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Thread: Female with anger issues

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    Default Female with anger issues

    Hiya,

    I would like to gets some ideas/opinions on how to go about solving a behaviour problem that has developed with my female in the last month.

    I have a bonded pair of house rabbits, both adopted. My male is around 2 years old and my female is around 4 and they are both neutered. They have had about a year of peaceful bliss together. My female, Lola, has always been quite calm and subdued, preferring to stay in the bedroom where their hutch is (a rose cottage from Pets at Home). They have about an hour of time out in the morning before my partner and I go to work and about 6 hours after we come home. On days off they are allowed out during the day but usually choose to stay inside. They were both perfectly litter trained. They have all sorts of tunnels, dig boxes with hay, cardboard and newspaper to shred and countless toys.

    Now all seemed perfect until the female started to shed and seemed to lose interest in food. It was quite hot so I thought it may be that but I decided to giver her a health check and found the area around her genitals was hard. She was rushed straight to the vets. They trimmed what fur they could but the skin otherwise looked healthy and everything else checked out fine. I had to spend the evening soaking some hardened poo from flaps on either side (lovely) which they said is common for large lops to get. I don't normally subject them to being held as they don't care for it and much prefer to be stroked on the head.

    From this moment Lola was a changed bunny. At first it seemed for the better, venturing out into the living room a lot more and binkying about. Great! Except very quickly she seemed to develop some anger issues. Flinging her litter trays around, trying to get under the protective rug to pluck carpet fibers. I thought this might be caused by boredom so I filled some boxes with hay and newspaper for her to destroy which she does, bought her a big plastic storage box with a hole cut out for her to have a dark dig spot. I had to empty one of their normal trays and add only newspaper since she primarily dug in this one and was flinging all the litter everywhere. Just yesterday she discovered the poor cats litter box and took to excavating that as well. I've now taken the drastic measure of removing the litter trays they were once using and putting the storage tray with the hole for them to use. Not sure if this was a good idea but she would not stop digging out the litter in the hutch. She would dig it out while I was at work and end up peeing on it and the base of the hutch.

    Please if you have any thoughts or suggestions for Lola (now nicknamed The Destroyer)

    Thank you for reading,

    Anna

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacepuffin View Post
    Hiya,

    I would like to gets some ideas/opinions on how to go about solving a behaviour problem that has developed with my female in the last month.

    I have a bonded pair of house rabbits, both adopted. My male is around 2 years old and my female is around 4 and they are both neutered. They have had about a year of peaceful bliss together. My female, Lola, has always been quite calm and subdued, preferring to stay in the bedroom where their hutch is (a rose cottage from Pets at Home). They have about an hour of time out in the morning before my partner and I go to work and about 6 hours after we come home. On days off they are allowed out during the day but usually choose to stay inside. They were both perfectly litter trained. They have all sorts of tunnels, dig boxes with hay, cardboard and newspaper to shred and countless toys.

    Now all seemed perfect until the female started to shed and seemed to lose interest in food. It was quite hot so I thought it may be that but I decided to giver her a health check and found the area around her genitals was hard. She was rushed straight to the vets. They trimmed what fur they could but the skin otherwise looked healthy and everything else checked out fine. I had to spend the evening soaking some hardened poo from flaps on either side (lovely) which they said is common for large lops to get. I don't normally subject them to being held as they don't care for it and much prefer to be stroked on the head.

    From this moment Lola was a changed bunny. At first it seemed for the better, venturing out into the living room a lot more and binkying about. Great! Except very quickly she seemed to develop some anger issues. Flinging her litter trays around, trying to get under the protective rug to pluck carpet fibers. I thought this might be caused by boredom so I filled some boxes with hay and newspaper for her to destroy which she does, bought her a big plastic storage box with a hole cut out for her to have a dark dig spot. I had to empty one of their normal trays and add only newspaper since she primarily dug in this one and was flinging all the litter everywhere. Just yesterday she discovered the poor cats litter box and took to excavating that as well. I've now taken the drastic measure of removing the litter trays they were once using and putting the storage tray with the hole for them to use. Not sure if this was a good idea but she would not stop digging out the litter in the hutch. She would dig it out while I was at work and end up peeing on it and the base of the hutch.

    Please if you have any thoughts or suggestions for Lola (now nicknamed The Destroyer)

    Thank you for reading,

    Anna
    Well really she is just doing what Rabbits do. Digging is a natural behaviour. Does she mainly do it when confined to the hutch ? Is there any way that you could provide a much larger space where the Rabbits can have permanent access even when you are at work. Then you could provide a digging box. Either home made or shop bought x

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacepuffin View Post
    Hiya,

    I would like to gets some ideas/opinions on how to go about solving a behaviour problem that has developed with my female in the last month.

    I have a bonded pair of house rabbits, both adopted. My male is around 2 years old and my female is around 4 and they are both neutered. They have had about a year of peaceful bliss together. My female, Lola, has always been quite calm and subdued, preferring to stay in the bedroom where their hutch is (a rose cottage from Pets at Home). They have about an hour of time out in the morning before my partner and I go to work and about 6 hours after we come home. On days off they are allowed out during the day but usually choose to stay inside. They were both perfectly litter trained. They have all sorts of tunnels, dig boxes with hay, cardboard and newspaper to shred and countless toys.

    Now all seemed perfect until the female started to shed and seemed to lose interest in food. It was quite hot so I thought it may be that but I decided to giver her a health check and found the area around her genitals was hard. She was rushed straight to the vets. They trimmed what fur they could but the skin otherwise looked healthy and everything else checked out fine. I had to spend the evening soaking some hardened poo from flaps on either side (lovely) which they said is common for large lops to get. I don't normally subject them to being held as they don't care for it and much prefer to be stroked on the head.

    From this moment Lola was a changed bunny. At first it seemed for the better, venturing out into the living room a lot more and binkying about. Great! Except very quickly she seemed to develop some anger issues. Flinging her litter trays around, trying to get under the protective rug to pluck carpet fibers. I thought this might be caused by boredom so I filled some boxes with hay and newspaper for her to destroy which she does, bought her a big plastic storage box with a hole cut out for her to have a dark dig spot. I had to empty one of their normal trays and add only newspaper since she primarily dug in this one and was flinging all the litter everywhere. Just yesterday she discovered the poor cats litter box and took to excavating that as well. I've now taken the drastic measure of removing the litter trays they were once using and putting the storage tray with the hole for them to use. Not sure if this was a good idea but she would not stop digging out the litter in the hutch. She would dig it out while I was at work and end up peeing on it and the base of the hutch.

    Please if you have any thoughts or suggestions for Lola (now nicknamed The Destroyer)

    Thank you for reading,

    Anna

    Hi Anna and welcome to the Forum

    You say the area around the genitals was hard - how did the vet explain that? What had caused it?

    To be honest, if I had a rabbit who began to behave like you've described, I would suggest they were not well and possibly in pain. I would instigate some further investigations with your vet to find out why her behaviour has changed so much.

    To begin with, the vet could consider putting her on Metacam, a pain killer, so see whether decreasing any pain she has (if any) makes any difference. I don't find Metacam works well for all bunnies, so it's not a failsafe test, but a suggested starting point.

    I hope you manage to sort it and harmony reigns in your house once again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    Well really she is just doing what Rabbits do. Digging is a natural behaviour. Does she mainly do it when confined to the hutch ? Is there any way that you could provide a much larger space where the Rabbits can have permanent access even when you are at work. Then you could provide a digging box. Either home made or shop bought x
    She does this while in the hutch when she has free reign in the house. I realise that digging is a natural behaviour which is why I provide opportunities to dig in the boxes. Since she seems to quite enjoy digging in her litter tray I have now made their litter tray into an enclosed dig box inside the hutch. I would love to be able to let them out while we are not home but that is not something I am able to do living in a flat on the second floor. On days off they get full access to the house and on work days they get at least 7 hours. She was quite happy for a year and this behaviour has only recently come on.

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    From the notes (I work as a vet receptionist at her vet) it describes it as urine hardened on the fur. She is a large lop and while I thought she had lost weight the vet noted that she was a little overweight. Perhaps she was unable to groom herself properly? Teeth were good and guts moving. I'd certainly be happy to bring her back in if it could be pain. I thought it seemed like stereotypical sort of behaviour but nothing I do stops her for long. I just want her to feel content again

    *This was meant to be a reply for MightyMax*

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    Welcome to RU Anna.

    I wouldn't worry too much, some bunnies are hyper & when they go on a mission theres no stopping them. She may well be enjoying her destruction - does she have chilled out time with her bonded friend? I've been searching for a video I have of my white bun evacuating their massive litter tray, balanced on the edge & chucking it all out between her legs.

    Its not uncommon for bunnies to struggle with their moult & I think some get more tetchy during this time. You're obviously in tune with bunnies needs. Maybe some safe tree branches or forage would provide a distraction? She sounds fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey&boo View Post
    Welcome to RU Anna.

    I wouldn't worry too much, some bunnies are hyper & when they go on a mission theres no stopping them. She may well be enjoying her destruction - does she have chilled out time with her bonded friend? I've been searching for a video I have of my white bun evacuating their massive litter tray, balanced on the edge & chucking it all out between her legs.

    Its not uncommon for bunnies to struggle with their moult & I think some get more tetchy during this time. You're obviously in tune with bunnies needs. Maybe some safe tree branches or forage would provide a distraction? She sounds fun

    She does have chilled out times while her and her boyfriend Bunson sit side by side. Like I said if I am home on a day off and I leave the hutch open they usually stay in most of the time. He likes to come and sit on the sofa of an evening while she destroys everything in sight. He also now uses the cat litter tray to do his business! (I use a corn-based litter) Probably because she's made a mess of the hutch one. I've come home today to find that despite her best efforts the storage box has kept all the paper litter inside even though she has obviously gone to town on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacepuffin View Post
    From the notes (I work as a vet receptionist at her vet) it describes it as urine hardened on the fur. She is a large lop and while I thought she had lost weight the vet noted that she was a little overweight. Perhaps she was unable to groom herself properly? Teeth were good and guts moving. I'd certainly be happy to bring her back in if it could be pain. I thought it seemed like stereotypical sort of behaviour but nothing I do stops her for long. I just want her to feel content again

    *This was meant to be a reply for MightyMax*

    Hi Anna

    It's highly likely that she was unable to groom properly, and that contributed to the soreness.

    Teeth can't be assessed by an exam with the otoscope alone, as that only shows 50% of the mouth (unless your vet can do conscious dentals?), but I'm sure you'd know if that was the issue?

    I hope she's not in pain. As I said, if it were my bunny and I felt it were 'out of character' then I would suspect ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    Hi Anna

    It's highly likely that she was unable to groom properly, and that contributed to the soreness.

    Teeth can't be assessed by an exam with the otoscope alone, as that only shows 50% of the mouth (unless your vet can do conscious dentals?), but I'm sure you'd know if that was the issue?

    I hope she's not in pain. As I said, if it were my bunny and I felt it were 'out of character' then I would suspect ....
    I spoke to my vet about her behaviour and she's happy to re-examine her. They are able to do things like teeth burrs while the rabbit is conscious...is that what you mean? She is eating normally now. She perked right up after having her nethers cleaned. Then turned to the dark side. I'll be bringing her in anyway because I know animals don't often show symptoms until they are really feeling it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacepuffin View Post
    I spoke to my vet about her behaviour and she's happy to re-examine her. They are able to do things like teeth burrs while the rabbit is conscious...is that what you mean? She is eating normally now. She perked right up after having her nethers cleaned. Then turned to the dark side. I'll be bringing her in anyway because I know animals don't often show symptoms until they are really feeling it.

    By teeth burring I guess you mean the front teeth? What I mean is some vets are able and willing to rasp or clip the back teeth without GA. There's some strong feeling on here about that, but I have seen it done and in expert hands it's amazing

    I'm glad your vet is open to re-examine. I know she could well be just exhibiting destructive behaviour, but I would prefer to cover all bases and find out if something is making her upset and angry.

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