Hi there binky bunny community,
This is my first post, I was hoping that it would be a happier one! I am a first time, excited and enthusiastic bunny owner, and I just picked up my 2 month old standard rex, stewie, today and brought him home. I have spent months and months reading about how to take care of a house rabbit, and acquiring necessary supplies, reading forums, etc, but apparently didn't research what to do in case of emergencies.
The first few hours at home were going well, Stewie was loving his new cage and home, running around, eating and drinking. All of a sudden I started hearing him making strange little gasping sounds, and noticed he was drooling. I frantically googled "choking/drooling rabbit" and found another forum with instructions on how to safely do a bunny heimlich. I am a biologist and know a fair about about animal handling, however not specifically bunnies, so I knew that it was important to ensure that his spine was stabilized while I was doing it to prevent further injury. He did not seem to like the few strokes of the heimlich (unsuprisingly), and seemed to kind of be making little peeps of protest, but not horrible squealing or anything. Anyways, I put him down, observed him for a while. He was justifiably flustered after the ordeal and breathing really heavy, but now that he is calmed down, he seems to be grooming himself fine, not drooling anymore and now is sleeping.
I am just terrified of A. leaving him, even though he appears fine now and B. that this will happen again. C. that he will hate me forever because of it. If anyone could tell me if they have had similar experiences, and what I should do in the future if it happens, also how to prevent it? I read that choking on pellets is a common problem. However I know that the breeder I picked him up from solely fed him pellets and hay, and gave vegetables/fruit as treats. Not sure how I should be treating him differently with feeding schedules/types of food since he is still so young. I seem to find conflicting views on whether you should introduce vegetables this young or keep them on all pellet/hay diets.
Thank you all in advance for your help, it is much appreciated, as my heart is beating faster than the poor bunnies is right now!