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Liz
06-05-2006, 05:03 PM
Took Harvey as planned for his castration on Thursday- met with the vet nurse- who specialises in small animals and has 4 rabbits of her own. She thought I was having him done because of behaviour problems- when I said he had none and it was because I planned to get him a g/f- we had a long long chat about it all. We discussed the risks (albeit minmal) , the possibility he might not bond, me probably becoming attached to the buns I try to bond him with, the cost of more than one bun, what to do with the buns if he didnt bond with them, why i "thought" he was bored, the amount of time I am able to spend with him etc etc etc- To get to the point, I changed my mind and left with Harvey intact and now thinking I will just leave him be as a single bun, trying to spend as much time as possible with him and keep him interested with boredom busters etc. Was relieved in sense as was quite anxious about him "going under" Any thoughts folks?

elve
06-05-2006, 05:11 PM
there's more than one way to have a happy bunny - you obviously care about him a lot, so will spend time with him, and I'm sure he'll be very contented and spoilt rotten :)

I'll let you into a secret - it's my ambition one day to just have one bunny, a boy - as I think it's a happy relationship for human and bunster, having read a year's worth of stories on RU - I don't get the chance to 'pet' any of my pets - I just blow them a kiss in passing as I'm so busy :oops: I'd love to have a cuddle bun to watch telly with :) In fact I'd love to have the chance to watch telly :lol:

Liz
06-05-2006, 05:19 PM
aww thx 4 that- needing a wee bit reassurance i have made the right decision- so many buns looking for homes- thought i should/could help out- but would never forgive myself if it went wrong n i lost Harv

sola
06-05-2006, 05:25 PM
I would've still gone through with it, but I don't have the time to spent with them to keep them happy. Hence why when Nutmeg is better she'll be spade (not looking forward to it but at least she won't be bored and loney)
I personally think all rabbits should have a friend, unless they are dead set about it. lol

elve
06-05-2006, 05:25 PM
oh well if you want to help out needy buns just get a shed and fill it up - Harvey can be the house bunny :lol:

Jack's-Jane
06-05-2006, 06:13 PM
If we were talking about a Doe I'd say she should be neutered cos of the high incidence of Uterine Cancer in entire Does aged 3+ (and according to my Vet much younger ones too :cry: )
But as long as both your lads 'bits' are fully decended (retained testicles can turn cancerous) then leaving him entire seems a reasonable option.
My only concern would be his...ermmmm.....'frustration' :oops: :oops: at certain times of the year. Some Bucks who cant, well......'do it' get very stressed and can become aggressive or depressed and go off their food.
I guess time will tell with Harvey and if you can cope with all the entire Buck behaviour (spraying can be tricky if you get caught with your mouth open :shock: :roll: :lol: ) then all is well :D :D

Janex

Tamsin
06-05-2006, 06:18 PM
Well, to cover your points:

We discussed the risks (albeit minmal)

Aneasthetic risk is very very low, male rabbits are particularly quick to neuter minimising the risk even more.

the possibility he might not bond, me probably becoming attached to the buns I try to bond him with

The majority of rabbits bond without to much trouble. Males are easier than girls are they are less territorial. The easiset way to bond it to take him along to a rescue and introduce him to the girls there. Then pick the one he gets along with best. It's only a big issue if your fussy about what second rabbit you want instead of letting him choose.

the cost of more than one bun

That is an important consideration, potentially you can have twice as many vet bills. Insurance companies will sometimes offer discounts for second pets though.

what to do with the buns if he didnt bond with them
See above. Most rescues will let you bring him along and if not will let you adopt on a trial basis.

why i "thought" he was bored, the amount of time I am able to spend with him

If you're able to spend lots of time with him great :) Are you willing to do it in the middle of the night when rabbits are most active? Can you communicate in rabbit? Are you willing to binky around the garden, take it in turns to keep watch, lick his ears and sleep with him at bedtime? Rabbits can't play make-believe, personally I think the best toy for a rabbit is another rabbit.


There isn't that much scientific data on pet rabbits but there are studies done on housing lab rabbits that show when kept in pairs or groups rather than singly they moved about their cages more, spent more time investigating things, and showed less abnormal behavours (usually the result of boredom). Another study provided several areas for rabbits allowing them to hang out on their own if they wanted and found they prefered to sit it groups of 2-3.

I'm not totally anti-single bunny, it doesn't work in every situation but I think the prefered way of housing them is with the company of other bunnies.

Elve... I know you have a couple of singles but they'll be aware other bunnies are around and get to investigate the smell when they're out exercising plus you're home all day. I think Benny & Mia get to chat to each other through the mesh too don't they? :)

Liz
06-05-2006, 06:58 PM
thanks for your thoughts folks- will have another rethink and maybe contact nearest rescue (i think its fife?) to ask if i could take harvey there- are others as nervous/anxious about their buns going under anaesthetic? or am i being paranoid? harv doesnt seem to spray anywhere except his litter tray or in the corner when in the garden- he is not in any way aggressive- and the one and only time he went to bite me was on the morning before the vet- i think because i was wrongly advised to starve him from the night before- and he must have been starving! what signs are there that he is bored? i play spend approx 2 hrs a day (more at wk ends) with him - not a lot i know- but with my new job its all i can do. definate food for thought re research tamsin- thx!

AlisonA
06-05-2006, 07:07 PM
Hiya :D It's perfectly normal for you to be nervous about the thought of your bun going under anaesthetic - I took a foster bun in for his castration last week and I was like jelly, and I'd only had him a few days :lol: It really is a low risk procedure though, so although you can't rule out a problem, it is unlikely, and the benefit of him having a friend afterwards is fantastic. I think there is a rescue in Fife (have a feeling she posts on here somewhere) maybe you could have a chat with them and see what vet they use and whether they are able to help with bonding?

I forget where I read it, I think it was a RWF study, that suggested that bonded rabbits spend on average 70% of their time together, which would equate to around 17 hours out of your day to give your bun the equivalent amount of company :shock: Personally therefore I agree with Tamsin - if you can find a rescue who will let him pick his own friend, you don't have the worry about what happens if they don't get on.

I don't think it's necessarily a case that they would be bored alone, more that they are naturally social (as the study showed!) and therefore are generally happier if they have a companion that they can spend time with and communicate with. My own bunnies spend most of their time with each other, and snuggle up together at night too. Having seen the way my own pairs have interacted through the years, I'm quite convinced that most bunnies are happier that way.

Good luck with your lovely bunny :D

elve
06-05-2006, 07:22 PM
oh no I can't believe the vets told you to starve him!!! :o :evil: You probably did right not going ahead with the neuter, because they sound totally ignorant about rabbits! Ask the Fife rescue which vets they use if you change your mind about the op - don't take him back there! :?

Fife rescue (or any rescue) won't let you pair him up if he's not neutered - it's essential for the boy to be neutered if you want to pair him up as he will get very 'overactive' if there's a girl bunny around, and aggressive if it's a boy - although sometimes it can work as the rescue near me has paired an unneutered boy with a neutered boy - they chose each other apparently! Just to confuse everyone I think :lol:

Veronica
06-05-2006, 09:02 PM
I've had single buns....

....but nothing beats watching the relationship between two (or more!) bonded buns! It's incrediable :D The change in them is amazing! I wouldn't want it any other way now. I'm not just saying that either...that is from my own genuine opinion and observations.

I have the following bonded groups:

Tina & Billy
Pee Wee & Prudence

...and then my bonded group of 6 :shock: :
Albert, Ellen, Juley, George, Ruby and Sophie


Soon to be bonded: Zeubin & Coco


Just my last bun to be neutered and paired is my frenchie Alfie (who I will definately be pairing up! :D)

I was always scared of having buns neutered...but the plus's are huuuuuuge. My boys have become little babes since theyve been neutered! :D Just lovely cuddly, snuggly buns :D

bizzy_vicki
07-05-2006, 03:52 AM
im very surprised at a vet nurse recommending you not to get him neutered :shock: especially one who is suposedly a small animal 'expert' and has rabbits herself. and then saying to starve him?!
as a vet nurse it is my responsibility to badger everyone on neutering everything! :lol:

Jack's-Jane
07-05-2006, 05:03 AM
Whilst I am very much pro neutering of Bunnies I think it important to respect the decision of a Bunny Mummy who does not feel happy about the proceedure. As long as the Bun is not going to be able to breed (accidentally or not!).
The decision also needs to be an informed one taking into account the consequences of not spaying Does (risk of uterine cancer), possible hormonal behavioural issues etc.
Years ago I had HUGE reservations about having my Does spayed. It was only as I learned more and eventually found a Vet I was happy with that I changed my mind.
On the single Bun issue, whilst I agree that it is lovely to see a bonded pair, I firmly believe it is also possible for a single rabbit to be VERY HAPPY provided they have lots of interaction with their human family.

I got an email from someone a while back who has viewed thr RU Forum and she said she actually felt guilty for not being able to get a second rabbit as a friend for the one she has.
This lady is housebound and her Bun is her sole companion, living with her 24/7, well cared for,vaccinated etc...etc...
I re-assured her that in my opinion it is quite acceptable to have just one rabbit if we can give that rabbit adequate attention.
Sorry for the epistle :oops: I just feel that to imply that a Bun cannot be happy and lead a fulfilling life as a singleton is something of a myth.

*THUD* :shock:

Oooooops, just fell off me soap box.. :wink:

:D :D

Janex

AlisonA
07-05-2006, 05:15 AM
I re-assured her that in my opinion it is quite acceptable to have just one rabbit if we can give that rabbit adequate attention.
Sorry for the epistle :oops: I just feel that to imply that a Bun cannot be happy and lead a fulfilling life as a singleton is something of a myth.
I agree - but just as those of us who advocate pairing are often told that you can't place a blanket rule that all buns will be happier paired, neither can you place a blanket rule that says that all buns can be happy as singles. It very much depends on the bun and the circumstances. Whilst I'd agree that someone home more or less 24/7 can give their bun sufficient interaction, I don't think that someone who can only give 2 hours a day could say the same :wink:

Jack's-Jane
07-05-2006, 05:41 AM
Whilst I'd agree that someone home more or less 24/7 can give their bun sufficient interaction, I don't think that someone who can only give 2 hours a day could say the same :wink:

:thumb: :D :D

Janex

elve
07-05-2006, 06:22 AM
well my rabbits get way less than 2 hours a day interraction with me! - and I don't feel guilty as I've got over the guilt thing that's constantly forced on single bunny owners here - I can see for myself that they are content with life and I've realised that perfection isn't necessary - My own life is far from perfect, but I'm happy enough - My rabbits were unwanted and stuck in rescue for ever (except for Tia - I'm sure she'd have been snapped up) - What they have now is fine, and they seem very happy with it. Of course that's not to say they couldn't be happIER - but in my opinion good enough is good enough...Maybe that's because I've had to accept so many 'failures' and compromises with being a parent? I don't stress over not being perfect any more :roll:

Jack's-Jane
07-05-2006, 07:02 AM
well my rabbits get way less than 2 hours a day interraction with me! - and I don't feel guilty as I've got over the guilt thing that's constantly forced on single bunny owners here - I can see for myself that they are content with life and I've realised that perfection isn't necessary - My own life is far from perfect, but I'm happy enough - My rabbits were unwanted and stuck in rescue for ever (except for Tia - I'm sure she'd have been snapped up) - What they have now is fine, and they seem very happy with it. Of course that's not to say they couldn't be happIER - but in my opinion good enough is good enough...Maybe that's because I've had to accept so many 'failures' and compromises with being a parent? I don't stress over not being perfect any more :roll:

Gawd if I stressed about all my imperfections I'd be CERTIFIABLE :shock: :roll:

...as opposed to just being semi-certifiable :roll: :lol: :lol:

Methinks we all do our best.... :D :D

Janex

Tamsin
07-05-2006, 09:46 AM
I think your situation is again slightly different as all your bunnies are aware others are around and (I think) get to smell/see them or are inside so get to see you more.

You do have to look at individual situations :) Someone spending the day 24/7 with a single house bun is different to a bun on it's own without sight of a human or bunny except at food time.

KathyM
07-05-2006, 10:20 AM
It's a VN's/vet's job to make sure an owner is aware of the risk of anaesthesia in ALL animals, not just small. While I am pro-neutering, I won't go as far as saying the anaesthetic is low risk. Lower risk than it used to be, yes, but when it comes to small animals it IS higher risk than other animals. Of course weighing it up against the benefits, many people choose to go ahead, and some don't. I think as long as it's an informed choice (which it seems to be), then noone can argue with it.

I was a student VN a while ago, and although I always will be pro-neutering of most pets, I can't help but be nervous of it with Lola, and my other small animals. Doesn't mean I won't do it (although I refuse to neuter my rats now after losing two to anaesthetics - and they're similar risk to rabbits), but I won't pretend it's risk free either.

Liz
07-05-2006, 12:53 PM
Thanks for all your opinions- I'm still unsure though- will take some time and think it over. Harvey isnt in his hutch all day/night and only seen at meal times- I actually spend as much time as I can with him- in good weather- i sit in the garden with him and when its not so good- he has a play room upstairs- in which again I spend time with him- today for example- its pouring of rain - so hes been in since 9am- its less during the week as I work. I do feel guilty a lot when I read posts on here- I do try to be a good and responsible owner but I dont have the drive, comittment, time, knowledge etc etc that others seem to. I have learned a lot but am far far from perfect.
To clarify re the vet nurse- it was NOT her who suggested I starve him- it was the receptionist who is to be reprimanded as a result. The VN was quite angry about me being told this. They are my only experience of a vet and Harv my only experience of a rabbit so I have nothing to compare with except the info on here. Her own rabbits are all neutered and single buns- it is possible she was responding caringly to my obvious anxiety.
Geezo! if ever i knew looking after a bun was gonna be so hard and heart wrenching i would habve- would have- would have-------- still got him as he is such a cutie! :lol: :bunny:

nicolar
07-05-2006, 01:07 PM
I def think it is down to the individual situation as to whether or not a bunny is neutered and whether or not to bond 2 bunnies. I have 2 single girls, and they both seem very happy. They get lots of time out in the garden and love to explore! They can go up to eachother + see eachother but they are normally too busy to take any notice of eachother! I can't have any more buns at the mo, so that's the way it's going to have to stay!

One also isn't neutered, I'm just too worried about her not coming round and no matter how hard I tell myself she will, I just can't do it! I've had my buns put under b4 but with her I just can't!! I take the view that a happy life, albeit perhaps not as long, is better than passing away under the anaesthetic. I'm not planning on getting any more un-neutered buns in future, all will be from rescue + neutered as I'm just too paranoid!

Hope you come to your decision, don't worry how long it takes, u know ur bunny better than anybody so go with what you think :) We and our bunnies are all individuals!!

Nicola

Tamsin
07-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Thanks for all your opinions- I'm still unsure though- will take some time and think it over. Harvey isnt in his hutch all day/night and only seen at meal times- I actually spend as much time as I can with him

Sorry, I wasn't implying that that was the case with Harvey just quoting the two extremes to make a point about the difference :)

sola
11-05-2006, 02:36 PM
Although I said I want Nutmeg neutered, it'll depend entirelly on her snuffles. If it clears up enough that I'm happy she'll be fine to go under then we'll do it (after talking to my vets and brother) if not we'll get a neutered boy to keep her company anyway.

Liz
27-05-2006, 01:39 AM
Well- I booked Harvey in again as now have a female bun- and all was not well- he stopped breathing when they gave him the anaesthetic- so they withdrew it and tried to bring him round- it took some time for him to be able to breathe on his own again- I nearly lost him! What a stressfull time it has been- he is now moving around and eating and drinking etc but he is not coming to me when I call him as he usually does and runs off when I go near him- he is slowly coming round but it is hard work rebuilding his confidence and trust in me. Think will leave that option for now as if he had died- I would never have forgiven myself!

jay
27-05-2006, 05:47 AM
I have to say from my experience that Jack and Milly seem happier than my single buns every did. Just chasing each other round or "chatting" to each other or fighting over the treat ball. And when I'm not there its nice to think they have company for one another. Jack still loves to be cuddled and have human attention but I've noticed even now Milly is recovering in her cage he will go up to it and look in to see her. I think two buns are happier.

Liz
30-05-2006, 01:29 PM
Hi there
I don't doubt they are happier as twos- thats why I went for it- after reading folks comments and views on here- but not to the cost of his health and almost his life! I am still going to try- but will need to wait until Talulah old enough for her to be neutered- shes only 10wks just now- so they are next to each other but in seperate hutches for now.