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Thread: Brothers post-neuter separation?

  1. #1

    Default Brothers post-neuter separation?

    Hi all,

    I am new here but am hoping you may be able to help, I've had a stressful weekend after we had our two 4 month old minature lop boys Fluffy and Snowball neutered on friday morning.Sorry for the detail that follows, I am just trying to paint a clear picture.

    They have lived together since birth (we got them at ten weeks) and here they live in a converted wood-lined outbuilding with a tunnel access to a large outdoor run. They have been sharing an indoor hide box (we had two and they only used one so removed the other to make more space)and a single litter tray, but have separate feeding and water bowls. They are always snuggled up together, go out to their run together at the same time and generally really happy contented brothers. Only twice have I seen Snowball mount fluffy, both times when they were running around in their run.

    As recommended, we set up an indoor pen for them in the house upon their return from the vets, creating a separate sleeping area/tunnel with blanket and two snugglesafes. First evening back home they were dopey and quiet but started eating drinking and pooping. The next day Saturday they continued to improve, were less sleepy and eating normally etc. Suddenly on saturday evening Snowball started headmounting Fluffy, there was quite a commotion as fluffy started running away and was chased by Snowball who caught him and kept mounting him. as it was only 24 hours since surgery we were concerned for their wounds and decided to put a divider between them in the pen (wire so they can still see and smell each other). The sleeping tunnel is also split in the same way with blankets to lie on either side of the divide. we added a litter tray so they both have one in their area. Snowball seemed to be cross with this divide and we had about 30 mins of kicking his back legs, and throwing his food bowl around. Fluffy seemed to just relax and lie down.

    On sunday morning we opened it back up for an hour and all was well, they ate together and seemed normal but then the mounting and chasing began again. we let them get on with it for a little while but then fluffy kept trying to lie down by himself but Snowball wouldnt leave him alone, mounting his head again. So we put back the separater again. Since then, they both appear to be behaving normally, sniffing each other through the divider, sharing hay between the divider and are currently both lying on their sides in the sleep tunnel with the divider between them but touching.

    It had been our intention to keep them together in the house until today and then move them back into their "outside" normal home with access to their run. However now I dont know what to do from here!

    Should i keep them in the house side by side for longer?
    Should I put them together and hope the mounting stops?

    I'm keen to have them back in the familiarity of their home with outdoor access, but we cant monitor them out there and I'm terrified they could hurt each other if it turned into a fight. It's now been 72 hours since surgery. Any advice would be gratefully received, I am so anxious to do the right thing by them. It could be me but I feel they are sad apart.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    I've not experienced two boys but we did find that Rodney didnt stop his hormonal behaviour for about six weeks after his neuter.

    They get a surge or something as their body adapts so it has to pass through their system.

    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarelessSquid07 View Post
    I've not experienced two boys but we did find that Rodney didnt stop his hormonal behaviour for about six weeks after his neuter.

    They get a surge or something as their body adapts so it has to pass through their system.

    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
    Thank you for your reply. I know its an unusual mix but we were lead to believe they were male and female until the vet checked them over! it is necessary to keep them apart for six weeks then? We just tried them together in a new room for 15 minutes and after exploring for a while, they circled sniffing each other then it was Fluffy (the other one) who started mounting Snowball. If they are now both mounting i'm fearing this is not a good interaction? They are back now in each others side of the enclosure and both flopped out.

  4. #4

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    you're likely seeing this explosive behaviour as hormones actually *rise* after fixing, before they drop. so things (tend) to get worse before they get better, due to the sudden surge in hormones. its likely what's causing them to both attempt to mount one another, and should calm down in 4-8 weeks.

    mounting itself isn't an issue, but head mounting is. a rabbit can suffer a nasty injury if bitten on the stomach / around the genitals so this should be stopped as soon as possible. if its happening a lot, I would personally recommend to keep them apart as really, you won't be around to stop it always.

    I would suggest side by side housing until hormones have settled, which depends on each rabbit. 8 weeks is usually the "maximum" end and where people start bonding / rebonding after fixing, as all hormones should be out of the system so to speak. after that, I'd consider reintroducing them on neutral territory to rebond them. it sounds like the bond isn't completely broken, its still there, so rebonding them should be extremely simple. this thread goes into bonding in depth, but I'd really say yours shouldn't be as complicated: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?465945

    I'd just be weary of keeping them apart to throw them back together again, it may contribute to fighting. so I'd suggest a "soft" rebond so to speak, following normal bonding (neutral smallish space), allowing them to familiarise, and then putting them back into their main housing, but with it disinfected to make the main housing also neutral territory.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by binkyCodie View Post
    you're likely seeing this explosive behaviour as hormones actually *rise* after fixing, before they drop. so things (tend) to get worse before they get better, due to the sudden surge in hormones. its likely what's causing them to both attempt to mount one another, and should calm down in 4-8 weeks.

    mounting itself isn't an issue, but head mounting is. a rabbit can suffer a nasty injury if bitten on the stomach / around the genitals so this should be stopped as soon as possible. if its happening a lot, I would personally recommend to keep them apart as really, you won't be around to stop it always.

    I would suggest side by side housing until hormones have settled, which depends on each rabbit. 8 weeks is usually the "maximum" end and where people start bonding / rebonding after fixing, as all hormones should be out of the system so to speak. after that, I'd consider reintroducing them on neutral territory to rebond them. it sounds like the bond isn't completely broken, its still there, so rebonding them should be extremely simple. this thread goes into bonding in depth, but I'd really say yours shouldn't be as complicated: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?465945

    I'd just be weary of keeping them apart to throw them back together again, it may contribute to fighting. so I'd suggest a "soft" rebond so to speak, following normal bonding (neutral smallish space), allowing them to familiarise, and then putting them back into their main housing, but with it disinfected to make the main housing also neutral territory.
    Thanks so much, that makes alot of sense. Useful link to the bonding thread thanks. while i have tried to read as much as I could before we got the bunnies and especially around the castration period, this is my first experience with bunnies. the internet can be overwelming with information, so having other with more experience to offer personalised guidance is really reassuring, thank you. I haven't slept properly since their op worrying about them and their future together They have been so cute together thus far, and I want to do all i can to keep them bonded.

    It sounds like the side by side arrangement we have now should be maintained until the hormones settle. But how will we know when their hormones have settled sufficiently?

    If its a trial and error process, should we wait until say 4 weeks and start bonding? Or is it a good idea to continue to let them have short breaks together daily like we did today over the whole period or is that just going to aggravate the situation? what about swapping their spaces? good/bad/makes no difference?

  6. #6
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    It is a good sign that your boys got to 16 weeks without fighting so there is more hope that once they have recovered from their castration they will go back together., Now they have been neutered their hormones will have spiked which is resulting in this hormonal behaviour. The best way forward now is to give them plenty of time for the hormones to calm down before re-bonding. Don't be impatient as that could mess things up if they were to fight but in about 6 weeks it should be safe to try them together. You will need to put them in an area where they are not familiar with to re-introduce them.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    It is a good sign that your boys got to 16 weeks without fighting so there is more hope that once they have recovered from their castration they will go back together., Now they have been neutered their hormones will have spiked which is resulting in this hormonal behaviour. The best way forward now is to give them plenty of time for the hormones to calm down before re-bonding. Don't be impatient as that could mess things up if they were to fight but in about 6 weeks it should be safe to try them together. You will need to put them in an area where they are not familiar with to re-introduce them.
    Thanks, that's reassuring to hear. It sounds like my efforts over the past few days have been a bit too keen, I will refrain from putting them together at all until 6 week's time, instead keeping them side by side as they are now and give them individual turns in their outside run so they can get their usual exercise. Will use the summerhouse to reintroduce them as neither have been in there before.

    Does anyone know when it will be ok to use megazorb in their litter trays again? I read you should switch to newspaper after surgery which makes sense, just not sure how long for?

    thanks!

  8. #8
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    I would wait another couple of days before using Megazorb again. Have the boys had a 2-day check? The longer you keep them indoors then it will not be good to put them outside until the weather warms up. Is it possible now to keep them indoors until Spring, or can you put them back outside soon? Not together of course.

  9. #9

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    Their outhouse would be too small if we split it in two to have them side by side, but itís no problem to keep them inside in our home until spring. I thought perhaps the fresh air and runaround would be good for them once fully healed. We donít have a follow up appointment as Vet said no need to go back for a check once they were eating and pooping normally again, as it would only stress them.

  10. #10
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    How odd the Vet didn't want to do a post neuter check but can you have a look at their wound just to make sure it looks all right? ie for instance not too swollen. Do you put their hay on top of the Megazorb or is it in a hayrack close-by. Rabbits like to eat while they go to the toilet.

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