View Full Version : Agressive neutered rabbit

16-09-2013, 08:04 PM
My little Paddy is becoming more aggressive. I just went into his run and he bit my ankle :censored: I'm actually annoyed with him and I have never been annoyed at a bunny before. He was neutered exactly one a month ago and previous rabbits have never done this so I am very confused. I know hormones take a while to die down but it seems to me the aggression has increased since the op.

For example he used to love my son but he bit him for no reason and it really was no reason, my son does not tease animals plus I was there to see it. Also whenever food is being dispensed whether its pellets or fresh veg, Paddy will rear up and grunt angrily. I have to drop the food from a height to make sure he won't bite my hand which has happened before. He also de clawed his bunny neighbor last month through the mesh and I am beginning to lose hope for bonding him in the future.

My son is scared of him now and I am reluctant to go near him or handle him. When we first adopted him he was lovely and sweet and happy to be handled. He relished having his head stroked and his ears massaged. But now he is starting to shun all that. I don't know where I am with him atm or what to do about it.

Does anyone have any advice please?

16-09-2013, 08:12 PM
Didn't he have a seizure a few weeks ago ?

His increasing aggression could be related.

16-09-2013, 09:27 PM
Didn't he have a seizure a few weeks ago ?

His increasing aggression could be related.

That is right he had one in June. I didn't know it could be related. Does this mean he will always be like this or will he need medication because does it mean something underlying is going on?

16-09-2013, 09:33 PM
That is right he had one in June. I didn't know it could be related. Does this mean he will always be like this or will he need medication because does it mean something underlying is going on?

It may be that his changing hormone levels are having a more profound effect on him than might otherwise be the case. Or it may be that there is something more neurological brewing. He may even have eyesight problems. It would be a good idea to take him to your Vet to discuss the situation.

If you attempt to handle him or enter his area then it may help if there is not the scent of other Rabbits on you or your clothing xx

16-09-2013, 09:58 PM
I agree with Jane about getting him seen by a vet first.

Tbh, if it is strictly behavioural, he sounds frustrated. Fiver "acts up" a lot when he is bored and this results in him biting, boxing and growling.
How large is his accommodation? Does he get to go somewhere "different" every now and again? Fiver has my whole room to play in, but he gets bored of it if he doesn't get any time out of the room. Most rabbits aren't bothered about this, but Fiver is a highly intelligent bunny and perhaps this is the case with your bun.

I take it he can see other rabbits from his home? Are you sure he isn't frustrated/angry by this? If he is territorial then he will see these bunnies as invading his space and he will feel the need to protect this space constantly.

17-09-2013, 12:19 AM
It's certainly worth a check up to rule out physical causes.

For behavioural, its a case of making sure that behaviour never gets him what he wants e. food to arrive faster or you to get out of his way, if he learns it doesn't work it should mean he stops (or at least reduces) it. It's a bit like making sure a tantruming toddler doesn't get what they want :lol:

There are some tips here: http://www.therabbithouse.com/behaviour/problem-aggressive-rabbit.asp

I'd suggest some wellies for when you go in the run, and walk in and stand there and let him try it on til he gives up, then when he calms down, feed him.

Having another bun around could be a trigger, sometimes rabbits that are angry with a neighbour they can't reach will take it out on anyone available. A solid board might make a difference so he can't see them.

17-09-2013, 06:48 PM
Sometimes it can take a good while for hormones to disappear and I have noticed in some of my buns that it got worse before it got better.
I agree with the wearing wellies and making sure you don't smell of other bunnies when you go to see him.

My Bailey (mini rex) was a right wee spoiled brat when I adopted him, he used to nip and bite for no reason always managing to bite me on the nipple as well!!!
Perseverence and making sure I absolutely didn't smell of any bunnies when I was handling him has helped.

I've had him for a year now and the difference in his personality is massive, he is so much more chilled out now. :love:

Maybe wee paddy just need time, and don't worry about getting him bonded, I've found my single buns have reacted negatively to seeing other buns on the other side of the pen just because they are frustrated they cannot get to them to say hi.
But generally when they are introduced in a neutral space and allowed to speak to each other they change and are more than happy to have the other bunnies company :)

17-09-2013, 08:48 PM
Thanks for all the replies, they are really helpful.

Paddy s going to the vet for his MOT on Friday so I will speak to the vet then. Ironically he has been a really nice boy today.

He is able to see Maisie from his run and can probably smell the boys next door to him but I do have some perspex I could use to block that view. he lives in a large run in the garage but weather permitting gets out for a run daily in a large 8m/3m rabbit run to fee range. He has an earth box for digging in there and a graze box full of grass. There are also tunnels to run through and boxes to go under and jump on. Paddy is highly active, agile and intelligent. I know his need for stimulation is greater than it is for some of our other buns but I am not sure what else to do. His run consists of a similar set up. He can graze, dig, burrow, nibble and hide in things or jump on things in there.

I took your advice and wore wellies all day and also gave him his food more slowly so hopefully he won't think a nip will get him fed any quicker. So long as he is not suffering any underlying health issue, I would be tempted to agree it will be the hormones. I think I might be expecting too much after just a month. You are right Nat when you say a year can make a difference. Its been so long since I had such a young bun, I'm not used to this hormonal behaviors anymore :lol: But years ago I did have a girl who took a good year to calm down and settle with a mate. I hope its the same for Paddy and not something health related.