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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Buns behaviour has dramatically changed
Last Post by jerseygirl at 9/08/2012 7:52 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Danniidee and Lilly
5 posts Send Private Message
9/05/2012 5:54 PM
If anybody has the time to read all of this & can possibly help me, i'd appreciate it so much. For the past week, my bunny hasn't been herself at all, it's like her personality has completely disappeared. She was living in the house with me and my parents for the past 6 months, since we adopted her. Last week, on friday, we moved her into a new hutch outside as my parents didn't approve of her living indoors anymore. I really didnt want her living out in the backyard because I was worried about dangers out there like neighbourhood cats, the cold weather and how it would effect her. When she lived indoors, she was very affectionate. she would always follow me around, race around the house doing little jumps in the air. she would be forever exploring things and having a great time, she had such a lovely & outgoing personality. I introduced her to our backyard about 3 weeks before she moved outside. She seemed to really love it. I'm not exactly great at handling her & picking her up and try to avoid doing it but on friday, I had no choice but to pick her up and put her into her outside hutch. She was grunting and trying to bite and scratch me. So over that weekend I was busy with work and didnt have enough time to let her out so she stayed in her cage for 2 days which I felt very horrible about. she had plenty of grass and hay to eat and I gave her bits of apple, carrot and parsley, the usual stuff I feed her. Monday morning I finally let her out and she didnt really greet me when I walked out to see her. She came inside, hopped over to the the living room and just layed there for 2 hours. She is no longer running around the house, jumping with joy. she doesnt come up to me at all unless I go to her. She lays around in the house and doesnt eat and toilet as much as she used to, but she still eats and poops a little bit. I was patting around her chest and I felt two pea sized pink bumps on her, one each side of her chest. I wondered if they were for when she has kits, because she is not spayed yet. Because of her behaviour change, I made an appointment for her to see the vet for her first check up and to get her vaccination. She was very aggressive towards the vet when she was taken out of her carry cage and had to get another person in the room to corner her so she could be picked up. I questioned the vet of why she is acting different and she said it could be possibly because she has just had something change in her life that is very dramatic (moving outside) and it would be possibly a couple of months before she gets used to it all.. My rabbit is roughly a year old so she is quite young still. Today she is VERY tired and laying around in the one place which is under the table, she hasnt hopped around at all. She has eaten a little bit, her droppings are very tiny which indicates that she is a bit dehydrated. The vet said that she will be very sleepy for the next 24 hours because of vaccination, but she just hasnt been herself for a week and is deteriorating. Does anyone have any ideas of the possible behaviour change? Is it because I picked her up the other day and she didnt like it? Is it because she is now living outside and not around me much anymore? Is it because her whole routine has changed? Or is it because something might possibly be wrong with her?thankyou if you have read all of this, I wanted to give you as much detail as I possibly could. This is quite urgent and I need advice asap..

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14869 posts Send Private Message
9/05/2012 6:56 PM
Welcome to the forums.

I'm really sorry you were asked to house her outdoors. That would be tough.

Just about all the reasons you've mentioned could be responsible for the change. I was very glad you already got her checked out by a vet.

It most likely is the stress of the changes impacting her and her lack of eating and small poos is worrisome. Try and get some fluids into her and encourage hay or some nice herbs.

Is it particuarlay warm where you live? Heat could also be effecting her.
Vaccinations too, can leave them not interested in food for a day.

Did the vet check her over for injury? If she startled outside and hurt herself or even from when she was picked up?

Did they check the lumps you found? Rabbits can develop mastitis after milk dries up.

Can you talk with your parents about bringing her back inside while she is poorly?

What were your parents objections to her? Perhaps we can help you deal with what they had issues with so they'd be ok with her being back inside to live.

If she absolutely has to be housed outside permanently, start to transistion her more slowly. So time outside to play like you have done, but also a few hours in the hutch. Then back inside for the rest of the time. Gradually extending her time outside.

OR is there an alternative area out if the house you can set her up? In a garage perhaps?

(((Vibes))) for your girl. I hope you see her improve soon!


User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14869 posts Send Private Message
9/05/2012 7:01 PM
p.s. Know your vets hours and find an alternative for when they are closed in case you have to get her back there. A lethargic rabbit is a worry so don't hesitate to take her back in if she's deteriorating. They can give her fluids, pain meds and gut motility meds to hopefully keep the gut functioning well.

User is Offline Danniidee and Lilly
5 posts Send Private Message
9/05/2012 9:20 PM
Thankyou for the reply.
The weather at the moment isn't warm, it's quite cold and very windy today. We just started spring over here in Australia.
A couple of hours ago she decided to follow me outside and explores the backyard, grazing on grass. Then she hopped into her outside hutch. I rinsed under tap water some parsley (her favourite), basil, corriander, cauliflower, carrot & a small slice of apple so there would be extra moisture to hydrate her when she ate it. She's been eating well since hopping in her hutch.
Unfortunately, my dad is pretty stubborn. He used to breed rabbits and always had them housed outside so he thinks Lilly will be fine in a hutch out in the backyard. But it is a big change for her and it's annoying because I always wanted a house rabbit so I knew they were 100% safe inside with me.
The main concern for her living indoors was her toilet training. She was very good when she was first introduced to our home, going to toilet on newspaper in the same corner. But a few moths later, it was uncontrollable and she was pooping everywhere which irritated my parents. I did get her a litterbox and placed a few droppings in there for her so she'd get the idea, but she didn't use it at as much as the carpet.
The vet did a full body check-up. She checked teeth, clipped nails, checked weight of bunny, eyes, stomache, spine, and nose for discharge and all was fine. The vet did say that the little pink lumps were for when she has babies as she hasnt been spayed yet. I will be getting her done in the next few weeks so I can adopt another pet bunny as company for her.
I care about my bunny so much, so if she gets worse I am definately taking her for another trip to the vet for treatment. Maybe there was something the vet didn't pick up on.
Thanks again for your reply, I will keep you posted

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14869 posts Send Private Message
9/06/2012 9:26 AM
I'm happy to hear she began eating. It also sounds as if she's recognizing the hutch is her safe place.

I'm in Australia too (SA) and we've just had some cooler wet weather come in also.

Having her spayed will certainly help with her toileting habits.
Do you think your parents would consider her being inside if she were in one room? Generally caged or in a pen but allowed time out each day in that room.

I have 2 desexed male rabbits in my bedroom. Never thought I'd have rabbits housed there but it's not bad. I think id actually miss them if i moved them. :p

They don't smell and I use a wood pellet litter that controls odours. Mainly the room just gets messy from hay.

If it definitely non negotiable and she has to stay outdoors, then sticking to old routines might help her. Rabbits are big on routine. i.e. have her out when you used to, keep feeding times same etc. It might help her feel more secure, having familiar routine.

Keep us posted on how she's doing. I hope her appetite and energy is back soon.

User is Offline Danniidee and Lilly
5 posts Send Private Message
9/06/2012 3:35 PM
Today I let her out of the hutch and noticed there is something wrong with her front left leg. She is limping a bit on it and when she layed down I felt around the shoulders and it felt very abnormal, like one of her shoulder bones isn't aligned with the other one. I'm not an expert or anything but it just doesnt feel right.. She didnt squeel or grunt when I touched her leg but she doesnt want to move around much and she doesnt hop, she kind of waddles on all four legs. It mustve happened when she jumped off the vets table when they took her out of her carry cage, there was a bit of a struggle between the vet and her when she went to try and stop her from jumping off. Meanwhile, her droppings still arent very normal size, i checked her hutch this morning and she has done a few of those "cecil" droppings but hasnt eaten them and she still isn't eating as much as she used to and doesnt drink any water from her bowl which I change every few hours during the day so its fresh. Definately taking her to a different vet tonight, i'm angry that this has happened to her and this might possibly be the reason for her lack of eating/hopping around.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14869 posts Send Private Message
9/07/2012 8:14 AM
What State are you in? Myself or some if the other Australian members might be able to recommend a vet for you.

User is Offline Danniidee and Lilly
5 posts Send Private Message
9/07/2012 11:39 PM
I'm from melbourne and made an appointment at the vets in berwick last night and they were much more careful with her. Letting her come out of her carry cage while it was on the ground so she didnt freak out and jump off anything. They gave her some time to sniff around and get used to the room before giving her a few gentle pats and then picking her up to examine her leg. Although she still thumped her feet and got a bit grumpy, she was still treated carefully. A much better result. She has damaged some "soft tissue muscle" in her front left leg and was given a anti-inflamitary injection to ease the pain. This will last for 48 hours. I was allowed to keep her inside last night so she could get a proper rest. I was working today and finally came home before to let her out of her cage. I noticed she is now alot more active, not lying around as much as she was and is exploring around the house. She isn't limping and is now using her leg normally again. Her droppings are back to normal size for now. The vet said that she wouldve gone off her food and water because she was in pain and under stress from moving outside. But i'm very happy with the results and i'm glad to know what the problem was. It's amazing how much of an impact a pets health can effect you aswell. I was so worried and was very sad and concerned for her. Knowing that something wasn't right with her broke my heart. She means so much to me and when I know she's happy, I'm happy. Her behaviour still isn't completely back to normal, the vet said that she will need to be spayed and that will most likely get her back to the personality she used to have. I am getting her spayed in two weeks time and then going to let her get used to outdoor living before adopting another bunny friend for her company. I hope she will accept a new bunny friend into the backyard with her.

Thankyou for all your help and advice

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14869 posts Send Private Message
9/08/2012 7:52 AM
Thats great! I'm really pleased to read the update. It's great you found these vets were able to help. My girl rabbit has had a sprain like that and received an injection also (carprieve i think it was). It took a few weeks but her leg improved.

I did just remember something though. I have heard of the calici shot causing a bit of a reaction like this. Maybe not in Lillys case if the vet has already assessed her but something you could ask next time you see them? It's good the pain shot helped and you're seeing her come back to her normal self. Hope you and she can rest easy now.  : )

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