View Full Version : Boarding bunny again

24-04-2006, 10:37 PM
Yup, same bunny and same dilemma. For those who don't know the story, I board this bun semi-regularly. The owner SPOILS her to death - unfortunately almost literally :(
This girly is fed on a 'pea flake mix' - one of the worst mixes around. The owner says she doesn't like hay, but when she comes to me it's a case of tough luck, and she does eat it when she realises I'm not giving her any more than a small handful of mix.
I've told to owner to cut down on the treats (last time I was giving a bagful of honey sticks and veg sticks) and gave her some Excel Lite, which I'd tried the bun on while she was here, and she would eat it once her bowl was empty of the other stuff. This weekend they didn't bring any treats, but she's still on the mix. I've been feeding her 50:50 of mix and Excel Lite as she's had it before (the first time she came to stay with me I had to give her a little too, as they forgot to leave her dry food with me) and it didn't cause a problem with her tummy.
I noticed last weekend when I bunnysat her poos were quite small, and this is something I mentioned the owner when she picked her up.
This week I was at work when they were due around so I set up her cage in the animal shed and gave the owner directions on where to leave her. When I got home an hour or so later, bun hadn't done any poos in the cage, and later on in the evening there was only a small amount of very tiny ones.
I brought her indoors so she'd be warmer and gave her lots of hay, gave her some timothy hay to try and some mix and veg. She did a few more poos of a little bigger size but no where near what they should be for her size bunny.
Saturday I put her out in the run to try and encourage her to eat some grass, but she spent the whole time in the corner (and I was out for a couple of hours) and only did one poo, which was a caecal poo anyway. I tried to get in contact with the owner to see what she wanted to do but didn't hear from her - and as cruel as it may sound, I didn't want to pay up for an emergency vet and be stuck with the bill if she refused to pay. She was still eating the rubbish mix and nibbling a little at hay anyway, and her tummy didn't feel hard or anything.
I had an appointment Sunday morning anyway so took her along and the vet said her gut sounded very quiet and gave her some gut stimulant and me some Science Recovery to syringe-feed.
I managed to get hold of the owner today and we've agreed that I'll keep her for another night (she was due to collect her today) so that I can carry on with the syringe-feeding, as the bun is very reluctant to let me do it!
However, obviously something's going to have to change with the owner. I've tried to stress the importance of a good diet, wrote her up some info last time, which she did thank me for and has been cutting out the treats.
Hopefully the seriousness of this will make her really think about what I've said, but perhaps some personal experiences from people would help - those with fussy bunnies or who didn't know what they should be feeding their rabbit when they first got them, bad experiences from cheap mixes and sugary treats, etc. and some tips to help her that I could print off

24-04-2006, 10:53 PM
Well done to you for firstly spotting that the bunny wasn't 100% and secondly for getting the owner to stop using all those sugary treats. We were warned by the rescue that we got our two from that the treats should be avoided. It makes me very cross that shops still sell them! I'm certain that we would have bought our two LOADS of that sort of stuff if the rescue hadn't specifically told us not to use them.

Hopefully, if the owner has listened to you before, they will listen to you again (especially if what you say is reinforced with a vets bill!). Could you direct the owner to this forum? It's been invaluable to me for learning about what I should and shouldn't do in respect to the buns!