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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Sudden Changes - confused newbie
Last Post by Elrohwen at 9/27/2012 8:30 AM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline Nancie
3 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 3:27 AM

Hi, just for some background - this is the first time I have ever owned a rabbit. The shop told us he is 6-8 weeks old. I used to have cats and dogs and hamsters and guinea pigs however I was allergic to all of them and this rabbit seems to be the only thing I am not allergic to (excluding the hay).

So I got my dwarf lop a week ago today, we called him Bo and just incase my family are allergic to him, my boyfriend and I decided to keep him in my boyfriends house (where I pretty much live). He was obviously very scared in the beginning and shaked a lot, while having him on my lap and rubbing his fur I noticed scratch wounds and thought maybe he was bullied by his brothers. He hid behind this TV stand thing because it was dark and we let him, but we would get him out and place him on the couch a few times a day just for a short while to pet him and calm him down a bit before leaving him to have his privacy again. At night he went back to his own room (it is an empty room so we don't need to bunny proof it) and put a little house for him in the corner and litter box and food etc. I did read up on everything I needed, he had a supply of alfalfa pellets, hay, fresh water etc, and that's where he stayed at night.

In the next few days he began to explore more, if one of us got up he would rush back to behind the TV stand but eventually got used to us moving around, and we opened the door and he started making his way from the living room to his own room. I bought toys for him and things to chew and treats which he was completely uninterested in. Anyway he let us pet him but was still quite cautious and more interested in looking around everywhere and being active. Eventually while on the couch and us watching tv, he stretched out and lay with us, without trying to hide behind the pillows or anything. And then one time I turned on my front and he hopped underneath my chest and started licking my clothes and then licked my chest and hands while I petted and kissed him, then flopped down and started purring lightly. He seemed very content around me but was still a bit jumpy around my bf, I think because he was the candidate of picking him up.

The next morning ( I was staying over because it was the weekend) I brought him into the bed and he loved it under there, it was dark and warm and he curled up next to my legs and licked my clothes and things, sometimes coming up to my face for kisses and nudged with his head. Then the rest of the day I was cleaning the sawdust and things and he was hyper, chasing the brush and then binkied for the first time. I had another cuddle with him that night and then in the morning before having to go home because it was Sunday.

I came to see him the next day after Uni but he was completely different since I left. He didn't want to go near me, he turned away and stayed in his little den. I took him to the couch where he could sit with us, he peed and pooped 2x more than normal and hid behind the pillows usually. I brought treats and stuff which was the first time he accepted it, I brought some cardboard for him to chew on but he just passed it and constantly went back to hide turning away. He did come out to hop around for a bit and sniffed near my lap which he usually climbs on, and I helped him get on but he was instantly desperate to get down and while nudging my arm away I felt his teeth for a moment and yelled 'Ow!' by surprised and he managed to get off but then immediately turned back to me climbing back up, so I think he didn't mean to do that. I turned away a little upset and he came to sniff around but when I went to pet his head he kept running off again. We always made sure he had a way of getting down with some steps but he just wanted to stay behind the pillows, we put some food and water there anyway and his litter. 

The next day was even worse, he stopped wandering around the house, not coming out of his room at all and when we went to say hi he would run in his den and seemed to give us evils. I tried to offer some toys and things which he nudged away, I tried to pet his head he also nudged away, I gave him a treat and he took it but then turned away again. Now he won't get out at all and seems to avoid us. I am so confused, he seemed fine before and very happy, got very close to us, and then since I went home he just changed :S I feel like he hates me.

Sorry for the long message. I know I haven't had him for long and bunnies require patience which I am most prepared to give but there seemed to be such an extreme change of behaviour, from really scared, to really loving and relaxed to seeming angry and avoiding and I just don't understand. I know how to handle him properly and am always gentle and responsive to him, I sing to him and talk to him and sometimes just look at him watching what he is doing without interfering. Could anyone please help? 


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17936 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 4:35 AM
Welcome. I think you will find that his personality will change quite a bit since he is so young. He is still in the development stage.

Also rabbits are what is called crepsecular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk so they are pretty much loungers daytime and nighttime.

I would say, just give him time, make sure he has a routine and just let his personality develop. Rabbits cannot get mean or angry so don't think that of him either - he's just reacting and growing up.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 5:45 AM
Sarita made some great points. It could be that you're trying to hang out with him in the middle of the day when he wants to be sleeping. Mine want nothing to do with me during their nap time, but get much friendlier in the mornings and evenings.

It can take months to bond with a bunny (my bond with my 3 year old is still changing and improving) so just be patient with him. Try not to pick him up or do things he doesn't like - just sit on the floor and read a book while ignoring him. He'll eventually come over to check you out and you can give him a treat (even a couple pellets is fine)
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Nancie
3 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 6:00 AM

Thank you for the replies guys, it is very comforting. I have stopped picking him up all together and just left him to his own devices, I still check on him sometimes and sit with him but I give him his space.

 I also discovered he had loose poop and then I saw him eating his own poop so I figured he must not be used to the pellets or treats yet, so I have just given him hay and water. My boyfriend thinks he may be staying away because he has a little poorly tummy too.


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17936 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 6:48 AM
It would be a good idea to have a vet check him out - especially a fecal test since you mention loose poo's. Baby rabbits can be susceptible to coccidia and it needs to be treated.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 8:30 AM
Just want to say that rabbits are supposed to eat their poop - generally they eat the soft poo called cecals and you won't see it around. If you are seeing cecals, it can be a sign off food that is too rich or other stomach problems (especially in babies), so I would recommend seeing a vet.
- Elrohwen
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