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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > do bunnies menstruate regularly?
Last Post by Gravehearted at 11/06/2006 10:31 AM (3 Replies)
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User is Offline rasputin
3 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2006 11:49 AM
My bun is a lionshead, and according to the guy who gave her to me she's just over a year old, last month she had what i regarded as her period, and again this month she's started it as well. It lasts a couple of days and it's timed with mine, but she didn't do it the first couple of months we had her. Is this normal for a bun? How old do they have to be to go into heat? Do they menstruate every month once they've hit adulthood or is this a winter thing or what? I don't know what to do about it!! I do intend on getting her fixed soon, but i need to know what's going on with her now. She doesn't seem to be in any discomfort, and she's been pulling tufts of hair in the nesting fashion, so it leads me to believe that she's just in heat. Is this standard bunny stuff or should i rush her to the vet? PLEASE HELP!!!

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2006 12:53 PM
Rabbits do not menstruate or go into heat - ovulation is stimulated by the act of mating, which is part of why a female bun can get pregnant if a male mounts her for even a few seconds.

If she is pulling fur she is likely suffering a false pregnancy, caused by high levels of hormones.  Her body is convinced she is going to have babies OMGRIGHTNOW, so she is frantic and miserable.

You really ought to have her spayed as soon as possible.  In addition to her hormones making her miserable if she's not actually breeding, female rabbits have terribly high risk for reproductive and other cancers because of high hormone levels - as high as 85%!  Spayed females live much longer and healthier lives.

What symptoms is she showing that led you to believe she was menstruating or in heat?  There might be something very wrong.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2006 12:58 PM
Hmmmm.   If there is no way for her to be pregnant, then it sounds like she's going through a psuedo pregnancy, which I have read lasts for a little over two weeks.  This is not uncommon for unaltered females, and it can make things a little stressful on both of you.  You usually have to wait it out unless there is reason for concern - not pooping, eating or drinking.  

Females reach sexual maturity between 3 - 6 months.  Maybe yours is a late bloomer or her age is off.

Regarding the monthly heat cycle.   I am not an expert in rabbit oestrus, which is what is what would be considered "in heat", but from what I have read, there is not a monthly time, according the the book "Why Does My Rabbit...?" by Anne McBride, "Rabbits have a system knows as spontaneous ovulation" and they don't have an actual period because any unused eggs are actually absorbed back into the body.

 Though there are breeding seasons that have to do with longer daylight  - so usually spring & summer - depending on what part of the world they live in.  But either way, breeding season or not, female rabbits can actually get ready to mate at any time.

This does make female rabbits unlike some other animals, but for an animal that is on the bottom of  the food chain, this does allow them to insure the survival of their species.

So why has she be going into heat during the same time as your cycle?  It may trigger it, but that is an absolute guess, but I wouldn't be surprised that if I researched a little more that that too would not be unusual.  In the wild the females usually become pregnant within a week of each other, so they each may trigger oestrus in each other.  


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2006 10:31 AM
yes - I'd also echo that it sounds like a false pregnancy based on the fact that she's pulling fur. It is stressful on your both and would recommend you getting her spayed soon.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!
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