :) Someone will be able to help though :lol:

Is that an insurance company? Its just I believe its very hard to insure a bunny with problems and they won't be covered for illness/injury they have had in the past so you may find that you will have to fund a rabbit yourself depending on whats wrong with them :wave: x

Even if the PDSA won't let me register the bunny, I get discounted vets fees and insurance x

sillyrabbit
28-01-2009, 09:28 PM
Sorry im not sure what the PDSA even is :oops: :lol: Im not in the UK so don't have the same vet chains and stuff as you guys :lol:

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:31 PM
Sorry im not sure what the PDSA even is :oops: :lol: Im not in the UK so don't have the same vet chains and stuff as you guys :lol:

The PDSA is the People's Dispensary For Sick Animals, its a charity of vets up and down the country that give *free treatment to animals for people who otherwise couldn't afford it, such as those on benefits, retired people, people from a low income household and full time students.

(I qualify for three lol)

* they do ask for a donation though x

sillyrabbit
28-01-2009, 09:40 PM
The PDSA is the People's Dispensary For Sick Animals, its a charity of vets up and down the country that give *free treatment to animals for people who otherwise couldn't afford it, such as those on benefits, retired people, people from a low income household and full time students.

(I qualify for three lol)

* they do ask for a donation though x

Ahhh I get it, sorry I thought it was like an insurance company :shock: :lol: Dunno what I was thinking that for I must have heard it and got it confused with something else x

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:43 PM
Ahhh I get it, sorry I thought it was like an insurance company :shock: :lol: Dunno what I was thinking that for I must have heard it and got it confused with something else x

Haha thats ok, does sound like a business/company though doesn't it.

Will have deffo decided, If I do get a bunny, I either want a "special", a problem bun or an older bun to have a comfy retirement with me x

Rose
28-01-2009, 09:46 PM
Haha thats ok, does sound like a business/company though doesn't it.

Will have deffo decided, If I do get a bunny, I either want a "special", a problem bun or an older bun to have a comfy retirement with me x

Whereabouts are you? there is loads of bunnies needing a good home in Rabbit rehome.

sillyrabbit
28-01-2009, 09:47 PM
I :love: oldie animals they are the best :lol: x

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:49 PM
I :love: oldie animals they are the best :lol: x

One of my geckos is anywhere between 7 and 12, but we think she's about 9.

should get another 3 years at least out of the old girl x

Santa
28-01-2009, 09:55 PM
Personally I'm not terribly comfortable with the idea of taking on a bun that you know you can't afford veterinary fees for, I don't think that's really fair to make an assumption that you can rely on the charities who are no doubt struggling to keep up with the demand from those who already have animals needing veterinary treatment!

Having said that, there are a number of 'hard to home' buns that aren't particularly special needs. Some buns are hard to rehome just because of their colour - a lot of people don't like red eyed white rabbits because they look scary apparently, also a lot of people don't like agouti (wild colour) rabbits because they are deemed to not be as pretty as other colours.

I wouldn't say that a deaf rabbit is hugely special needs, it really depends why it's deaf. It could be related to a parasitic infection called e.cuniculi, which can keep flaring up and cause other ongoing problems. However the only 'special needs' as such for a bunny that is simply deaf but otherwise healthy are that you need to be extra aware of predators, dangers and general safety and security, as they won't be able to hear a cat/dog/fox/etc creeping up on them or trying to break into their pen, or something falling on top of them etc, and also you need to be careful that you don't make them jump by creeping up on them. Use vibrations and try and get them to see you coming before you touch them. Personally I would not suggest keeping a blind rabbit alone, they rely very heavily on sight as they are prey animals and I would feel happier to know that a blind rabbit had a companion it could rely on and feel comforted by.

It sounds as if you are doing your research before making a decision, which is great :)

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 09:59 PM
Personally I'm not terribly comfortable with the idea of taking on a bun that you know you can't afford veterinary fees for, I don't think that's really fair to make an assumption that you can rely on the charities who are no doubt struggling to keep up with the demand from those who already have animals needing veterinary treatment!

Having said that, there are a number of 'hard to home' buns that aren't particularly special needs. Some buns are hard to rehome just because of their colour - a lot of people don't like red eyed white rabbits because they look scary apparently, also a lot of people don't like agouti (wild colour) rabbits because they are deemed to not be as pretty as other colours.

I wouldn't say that a deaf rabbit is hugely special needs, it really depends why it's deaf. It could be related to a parasitic infection called e.cuniculi, which can keep flaring up and cause other ongoing problems. However the only 'special needs' as such for a bunny that is simply deaf but otherwise healthy are that you need to be extra aware of predators, dangers and general safety and security, as they won't be able to hear a cat/dog/fox/etc creeping up on them or trying to break into their pen, or something falling on top of them etc, and also you need to be careful that you don't make them jump by creeping up on them. Use vibrations and try and get them to see you coming before you touch them. Personally I would not suggest keeping a blind rabbit alone, they rely very heavily on sight as they are prey animals and I would feel happier to know that a blind rabbit had a companion it could rely on and feel comforted by.

It sounds as if you are doing your research before making a decision, which is great :)

Vet fees would be no problem, I can see the PDSA, but if not I can go to my local vets, as they normally discount my fees as I'm a rescue, and down as a contact for them x

And thanks x:wave:

p_prod_uk
28-01-2009, 10:28 PM
Hi :wave:

Just have 2 points which caught my eye

1) you say you are thinking of taking on a problem bun - i'm not sure that would be entirely a great idea for your first bun...

2) you say you wouldn't need to use the vets that often - bunnies are very delicate little things and i've needed the vets quite often! Just something to bear in mind.

Hel - Molly's Auntie
28-01-2009, 10:33 PM
Hi :wave:

Just have 2 points which caught my eye

1) you say you are thinking of taking on a problem bun - i'm not sure that would be entirely a great idea for your first bun...

2) you say you wouldn't need to use the vets that often - bunnies are very delicate little things and i've needed the vets quite often! Just something to bear in mind.

It's a first bun in a sense, we've had LOADS and I mean LOADS over the years, but all were FAMILY pets, this is my "first" bun in the sense that it just belongs to me.

and I'm studying Animal Management and Care, which I will hopefully be continuing to Uni this year ;)


I'm trained in first aid, but vets are no problem if needed, they're both a 5 minute walk from my house, and there's a specialist and emergency vets in huddersfield and Wakefield, both only one or a couple of buses away.Already have their details and a contact number xxx :wave:

Sooz
29-01-2009, 12:08 AM
One thing I would say about getting a special needs bunny and then using the PDSA is you have no say over the vets you see....as in you cannot search to find a practice with good rabbit knowledge, which is so important in special needs bunnies as many vets have limited training on even basic aspects of rabbit medicine.

Our PDSA center has a reputation for being inadequate with rabbits.

Also consider, if you needed a specialist referral for example, you would have to pay for this....I was quoted £800 minimum today for one of my special needs bunnies. :shock:

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 12:47 AM
One thing I would say about getting a special needs bunny and then using the PDSA is you have no say over the vets you see....as in you cannot search to find a practice with good rabbit knowledge, which is so important in special needs bunnies as many vets have limited training on even basic aspects of rabbit medicine.

Our PDSA center has a reputation for being inadequate with rabbits.

Also consider, if you needed a specialist referral for example, you would have to pay for this....I was quoted £800 minimum today for one of my special needs bunnies. :shock:

It may be worth just staying with the vets I have, they're one of the top BSAVA centres in the area x

ecudc
29-01-2009, 12:25 PM
there are a number of reasons why a bun might have difficulty finding a home, age, teeth problems, diseases such as the snuffles or EC & agression probably the most common.

Have you thought about contacting a local rescue & offering to foster? That will get you back in the swing of owning a bunny, will mean that you shouldn't have to pay any vets bills & some rescues also offer feed/bedding. They might not offer you one of the hard to home bunnies to begin with to see how things go but you may find your perfect bunny through it.

indoor cage wise most are too small for anything other than a nethie unless you allow them to free range most of the time. If they need to be shut up for any length of time you will need an attached run or if only shut up over night the hutch should be at least 6ft (one story) or 5ft (double story)

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 02:14 PM
I wonder if a vivarium could be adapted for a rabbit LOL

Fostering is a good idea. definitly something I'd be interested in, will look into it

Thanks

bunlover
29-01-2009, 04:07 PM
I wonder if a vivarium could be adapted for a rabbit LOL

Fostering is a good idea. definitly something I'd be interested in, will look into it

Thanks

iwould not adapt a vivarium for a bunny in the summer it will be far to hot and likely way to small.

a minimum rspca requirements for a rabbit is a 6x2x2ft hutch with a 6x6ft run and even an indoors nethie or lionhead you would likely need at least an indoor 48inchdog crate with ideally a second level and a pen attatched or free range to a bunny proofed hutch. as rabbits prefer to be kept in pairs it is kinder if you keep 2.
i think its good you are considering taking on a special needs bun or a hard to rehome bunny but do bear in mind the general costs of keeping a healthy rabbit
£3 for food 1kg bag feeding 2egg cups a day each, blae of feresh hay weekly around£2. myxi and vhd jabs (2 mxyi a year and 1 vhd yearly) £15-£20 a vaccs. pannacur 4 x a year and at cost of £4 per rabbit, rear gaurd £15-£30 per rabbit, if you dont get a rescue bun then cost of neuter is around 50-100 pounds. also if get a dental bunny £50-80 a time.
various buns need different things oyu will no doubt need treats and veg and herbs and toys along the way too and bedding of course! so be prepared. also while many buns dont need the vets that often there are so few rabbit savvy vets around that you really need to pick your vet to get decent care an average vet will have very little training. if however this is all fine with you :) then go for it i know that rabbits in need section on ehre and the rabbits rehome area will have lots of buns needing a good home ehre are some long termers(if long way away a bunny run can be arranged)
http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/longstay.asp

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 04:26 PM
OH I want her!!!
http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/moreinfo.asp?RabID=9012

She's not too far from me, and I have family in nottingham I've been wanting to visit for ages too.

If she's a bit of a grumpy bun, maybe she's be ok on her own, as a house rabbit?

She's be caged during the day and then free range when I come home.

She'd definetly be pampered :love:

bunlover
29-01-2009, 04:27 PM
OH I want her!!!
http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/moreinfo.asp?RabID=9012

She's not too far from me, and I have family in nottingham I've been wanting to visit for ages too.

If she's a bit of a grumpy bun, maybe she's be ok on her own, as a house rabbit?

She's be caged during the day and then free range when I come home.

She'd definetly be pampered :love:

possilby but you would need to also find out if she is neutered..i noticed it doesnt say. neutering wil lprobebly calm her down a lot and make her less grumpy.. it will also stop her getting uterine cancer(85% of buns over age 3yrs get this and die... they can otherwise live up to age 14years) x

Hugo's There
29-01-2009, 04:29 PM
possilby but you would need to also find out if she is neutered..i noticed it doesnt say. neutering wil lprobebly calm her down a lot and make her less grumpy.. it will also stop her getting uterine cancer(85% of buns over age 3yrs get this and die... they can otherwise live up to age 14years) x

She will not be neutered as the rescue is run by an older lady who isn't keen on neutering, I guess she is just set in her ways. I know she always has lots of rabbits looking for homes :)

bunlover
29-01-2009, 04:33 PM
She will not be neutered as the rescue is run by an older lady who isn't keen on neutering, I guess she is just set in her ways. I know she always has lots of rabbits looking for homes :)

fair enough.. then you will need to take into consideration the cost of neutering her to prevent uterine cancer too. in fact hugos there is the one to talk to about special needs buns! thats exactly what ehr sanctury is for. she can explain a lot more tha ni can about what their imparticular needs are dependant on disability..... over to you liz!! lol :) x

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 04:45 PM
LOL

I did text her last night but have had no reply ;)

Neutering for a standard rabbit is about £40 near me, give me a couple of weeks and I can save that no problem as its deffo worth it x

bunlover
29-01-2009, 04:46 PM
LOL

I did text her last night but have had no reply ;)

Neutering for a standard rabbit is about £40 near me, give me a couple of weeks and I can save that no problem as its deffo worth it x

check the difference between neutereing a male and a female.. as prices for males are cheaper than females(jsut so yo uare aware) also bun will need cage rest after op and also make sure the vet knows to keep them eating right up until the actual op you cannot starve a rabbit like a dog or cat a they cant physically be sick and b if their gut shuts down they can die very very quickly! :) x

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 04:50 PM
check the difference between neutereing a male and a female.. as prices for males are cheaper than females(jsut so yo uare aware) also bun will need cage rest after op and also make sure the vet knows to keep them eating right up until the actual op you cannot starve a rabbit like a dog or cat a they cant physically be sick and b if their gut shuts down they can die very very quickly! :) x

I know thanks, had to study advance animal nutrition in different gastric systems. LOL ;)

I'm ok for price, seriously, with me having a good connnection with a vets near me, with having the rescue, they agreed to do payment plans with me, for example if I get an emergency brought to me.

Even if I only have £5 at the time, I make CERTAIN that my animals get the treatment they need, having been working with animals at college for the past two years, I've all too often seen and dealt with the after effects that comes from people not looking after their animals properly x

Do you think a rescue would let me take a rabbit on "trial" over a couple of weeks to see how we get along, and how they cope with the move, before I commit to adopt it?

as I don't want to adopt a rabbit and then have trouble and have to hand it back, as it wouldn't be fair on the bun, whereas if I had a trial peroid with the rabbit we coud identify any problems, that might be as simple as I need a different rabbit that has a different temperment maybe.

Thanks everyone for your help xx

Hugo's There
29-01-2009, 05:03 PM
LOL

I did text her last night but have had no reply ;)

Neutering for a standard rabbit is about £40 near me, give me a couple of weeks and I can save that no problem as its deffo worth it x

Do you mean you sent me a text last night? I didn't receive one
I am more than happy to give advice if I can possibly help :)

Hel - Molly's Auntie
29-01-2009, 05:14 PM
Do you mean you sent me a text last night? I didn't receive one
I am more than happy to give advice if I can possibly help :)

I did x

I basically asked if you find there are many differences in care requirements for older buns, and if you think it is worth getting an older bun and giving them a happy retirement home, rather than getting a younger bun x

I know older buns aren't favourites, and I would rather give a comfy home to an older animal, as they're more likely to be passed over, by people after a bun,

and no offence intended to anyone on here, as this applies to all animals, I hate the thought of animals dying of old age in rescues, and rehoming centres, I think all animals should be happy, and loved with a family to send them off to the rainbow bridge x x

Hugo's There
29-01-2009, 05:43 PM
I did x

I basically asked if you find there are many differences in care requirements for older buns, and if you think it is worth getting an older bun and giving them a happy retirement home, rather than getting a younger bun x

I know older buns aren't favourites, and I would rather give a comfy home to an older animal, as they're more likely to be passed over, by people after a bun,

and no offence intended to anyone on here, as this applies to all animals, I hate the thought of animals dying of old age in rescues, and rehoming centres, I think all animals should be happy, and loved with a family to send them off to the rainbow bridge x x

I think offering a home to an older bunny so it is able to enjoy its retirement is a lovely idea.

As far as care requirements are concerned it really does vary bunny to bunny. I have an 8 year old who is no different to how he was when he was year :) But i have also had 5 year olds that have been really "old". A lot of my bunnies with very special needs are actually the younger ones.

You would need to be on the look out for signs of arthritis and general joint pain, which could lead to mobility problems. Some of my older buns have had dental problems but again this isn't exclusive to older bunnies. There is a higher chance they may be developing some kind of organ failure, which will obviously limit their time with you.

It is so hard to know with bunnies, once they get to around 7 years old you just don't know whether they have 4 years left or 6 months. But if you are willing to live with that uncertainty then I say go for it :)