View Full Version : What's the most important thing you've learnt about rabbit care this year?

Bunny Buddy
11-12-2009, 09:46 PM
I just got thinking about it tonight as sadly I feel I've been banging my head against a brick wall in the last couple of days with people reluctant to learn anything beyond what they already know :( It's a constant learning process and hopefully we are all getting better rabbit carers as time goes on :)

I think the most important lesson I've learnt is not to see stasis as a digestive upset.

Izzy taught me that in March :cry::cry: She stopped eating because of her liver torsion. I was told at the time that nothing could have been done to save her, though I've been told more recently (though not sure if it's accurate) that if caught early and diagnosed early enough it might have been possible to save her :( I've also realised how important it is for rabbits to be x-rayed to find out what really is going on to cause them to stop eating - Artie's calcified bladder being a prime example.

So, what important learning curve has happened with everyone else? :wave:

11-12-2009, 09:58 PM
An awful lot, particularly on here...myxamatosis, stasis, amount of pellets to be fed, all about bonding...I'm fortunate my buns have no health problems and I'd like to think I'm relatively knowledgable enough now to recognise symptoms much quicker.....but alsorts really too many to mention but most of all how much love a bun/s can bring :D

11-12-2009, 10:02 PM
Ohh too much to put on this thread!

11-12-2009, 10:05 PM
That hay is way more important than pellets. I hardly ever used to give them it :oops:

11-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Wilson's headtilt for me & being determined not to give up on him, even though one vet said I should :evil:

11-12-2009, 10:10 PM
having a beloved girlybun spayed is not the easy option.

Bunny Buddy
11-12-2009, 10:19 PM
That hay is way more important than pellets. I hardly ever used to give them it :oops:

Yeah that would have been the hugely important thing I learnt last year. I knew it should always be available but I didn't understand that they needed to eat loads of it nor the importance of making sure they had fresh hay daily. It all comes out of the same bag and isn't exactly 'fresh', but fresh to them of course is different!

11-12-2009, 10:22 PM
That a vet is not always right. Always do research on the correct procedures, ask loads of questions if in doubt. But most of all, don't give up on a bun. Vet told me to put cherry to sleep due to dental problems, after one dental, but she had an infected tooth, too, which was not discovered until second dental with another vet. I might have given up on her had my gut feeling not kicked in. Don't feel awkward seeking a second opinion.

11-12-2009, 10:23 PM
That it's blimmin difficult! :cry:

Bunny Buddy
11-12-2009, 10:30 PM
Wilson's headtilt for me & being determined not to give up on him, even though one vet said I should :evil:

Don't feel awkward seeking a second opinion.

I've been there too. Esme would not have been spayed if I'd just accepted the opinion of my original vet, due to problem with anaesthetic. It turns out he worked with FHB about 20 years ago so I'm still a bit puzzled as to why he didn't recommend her :? I'm really glad I pursued it. Not as desperate as poor Cherry or Wilson's stories though :cry::cry:

11-12-2009, 10:39 PM
Wow:shock: Everything really. From hay all the way through to bonding and then onto not giving more than one new food a day. (Gut stasis:evil:)

Also how to use a forum and then proceed to addiction of said forum:oops:

12-12-2009, 02:53 AM
to pay more attention when i check for signs of f illness. Two of my bunnies are dead because I am an idiot ad missed something when i checked them because there must have been one sign that i didn'y see

bunny foo foo
12-12-2009, 02:54 AM
That a bun needs a friend. :)

12-12-2009, 06:54 AM
I've learnt that despite giving the very best care, rabbits still get ill and die far to often :(

12-12-2009, 08:24 AM
i now know the signs of a heart bunny.. and never want to see them again :cry::cry::cry::cry:

but if i do, i know not to be fobbed off and to insist the heart is checked properly :evil::evil:

12-12-2009, 09:15 AM
That some vets don't necessarily know everything. Before RU, I would have trusted everything any vet told me as gospel. I'm happy with my current vet practice (with the exception of one locum) but I've hopefully picked up enough info from here to know when to ask for a second opinion.

12-12-2009, 09:15 AM
That rabbits are very very fragile and can deteriorate rapidly! That Cylap for VHD has loads of side effects and to switch to lapinject! To request extra metacam for a spayed bunny, I know it helped Daisy! To make sure your buns are looked after by bunny savvy people if you have to go away...they saved Daisys life in October!! To spot the early signs of stasis and know what to do!!

12-12-2009, 09:26 AM
Great post! I have learnt loads, but mainly that they need tonnes of hay and not many pellets (if at all). I used to worry that mine didn't eat enough pellets, but now I know it's not essential.:wave:

Bunny Buddy
12-12-2009, 09:35 AM
to pay more attention when i check for signs of f illness. Two of my bunnies are dead because I am an idiot ad missed something when i checked them because there must have been one sign that i didn'y see

There most probably wasn't anything for you to see until it was too late. I realise with the first bunny I lost there were signs but I didn't have the experience/knowledge until a year or so later to have read those signs.

I really doubt (know in fact) that you won't have let Beau and Buu down - you would have seen something if there was anything to see.

12-12-2009, 11:08 AM
I like this thread. I was just thinking this morning all that I've learnt about rabbit care recently - despite having my guys for 6 years now! I guess this year it would have to be:

Don't use Cylap again - go with Lapinject
Worm the buns regually
Don't ignore signs of pain, hoping it'll 'pass off'
Stop giving them fruit and wheat products
Show them I love them as often as possible, and enrich their lives to the best of my ability.

Hugo's There
13-12-2009, 10:20 AM
Morbid as it is, we have learnt the importance of post mortums.

We have had lots done this year and on more than one occassion we have found that what we thought was the problem wasn't after PM.

X-rays and blood tests are great at giving you an indication of the possible problem but in no way do they give you the full picture everytime. And in some circumstances they have been completely misleading.

From having PM's done we have learnt an awful lot and so when bunnies arrive with similar symptoms we now have a better idea of what to look for and treat :)

Bunny Buddy
13-12-2009, 10:30 AM
Morbid as it is, we have learnt the importance of post mortums.

I've got to add that to my list too, I hadn't thought about in that much depth before. I'm still wondering about the deaths of two much loved bunnies, I need to know 'why' and never will.

When Izzy died at 9months FHB surgery wanted to do a post mortum at no cost to me as they wanted to see why a seemingly healthy young bunny would die so quickly. The symptoms could have suggested VHD if they hadn't done all the tests they did as she was, from preliminary tests, bleeding profusely internally. It gave me great peace of mind knowing about the liver torsion and that I couldn't have done anything. I would always have a PM done for an unexpected death now. I can see how much more benefit it would be to a sanctuary to learn so much from it.

13-12-2009, 10:33 AM
I learned that it really is true that:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Even just the most basic of maintenance prevents so many health issues! Fresh hay every day, fresh water every day, not too many treats, gradual diet changes, keeping nails clipped, monitoring food input/output, etc etc...

Also that bunnies are very resilient on their own. Just when I've tried everything and I'm about to give up, they will sometimes just bounce back on their own. As if I have to fill some sort of "worry quota" before they'll recover. :lol:

louise and Gus
13-12-2009, 10:39 AM
The importance of finding a vet you do trust, took me 5 different vets before I found one!

Too little is know about EC and the best way to treat it.

Things I still want to learn...how the hell to stop my buns chasing at 5 o'clock in the morning :roll: :lol: :lol:

13-12-2009, 12:11 PM
Well it may not actually be CARE as such - but the important thing I've learned in the last 18 months is ALWAYS insure your bunnies! Parsley alone has cost us over 5,000 and Damson (now too old to start insurance - only wish we hadn't cancelled it all those years ago) has cost 400 in tests etc in the last month.

13-12-2009, 12:22 PM
The importance on regular worming.

With two buns having serious EC problems, which are resolved now, it is scary to think what happens to buns who dont get panacured.

13-12-2009, 12:23 PM
Almost everything there is to know - from this forum I may add :)

13-12-2009, 01:36 PM
I learnt that getting advice from people on here before going to the vets helps me have a much better informed conversation with the vet.

Specifically people on here recommended Metacam for my head tilt bunny. My vet wasn't convinced it would help but said I could try it if I wanted to and I think it did help.

Bungle bunny
13-12-2009, 01:55 PM
Since the end of July, I have learned everything I know about rabbits. Until Bungle came to us, we didnt know anything.

The biggest thing I guess is what a joy it is to have them and how heartbreaking it is when they go