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Thread: bonding troubles...

  1. #1

    Default bonding troubles...

    We lost Kai at the end of October and I didn't think Esme was too upset but two months later I got her spayed so we could look for a new partner. LAst week she spent 5 days with a lady from the RSPCA getting to know Teddy - a lovely male. A bit younger and livelier than Esme but nevertheless a partner! The woman said all was fine and I should pick them up on Sunday. I did. And all well at first. On Monday they had a run around the garden and then were both in the run on the lawn - mainly apart. Yesterday they stayed in their run on the patio ... Esme sat in her hidey-box all day and her food consumption dwindled. Teddy stayed in the hutch coming out for food and checking on Esme. At first I just thought she was being grumpy but now I think it's worse. She's eaten so little, despite tempting her with fave leaves... She hasn't pooped either. I have a vet appt at 3.40 - though I'm worried about her... is that too long to wait? Also, she I take Teddy with us to the vets? My instinct says no - but I don't want to upset the bond... but then again it's not that good anyway.

    Then I have more Qs about long term ... is this relationship doomed? It doesn't look great, but I have no experience! The RSPCA woman was quite keen for the pair to go the day before - but now I know it wasn't because the rabbits were sooo loved up, but rather she needed the space for another pair! (She boards as well). So I feel a bit let down by her...

    Sorry, a lot to take in I know. But any advice would be welcome!
    Thanks
    S

  2. #2
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    I would take her to the vets ASAP to be checked over, you could take them together, it may help the bond. I would try to ensure that they are in a neutral fairly smallish space, not free ranging, and try to avoid moving them from place to place, as each time you do this you risk upsetting the bond.

    Here are a few links on bonding that you might find helpful



    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...nsence+bonding

    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.u...nding-bunnies/

    http://www.fatfluffs.com/info/bonding/

    http://www.windwhistlewarren.org.uk/...it_bonding.pdf

    http://actionforrabbits.co.uk/bonding.html

    https://www.4littlepaws.co.uk/blog/2017/rabbit-bonding

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

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I am sorry to hear Esme isn't eating normally and I agree with Zoobec. Keep them both in a smallish space which is new to Esme as the females are very territorial. I hope she starts to perk up and they start to get along well.

  4. #4

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    Thank you for the replies... a massive help as have been totally preoccupied by them... having to feed critical care to Esme, but really failing. I guess each time I try she gets a little something. The vet also gave her a gut-stimulant. No progress yet, so off to get more dandelion leaves... (arghgh! Should be working!!)
    Zoobec, you say avoid moving them from place to place, but at the moment they're in her run/hutch, so shall I move them just the once time to get them to a neutral space?? I suppose that's better than keeping them in her previous home where she's very unhappy.
    Thanks again for all the links...
    Sxx

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    It isn't a good idea to put them in Esme's hutch until they are well bonded as her territorialness will probably overpower her need for a friend.

  6. #6
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunni View Post
    Thank you for the replies... a massive help as have been totally preoccupied by them... having to feed critical care to Esme, but really failing. I guess each time I try she gets a little something. The vet also gave her a gut-stimulant. No progress yet, so off to get more dandelion leaves... (arghgh! Should be working!!)
    Zoobec, you say avoid moving them from place to place, but at the moment they're in her run/hutch, so shall I move them just the once time to get them to a neutral space?? I suppose that's better than keeping them in her previous home where she's very unhappy.
    Thanks again for all the links...
    Sxx
    Yes, I would just move them one time to a neutral space to restart things. I left my pair together in the neutral bonding pen for just above a week, slowly expanding space, before moving them to the (well neutralised with vinegar and water) bunny room where Frosty (m) lived before. Mine were an easy bond and were close very quickly though.

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

  7. #7

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    Thanks zoobec and tonibun. Not sure what to do about overnight then, as they're outdoor bunnies. I could bring them inside for the night but that means two changes - but all neutral. Is that OK?? So, in the small run, on grass in day and then inside at night??? I think if they were inside all day (ie just one space) Esme would be even more unhappy. She always looks miserable inside! Eek... getting really concerned now...

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Have you nowhere else you can keep them for 2 or 3 days in order for them to get to know one another and for Esme to get back to normal with her eating.

  9. #9

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    After being in a run on the lawn, they're now in the dining room - and I've turned the heating off! This is the best we can do really... which is why I asked the RSPCA to bond them... I thought 4 and a half days was fairly quick, and I wish I had carried on with the neutral space idea here, but she said they were fine! Anyway Ive managed to get a bit more critical care into her and she had a few dandelions, so will try again before bed, then in the morning they can go back outside on the lawn. I don't think she's pooped yet, so I'm guessing I need another trip to the vets - what do you think?? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I would try to keep things as constant as possible. Rabbits don't always like change and yes they probably were ok at the bonders but she had nothing to be territorial over. Were they together overnight?

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