View Full Version : Is this "referred aggression?"

21-08-2014, 10:10 PM
I've recently moved Pip out of my bedroom and into the kitchen next to where Mimzy has been for the last few years since his tilt. It has afforded her a bit more space to be there and (I thought) some companionship in being near her former husbun. It's only been about a week but now I'm having problems with her behaviour.
She is very "nippy" towards me suddenly. Now she can be thus, it"s not atypical, but she'd been tossing her litterbox about and waking me with the noise the last few days and when I went to put it back where it belongs this morning she lunged and bit my hand. Hard enough to let me know she meant it but did not pierce the skin. I was shocked because she's usually avoiding me when I stick my hand near her so this is raising a red flag for me.

She's also been very destructive to other items I've placed for her amusement in the pen; hay baskets and hidey box are chewed to uselessness and thrown about as it suits her. She does not sit near Mimzy when he is on her side of his pen (they are well separated) and he shows no interest in her. (He's usually sleeping all day anyway.)

Wrong move? Should I put her back in my bedroom even though she has less room there? I was really thinking she'd be more comfy out in the kitchen and more chance to socialize but since the cats are out there too maybe they are spooking her? She has sore hock also and I wanted to put her on a softer surface so I put down a memory foam bath mat which she seems to like but is making very messy by pooping/eating cecals on it. :? She also dumped her hay and peed in it the last few days, which she didn't do before. (She does piddle about sometimes and will be checked for bladder issues at her upcoming dental.)

I'm also still battling some kind of bug problem in the house that's driving me to distraction. I don't know if the buns have them or not, we think they came in on the hay delivery this month. I'd actually hoped to move Fiver out to the kitchen as well if Pip settled so they could all be near one another and I might have a better chance of getting my room back from whatever is biting me.

Just need some outside perspective now. Weather is beginning to get colder and I want the bunnies settled and the bugs gone before snow flies and the house needs shutting up like a ziploc bag, as it's becoming obvious we aren't moving anytime soon. :(

Also, since I think it's mites we're dealing with any suggestions for eradicating them safely would be appreciated. I've tried everything you can find on the net: washing/drying bedding on high heat, menthol and apple cider vinegar sprays, not wearing the same clothes day to day, etc. I had to douse myself head to toe in tea tree shampoo the other night to get relief but not sure I can use that everyday for fear of toxicity...plus I can't use that on the animals and the vet I spoke to a few days ago is unconvinced it's mites and therefore reluctant to prescribe selamectin. We'll be doing skin scrapings at their dentals but that will be a few days yet. :( In the meantime I'm going mad. :evil:

Many thanks for any and all replies. :) xx

21-08-2014, 10:59 PM
Hi I'm sure your bunny is just showing off because you've moved her. Sometimes we think that what seems right for them isn't always what they want/need :)
As for the 'mites' your vet can easily put some of you buns fur under their microscope and will clearly see mites if they have them. Their coat/skin can look like they have dandruff when you tease some out.
Maybe you could get yourself checked to see if it's a 'human' allergy? Is anyone else in your house suffering or just poor old you ? :(

22-08-2014, 12:47 AM
Are you washing your hands between handling them - rabbits often sniff before looking closely so if you smell like another bunny they can bite first!

22-08-2014, 05:29 AM
Hi Tamsin, yes my hands were clean at the time as I'd just gotten up, hadn't touched the other bunnies. She's just really been, well, cranky since going to the new pen. :( Of course, she is my diva, so I suppose I haven't done much right in this endeavor other than get her a softer surface to park her bum upon. :roll: I'll give it a while more but if she doesn't seem happy, we'll go back to the other location.

Thank you, peadubya123, I'll be having them all tested at their next appointment. Too bad it's a week away. :( They were all scratching when I took them in a week ago but the vet didn't find anything on them then. My Yorkie, who shares my room with me, and my littlest bun, Fiver, however, are shaking their ears a lot and Jenna had a few bites marks in them until a few days ago.
I really think this is hay mites because it seemed to begin when the latest bundle got here and at first it was much worse and I now have scars all over my midsection from the first round of bites I received. I checked online and no, allergic reactions don't scar the skin. I was afraid at first that I'd become allergic to something as I do have quite a few allergies. But other than a sore throat for the last few weeks I don't have any troubles breathing but just this terrible itch that I have to do all I can not to scratch. The welts form a pimple like lesion that if you open it just spreads whatever material the mite uses to dissolve your skin over a wider area. I've had bad reactions to mosquito bites before but nothing like this!

This is what I believe they may be: (Warning: don't look if you don't like magnified images of bugs!)
I should dump what's left of the hay but I have nothing else to feed the bunnies and it'll be awhile before I can get more in. :( I'm hoping once it's gone and I've cleaned up around where it was that we'll have no more of this, but we'll see what the vet says next week. If it gets worse before then we'll go in and deal with it sooner, but the vet who knows them best won't be available till next Wednesday.

22-08-2014, 10:11 AM
Rabbits don't like a move sometimes. I wanted Daisy and Rupert to have more space but she stopped eating and just sat there looking miserable. I decided to return them on Day 5 and as soon as they were back in their original hutch she perked up and started eating properly.

I hope you sort the mite problem out - that must be awful for you.

22-08-2014, 10:45 AM
It might just be the move Pip is reacting to, because she feels insecure now. Hopefully she'll settle in a few days. If not, you may just need to move her back. Maybe she was enjoying her peace and quiet too much :lol:

22-08-2014, 01:20 PM
We have Xeno drops here (uk) for mite treatment but all buns may have mites and usually keep them under control until they become unable to for various health reasons ie too fat or old and arthritic or dental problems, that's when they become a problem for them :(
Have you seen any fleas? They're nasty and bitey :D