Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: I've lost my nerve...

  1. #1
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge, Kent
    Posts
    60

    Default I've lost my nerve...

    Hi everyone

    Where do we start?! My nearly 8 year old lost his bunny wife late last September after illness. They'd been bonded for nearly all of his life and he even spent her last days with her in the vets, and was there when we said goodbye. Given their close bond, our vets strongly recommended finding him a new partner quickly to help him move on. Molly is a young neutered female who we rescued a month after losing our old girl. Unfortunately Molly is not without issues; she came home covered in cysts with a raging ear infection and our vets quickly diagnosed pasteurella for which shes on penicillin. Beyond her ongoing health issues (she's in much, much better shape now but will never be quite 100%), it's also become quite clear that she has no idea how to be a bunny. We understand from the rescue that she'd lived on her own in a hutch for all of her life - and as a result, she's completely terrified of Harry.

    An initial date went badly. Harry put his chin on her back and she span round and attacked him. Her eyes were bulging and she was visibly very scared. Learning from this, we decided to take it really slowly and let her spend some time settling into her new home, building confidence and living near Harry (their cages are side by side so they can constanty see/ smell each other, but not close enough to reach each other) before trying again. That initial bad date shook my nerves so we booked a lady to come and help us with the bond - which we had to cancel because Harry's health took a bad turn.

    After a rocky couple of months with Harry where he spent more time at the vets than at home, things are levelling out. Harry has spinal arthritis and is on metacam, tramadol and gapaentin twice a day along with regular laser therapy, which he's responding well to. A couple of weeks ago. I made the mistake of letting Harry out to exercise while hubby and I were in the garden. I decided to pop in and check on them, to find Harry had jumped on top of Molly's house and the roof had fallen through, leaving them trapped in her cage together. ARGHHHH!!!

    No serious injuries (alhough it looked like armageddon at first) - just lots of fur pulling and both received a number of nips. When I found them, Molly had pinned herself to one side of the cage while Harry was sitting in the middle of the cage. Both were panting and looked stressed, but given by the behaviour (and judging by who received the most nips) I'd say that Harry won that round. Since then we've made sure they're totally seperated and given them time to calm down and heal. Mostly they seem ok with the other being around, but both get agressive when the other approaches their cage. This is making them a nightmare to excercise and neither are getting the quality of life that I'd like them to have.

    Bonding lady is booked for this weekend and I'm feeling really anxious about it. I know that a tussle is often an essential part of bonding, but I feel awful putting them through it. So far we've not had a single successful meeting - although every 'date' they've had has been unsupervised by an expert. Our vets (Trinity, Maidstone) say to keep going. What do you reckon? Can this come good and have a happy ever after or should we admit defeat?

    I'd be so grateful of your experience.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    31,324

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HannahB View Post
    Hi everyone

    Where do we start?! My nearly 8 year old lost his bunny wife late last September after illness. They'd been bonded for nearly all of his life and he even spent her last days with her in the vets, and was there when we said goodbye. Given their close bond, our vets strongly recommended finding him a new partner quickly to help him move on. Molly is a young neutered female who we rescued a month after losing our old girl. Unfortunately Molly is not without issues; she came home covered in cysts with a raging ear infection and our vets quickly diagnosed pasteurella for which shes on penicillin. Beyond her ongoing health issues (she's in much, much better shape now but will never be quite 100%), it's also become quite clear that she has no idea how to be a bunny. We understand from the rescue that she'd lived on her own in a hutch for all of her life - and as a result, she's completely terrified of Harry.

    An initial date went badly. Harry put his chin on her back and she span round and attacked him. Her eyes were bulging and she was visibly very scared. Learning from this, we decided to take it really slowly and let her spend some time settling into her new home, building confidence and living near Harry (their cages are side by side so they can constanty see/ smell each other, but not close enough to reach each other) before trying again. That initial bad date shook my nerves so we booked a lady to come and help us with the bond - which we had to cancel because Harry's health took a bad turn.

    After a rocky couple of months with Harry where he spent more time at the vets than at home, things are levelling out. Harry has spinal arthritis and is on metacam, tramadol and gapaentin twice a day along with regular laser therapy, which he's responding well to. A couple of weeks ago. I made the mistake of letting Harry out to exercise while hubby and I were in the garden. I decided to pop in and check on them, to find Harry had jumped on top of Molly's house and the roof had fallen through, leaving them trapped in her cage together. ARGHHHH!!!

    No serious injuries (alhough it looked like armageddon at first) - just lots of fur pulling and both received a number of nips. When I found them, Molly had pinned herself to one side of the cage while Harry was sitting in the middle of the cage. Both were panting and looked stressed, but given by the behaviour (and judging by who received the most nips) I'd say that Harry won that round. Since then we've made sure they're totally seperated and given them time to calm down and heal. Mostly they seem ok with the other being around, but both get agressive when the other approaches their cage. This is making them a nightmare to excercise and neither are getting the quality of life that I'd like them to have.

    Bonding lady is booked for this weekend and I'm feeling really anxious about it. I know that a tussle is often an essential part of bonding, but I feel awful putting them through it. So far we've not had a single successful meeting - although every 'date' they've had has been unsupervised by an expert. Our vets (Trinity, Maidstone) say to keep going. What do you reckon? Can this come good and have a happy ever after or should we admit defeat?

    I'd be so grateful of your experience.

    Hannah what a heartfelt story you and your rabbits have to tell

    So they are both going away for bonding? Have you explained all the the lady? (I'm sure you have!). And she isn't worried? Or is she coming to you? My preference would be for them to be away from you so that they don't pick up on your stress and are in a totally new environment.

    If it were me you were bringing them to (and I've done hundreds) then I would be calm and unstressed by your situation, and give it a go on perfectly neutral territory. As you say, their dates so far have been unconventional to say the least!

    I posted these articles earlier today, I'm sure you've seen them already, but in case you would like some reading ...


    http://rabbit.org/the-most-important...g-is-patience/

    http://rabbit.org/introducing-rabbit...oup-situation/

    http://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk...nding-bunnies/ (good for pair bonding)

    http://www.fatfluffs.com/info/bonding/

    http://www.actionforrabbits.co.uk/bonding.html


    Book in RWAF shop:

    https://shop.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pro...iona-campbell/



    Mischief and Tinkerís Mum
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...y-trios-videos!

  3. #3
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge, Kent
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Hi Max!

    This is really good to hear and I'm pleased that you wouldn't take this situation to be game over.

    Bonding lady knows the whole story (poor thing!). She's coming to us but we have a neutral territory prepared in the form of an outbuilding which neither have spent time in. I'm seriously considering going out when she gets here as I know my anxiety will be less than helpful.

    I spotted the articles you posted in a previous thread, thank you so much. There's so much conflicting info though! Some people say to keep going in spite of scuffles and others say to do micro dates and abandon the session at the first sign of an argument.

    I'm confused.

    How do you play it; let them sort it out it prevent scuffles?

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    31,324

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HannahB View Post
    Hi Max!

    This is really good to hear and I'm pleased that you wouldn't take this situation to be game over.

    Bonding lady knows the whole story (poor thing!). She's coming to us but we have a neutral territory prepared in the form of an outbuilding which neither have spent time in. I'm seriously considering going out when she gets here as I know my anxiety will be less than helpful.

    I spotted the articles you posted in a previous thread, thank you so much. There's so much conflicting info though! Some people say to keep going in spite of scuffles and others say to do micro dates and abandon the session at the first sign of an argument.

    I'm confused.

    How do you play it; let them sort it out it prevent scuffles?

    I am not a giver-upper

    That said, I have found bonding rabbits to be fairly straightforward. Even two boys I were thinking would never get on became partners in crime within 10 minutes

    Personally I don't do 'micro dates'. I just do it - in a fairly small but not too small area, with at least as many litter trays as buns. I prevent them from injuring one another but otherwise I tolerate scuffles. I can also keep calm and detached when they fight (even my own rabbits) and I think you're dead right about staying out of the way. I reckon there's some bonds don't work simply cos of the owner's stress transferring.

    Good luck - I will be waiting to hear how it goes

  5. #5
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge, Kent
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Woah. That's amazing. There's hope for us yet!

    Ok, hubby also agrees that my presence won't be helpful (bless him!) so I think that's made that decision.

    I'll report back!

  6. #6
    Warren Veteran joey&boo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    7,861

    Default

    yes stay away ...best for you & the bunnies. I should probably have got mine bonded at rescue, the offer was there but no, I had to do it myself & practically had a breakdown doing it I could well have delayed them by months (but there again I may have persevered with an unlikely bond & succeeded at all odds). They are kind of aware of your presence. You join in when you've reassurring feedback from the bonder but maybe hubby could stay?. It is a scary business & far too easy to let your fear of your bunnies getting hurt get in the way . I wish you lots of positive bonding vibes - & for the buns

  7. #7
    Warren Scout
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    353

    Default

    Good luck Hannah, I had 2 bunnies that fought terribly the first date (Comet, my beautiful bridge bunny, and Lucy), but eventually they totally adored each other. Comet had been in with other males before being at the rescue and had been totally beaten up. He was terrified of all rabbits. He learnt to trust Lucy (although he still bit all humans except me lol)
    It can work in my experience. Just stay calm ( or go for a coffee..)

  8. #8
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge, Kent
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Sadly the rescue centre didn't offer any support. Molly has been here for 6 months now and I really want to get on with it!! I know it'll be a huge benefit to both of them if they're bonded; I want it so badly. I feel sad for Harry being on his own since we lost our beautiful Missy and I feel sad for Molly that she doesn't really have a friend. I suppose the good news with taking time is that Molly has grown hugely in confidence. When she first came home she was literally paralysed by fear but she's much bolder now which I hope will stand us in better stead. I hope.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    31,324

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HannahB View Post
    Woah. That's amazing. There's hope for us yet!

    Ok, hubby also agrees that my presence won't be helpful (bless him!) so I think that's made that decision.

    I'll report back!

    Yes it can be stressful. I rehomed a rabbit and subsequently 'coached' the owner on the phone for 6 hours solid whilst she tried to bond. I think she was in tears with stress. The bond worked though - beautiful boy rabbit he was

  10. #10
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge, Kent
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Hey everyone! So- an update. We had a lady over today who helps with rabbit bonding (shes a vet nurse and used to pair bunnies at an RSPCA rescue centre so has done it a few times). I really liked her and everything she suggested made sense. She said we'd start with a very short date and attempt to leave things in a high. So far, so good.
    We set up a pen in a neutral area. Jo (bonding lady) sat in the middle of the pen with one bunny either side, giving them time to settle and allowing them to see eachother. Unfortunately, Molly was nothing but aggressive. Full on, horribly, knocked-Harry-off-his-feet aggressive. Twice she went for a face on attack, at the first chance she got to be near him. Bunnies were parted and allowed to calm down.
    We dissected it all with Jo. Harry is an older chap, a widow and in his twilight years. Molly has spent her whole life single and really, she's quite feral as far as being a bunny is concerned. She has no idea how to behave.
    Harry's health hasn't been great lately, and with his arthritis he's becoming a bit less strong. Hubby and I are really questioning how much we're willing to put him through more dates when Molly is so horribly aggressive toward him.
    Molly spent her entire life up until now on her own, with terrible health issues and petrified of everything. Since we rescued her her health has improved, she's growing in confidence and seems to be really enjoying life. Her quality of life is 100% better than it had been, even if she is single.
    So are we just pushing it unnecessarily with attempting a bond? Is it *really* for the bunnies best interest? We're starting to feel that these two might just be destined for single life.
    We need to sleep in it I think. Feel disappointed but a bit relieved because if we decide to abandon the bonding attempt, I don't need to deal with the stress of potential injury.
    Harrumph.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •