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Domino27
14-08-2011, 12:40 PM
Hi,

Shortly I am going to be looking after a rabbit whilst her owners are away on holiday. She's not coming to me though.

There are a few problems with this bun, she's a normal sized lop so a lot bigger than mine HOWEVER she was obviously bought as a kids pet and has clearly been neglected of human love. She's about 2/3 with a MAHOOSIVE dewlap and has the run of their garden. She is not neutered either so will attack anyone on her territoty - understandable.


The food she gets is (and I quote) "a banana in the morning, spends all day eating grass and then a carrot is thrown into the hutch for night"...due to this she can't understand why the rabbit has a mucky bum and has to be sedated to get it all cleaned up.

Now I have never had or dealt with an aggressive rabbit, I am going to go in all kitted up as apparently she goes for ankles and will sit and growl at you. I am obviously not going to be giving her any more banana or carrot and she'll be getting a bowl of exel pellets instead.

I'm going to try and sit with her and see if she trusts me over those two weeks, clearly it'll need months of work but sadly I can't do this nor can I take the rabbit off her as I have no room. I have given some words of advice re: food and neutering though.

Anyhoo....any advice of how to go about this??

:wave:

yaretzi
14-08-2011, 12:51 PM
>.<!!!!!!!

the pellets sound like a fab idea, but obviously introduce them gradually so she doesn't get ill. Obviously you've already spoken to the owners about the diet so hopefully switching the fruit over to green veg will help the muckybum situation and addition of hay as well as the grass should help too so hopefully bunny won't be so mucky now :(

Hopefully they take your advice about neutering. I'm sure the bun will be lovely once neutered. It'd be lovely if they got it a friend too :(

Do you perhaps have any old/spare toys that your buns don't bother with? The addition of a tube or tunnel or anything would be really enjoyable for the bun I think - you didn't mention but I doubt she doesn't have much in the way of stimulation? Mention cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes etc to the owners so they can give her something to play with :)

Does she have an okay sized hutch/run? You didn't mention that so hopefully it's a good size which would be a great bonus :)

Domino27
14-08-2011, 12:56 PM
>.<!!!!!!!

the pellets sound like a fab idea, but obviously introduce them gradually so she doesn't get ill. Obviously you've already spoken to the owners about the diet so hopefully switching the fruit over to green veg will help the muckybum situation and addition of hay as well as the grass should help too so hopefully bunny won't be so mucky now :(

Hopefully they take your advice about neutering. I'm sure the bun will be lovely once neutered. It'd be lovely if they got it a friend too :(

Do you perhaps have any old/spare toys that your buns don't bother with? The addition of a tube or tunnel or anything would be really enjoyable for the bun I think - you didn't mention but I doubt she doesn't have much in the way of stimulation? Mention cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes etc to the owners so they can give her something to play with :)

Does she have an okay sized hutch/run? You didn't mention that so hopefully it's a good size which would be a great bonus :)

Yep got that about the pellets, mine only get a bit anyway so she can have an egg-cup full and see how she goes.

I don't have any spare toys but I shall see what I can make up, as you guessed the bun has nothing to play with.

The hutch isn't bad tbh, although I've not had chance to look at it properly but from what I've seen she has a lot of room to move about in. I guess she's never in it anyway so...she has no run as she has free range of the garden hence why she gets so protective when someone goes in there.

I know this sounds bad BUT I hope they don't get another one, this one is not loved and I would hate for another to be brought into the situation. TBH they are trying to get rid of her, she originally thought that she would only live til 5....there's apparently another male on the estate who is trying to get rid of his aggressive male (no doubt not neutered as well)... *sigh*

She said to me "you're always picking stuff for your buns and I see you go out to them everyday"....erm, yes they're my pets...

whitehood
14-08-2011, 12:58 PM
When it's the time of the owners arrival, why don't you leave leaflets on rabbit care, hay, neutering, vaccinating etc.
So she can see what she's doing wrong and she might improve the life of her rabbit
I know where you could find rabbit neutering and vaccinating leaflets - vets :D

Santa
14-08-2011, 01:03 PM
Maybe controversial, but I'm not sure I would suddenly scrap the banana and carrots and swap her to excel while they're away. They will only swap it back again when she comes back from holiday and then you'll probably have done more harm than good by having the bun's diet changed twice in a short space of time.

I would instead ask them if it's ok if you experiment a bit with her diet while they're away to see if you can solve her sticky bum, and if they agree, I'd scrap the banana and start introducing pellets in the morning instead (but I wouldn't go for excel if she's a sticky bummer, as that seems to be just as bad in many buns who are prone to that!) and maybe decrease but not totally cut out the volume of carrot in evening, at least not initially. How long are they away for? With their permission, you might be able to make a good amount of progress cleaning her up, and then if you can show them that not only is she better, but it's cheaper for them too (not just in vets bills for the clean up but also a bag of pellets must be way cheaper than a daily banana!)

It's such a tricky one, because if they don't agree with the changes you've made, they'll just swap back and she'll be worse off, so I think it does need to be done with their consent. Good luck!

yaretzi
14-08-2011, 01:05 PM
Yep got that about the pellets, mine only get a bit anyway so she can have an egg-cup full and see how she goes.

I don't have any spare toys but I shall see what I can make up, as you guessed the bun has nothing to play with.

The hutch isn't bad tbh, although I've not had chance to look at it properly but from what I've seen she has a lot of room to move about in. I guess she's never in it anyway so...she has no run as she has free range of the garden hence why she gets so protective when someone goes in there.

I know this sounds bad BUT I hope they don't get another one, this one is not loved and I would hate for another to be brought into the situation. TBH they are trying to get rid of her, she originally thought that she would only live til 5....there's apparently another male on the estate who is trying to get rid of his aggressive male (no doubt not neutered as well)... *sigh*

She said to me "you're always picking stuff for your buns and I see you go out to them everyday"....erm, yes they're my pets...

That's good at least that the hutch is a decent size and she has free range, at least she's not suffering with that. Even if you just give her some cardboard boxes I'm sure she'd love it, bless her!

Poor bun. It's difficult really, I see what you mean about getting another bun. But at least it'd be some friendliness and affection for the bun herself, having a husbun.

It really is so annoying when people don't treat their pets right and then act as if they're the ones in the wrong. Not neutering, not feeding properly and not giving them any attention and wondering why they're aggressive!

I am pleased about the space the bun has though, at least she's having some enjoyment out of life. With a few toys and a proper diet of veggies, hay and pellets at least she'll have a halfway decent quality of life with very little change needed from the owner - unlike buns shoved in tiny hutches. Seems like that's the only things that can really help the situation :( Perhaps if you ever see toys/tunnels etc cheap you can pick one up extra and give it to the owner? It's a pain to have to, since she should be providing it, but at least if you offer them to the bun the owner might see that perhaps she could be doing a bit more. It's a difficult one though as the owner might get annoyed with your 'interfering' :oops:

You could always share toys/tunnels with the neighbours bun if you wanted? The stimulation from having another buns scent might be quite nice (or it might go badly! but i've seen a lot of buns getting enjoyment out of a bunnysmelling object!). if you're anything like me you have a tonne of toys and tubes that don't all fit in the run/shed at one time so you rotate them, so you could rotate them between yours and her bunny at the same time? Dunno what you think, but worth a thought :)!

susie bun
14-08-2011, 01:06 PM
Maybe controversial, but I'm not sure I would suddenly scrap the banana and carrots and swap her to excel while they're away. They will only swap it back again when she comes back from holiday and then you'll probably have done more harm than good by having the bun's diet changed twice in a short space of time.

I would instead ask them if it's ok if you experiment a bit with her diet while they're away to see if you can solve her sticky bum, and if they agree, I'd scrap the banana and start introducing pellets in the morning instead (but I wouldn't go for excel if she's a sticky bummer, as that seems to be just as bad in many buns who are prone to that!) and maybe decrease but not totally cut out the volume of carrot in evening, at least not initially. How long are they away for? With their permission, you might be able to make a good amount of progress cleaning her up, and then if you can show them that not only is she better, but it's cheaper for them too (not just in vets bills for the clean up but also a bag of pellets must be way cheaper than a daily banana!)

It's such a tricky one, because if they don't agree with the changes you've made, they'll just swap back and she'll be worse off, so I think it does need to be done with their consent. Good luck!

Agree. :thumb: Poor bun. :(

KarenM
14-08-2011, 01:11 PM
Maybe controversial, but I'm not sure I would suddenly scrap the banana and carrots and swap her to excel while they're away. They will only swap it back again when she comes back from holiday and then you'll probably have done more harm than good by having the bun's diet changed twice in a short space of time.

I would instead ask them if it's ok if you experiment a bit with her diet while they're away to see if you can solve her sticky bum, and if they agree, I'd scrap the banana and start introducing pellets in the morning instead (but I wouldn't go for excel if she's a sticky bummer, as that seems to be just as bad in many buns who are prone to that!) and maybe decrease but not totally cut out the volume of carrot in evening, at least not initially. How long are they away for? With their permission, you might be able to make a good amount of progress cleaning her up, and then if you can show them that not only is she better, but it's cheaper for them too (not just in vets bills for the clean up but also a bag of pellets must be way cheaper than a daily banana!)

It's such a tricky one, because if they don't agree with the changes you've made, they'll just swap back and she'll be worse off, so I think it does need to be done with their consent. Good luck!

Great post. :thumb:

I don't think it's a good idea to change the food while they're away; it's more important I feel to try to convince them to try a change in diet and get them involved in any changes you make, as they're then far more likely to stick to them.

It doesn't sound as though they're willfully neglecting her, more that they think they're already doing the right things. I know it's easy to criticise and say that people should research but many people don't know that there is more to owning bunnies than what they already know.

I freely admit that I didn't join here to learn about keeping rabbits, but will also admit that I didn't know half as much as I thought I did.