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Thread: Concerned Winston is unhappy UPDATE post 18

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    Mama Doe ImoT's Avatar
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    Default Concerned Winston is unhappy UPDATE post 18

    Some of you may have seen my post the other day about my bunnies' failing litter tray habits, they have been better recently since i've put loads of hay in the litter tray although I did come down to a kitchen full of poos this morning...however I was late feeding them breakfast!

    In addition to this, I've felt that Winston hadn't been quite himself for the last few weeks. He spends an awful lot of time sitting, mainly loafed, staring into space or at a wall. Him and Edith used to spend 99% of their time lying next to each other but now more often than not Edith is flopped somewhere else looking content and he is just in his loaf position staring into space. He is still eating and is still fairly enthusiastic about food, but I don't feel he is as enthusiastic as he used to be. When I let them out of the kitchen Edith still runs around like mad binkying, but Winston doesn't do this anymore. Last night when I let them out he just hopped into the corridor and just sat loafed staring at the wall for a few hours. He doesn't seem to have much of an interest in toys, although I am going out today to buy them some more. He let me pick him up this morning which he never does, so i'm convinced something isn't right! Also sometimes as he gets out of his loaf position, to move across the room, he just stands in the getting up position completely still, almost like he has sensed a predator approaching or something?!

    Him and Edith don't seem to be fighting, there is never any evidence of this, but they certainly don't seem as close as they used to be. Winston doesn't seem to be in pain because he is still eating.

    The only thing i've changed in the last few weeks is they used to have their carrier in the kitchen full of hay, but they kept weeing in it so I stopped filling it with hay. They do however have a litter tray full of hay and 2 separate hay feeders.

    Any advice that anyone has would be lovely. I don't know if i'm going crazy in thinking that Winston is unhappy, but I'm sure something isn't quite right. I just want him to be back to his happy and inquisitive self!
    Last edited by ImoT; 27-03-2017 at 03:16 PM.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    He isn't overweight at all is he? Can you put a photo of him on here?

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    Forum Buddy Zoobec's Avatar
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    Is his eyesight ok?

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImoT View Post
    Some of you may have seen my post the other day about my bunnies' failing litter tray habits, they have been better recently since i've put loads of hay in the litter tray although I did come down to a kitchen full of poos this morning...however I was late feeding them breakfast!

    In addition to this, I've felt that Winston hadn't been quite himself for the last few weeks. He spends an awful lot of time sitting, mainly loafed, staring into space or at a wall. Him and Edith used to spend 99% of their time lying next to each other but now more often than not Edith is flopped somewhere else looking content and he is just in his loaf position staring into space. He is still eating and is still fairly enthusiastic about food, but I don't feel he is as enthusiastic as he used to be. When I let them out of the kitchen Edith still runs around like mad binkying, but Winston doesn't do this anymore. Last night when I let them out he just hopped into the corridor and just sat loafed staring at the wall for a few hours. He doesn't seem to have much of an interest in toys, although I am going out today to buy them some more. He let me pick him up this morning which he never does, so i'm convinced something isn't right! Also sometimes as he gets out of his loaf position, to move across the room, he just stands in the getting up position completely still, almost like he has sensed a predator approaching or something?!

    Him and Edith don't seem to be fighting, there is never any evidence of this, but they certainly don't seem as close as they used to be. Winston doesn't seem to be in pain because he is still eating.

    The only thing i've changed in the last few weeks is they used to have their carrier in the kitchen full of hay, but they kept weeing in it so I stopped filling it with hay. They do however have a litter tray full of hay and 2 separate hay feeders.

    Any advice that anyone has would be lovely. I don't know if i'm going crazy in thinking that Winston is unhappy, but I'm sure something isn't quite right. I just want him to be back to his happy and inquisitive self!
    Personally I'd get him checked over by your Vet. Any obvious change in behaviour can be a sign that all is not well physically, even if he is still eating (although you say he is not doing so as enthusiastically as usual).

    He may have some arthritic pain, symptoms of which can be vague and include changes in activity levels, generalised depression, loss of litter tray habits. Could the 'odd' behaviour that you mention when he gets out of his 'loaf' position be because he has stiffened up and getting up hurts ?

    Does he have any sign of sore hocks/loss of fur over hocks ?


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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImoT View Post
    Some of you may have seen my post the other day about my bunnies' failing litter tray habits, they have been better recently since i've put loads of hay in the litter tray although I did come down to a kitchen full of poos this morning...however I was late feeding them breakfast!

    In addition to this, I've felt that Winston hadn't been quite himself for the last few weeks. He spends an awful lot of time sitting, mainly loafed, staring into space or at a wall. Him and Edith used to spend 99% of their time lying next to each other but now more often than not Edith is flopped somewhere else looking content and he is just in his loaf position staring into space. He is still eating and is still fairly enthusiastic about food, but I don't feel he is as enthusiastic as he used to be. When I let them out of the kitchen Edith still runs around like mad binkying, but Winston doesn't do this anymore. Last night when I let them out he just hopped into the corridor and just sat loafed staring at the wall for a few hours. He doesn't seem to have much of an interest in toys, although I am going out today to buy them some more. He let me pick him up this morning which he never does, so i'm convinced something isn't right! Also sometimes as he gets out of his loaf position, to move across the room, he just stands in the getting up position completely still, almost like he has sensed a predator approaching or something?!

    Him and Edith don't seem to be fighting, there is never any evidence of this, but they certainly don't seem as close as they used to be. Winston doesn't seem to be in pain because he is still eating.

    The only thing i've changed in the last few weeks is they used to have their carrier in the kitchen full of hay, but they kept weeing in it so I stopped filling it with hay. They do however have a litter tray full of hay and 2 separate hay feeders.

    Any advice that anyone has would be lovely. I don't know if i'm going crazy in thinking that Winston is unhappy, but I'm sure something isn't quite right. I just want him to be back to his happy and inquisitive self!

    I'm sorry to hear about Winston

    Perhaps he's in pain - you mention litter tray habits, he couldn't have a urinary tract infection, could he?

    Would you take him to the vet and perhaps get the vet to express some urine to check whether that's causing him any pain? The vet (if he's savvy) would be able to feel what's going on with the internal organs and perhaps give some ideas as to why he's unhappy at the moment.

    Good luck xx

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    Mama Doe ImoT's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your responses. For some reason it won't let me quote everyone!

    Tonibun - he's not overweight, in fact I weighed him yesterday because I thought he might have lost some weight as I can feel each vertebrate of his spine which I hadn't noticed before. It wasn't a hugely accurate weigh-in because we had to use our bathroom scales so I had to stand on the scales, weigh myself, then get him to stand next to me...but they didn't suggest any hugely significant weight loss. He weights between 1.6 and 1.7 kilos which is about what he usually is.

    Zoobec - how would I know if he was struggling with his eyesight? He doesn't seem to crash into things, he knows exactly where his hay feeders are and doesn't miss a step going in and out of the litter tray. However I have felt he has been a bit unwilling to go into the litter tray (hence the pooing outside of it, although he always wees in it), so maybe he finds it tricky to go in and out of the litter tray and that's why he's pooing outside of it?

    JacksJane - it's interesting you mention arthritis, it could explain a lot of his symptoms. He's only young though, about 3 years old, I didn't think it would be common for young rabbits to get arthritis?! He doesn't have sort hocks or fur loss anywhere.

    MightyMax - the litter tray issues have only been poos. I'm not hugely keen to ask the vet to express urine when his wees have been totally fine, it sounds quite invasive? Although, if i'm 100% honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you if he has definitely wee'd in the litter tray because he shares it with Edith. However, he certainly hasn't been weeing anywhere else and I assume if he didn't wee at all for more than 48 hours or so he would become very ill very quickly?

    I bought them a couple of toys today, a willow ball and a wooden ball type thing that i've stuffed with hay. Both bunnies were very excited but Winston has now gone back to loaf-ing in a corner. In-fact sometimes he is in more of a sitting position and it just doesn't look particularly comfy.

    I'm nervous about taking him to the vets. I'm nervous because although my vet is fairly rabbit savvy I'm not sure if I turn up and say 'Winston just seems a bit down' he would know where to start with checking him out?! I don't want to put him through any invasive procedures for no reason? Eye sight and arthritis seem like a good starting point, could someone explain how the vet would check these so I can make sure everything is done properly?

    He had a check up in January and February with 2 separate vets actually, because he had his RVHD2 vaccine done by a different vet in January. That vet mentioned his teeth had very slight 'bits' on them (I assume she meant spurs?) but that it was nothing to worry about as it was very minor. My usual vet did his combi vaccine in February and did all the normal general checks and said he was perfectly healthy, I questioned his teeth with my vet then and he said they looked fine. So it could be teeth related I suppose, but then surely he would have stopped eating?!

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    Forum Buddy Zoobec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImoT View Post
    Thank you all for your responses. For some reason it won't let me quote everyone!

    Tonibun - he's not overweight, in fact I weighed him yesterday because I thought he might have lost some weight as I can feel each vertebrate of his spine which I hadn't noticed before. It wasn't a hugely accurate weigh-in because we had to use our bathroom scales so I had to stand on the scales, weigh myself, then get him to stand next to me...but they didn't suggest any hugely significant weight loss. He weights between 1.6 and 1.7 kilos which is about what he usually is.

    Zoobec - how would I know if he was struggling with his eyesight? He doesn't seem to crash into things, he knows exactly where his hay feeders are and doesn't miss a step going in and out of the litter tray. However I have felt he has been a bit unwilling to go into the litter tray (hence the pooing outside of it, although he always wees in it), so maybe he finds it tricky to go in and out of the litter tray and that's why he's pooing outside of it?

    JacksJane - it's interesting you mention arthritis, it could explain a lot of his symptoms. He's only young though, about 3 years old, I didn't think it would be common for young rabbits to get arthritis?! He doesn't have sort hocks or fur loss anywhere.

    MightyMax - the litter tray issues have only been poos. I'm not hugely keen to ask the vet to express urine when his wees have been totally fine, it sounds quite invasive? Although, if i'm 100% honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you if he has definitely wee'd in the litter tray because he shares it with Edith. However, he certainly hasn't been weeing anywhere else and I assume if he didn't wee at all for more than 48 hours or so he would become very ill very quickly?

    I bought them a couple of toys today, a willow ball and a wooden ball type thing that i've stuffed with hay. Both bunnies were very excited but Winston has now gone back to loaf-ing in a corner. In-fact sometimes he is in more of a sitting position and it just doesn't look particularly comfy.

    I'm nervous about taking him to the vets. I'm nervous because although my vet is fairly rabbit savvy I'm not sure if I turn up and say 'Winston just seems a bit down' he would know where to start with checking him out?! I don't want to put him through any invasive procedures for no reason? Eye sight and arthritis seem like a good starting point, could someone explain how the vet would check these so I can make sure everything is done properly?

    He had a check up in January and February with 2 separate vets actually, because he had his RVHD2 vaccine done by a different vet in January. That vet mentioned his teeth had very slight 'bits' on them (I assume she meant spurs?) but that it was nothing to worry about as it was very minor. My usual vet did his combi vaccine in February and did all the normal general checks and said he was perfectly healthy, I questioned his teeth with my vet then and he said they looked fine. So it could be teeth related I suppose, but then surely he would have stopped eating?!
    Boots had poor eyesight, he struggled to focus and would often 'scan' - staring and moving his head from one side to the other, he did it particularly at first in an unfamiliar space. He hated things being moved around in his room and he would sit and gaze as it really confused him. If you didn't move anything around out of place and didn't know him you wouldn't really know that he had poor sight.

    Have you replaced the carrier with a litter tray? if they are used to using that as a toilet it will be difficult for them to stop.

    Some rabbits won't use a litter tray if it is dirty, although I am sure that is not the case in your situation.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx
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    Mama Doe Ruthyjones89's Avatar
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    Aww I'm sorry to hear Winston isn't himself!

    I can't really offer much advice sorry, but do agree that a vet visit is needed. I took my Bella last weekend purely because she refused her pellets for 1 day & was being a nightmare behaviour wise. To be fair there was no real signs of being in pain but I just said I knew something had changed & she wasn't her normal self.. They were absolutely fine with me & gave her a thorough check. Ended up she's fine, but if it continued to take her back for a blood test. Since she's been fine, but today when checking her, found some dandruff so might have mites, even though I haven't seen her itching, she's been treated.

    Hopefully the guys on here will help give lots of advice but topping up the vibes for him xx
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    Mama Doe ImoT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoobec View Post
    Boots had poor eyesight, he struggled to focus and would often 'scan' - staring and moving his head from one side to the other, he did it particularly at first in an unfamiliar space. He hated things being moved around in his room and he would sit and gaze as it really confused him. If you didn't move anything around out of place and didn't know him you wouldn't really know that he had poor sight.

    Have you replaced the carrier with a litter tray? if they are used to using that as a toilet it will be difficult for them to stop.

    Some rabbits won't use a litter tray if it is dirty, although I am sure that is not the case in your situation.
    I haven't noticed any 'scanning', but he does gaze a lot. I haven't replaced the litter tray with the carrier. The carrier has always been in the same place in the kitchen and the litter tray has always been in the same place too. So nothing has moved. How would the vet check for poor eyesight?

    Their litter tray gets cleaned out every other day. Although I will admit, today it was due a clean but there is still so much clean hay left that I decided to do it tomorrow instead. I won't put quite so much hay in it tomorrow to avoid waste but still clean it out every other day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthyjones89 View Post
    Aww I'm sorry to hear Winston isn't himself!

    I can't really offer much advice sorry, but do agree that a vet visit is needed. I took my Bella last weekend purely because she refused her pellets for 1 day & was being a nightmare behaviour wise. To be fair there was no real signs of being in pain but I just said I knew something had changed & she wasn't her normal self.. They were absolutely fine with me & gave her a thorough check. Ended up she's fine, but if it continued to take her back for a blood test. Since she's been fine, but today when checking her, found some dandruff so might have mites, even though I haven't seen her itching, she's been treated.

    Hopefully the guys on here will help give lots of advice but topping up the vibes for him xx
    Thank you for reassuring me that i'm not going crazy and a vet visit is worth it. I feel slightly more armed with things to go with i.e. ask for a check of eyes, teeth, possible arthritis and a general check over. I'll monitor him closely for the rest of the weekend and phone the vets on Monday. Anymore advice/suggestions are more than welcome.

    This hasn't come at the best time, I'm getting married in 3 weeks and then going on honeymoon for 5 days and we have house sitters coming to look after the bunnies and our hamster Shirley. So obviously I want Winston to be 100% before that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImoT View Post
    I haven't noticed any 'scanning', but he does gaze a lot. I haven't replaced the litter tray with the carrier. The carrier has always been in the same place in the kitchen and the litter tray has always been in the same place too. So nothing has moved. How would the vet check for poor eyesight?

    Their litter tray gets cleaned out every other day. Although I will admit, today it was due a clean but there is still so much clean hay left that I decided to do it tomorrow instead. I won't put quite so much hay in it tomorrow to avoid waste but still clean it out every other day.



    Thank you for reassuring me that i'm not going crazy and a vet visit is worth it. I feel slightly more armed with things to go with i.e. ask for a check of eyes, teeth, possible arthritis and a general check over. I'll monitor him closely for the rest of the weekend and phone the vets on Monday. Anymore advice/suggestions are more than welcome.

    This hasn't come at the best time, I'm getting married in 3 weeks and then going on honeymoon for 5 days and we have house sitters coming to look after the bunnies and our hamster Shirley. So obviously I want Winston to be 100% before that!
    I would put a litter tray where the carrier was/is because somebunny thought it was a litter tray before when it had hay in it. Boots had 3 trays and somebody moved his main tray once and I didn't notice until the next day, he was very confused and did use the floor then. I never asked the vet to confirm, we just knew with his scanning and the fact he was a REW that he had poor sight,so I don't know how they would check, I expect they would look at the eye itself. I would take him to the vets to have a check up

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