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Skin tear on back after bunny fight

mandy_2lops

New Kit
Hello all, I am new and hope I am posting in the proper place. Long story, apologies.

I have 2 lops adopted from a local pet rescue. Neutered male almost 2 years old and a young female (not spayed yet) who we got later, now about 6 months old. They were put together in the same pen very quickly after exhibiting some very positive bonding behaviors. They had been living happily together for about 3 months with no issues and the older male would groom her and they would rest next to each other, it was all very lovely and peaceful.

Late one evening about one week ago, we found a good sized chunk of the female's fur lying around, held together by skin/blood at the base. After inspecting, we found a wound on her back. It was completely hidden under the fur, but sizeable. My guess is the male pulled or held onto her fur and she pulled away, tearing her skin. The wound did not look like bite marks, punctures, or a gash. Just like a chunk of skin/fur pulled out. It was a gross open wound but not actively bleeding and no blood on the cage or floor.

We separated the rabbits immediately. I gave her a pet-safe heating pad and bundled her in a blanket in case of shock (she did seem droopy) and watched her closely for hours. She ate, drank, and pooped. Seemed back to her normal self the same night.

I trimmed her fur around the area and rinsed clean with saline solution. Have been spraying a pet-safe antimicrobial wound spray on the area 2x/day for a week. It started scabbing up very quickly, but in a hard lumpy way (I'm guessing just due to the nature of the torn skin, kind of like jagged edges/misshapen scab).

Everything seemed to be moving in a positive direction but then she discovered she could reach the wound on her back and has now been trying to groom it. She has reopened the wound slightly and caused some small amount of bleeding occasionally. I continue to trim the fur, clean it with saline if there's any fur or hay in the wound area, and I just tried applying some Neosporin (original) for the first time. I am keeping a look out for pus/infection in which case we will need to get her some antibiotics.

My guess is now that the female is getting older and maturing, their initial "bond" has broken and they can not be housed together safely. I will eventually get her spayed after she heals up and hopefully try bonding them again. But of course I am also scared of further injury and got the two bunnies as hopeful companions for each other, not to house separately forever.

Anyway, that's the story... I guess I would like to hear some advice or support about the situation, if you have any. I am feeling heartbroken that they had a fight after being such good friends and hope they can be friends again one day. If anybody has dealt with a similar injury I would like to know how it was handled and the outcome. What signs of infection or abscess should I watch out for?

(I do have photos, but I am reluctant to post them because they are disgusting. Please keep in mind this occurred in the night with no vet available, and since she has been acting normally, we decided to take a wait and see/treat at home approach. We cannot afford expensive medical interventions and are doing the best we can to give these rescued bunnies a good home.)

Thank you .
 
You need to take the poor girl to a Vet. If you cannot afford it then you need to seek help from the RSPCA/PDSA if you are in the UK. If you live elsewhere you need to try to find a charitable organisation to help. Your Doe will need anti-inflammatory pain relief which can only be obtained from a vet.. The wound needs to be properly assessed by a vet to make sure there is no bacterial infection. Systemic antibiotics might be needed. Some over the counter first aid products can make injuries worse. If there is ongoing inflammation the wound will irritate her and she will lick and chew it. This will further delay healing and risk serious bacterial infection setting in, including septicaemia.

You won’t be able to attempt to rebond the pair until 6-8 weeks AFTER your Doe is spayed.
 
I agree with advice to seek vet treatment. Bunnies hide their pain, and the wound you describe with missing skin and bleeding sounds substantial.
Sending positive vibes you can get treatment for your poor girl.
 
Yep, vet treatment is needed to make sure she is OK and there's no infection. We can't always tell with the naked eye. Post-spay you can try re-bonding once her hormones have settled but you need to be prepared that they may not take to each other.
 
Thank you to those who took the time to reply to this post. The vet said the wound is healing nicely, no sign of infection or abscess. I got her antibiotics and pain meds to be safe. Bunny figured out how to take off the baby onesie I was using to protect the wound, so I got her a soft collar/cone thing on Amazon to stop her from getting at the wound on her back. She's doing well. Once this heals up, I will get her spayed and attempt to rebond the pair after she heals.
 

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Good you took her to the vets to be sure and got her antibiotics and pain meds just in case.

Sending your bun vibes and hope she heals quickly.

Good luck with the bonding once she is spayed too
 
She is all healed up, thank goodness! Thanks for your well wishes!

Spay appointment next week and then after she heals I will attempt to bond them again. Fingers crossed.
 
Update: Girl bunny has totally healed from her injury and has now been spayed. Re-bonding seems to be going well. I swapped their litter boxes periodically at first and had them in a small neutral area to start with. Now I have them together in his enclosure to see what happens. He is chasing her on occasion (he seems like a bit of a bully sometimes, like stay out of my litter box!). But he often grooms her and they lounge next to each other. No signs of true aggression or biting or growling. She does an occasional foot thump if he gets too sniffy or chasey. She does not groom him in return but will groom herself which I take as a sign that she's not on edge around him. I am a little nervous since he hurt her so badly pre-spay, but they seem fine together now 🤷🤷🤷 Can I trust them together???
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I don't know enough about bonding to give advice but they do seem good together. Good vibes for them both that they stay happily together 🥰

I love their markings. Are they harlequin rabbits any chance? They are two similar looking bunnies only different colours. It would be so lovely having them bonded together I imagine 😁
 
They are rescues so not 100% certain on the breed, but I believe they are mini lops. They almost have opposite colorings to each other which is super cute.

Thanks for the positive bonding vibes, it sure would be a relief to have them happily back together again and not cleaning 2 separate pens! I have had them together all day today and so far so good!
 
It will take 6-8 weeks AFTER her spay for her hormones to fully settle down. She could still have some hormone spikes during that time.So if she was spayed less than 6-8 weeks ago I would not feel comfortable leaving them unsupervised after just 24 hours together, especially as they had a serious fight prior to her spay.
 
They are rescues so not 100% certain on the breed, but I believe they are mini lops. They almost have opposite colorings to each other which is super cute.

Thanks for the positive bonding vibes, it sure would be a relief to have them happily back together again and not cleaning 2 separate pens! I have had them together all day today and so far so good!
They look like harlequin markings in different colours. Very pretty 🥰

Yes it is difficult keeping them separate. Ours live in our bedroom with us and it was great fun trying to let one out and clean them out then do the other one all in our bedroom. And mine just wanted to be together but we had to wait a few weeks until Mischief was safe to put with Lillabelle as he had just been neutered.

Sending you more good vibes for their continued happy bonding 😊
 
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