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Thread: returning ? from rabbit-less time-- advice please

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    Warren Scout shebunkin's Avatar
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    Default returning ? from rabbit-less time-- advice please

    Hello all, after 20+ rabbit-ful years and then the bereavement we agreed was our final one, we are faced by a terrible temptation. A friend rang us about a rescue rabbit. We think we need to resist this urge as we are 70 and not in great health and know the enormous commitment required to care properly for rabbits. This is a 5 year old entire male, the vet says he is too old to neuter, he is a house rabbit who reportedly loves to lap sit, and he would be a solitary rabbit. We used to know a huge amount about rabbit care but have been out of the loop through all the new diseases and are daunted by the prospect of learning all that afresh. But we still cry about our rabbits of the past and wish we could have pets now. We decided definitely not. I am weakening. But other half is being stronger, and is thinking an entire male would be likely to spray. At our age we feel we cannot cope with spraying or chewing. Don't know if we should consider all the rabbit adaptations necessary to make a house safe for a bunny. Any advice please? Do entire males spray indoors if no other rabbit about? Our bonded pairs did a bit, but they were outdoor rabbits only brought in together for convalescence. Our last bunny was solitary because we had e.cuniculi in the grass and paving stones and did not feel we could get another rabbit. So he became a house bunny bonded to us.What should we do?

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    Warren Veteran cpayne's Avatar
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    I don't know about spaying as I have a little female rabbit, could you find out from your friend if he spays? I think some vets may well neuter at 5 if the bunny was in good health as 5 isn't considered that old. Finding a rabbit savvy vet is one of the priorities and then you can discuss spaying. I have bunny proofed downstairs for Doughnut. I would advise getting insurance for the rabbit which gets harder as they get older, Doughnut is 6 but I've found a good insurance which is really reasonable and at the moment the excess is 55 it's with NCI. Next year when she's 7 it will go up to 75 and 10% of the claim. You will need to vaccinate against Myxi and VHD (a combined vaccine every year) and also the new vaccine against VHD2 which is also now yearly.

    It is lovely to have a pet and one who is a lap rabbit would be lovely but rabbits are a lot of work and only you both know if you could cope with it. I don't think there is lots more to learn for you, and you can always ask here if you do have any problems, everyone is happy to help. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    I have found a lot of bucks to be very clean with no spraying and this is unneutered. If he is 5 and in good health he could live for another 5 years, maybe longer. He would need to be vaccinated against Myxo/RHD1 and a second vaccination 2 weeks later against RHD2.

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    Warren Scout shebunkin's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Rabbit rehome was a lifeline for us in previous rabbit times.
    We are thinking very carefully. We had rabbit savvy vets previously but don't know if the practice has ones currently-- yes I thought 5 is young still-- ours lived to 10 mostly. I am remembering the worry and heartbreak. And the joy. And making wonderful rabbit adventure playgrounds and grazing corrals, and indoor / outdoor quarters.

    Specifically the question of whether intact males are more inclined to spray is an urgent one if we were to allow this temptation to grow. Anyone out there know about this? It wouldn't feel fair to confine him to less than several rooms esp if he is to be solitary. We really couldn't take on more than an obligatory solitary.

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    Warren Scout shebunkin's Avatar
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    Sorry tonibun, our posts crossed. Thank you too for your post.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    If he already is a house rabbit, could you ask the owners about his habits?

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    Forum Buddy mini lop1's Avatar
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    I don't think 5 is that old not to be neutered, I know many rescues neuter older bunnies successfully

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    Warren Scout shebunkin's Avatar
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    The owner took him to the vet we used to use, to be put down! They refused as he is not ill. They thought he was too old to neuter. He is with a fosterer who asked our acquaintance if she knew of any possible homes. She rang us, re-awakening an agonising longing for kissable ears. If only it were that simple!!! We know it involves so much in life changes. For that reason we hesitated to talk to the fosterer --but would have to do that as the next step. We both fear the temptation would start an unstoppable train. I will browse on rabbits rehome and think carefully about the commitment at our age. Thank you all so much. It is better to listen carefully to what people here say rather than be impulsive-- not fair on the rabbit. We feed and garden for hedgehogs, -- not such a big commitment as keeping companion animals--but delightful as they are and endangered too, they are nothing like the adorableness of rabbits.

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    Warren Veteran cpayne's Avatar
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    People on here could recommend savvy vets if needed so if he did spay he could be neutered. I would say maybe foster him first for a few days to see how you get on. If it's too much for you you could give him back to the fosterer. Could that be an option? What are your main concerns. Hopefully we can help
    My aunt used to have a hedgehog sanctuary. So cute..

  10. #10
    Warren Scout shebunkin's Avatar
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    Thank you so much CPayne for your thoughtful suggestions.

    We talked again to my acquaintance. Our main concerns are not being able to cope very well. My acquaintance she said the fosterer has a few ideas about other possible rehomes-- it doesn't just depend on us , they will make sure the rabbit is cared for. Thank you everyone for your time and advice. Have been browsing the site and remembering the heartache and challenges of caring-- especially when rabbits get old and ill. We think really it is a bit too much for us.
    We will carry on supporting our local hedgehogs instead. Thank you all. I hope we haven't messed you all around. Keep up the wonderful rabbit care and best wishes, shebunkin

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