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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Many Bunny Questions - I'm new here :-)
Last Post by nitetygress at 8/12/2007 5:45 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline Alibear
Sydney, Australia
53 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 2:53 PM

Hi everyone....

I'm new here, from Australia and I'm also a new bunny owner. I have done a fair bit of research etc but I have a few questions that I still need answered to make me feel completely at ease and I'm hoping someone here is able to help me please

I have a dwarf lop who is now about 8 weeks old. She is gorgeous. I am having a really hard time with the litter tray, she seems to poop everywhere except for the litter tray. I have put hay / straw in there for her and I have put any poo's she may have done in there also for her, moved the tray around to where I thought was the most common area, but she just won't use it. She sits in it, but I don't think she actually uses it

Also, is it normal for a bunny to have a pretty rapid heart rate? Its like she breathes really fast all the time? She isn't distressed or unwell or anything that I can tell, just not sure if that's normal. My other half said he used to breed rabbits when he was younger and that it was normal,  but I'm just not sure.

She has also taken to nibbling / bitting my fingers - and it hurts  Is this normal? And how do you recommend I stop it? My other half has a 3 year old boy and I don't want him getting bitten and frightened of her.

I thought I had so many other questions, but now I can't think of them. I'm sure I will as soon as I hit post. I will try and attach a picture for you to have a look at my gorgeous girl.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone.



User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 3:01 PM

Your bun is beautiful! She looks young- is she spayed yet? If not, thats why she's not litter training. And you need to do that before you expect it to improve.

Nibbling, fast heart rate is normal. Try giving her some safe chewing toys like willow.


User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 3:08 PM

Hi Alibear! Welcome! I have to say your cute little furry bundle is sooo cute!!! Everyone is really nice here and I think you'll find it very easy to ask questions and know that you'll be getting some great support and advice! How long have you had her and how long have you being litter training her for? I've seen and done serval types of litter training and the most common I've come accross is lining the entire cage with litter boxes and eliminating them one by one until she chooses only one to go in. By a rapid heart rate, how fast, does it appear that she is too hot, is it after she exercises, could she be stressed? The nibbling could be a way of her telling you that she does not like what you are doing or she could be exploring as bunnies explore via chewing. When she does it, my advice would be to let out a high-pitched eek to let her know that it hurts.  She should get the message via your bunny-language and be gentler or stop. I find this a really neat web site to peruse and learn more about our long-eared friends:

You'll soon hear from one of the moderators I'm sure as well as other members as everyone is on this  this forum quite often and can offer you more advice.

User is Offline Alibear
Sydney, Australia
53 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 3:26 PM
Hi guys.... Responses so quick, thankyou.

Nope she is not spayed as yet, but she is only 8 weeks old - isn't that to young? I have heard that once this happens it may be easier, but how does this change it?

I have some wood chews and salt lick in her hutch and I have given her things to chew like toilet rolls etc, she loves them.

With her heart rate, she doesn't seem stressed at all. And nope not after exercise just all the time. Well I don't know that it is to fast, but I noitice her breathing much faster then say the dogs. Some times her ears are hot though?

Thanks for that website, i will check it out.

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 6:12 PM
Hi! Your bunny is extra cute I'd wait a little while to spay her - I'm not sure of the youngest age, but I'll take a look around to see what it says online.

The nibbling and bitting your fingers I THINK is grooming. I have a bunny about the same age that I am fostering, and she likes to groom my fingers, she came across a hangnail and CHOMP bit it right off, since she thought it was something tangled in my fur, and she wanted to get it out before it hurt me!

As for the heart rate, I'd make sure she's not to warm, bunnies do best around 60-80 degrees (80 degrees max). My bunnies do have a fairly quick heart rate tho, here is what I found online (130 beats seems REAL fast!)
-Respiratory rate 30-60 breaths per min
-Heart rate 130-325 beats per min

I found this online about spaying/neutering age:
Females can be spayed as soon as they sexually mature, usually around 4 months of age, but many veterinarians prefer to wait until they are at least 6 months old, as surgery is riskier on a younger female rabbit. Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend, usually around 3 1/2 months, but many veterinarians prefer to wait until they are 5 months old.

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2007 6:13 PM
Oh, and BTW, a great way to tell if a bunny is getting warm is to feel their ears - since you said her ears are hot sometimes that means she is probably getting a little warm and at that point should probably go inside to cool off!

User is Offline Alibear
Sydney, Australia
53 posts Send Private Message
7/27/2007 12:01 AM
Grooming - really? Cool Ok, she is actually sitting on my lap now and she is watching me type, licking crazily at my arms - licking is a sign of affection right?

80 degrees - wow! But that is not celcius right? We work in celcious in australia. I just did the coversion and thats about 15 - 26 degrees here and even with the heater on it is never more then 21 degrees inside, so I'm suprised she is gettin hot.

I would love to actually check her heart rate, how do you actually do that? Where can I find it in a bunny?

6 mths is what I had thought also, so it seems I have a long time til she is going to use that litter tray. I actually moved it again this morning to the area that she has been pooping in, and I got home from work and of course, she pooped everywhere else again, but not in the tray. Its amazing.

User is Offline cookie627
Naperville, IL
395 posts Send Private Message
7/27/2007 3:53 AM
My bun nibbles me all the time but really doesn't hurt that much. (sometimes) but for the fast heart rate thing not really sure. I am a first time bunny owner myself. BTW wow your bunny is b-e-a-u-tiful!!!!! did you take that picture youself?

My adorable baby
Cookie 1 year old

User is Offline (dig)x(me)x(now)
San Diego, Calif.
2527 posts Send Private Message
7/27/2007 7:50 AM
You should be very happy that your bunny is licking you! It's bunny-love at it's purist

Rachel & Frankie

User is Offline Alibear
Sydney, Australia
53 posts Send Private Message
8/05/2007 3:06 PM
Thank you very much. I thought licking was good, but because she was doing it so often I thought, maybe not.

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1260 posts Send Private Message
8/08/2007 5:30 AM

The smaller the animal the greater the heart rate!  This can be confusing for small mammal keepers, b/c it looks like your pet is having a heart attack!  Elephants and Giraffes have extremely low heart rates...I can remember the numbers right now, but its something crazy like 20 bpm. 

To check heart rate, attempt to locate the caratoid artery on the neck or get a pulse from the inside of a hind leg.  Count the rate for 15 secs and multiple by 4.  Some say you can do it for 6 secs and multiply by 10, but that can give you an aritficial rate.  If you want to can really do counts for any bits of 60 seconds and multiply it by the corresponding ratio.  As a teacher, I can't believe how bad I described that. 

To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 degrees and divide by 1.8. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 1.8 and add 32 degrees.

PS your bun is super cute!

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi

User is Offline nitetygress
105 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 5:45 AM

Rabbits often have a grooming reflex, which when you "groom" them when petting them, they start licking because its a natural reaction for them.  Cassy will lick me, but she'll also lick the carpet of toys or what ever is under her mouth when I pet her just right ;P

Proud mommy of Cassandra Bella aka "Cassy" the mini rex and her Husbunny Alexander the Netherland Dwarf/Hotot Mix
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