Monday, June 26, 2017

Behavior unbecoming a healthy bunny

As has been written here before, unfortunately, too many times:
You need to know your bunny's personality so you know when they are sick.

Bunnies can get deathly ill very quickly. 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.

Bunya's behavior was off.

Bunya is laying in some hay that Ethel likes
that we had put in the pen for her, as if he's in a nest.
He did not come for his favorite treat.

Ethel stands guard over Bunya.
This is not a normal hang-out location for him.

Bunya moved to another isolated spot,
not a usual corner for him to lay down.

We tried simethicone (for gas) and water; he had taken metoclopramide (a pro-motility medicine). However, it didn't help and he ended up in his "I am really hurting" pose, where he is laying in the litter box pressing his stomach so it is almost curving, against the litter. This is not a normal behavior for him; he doesn't hang out here and it's like he's communicating quite clearly with us how he's feeling.

So Bunya is at the vet, which brings us some relief and, happily, him, too.

Since Ethel has been through it herself so recently, we kept her home until we knew he would be coming home (tomorrow). We didn't want to stress her but we will drop her off tomorrow morning to re-bond with Bunya at the vet during the day. Then we will pick them up together in the afternoon. We find this works best with them.

Get better, Bunya. We love you and miss you.
So does Ethel...

... although she appears to be enjoying that break. Grooming Mr. B must be exhausting. And she is so influenced by his behavior. When we put a few pellets in their pen before we leave for work or go to bed, alpha bun Bunya will chase Ethel out of the way so he gets first crack at them (food aggressive behavior he learned from Alice). Ethel has a couple of routes she dashes to avoid him.

He's not here but when I put the pellets in the bowl, Ethel still runs her pattern, like she was going long to catch a pass. Habits are hard to break.


  1. Oh, no. Poor Bunya... We're praying for a very speedy recovery, and are thankful he has such observant parents, and such a protective little friend!

    We'll give Lola some extra luvvins, in proxy.