Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Rabbit issues and mental health problems (discretion advised)

  1. #1
    Warren Scout
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    356

    Default Rabbit issues and mental health problems (discretion advised)

    This is going to be a long and heavy ramble, you've been warned. I'm having an anxiety attack even typing it. I suppose I'll start by giving a bit of a trigger warning for mental health problems and negative emotions. Also apologies to the Admods if this isn't something they are happy with.

    I know that this is not the right place to talk about this really. I had hoped to go to the GP over the last few weeks to try to deal with it but right now you can only see a GP if you want a flu shot or you are basically dying- our town facebook has a lot of messages about people who have been having experiences like being on hold for an hour and then hung up on.

    ~

    The whole thing really started from my first job. I won't get too far into it but I worked far more than I was paid, had things made difficult for me and then ended up, through obnoxious circumstances, being dumped in it when I was forced to be the only member of staff caring for about 250 animals without adequate time, knowledge or experience. I couldn't leave because the animals needed me to keep it afloat- if I'd left a lot of the animals would have died. As it was, a few did anyway. I was spinning a lot of plates and I ended up standing on smashed crockery. Even now, four or five years later, it still sometimes haunts me. Ultimately I knew who was to blame for putting me in that situation, but I made personal mistakes, personal choices, personal actions for which I can and should blame myself.

    As soon as the situation was somewhat rectified (after about three months that nearly broke me) I handed in my notice and legged it. The rescue ended up under new management but survived. I work for a new place now in a better job.

    I've had rabbits since 2002. I was lucky to always have easy bonds with my first choices and loved spending time with them. At the time my job was exploding I had Pandora (4th) and Mattie (5th). They were a well matched pair of soulmates. They were together for six years before Mattie's sudden death in Aug 2018 from sudden onset heart failure. Pandora was 8 and had multiple health issues. The rescue I now work for rejected her for bonding on that basis- she had reoccurring nasal infections and they didn't want her on site. The new manager of my old rescue, who I knew from my time there, agreed to rebond her.

    Things went south from there. Pandora did rebond easily to a rabbit called Cookie, but the first night home ended in a fight and they were upset with each other. Cookie, who didn't appear to be enjoying my accommodation either, was returned. Pandora rebonded with Bailey, again easily, and was happy with him for a few months but had occasional fights and rebonds. We eventually found out she was water bowl guarding and becoming irrationally aggressive, possibly due to EC in the brain. She was blacklisted for bonding and Bailey stayed next to her for a while before rebonding to Ciara.

    Ciara was deceptive in that she was beautiful, she was intelligent and she was very well-mannered and easy-going. She tolerated Bailey being occasionally stroppy and she didn't mind Pandora at all. I say 'deceptive' because I sensed when I first met her that she wasn't healthy but went for it anyway. She was underweight and put on weight with me, but two months later lost it all suddenly and died. I didn't have a pm so I'll never know.

    Bailey and Pandora lived side by side for a while. I got away with it for months but I was already struggling with how poorly things were going and blindsided by two deaths in a close period of time. It didn't end there, as Pandora died in Dec 2019 (heart failure from old age) followed in March 2020 by Bailey (megacolon syndrome).

    Bailey had been rebonded to Adelaide for two months by the time he died. I knew about his megacolon when I adopted him but it destabilised rapidly after I got him and wondering what I did wrong plus the big vet bills and sleepless nights was taxing too. Four rabbits in a year and a half has been a real kick in the gut. My happy rabbit life just shattered completely.

    I had the option to return Adelaide of course. I hadn't had her long, but I was already getting a little fond of her, plus I signed up to adopt her for life and that's a commitment I made when I took her on. I appreciate that didn't happen with Cookie though, but I had him for one day and the bond and accommodation failed. I could also have returned Bailey when he fell out with Pandora and just let Pandora live out the rest of her life alone. I could have ended my time with rabbits several times and maybe should have.

    Instead I chose to try to make a fresh start with Adelaide. She was less than a year old and I hoped she'd be the start of a new era where I could love having rabbits again without everything going wrong. I adopted Quinn, also less than a year old. I know that a young rabbit doesn't mean a long lived rabbit, but at least there was a better potential than setting myself up with an old rabbit to start with. They bonded easily and were loving... for a couple of months.

    In July I came home to mayhem. There was so much fur everywhere I couldn't believe it. Quinn had a bite to his foot and Adelaide had several bites to the same place on her back- one of which turned out to be full thickness. The vet stapled it shut but although the rabbits had made up by this point Quinn wouldn't stop grooming the staple so the vets said he had to be separated. It made sense. The rescue wasn't happy but it made horrible sense. We suspected that since Quinn hadn't been neutered for long and was spraying that he might have mounted, bitten hard and then things escalated. The vet advised waiting four weeks before rebonding.

    After two weeks the wounds were pretty much healed. The stapled wound was shut completely and another close to it was just a tiny scab. The rescue lady, who had previously said she had no bonding availability for months, told me that she had a no-show and could I please bring them in the next day. I wasn't really comfortable with this, but I was and am aware that there is a clause in the adoption contract that if I'm not abiding by the rules of the contract (including having the rabbits bonded) they can be taken away from me. I've already pushed this part of the contract several times over the last few years from anxiety and trauma.

    I dropped them off and told the ACA everywhere they'd been bitten. The rabbits rebonded immediately and were cuddling and kissing right away. I was told no fighting at all. Four or five days later I was asked to take them home. When I picked up Adelaide to put her in the carrier I automatically looked at the shaved area of her back and was horrified to see that he'd obviously pulled off the tiny scab and opened the wound worse than it was originally. I took them home and they had a scrap overnight followed by an out of hours trip to the vets, who gave her more antibiotics and said the wound was too wide to stitch up, so keep eye on. They also said... separate them again and actually do it for four weeks this time. The rescue lady wasn't happy they were apart again and I refrained from telling her I wasn't particularly happy that one of my rabbits had chewed a hole in my other rabbit without them noticing. It wasn't like it was hidden, even from fur.

    It's been just over four weeks now and both rabbits are well, if a little fat. I, on the other hand, am a mess. I keep having anxiety attacks over it and lately I'm not sleeping well now that crunch time is here. If I think about it as soon as I lie in bed then I have an anxiety attack. Now I'm associating my bed with anxiety and don't want to go to bed.

    My anxiety has been spiralling out of control for the last couple of years because of rabbits. One bad habit I've picked up is at my job, which could get me into trouble. I work in the laundry so I have to clean, among other things, dog toys. Since many dog toys are rabbit shaped I inevitably find them when they come through a second time with legs or faces missing or, on one occasion, decapitated in a bin. I now have an anxiety response to rabbit toys and hide them. I've got several hidden in various nooks and I'm sure my supervisor knows something is up from the shelf of them sitting in our cupboard.


    [continued in first reply b/c word count]
    .................................................. .............. ~ Adelaide Octavia ~ .................................................. ....................
    ~ At the Bridge ~ Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen, Bailey Brychan and Ciara Konijn ~

  2. #2
    Warren Scout
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    356

    Default

    [2/2]

    I have to decide on the fates of Adelaide and Quinn. Not knowing why they are fighting is a big issue, especially since they were fine again at the rescue. One suggestion was that my accommodation, which has three layers, is too complicated and it needs to be one level only. The bottom level would be only just minimum space requirements but it feels too small. I only wanted the best and tried to make it happen. The rabbits have all loved my accommodation, but apparently not with other rabbits.

    They were meant to be my future with rabbits. My best pair for many years. But I don't know now if that will happen or if I can cope with it failing. I will have horrible anxiety even if they seem to be getting along, just waiting for the shoe to drop. When the shoe drops, I will have a full abdominal anxiety attack. Again.

    My options are pretty much
    Change the accommodation, get them rebonded and it actually works.
    Keep one and rebond. Still will have anxiety regarding new rabbit instead. Risk it all falling apart again. Be sad about losing previous rabbit. If I had to choose between rabbits I guess I'd have to keep Adelaide and lose Quinn because I've had Adelaide longer and Quinn's overgrooming/cannibalism seems to be the biggest issue.
    Just give up and surrender both rabbits.

    There are two main thoughts that keep me awake and make me cry. One is that I absolutely cannot cope with another fight. Each one I've had over the last couple of years feels like it has damaged another piece of my soul and I cannot see another piece of fur. It will represent the absolute breakdown of everything. The other is that I feel like surrendering and losing both rabbits is inevitable. If I can't satisfy them and make them happy, it would be selfish to keep them. I'm starting to cry even typing that. I don't even know what I've done wrong. If they fight again, it's over.

    I won't say there aren't pros to surrendering them both. I could put more money towards future mortgage deposit. I wouldn't have to consider pets with a new house. I could stop worrying about them. I could stop the neverending zig-zag of getting a new rabbit after a loss. I could even use their aviary for storage, perhaps of items I can sell for charity. Maybe I could convert it as a house for the cat.

    That said, it would ruin my relationship with rabbits forever. It wouldn't just be the end of my keeping Adelaide and Quinn, it would be the final traumatic nail in the jagged coffin of how things have gone for me. I've also lived with depression for a very long time and rabbits have been something for me to look after and they depend on me to care for them. Pandora and Bailey had such health issues that if they'd gone into the rescue I currently work for they'd have been pts as un-rehomeable. I couldn't let myself go while they were alive. Adelaide and Quinn are healthy but unlike the cats I wouldn't trust my parents to look after them (and, since both are getting on in years and my mother has back problems they wouldn't be able to cope with the aviary anyway). Letting them go would give me one less reason to live and one more reason to be depressed. The rescue did suggest exchanging them for an established pair but I've decided that if I give them up I'm just going to be done forever. I can't handle this any more.

    I did think about trying to get them into holiday boarding at the rescue to give myself some breathing space (the old manager-whatever else I might think of her- did once do long term boarding for a friend of hers who was struggling with mental health) but I think they are well booked and we are heading into another busy season soon (or, being 2020, maybe not??). I can't afford it long term either and I'd eventually have to come to the same decision. I'd spend that boarding time having more anxiety attacks. I was also told that if Quinn gets returned he'd have to go to another rescue as they no longer have room for him. I don't really want him to disappear off the radar either, even if he's no longer mine.

    The rescue hasn't asked yet. I bumped into her a couple of weeks ago and she asked how they were. I haven't yet been pressured into a rebonding response. I can't bring myself to talk to her and decided to post here instead, even though I'm not sure this will help anything at all. I get a flash of anxiety from even thinking about talking to her. If I see a pm notification on facebook I panic in case it is her. I could tell her everything I've just posted but the thought of her response sets me off as well. She knows that I suffer from horrible anxiety and fall apart as soon as a rabbit scraps, which I think now makes her want to bash her head on a wall when she has to sort it out for me and she's given me so many second chances after rabbits have fallen out. I think it was Bailey she threatened to take off me at one point.

    I don't know what to do any more. I wanted to spend the four week separation talking to the GP, maybe getting into therapy or on medication. That said, even then I'd still have to face the decision, which isn't going away any time soon. It's not like the trigger for the anxiety has stopped being a thing.

    Sorry for weighing everyone down with this but I felt like I had to get it off my chest if nothing else.
    .................................................. .............. ~ Adelaide Octavia ~ .................................................. ....................
    ~ At the Bridge ~ Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen, Bailey Brychan and Ciara Konijn ~

  3. #3

    Default

    Sorry this is a short reply but I did not want to read and run. I would start by sorting out two separate accommodations for each Rabbit. Give yourself 3 months of doing nothing re the re-bonding. Give all three of you some time out. Focus on getting some help for your MH problems first. Believe me I know first hand how impossible life becomes when MH problems become extreme.

    I also know from first hand experience that in order to get access to a GP in the current Covid climate means having to be VERY insistent. Do not take No’ for an answer. You need and deserve help just as much as anyone else.

    Once you start to get a plan in action to obtain support for yourself you will be in a better place to decide what to do about your Rabbits. For the three months as long as the Rabbits have good day to day care, which I know that you will provide, they will be fine.

    Don’t rush into any big decisions, wait a while. No feelings remain the same forever.


    I used to be ‘Jack’s-Jane’ but I have been logged out of that account and I can’t get back in !

    Apologies if my posts read as being blunt. Failing eyesight makes it hard to type out long messages.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe mikek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Devon, UK
    Posts
    3,780

    Default

    rabbits can be so stress inducing
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    if you're reading this it's too late

  5. #5
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    37,969

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by InspectorMorse View Post
    Sorry this is a short reply but I did not want to read and run. I would start by sorting out two separate accommodations for each Rabbit. Give yourself 3 months of doing nothing re the re-bonding. Give all three of you some time out. Focus on getting some help for your MH problems first. Believe me I know first hand how impossible life becomes when MH problems become extreme.

    I also know from first hand experience that in order to get access to a GP in the current Covid climate means having to be VERY insistent. Do not take No’ for an answer. You need and deserve help just as much as anyone else.

    Once you start to get a plan in action to obtain support for yourself you will be in a better place to decide what to do about your Rabbits. For the three months as long as the Rabbits have good day to day care, which I know that you will provide, they will be fine.

    Don’t rush into any big decisions, wait a while. No feelings remain the same forever.
    This is a good idea.

    I’m sorry you have gone through so much and I’m thinking of you and sending hugs. It isn’t your fault and you have done nothing wrong in this, xx

    If you (or someone else) tries rebonding, when they come back to your accommodation I would just give them the minimum amount of space and don’t extend it for a while, at least 48 hours after there’s been no chasing or fur pulling. I would extend the space slowly.

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

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    IOW
    Posts
    18,539

    Default

    I didn't understand what you mean about your Rabbits' accommodation being on 3 levels. Perhaps you could explain more fully? Rabbits are not easy animals to understand and are quite sensitive to how we are feeling ourselves. I am assuming you give them plenty of hay, being grazing animals. I hope you can sort your problems out, as per what Jane said, for your own sake and that of your Bunnies.

  7. #7
    Mama Doe bunny momma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,987

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by InspectorMorse View Post
    Sorry this is a short reply but I did not want to read and run. I would start by sorting out two separate accommodations for each Rabbit. Give yourself 3 months of doing nothing re the re-bonding. Give all three of you some time out. Focus on getting some help for your MH problems first. Believe me I know first hand how impossible life becomes when MH problems become extreme.

    I also know from first hand experience that in order to get access to a GP in the current Covid climate means having to be VERY insistent. Do not take No’ for an answer. You need and deserve help just as much as anyone else.

    Once you start to get a plan in action to obtain support for yourself you will be in a better place to decide what to do about your Rabbits. For the three months as long as the Rabbits have good day to day care, which I know that you will provide, they will be fine.

    Don’t rush into any big decisions, wait a while. No feelings remain the same forever.
    I could not have said it better.
    Why would one bunny have open sore if bond was going well at rescue? Also, if one bunny was in your accommodation first could he/she be territorial?
    My remaining two bunnies are not bonded, though they enjoy seeing each other, so you should not be too hard on yourself.
    Last edited by bunny momma; 20-09-2020 at 07:48 AM.

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    20,032

    Default

    I too agree with Jane's excellent advice. Hoping that things will improve for you.

  9. #9
    Warren Scout
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    356

    Default

    Thanks all.

    The rabbits are separated as Bailey and Pandora were- they can see each other and each side is minimum space requirement. I can't make completely separate accommodation. My vet is the only other person I mentioned to that I was thinking of giving up rabbits altogether and she awkwardly said don't do that and if they are next to each other and can interact then it is ok. The rescue will eventually expect all rabbits I have to be bonded.

    The aviary has three levels with ramps between them. The aviary dimensions are 9ft x 7.4ft and I wanted to give as much space as possible so each level is 2ft high. Originally when I built it I had a sort of hutch at one end (2ft high x 4ft deep I think?) but when Pandora and Bailey divorced I was forced to extend this in order to provide enough room for each rabbit. If you look back through my previous posts you can find photos.

    I think he was overgrooming it. He was extremely insistent on trying to groom the wound area before and the new wound was exactly where the little scab was. They were snuggling and kissing besides (I got photos and video). He's not the first rabbit I've had do this- Bandit somehow wounded herself once and Oren overgroomed it, which was a pain. She was getting disabled at that point and Oren would wash her bottom for her. I never found out how she injured herself (she even amputated the end of her tail, which baffled all of us) and I have to wonder if Oren did it but no idea why.

    After they were first separated they had 'playdates' but it didn't take long for Adelaide to get territorial. I don't think it made rescue lady too happy that I said bonding at home would be impossible. They were absolutely fine and in love for a while before the major fight. Admittedly I saw a few sprigs here and there but the rabbits were always loved up. They are both the same colour but I think a lot of it was actually Adelaide's. Him mounting and pulling might make sense there.

    Not sure what you mean about three months?

    It's difficult to face anything when my immediate reaction is to basically pull into my shell like a tortoise. It's a defence mechanism born of having no support network. It's not ultimately that helpful though.
    .................................................. .............. ~ Adelaide Octavia ~ .................................................. ....................
    ~ At the Bridge ~ Bandit Mist, Sealy Calkin, Schatje-Oren Turin, Pandora Bea, Mattie Harigen, Bailey Brychan and Ciara Konijn ~

  10. #10

    Default

    Do you have the option of self-referral to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) in your area? They probably have a regional name also, I think it's "The Wellbeing College" in my area. If you Google it or look on NHS web pages you might find you have access to CBT without having to fight to speak to a GP first.

    They have a range of ways of providing the help such as phone, face-to-face group and individual (though this may be all video at the moment) or just self-help information. I'm hoping these services are very accessible at the moment because they really are needed.

    I can't offer help with the rabbit issues but I can empathise how you it can close in on you if it's not going right. Remember though, you don't have to provide perfect life for them 100% of the time, in them meantime keep them safe have a plan.
    My heart is in a thousand pieces for my soulmate stopped running today (22.05.13)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •