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Thread: Ovarian Remnant Syndrome?

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    Warren Scout Squishies's Avatar
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    Default Ovarian Remnant Syndrome?

    Hi all, this is potentially a long shot at the end of a rocky road with a female bun who is displaying some very unusual signs of aggression to all but her original sibling bunny in the group. ...has anyone ever heard of, or know of where to find any info on ovarian remnant syndrome and symptoms in rabbits?

    It's an 10 month old bunny in good health (as far as we can tell), good dental etc, who is randomly attacking in a group. She was spayed at 4 months, but has always been feisty, even with her brother (will hump him, and not tolerate too much snuggling from him). She's not at all aggressive to humans, can be handled, and begrudgingly quite likes a nose rub; there doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for her behaviour (bum and face nipping of rabbits that are already submissive to her/no threat, and are not provoking her -- she literally just wanders over and bites them). I have tried both restricting space and extending space, and all sorts of 'time out' techniques; all 4 are currently away for "re-bonding" with a very, very experienced and trusted, brilliant professional bonder, but whatever we try, the aggression seems to get worse, rather than better...

    I'm stressed and exhausted (nights of 4am sitting in a cold shed!), and more importantly, very concerned for the health of the other bunnies in the group if this continues, so we have separated them (back in to original pairs) while we give everyone a breather and wrack our brains - ...if anyone has any ideas whatsoever (nothing is daft right now!) or knows anything about the possibility of ovarian remnant syndrome, I'd be hugely appreciative of all thoughts x x

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    Forum Buddy Liz47's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you're going through this with your bunny. I work in a vets and I've seen this in a dog, it was easier to spot in a dog as she had discharge as in having a season and inflamed (whereas obviously you don't get this in a rabbit!). It was diagnosed by an ultrasound, has your vet done any diagnostics? Ultrasound can be tricky with bunnies due to the gas but I've had a few ultrasounds done on rabbits in the past. I know with guinea pigs they can have ovary cysts which affects their hormones and can make them act in a very similar way, one of my piggies is having tests for this atm. Perhaps a blood test could look at her hormone levels see if there's anything amiss there? Sorry there isn't much info about rabbits in my post but didn't want to leave it unanswered!

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    Thanks so much, Liz, I really appreciate the reply and everything you write makes sense - yes, a blood test is what has been recommended, but (as ever with the delicate and delightfully different nature of rabbits!), apparently it's not foolproof, as bunnies don't have a regular oestrus cycle (unlike humans and lots of other mammals) so the risk is we take blood when she is not 'in season', and don't spot anything... I also asked about ultrasound (phew, great minds!), but was told that because it takes only the tiniest scrap of ovary to be left after a spay, the likelihood is that it wouldn't be visible - makes sense I suppose.

    It's likely that I will go for the blood test, but because it is so darn expensive and not foolproof, I have been on a bit of a hunt to find any information or known cases/symptoms to look for first -- I'm thinking that there's no point putting her through the stress of the blood test, if the symptoms/behaviour issues don't quite stack up. ...frustratingly I've not found any detailed cases documented online. Maybe it's rare, or maybe, even if happens, most buns don't show any symptoms <ponders>

    ...it's interesting to hear that there is something similar in the piggies; may I ask about the symptoms and behaviours in their rodent cousins?

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    Forum Buddy Liz47's Avatar
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    No problem I agree with everything you're saying re blood test etc, such a tricky situation! I remember the vets being quite stumped with the dog before they diagnosed, and then said it was very rare so I imagine it could be even rarer in rabbits perhaps. I have two girl piggy's, the smaller/younger one is the most shy and least dominant. However recently she has been following Ellie round pushing her face under her back end, making a humming noise, humping her and generally pestering her around food etc. They did have a difficult bond to begin with but with outright fighting not behaviours like this, and have been bonded fine for several months now.

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    Wow, that does sound strikingly similar behaviour - bonded 'ok', without outright fighting, but now this increasing random aggression and extreme dominance despite having other who have fully submitted to he queen bee status! Please do let me know how jour journey progresses with the piggies x

    ...anyone else have any thoughts or pearls of wisdom on anything similar?

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