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Thread: Blindness

  1. #1

    Default Blindness

    So I took my 9 year old lion head for his annual vaccinations at the weeeknd. I've had fears for the past year he was going blind/is blind. Last year the vet wasn't concerned but I asked again this year and she was able to put her finger within touching distance before he reacted :-(. Apparently he can only see shapes very close up. Now, although I had strong suspicions about it I'm devestated by the news. We sadly lost a 10 year old bunny 6 months ago who was also blind but loved human interaction but managed to cope (the two were bonded & lived in the same hutch) so I'm feeling as though he's slipping away. He's not a one for cuddles but every so often over the past 6 months he's loved the attention. I've tried to let him into the house to roam when the weather has been bad but he's just sat there (I'm assuming because he doesn't know the layout as he's an outdoor bunny). Any advice as I want him to have the company he needs (when he wants it!) as I know time isn't on our side anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophiemm View Post
    So I took my 9 year old lion head for his annual vaccinations at the weeeknd. I've had fears for the past year he was going blind/is blind. Last year the vet wasn't concerned but I asked again this year and she was able to put her finger within touching distance before he reacted :-(. Apparently he can only see shapes very close up. Now, although I had strong suspicions about it I'm devestated by the news. We sadly lost a 10 year old bunny 6 months ago who was also blind but loved human interaction but managed to cope (the two were bonded & lived in the same hutch) so I'm feeling as though he's slipping away. He's not a one for cuddles but every so often over the past 6 months he's loved the attention. I've tried to let him into the house to roam when the weather has been bad but he's just sat there (I'm assuming because he doesn't know the layout as he's an outdoor bunny). Any advice as I want him to have the company he needs (when he wants it!) as I know time isn't on our side anymore.

    Hi Sophie

    I'm sorry about your little bunny

    Would you consider getting him a companion, or do you want to break the cycle of getting rabbits?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    Hi Sophie

    I'm sorry about your little bunny

    Would you consider getting him a companion, or do you want to break the cycle of getting rabbits?
    I did have the opportunity to take in another bunny a couple of months ago. The bunny was a female and 18 months old (not spayed) but due to the age difference, different gender (Sim was adopted 9 months after my older bunny and I managed to bond them and they lived together for over 7 years) and I was in the process of changing jobs I felt it wouldn't be right for Simba or the new bunny. It was a hard decision to make. When we lost the other bunny I bought him a blanket (and a bed which didn't arrive) so he could spend some time in the house but he quickly went back to his original behaviour but every so often he loves his cuddles. It makes me nervous when he wants cuddles as it's not "him". We have a next door neighbour with a bunny (they've met twice where he attacked him but they get on with a fence between them and usually sit either side!!! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophiemm View Post
    I did have the opportunity to take in another bunny a couple of months ago. The bunny was a female and 18 months old (not spayed) but due to the age difference, different gender (Sim was adopted 9 months after my older bunny and I managed to bond them and they lived together for over 7 years) and I was in the process of changing jobs I felt it wouldn't be right for Simba or the new bunny. It was a hard decision to make. When we lost the other bunny I bought him a blanket (and a bed which didn't arrive) so he could spend some time in the house but he quickly went back to his original behaviour but every so often he loves his cuddles. It makes me nervous when he wants cuddles as it's not "him". We have a next door neighbour with a bunny (they've met twice where he attacked him but they get on with a fence between them and usually sit either side!!! )

    I bonded a 13 year old blind bunny with one less than half that age, and they were totally in love for the rest of their days. I think a companion is the best thing for a bereaved rabbit, whether blind or not.

    There are often complications - Rescue Centres very frequently have older bunnies, and gentle ones who only want a friend to snuggle up with.

    Blindness in itself isn't an issue for rabbits. Isolation and loneliness, are.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper William's Avatar
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    Rabbits have a great sense of smell and hearing so they get around that way. I have blind rabbits and it's not a problem really.

    Male/female pairings are actually seen as the easiest pairing to bond, but really individual personality is the determining factor of whether a bond will work. You could visit a rescue and see if any buns there would suit Simba?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Rabbits have a great sense of smell and hearing so they get around that way. I have blind rabbits and it's not a problem really.

    Male/female pairings are actually seen as the easiest pairing to bond, but really individual personality is the determining factor of whether a bond will work. You could visit a rescue and see if any buns there would suit Simba?
    When we lost our other bun last year I spoke to a rehoming centre who said they wouldn't let me take Simba in to meet with other bunnies in case he passed on diseases (even though he's vaccinated against everything he should be!). They said with his age & the fact he had a close bond for so long he might not react well to another bunny (I explained about the neighbours bunny and how he doesn't get along with him). When I had a chance a couple of months ago to take in a new bunny I spoke to the vet and she said the same as the rehoming centre. They said as long as he gets lots of human attention he'll be ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophiemm View Post
    When we lost our other bun last year I spoke to a rehoming centre who said they wouldn't let me take Simba in to meet with other bunnies in case he passed on diseases (even though he's vaccinated against everything he should be!). They said with his age & the fact he had a close bond for so long he might not react well to another bunny (I explained about the neighbours bunny and how he doesn't get along with him). When I had a chance a couple of months ago to take in a new bunny I spoke to the vet and she said the same as the rehoming centre. They said as long as he gets lots of human attention he'll be ok.

    How sad

    I have found just the reverse to be true. With my rescue rabbits the ones who are bereaved often go downhill pretty quickly. They seem to absent themselves from life. Or they panic as to what else will be 'taken away from them'.

    That's why your bunny is giving you attention now. I've found a certain desperation when a rabbit loses a friend they loved. What a shame you're unable to give him a companion of his own species. I will never understand why a vet would say as long as he gets lots of human attention he'll be ok. Once they've known companionship, life alone is never the same again.

  8. #8
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    We have lots of blind rabbits because we have lots of old rabbits. It is very common and doesn't pose much of a problem for them. We have one old fellow who has been here for eleven years and can't see anything anymore but he still jumps up onto the table and goes out into the run and digs in the tunnel. He is getting very stiff and slow but his lack of vision isn't a problem. Afterall it is dark underground but they can still navigate a burrow. I think they have extremely good spatial awareness and mental maps. He also pushes past the three younger rabbits he lives with and snatches the food from under their noses, locating it easily by smell perhaps helped by hearing them chewing, although he frequently gets there first.

    So the lack of sight is not a problem. The lack of a companion however is. You have been poorly advised by that centre and that vet. I once bonded an eleven year old with a pair of one year old does and he lived with them for another four years. A new companion can be any age, it is temperament that counts the most as in any bonding.
    Best Wishes
    Louise
    Hopper Haven And Littlefoot Sanctuary
    www.hopperhaven.org.uk
    Home of a Hundred Happy Hoppers
    A Different Smaller Viewpoint,
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