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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Fighting after a brief separation due to hormones - help on keeping the bond please!
Last Post by Binky and Bambi at 6/03/2012 9:56 AM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 10:32 AM

Hi all!

My first post here so excuse me if I have done anything incorrectly 

The background: I have two beautiful miniature lops - both are 7 months, female, in good health, and together since birth. They have not been spade yet (I have only just finished my finals for my Law degree and I knew it had to be a top priority after exams) and have had some fighting but no injuries, just fur pulling, and usually over once the circling cycle is broken in under 30 seconds. My intention had been to spay them before the next hormone cycle, which brings me to the problem I have! Oh, and they are house bunnnies!

The problem: Bambi unfortunately developed gastrointestinal stasis 3 nights ago - luckily I spotted the signs and she had veterinary care 12 hours after I spotted it (it was one sleepless night for me checking on her slowly deteriorate!) Thankfully, she pulled through (she is on some meds for the next few days) but she spent 2 days at the vet on a drip first. Unfortunately, when I brought her home Binky was at the peak of her hormone cycle and became highly territorial in those 2 days. I introduced them briefly the first night and they were fine, but that morning on the 3 occasions I tried to introduce them Binky lunged for Bambi, more vicious than I had seen her before. She has also been highly territorial about her cage, lunging for me a few times when I was picking up poo.

Obviously a priority for me is not stressing Bambi out so the gut stays moving and nothing spooks her. But at the same time I realise the fighting is a power thing and I can't keep them separated for long, maybe the fighting would only last a minute then be over... But I also don't want fighting so bad that their bond breaks! Binky has been very hormonal today, and rubbing her chin over EVERYTHING. They were very close before, always snuggling.

My proposal (which I would like opinions on!): I think my best course of action would be to alternate between having one in the lounge and one in the main cage so that A - their scent mingles and B - they both get exercise. I am in all weekend so it will be alternated in 4 hour slots. Binky will sleep in the main cage and Bambi in the carry case as it is a very large cat size and she (surprisingly) really likes it. I will do this for the next 2 days until Binky's hormones die down (any ideas on how long their PMS lasts?!) and then try introducing them in the kitchen as neither of them have been in their before and it is lino (the reason they haven't been in there, but I figured they can't lunge for each other properly on it?)

My other issue is when to get them spade... I am seeing the vet for a check up on Bambi on Wednesday so I will ask the earliest she would recommend Bambi getting spade, following the trauma of last few days. If she says a few weeks then I think I will have Binky spade first, ASAP. I know it is better to spay them together but Binky has MUCH worse hormone cycles and she is the priority to calm down! I just can't bear to see any more fighting.

What do you think? Is there anything anyone could recommend? I would really really appreciate some help as I can't bear them fighting and am trying so hard to not think about them breaking the bond. I was in hysterics whilst Bambi was at the vet (she deteriorated mid-course of treatment) over possibly loosing a baby but now I may have lost them both, in a way, if that makes sense 

Thank you!!!!


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
16772 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 10:42 AM
Welcome.

1. Rabbits don't have cycles like dogs, cats, humans - they are induced ovulators which mean they can get pregnant at any time rather than during cycles.

2. You need to keep them separate at this point until they are spayed and then you will have to rebond them if they continue to fight and the one bunny keeps getting stressed.

This behavior is typical and just because rabbits are litter mates when they become of age this happens most of the time.

I realize that's probably not what you wanted to hear though.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
16772 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 10:44 AM
I saw that you posted another post with the exact same information in the Behavior section but this is the section it does belong in so I deleted your other post as it's too confusing having it in 2 places.

User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 10:47 AM
I have been advised by two vets that they do have some form of menstrual cycle as it is best not to spay them during that hormone peak? Perhaps I misheard the language, I don't mean that there is one point they can get pregnant, rather there is one point when hormones are raging? I have certainly noticed a regularity to Binky's behaviour over the last two months (she matured first)? Although obviously could just be coincidence

Would you advise getting them spade separately, Binky at the earliest opportunity (perhaps this coming week if I am lucky) and Bambi the week after (if the vet permits it)?

Thank you for your help

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
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6/01/2012 10:57 AM
No, they don't have any kind of cycle although I imagine they can seem to act more hormonal at times.

If it were me, I would get them spayed both at the same time so they can recover together and be ready to rebond when they are both healed. But a week apart would be fine too as you want to wait a good month to start rebonding them.

User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 11:06 AM

I will speak to the vet on Wednesday and see what she says about how early Bambi can be spade, but I may still try a bonding session in the kitchen on Sunday, spray bottles and blankets at the ready. I hold out hope that they may still rebond and this is just a tiff... It is just so upsetting how it can all go so horribly wrong in a day, especially after the relief that Bambi had pulled through 


User is Offline Stickerbunny
3229 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 7:02 AM
Be sure you are speaking to an experienced bunny vet, a lot of vets assume rabbits "go in heat" which they do not. Typically vets spay around 6 months of age. Stickers was a huge ball of hormones and my vet had no qualms about spaying her at all, he's been treating rabbits for 25 years. A lot of vets say they will treat bunnies and will, but actually have no clue - I had at least three vets say "yeah we treat bunnies all the time!" and then tell me to starve my rabbits before surgery... uh, not! So I kept calling around until I found my vet that knew what he was doing.

During the hormonal stages (usually starts at around 6 months, but it can start later/earlier depending on the rabbit) females can be terrors. I would not try to keep them together honestly since they are fighting, it could become a serious injury that requires surgery.

User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 7:32 AM

Thank you, I will do I am pretty happy with the vet I went to with the gastrointestinal stasis - they knew what to do and that it needed to be urgent (and how to cope with me upset down the phone!) Definitely preferable to the cold, clinical sounding vet who I got a quote for spaying from last week. Plus, they specialise in neutering cats and dogs, although I will check they have a good record with rabbits too.

I had a double storey cage and have now blocked off the ramp, so they are both inside their own little cage with individual time around the house. I feel better as they both seem comfortable and bar one lunge to me this morning Binky is a lot calmer and happier. How long did it take Stickers to calm down, after the neutering? I am going on holiday for 2 weeks on the 23rd of June so think it is probably best I abandon any hopes of reuniting them before the holiday 


User is Offline Stickerbunny
3229 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 10:19 AM
It took her over a month to calm down, in that time watch your feet if you enter her room and I got plenty of bunny nips/lunges. lol She was a very hormonal little bun, I think even worse because I had Powder at the time so she could smell a male. Once she and Powder got over their surgeries, it only took a week to bond them though.

User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 1:04 PM

I will definitely wait until after the holiday then, better be safe than sorry!

A week? That is encouraging! As long as it happens before I start work in September I will be thrilled, hopefully with time to accustom them to being proper house bunnies in that time too (at the moment they are only allowed in one room, although they love chewing carpet too much to be let out whilst I was at work/sleeping!)

Thank you so much for the reassurance 


User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10416 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 1:12 PM
It took my pair of girls a couple months to bond. Hormones can be a You-Know-What, and I wanted to wait until Smudge's were completely gone. And then, they are still girls, and girls even minus hormones can still be territorial. Monkey wouldn't even let Smudge out of the litterbox at first!

User is Offline Stickerbunny
3229 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 2:53 PM
Heh, Monkey, Powder wouldn't let Stickers out of the litterbox either. He pinned her down and got gunk all in her beautiful fur. So not just girls can be that rude!

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10416 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 3:27 PM
Monkey would leave Smudge alone in the box, but if Smudge even looked like she was thinking of hopping out, monkey would charge, growl, and attempt to be scary. No gunkiness, just crankiness

User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
6/03/2012 5:38 AM
Since your happy with the vet you're currently with my only suggestion would be to ask them a couple questions just to make sure that they're experienced with rabbit spays (rabbit spays are very different from cat and dog spays). The first question would be "do they require withholding of food before the spay?" if the answer is yes then that would be a big sign that they aren't experienced, since rabbits cannot throw up. Here's a good link from the House Rabbit Society that explains a lot more about spaying rabbits and how to make sure you're with a rabbit savvy vet: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...euter.html If you're vet answers those questions right then you know you're going to a good place

After the spays they should stay separated for about a month, even if they start returning to their normal behaviors a week or so after there still probably will be hormones left and they need to heal fully too before you start the bonding process. It really sucks waiting, but it's better waiting then to have one hurt. Good luck with everything

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User is Offline Binky and Bambi
7 posts Send Private Message
6/03/2012 9:56 AM

@bunnyfriend - Thank you I had a list of eleven questions (they just seemed to keep adding up and up) which I emailed around to a few vets last week and I will definitely add the with-holding food question to drill this new vet with

Yes, much better to be safe than sorry. I have held Binky up to Bambi's cage a few times so they can see each other and it is like she sees red, can't attack Bambi so just lunges and bites my arm instead. At least they are both happier living upstairs/downstairs and hopefully I can get a spaying appointment soon

Thank you for the help everyone! Hopefully the process won't take too long 

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Fighting after a brief separation due to hormones - help on keeping the bond please!

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