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Thread: Rabbit behaviour is very different from usual?

  1. #1

    Default Rabbit behaviour is very different from usual?

    I just went to get my rabbit in from outside which is usually quite easy as he comes to greet me but tonight he seemed really uncomfortable and irritated as he was shaking his head a lot. I thought it might be something wrong with his ears, like there was something inside them because when my spaniel had a similar problem he acted in the same way. I picked him up and looked him over and he seemed fine, he let me touch and look at his ears so I thought it was fine. I put him away and fed him and it all seemed normal but then he went over to his litter tray and just sat there using it (I assume) for ages and ages, about five minutes and I don't think he moved at all in that time. Went away, came back and he was eating then back in the litter tray. I tipped it out so he had a clean one for the night and some of it was new but there just didn't seem like there was enough for the time he'd spent there. I know they sometimes eat it but honestly this behaviour is very unusual for him, have never seen him like it. Tried to ignore it then as I left him he started jumping around shaking his head really hard again. I don't think it's popcorning as I have seen that in my guinea pigs before (they live completely separately from him in an outdoor hutch) and it's not the same. I suppose he is quite young, about 8 months. I appreciate this could be something and nothing but I would much rather double check than wish I had.

    Thank you,

    G

  2. #2
    Mama Doe tlcwrites's Avatar
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    Hello, and welcome.

    https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=DvQyxJ59S48 At the beginning of this video I recorded when bonding a large group, Meadow demonstrates binkying - the binky is the rabbit version of popcorning. Some rabbits can make a great height when doing so. Makes me smile when I see binkies.

    However, your bun's behaviour, from description, doesn't sound like that to me. I only included my video so you can cross-compare thr behaviour. Unfortunately, he could well have something wrong with his ear. Like piggies, rabbits are exceptionally good at hiding illness. Personally, I would take the little one to see a rabbit-savvy vet. I hope it is nothing untoward, but a change in behaviour is always a concern.

    I hope that helps, and everything returns to normal for you both.
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  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgeth View Post
    I just went to get my rabbit in from outside which is usually quite easy as he comes to greet me but tonight he seemed really uncomfortable and irritated as he was shaking his head a lot. I thought it might be something wrong with his ears, like there was something inside them because when my spaniel had a similar problem he acted in the same way. I picked him up and looked him over and he seemed fine, he let me touch and look at his ears so I thought it was fine. I put him away and fed him and it all seemed normal but then he went over to his litter tray and just sat there using it (I assume) for ages and ages, about five minutes and I don't think he moved at all in that time. Went away, came back and he was eating then back in the litter tray. I tipped it out so he had a clean one for the night and some of it was new but there just didn't seem like there was enough for the time he'd spent there. I know they sometimes eat it but honestly this behaviour is very unusual for him, have never seen him like it. Tried to ignore it then as I left him he started jumping around shaking his head really hard again. I don't think it's popcorning as I have seen that in my guinea pigs before (they live completely separately from him in an outdoor hutch) and it's not the same. I suppose he is quite young, about 8 months. I appreciate this could be something and nothing but I would much rather double check than wish I had.

    Thank you,

    G

    Hi there and welcome to the forum

    From what you have described, it sounds like it could be an inner ear infection. This would account for the vigorous head shaking. I would get an appointment with the vet as he may want to begin a course of antibiotics if appropriate. A vet can examine the ear with an otoscope but that doesn't diagnose a middle or inner ear infection, which can't be seen. That would have to be diagnosed with CT scans or X-rays.

    Some vets begin treatment for ear infection without a definitive diagnosis, on the basis of catching it early.

    There's some info here:

    https://www.petmd.com/rabbit/conditi..._media_interna

    https://www.msdvetmanual.com/eye-and...ia-and-interna


    Ear infections can cause pain, and if his behaviour has changed at all that's another reason to get going on this. A vet could also prescribe some Metacam, a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, in order to cope with whatever's happening.

    Of course it could simply be wax in the ears, but bunnies don't stay still for very long for us to be able to have a good look into their ear canals!

    Good luck
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