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Thread: Elderly Bun Bonding

  1. #1
    Warren Scout
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    Default Elderly Bun Bonding

    After the death of my little boy in August I now have an elderly widow. Pandora turned 8 at the beginning of September and while she maintains her mobility, she does have worsening kidney insufficiency and a chronic nasal issue that keeps requiring medication. A couple of weeks ago she had a sudden and inexplicable bout of stasis that involved her being full of gas (x-ray) from front to back and not passing anything for a day and a half. Thankfully she was strong enough to make it through.

    She's on the waiting list to be bonded at the rescue that I work at. After a bond they plan to start tomorrow, she appears to be next in line.

    Here's the thing- if the boy bunny tomorrow successfully bonds, only two male rabbits will be left (if they have no new intakes). I had thoughts about one of them already and today I asked how old he is. Both rabbits, who came in together, are SEVEN.

    For the people in the rabbit section at work, they thought this sounded fantastic. A seven year old and eight year old? Good matchmaking!

    I don't want to discriminate against an older rabbit, especially as an elderly rabbit is few people's first choice, but his age has now got me a bit concerned. I also don't know exactly how seven he is; in the lifespan of a rabbit there is a bit of a difference between "he was six a week ago" and "he will be eight next month". He could be only a month younger than Pandora for all I know.

    On one level, there is this- I have never had a rabbit reach the age of 9. My first rabbit, my only other female, was three weeks shy. Pandora is making a good attempt to take the crown but if we consider that getting to 9 is a good feat, especially with chronic health issues, getting to 10 is perhaps stretching it rather a bit. The odds are that I will lose Pandora within the next year, two at best. This will leave me with an elderly widower, potentially eight or nine years old, who may have his own health issues by that point, but also leave me open to a double whammy of losing both rabbits within a short time period.

    What worries me more though is the fact that, excusing incidents like the bout of stasis, there's no particular reason to think that Pandora is going any time soon (touch wood). If their ages may only be months apart, there's nothing inappropriate about him having old age take him to the great beyond before her, which would make her a widow for the third time and she would be older and more infirm than she is now. That concerns me a lot.

    Of course I appreciate that even if I got her a younger boy anything can happen to any rabbit at any age and at any time (indeed, it already has to her previous two husbuns!) but I can't help but think that getting a male entering the twilight of his own life might be setting her up a bit.

    On the other hand, he's still going to be old and still going to exist whether I adopt him or not, someone has to go for it!

    What do you guys think?
    ~Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen and Bailey Brychan~

  2. #2
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    Hmm, I think that if he seems in good health, unless you are wanting to stop the cycle of rabbit ownership, he seems a good match. I suppose you could offer to foster him if that would work for you and the rescue Of course, the truth is no one knows how long rabbits will live for, they could both live to age 12.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  3. #3
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    My bun just lost, Mattie, was only five and had been in fantastic health until he suddenly died from heart failure. You never do know. I'm just worried about Pandora's future health. I wanted to attempt to ensure, as much as possible, that this husbun outlives her. The vet is already a bit concerned about her stress levels and kidney health, I dread the idea of her losing a partner again, especially at a point further down the line when she's more frail.

    I'll definitely have to ask more questions about him. He hasn't been put as available yet but the person I spoke to admitted that she's not sure why he hasn't been cleared yet. That probably means he's in good health. Annoyingly he can't be insured (by PetPlan at least) at his age.
    ~Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen and Bailey Brychan~

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    It would seem a shame to separate 2 boys who possibly have been together for 7 years so surely they should be re-homed together. When an elderly bunny is bereaved, it is better for them to remain on their own sometimes, especially if they suffer from stress etc. Is she outside or indoors? If indoors she may be quite happy with human company but she may start to feel lonely if she is outside. If that is the case there must be a younger male looking for a new home. Bonding can be very stressful for the rabbits and I wouldn't send an 8 yr old away to meet a new friend personally.

  5. #5
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    It would seem a shame to separate 2 boys who possibly have been together for 7 years so surely they should be re-homed together. When an elderly bunny is bereaved, it is better for them to remain on their own sometimes, especially if they suffer from stress etc. Is she outside or indoors? If indoors she may be quite happy with human company but she may start to feel lonely if she is outside. If that is the case there must be a younger male looking for a new home. Bonding can be very stressful for the rabbits and I wouldn't send an 8 yr old away to meet a new friend personally.
    I missed this last night, too tired! I agree with Tonibun on this.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  6. #6
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    Actually they fell out naturally. Sorry for the confusion. They came in together but not "together". Apparently the owner got them neutered and not long afterwards they decided to keep fighting. I don't know if they are brothers and were together seven years or if they met and were bonded later on. I don't know if there were other factors to the intake but both rabbits got brought in and are now living separately.

    She lives outdoors in an aviary and I know she'd prefer other rabbit company. I would be able to keep an eye on her at work but I wouldn't want to do it again a few months or a year down the line.

    I do know someone who had a pair of ten year old siblings who lost one recently and her girl now has a much much much younger husbun!
    ~Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen and Bailey Brychan~

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Well all I can say is go with your gut feelings. You know your rabbit better than anyone else - good luck!

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