Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bunny Care: Monitor your bunny's mood

Unfortunately, Bunya is at the vet.

This involves a couple of issues:
1. Bunya's health.
2. Re-bonding the bonded trio.

Bunya was feeling pooky. His behavior was off from normal and you have to be able to tell that about your bunny. For example, "normal" for Bunya is that he is the first one at the pen cage when I come in to feed them in the morning. He is bright-eyed and anxious for me to open the gate and bring them breakfast, often tugging the gate by gripping the fence in his mouth. He will dive into the crumbles and then come watch me clean and plate their greens. When I head for the pen, he dances a little jig and rushes to see what's on the menu.

Know your bunny's personality, so you can tell when something is not quite right. Bunnies can get deathly ill very quickly. It's been posted before but is worth repeating: Bunnies are prey animals. They instinctively know that predators seek the weakest. Therefore, a sick bunny will expend all his energy trying to keep up the appearance of being a healthy rabbit. When they finally give in, they can go downhill rapidly.
Not normal for Bunya.
Especially when offered a treat.

If you think your bunny is "off", write down all the things that make you suspicious; in this case, such things as:
He spent all day in a hidey box by himself.
He wasn't his usual robust self in the morning.
He only ate a bite of crumbles, then went to sit by himself in a little bunny loaf.
When offered their favorite treat, for which they are usually all excited in a "me first" way, he didn't even come out of their pen. He came a little closer and when given the treat, rolled it around in his mouth a little, bit it in half, and then left it on the floor to go make a little bunny loaf by himself again. THIS is the best indicator for us, the final test.
(There were a couple more but I left my notes with the vet.)

Not good. Looks like part fecal,
part cecal, too small and too wet.
Another major indicator is whether your bunny is pooping. If so, are they normal, round, fairly dry pellets? The fecal pellets referred to in the prior sentence are different from cecotropes, which the bunnies need to re-ingest for nutrition; the cecotropes look like a miniature cluster of grapes. Here is an article about bunny poops. In addition, be sure to check the Resources page for links to HRS articles on bunny care.

Normal, found in a-bun-dance.
So, now that we have identified "proper" poop, which is hopefully being deposited in mass quantities into the litter box every day, what can go wrong with it? Runny, diarrhea, smaller than usual, trailing fibers (from hair or eating carpet).

Figuring out the rightful ownership of poop is easy with one bunny but multiplies exponentially as you add bunnies to the mix. Or box.

These are things that your bunny's vet can't find out by an examination -- you have to speak for your bunny!  Take your notes. Take pictures. Take samples. Better to give your bunny's vet information that he can prioritize and assess, than not enough information to make a proper diagnosis.

Lucy & Ethel finally settled down
while waiting for Bunya's exam.
Hoping to reduce this potential disruption in their relationship, all three bunnies were gathered for the trip to the vet. If you are a Regular Rabbit Ramblings Reader, you know that the bunnies can un-bond after a long separation due to illness.

Three sets of bunny ears were quaking like leaves in a hurricane. Fortunately for them, it's a short ride to the vet.

Potential diagnoses:
1. Digestive track issue
2. Teeth problem
3. ?, ? or ?

The x-rays revealed a blockage in his stomach, a mass that needs to break down. When this happens, the bunny feels full and so only eats a little bit. And may drink even less, making matters even worse.

So Bunya will stay there for a couple of days in the ICU where they can push fluids, keep him on a high fiber hay only diet, administer medicine and monitor his poops.

After his weigh-in, Bunya got tired of waiting on the scale
and started to explore the counter-top until the doctor arrived.
Or, he may have been trying to hide.
If we are lucky, we can bring him home Friday. If that looks good, then we are thinking about taking Lucy & Ethel back to the vet that morning to spend the day with Bunya there, so they can all come home together and smell the same (like the vet's office, versus Bunya only smelling like that and the girls smelling like home).

Please keep positive, healthy thoughts for Bunya.
Thank you.


  1. Get well soon Bunya the girls are missing you,as we are too,xx Speedy and mum

  2. I hope Bunya feels good soon. There is nothing more terrifying as a bunny owner!!!

  3. Oh my goodness - sending healing thoughts and prayers Bunya's way. Hang in there, little guy!

  4. Thinking of you Bunya! Poor guy. <3

  5. I hope he recovers quickly and is back home soon!

  6. Rooting for a vet update of lots of pooping and eating!
    Get well soon!

  7. Oh, no! Poor Bunya! We will keep your whole bun bunch & their slaves in our thoughts & prayers.