I've had Peaches for about a month. She's so sweet! She's my class pet and the kids love her. We have "bunny time" where we all sit in a circle and she hops from lap to lap to get petted.
She was at my house for a long weekend and came back yesterday. Me being stupid I forgot her bedding so she only had paper towels in her cage. She seemed a bit aggravated yesterday, biting at her cage and running around in it a bit. But we had "bunny time" and she was her normal self.
Well... this morning when I got here I had to take the paper towels out of her cage and she came after me, bit me hard! (no blood). My first instinct was to bop her on the head (not hard of course) and say NO! She didn't seem too scared of that though. I put the new bedding in (the normal stuff not a paper towel again) and now she's just doing laps around her cage and biting at the wall.
I'm nervous about letting the kids near her now but they're 6 and it's going to be hard for them to understand our bunny has gone rouge! She's taught them to be so compassionate and responsible. They are in charge of her care, feeding, watering and recording her progress.
What do I do? Did I do something wrong? Can she be trusted?
Don't let the kids near her for now. Is she in season? That could make her cranky. Just don't take any chances until you find out if this was temporary or not. It would be bad for her and you if she bites a kid.
Guess she's always in season, so I guess it's time for the operation.
You should really get her spayed and that would help. You should go here: www.binkybunny.com and ask - I found this a great resource when I had a house rabbit. Its like COTH forums but for rabbit owners.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
Don't know about how one tells if a bunny is in heat, but as far as getting her spayed, you may not need an exotic vet, but you do need one who has experience with bunnies - they're very sensitive to anesthesia.
We did a few bunny spays/neuters at the clinic I once worked for - (don't know if things have changed since then, but) bunnies had to be gassed down, rather than given an injectable.
Another vote for spaying/neutering. Regardless of sex, once rabbits reach sexual maturity - as with nearly all animals - it's very common for aggression to rear it's ugly head. Can't blame the critter. (And I know you're not blaming her!)
Oh - & rabbits don't go into "heat/season". Once they reach sexual maturity, they ovulate based on actual mating. It's the sexual maturity that can change their disposition. It won't come & go like an animal that has heats.
I had the same experience with my intact male bun (Gandalf the Gray). He was house trained and had the run of my dorm room when I realized he had housebroken himself. After a month or two of owning him (i got him from a roadside stand as a bitty bun bun) he began licking the back of my calves while was standing at the sink. I thought it was amusing. Didn't realize he was reaching sexual maturity. Then I got a blowup beach ball as a promo gift. For giggles I blew it up and put it on the floor to see what he'd do. OMG I LMAO watching him chase it around and try to jump on it. After a few minutes, he finally trapped it under a chair and climbed on it and started humping like, well, like a bunny.
Gandalf became inordinately attached to that red and white beach ball and never licked me again. This was back in 1977, so nobody was talking about neutering or spaying bunnies.
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Our regular vet for the dog was educated about small animals, so we had him perform the neuter after our bunny would spray the walls next to his crate (constantly...). It helped calm him down behaviorally as well. To this day my dad doesn't know we spent over a hundred dollars and got Bugs snipped!
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)
Your local animal shelter or SPCA will have the names of vets in your area who spay/neuter rabbits. I'd call them -- they'll tell you who they use and how much they charge.
'Exotic' vets will quote you 'exotic' rates for bunny medicine. It can be difficult to find a practice that has an 'oh yeah, bunnies -- no problem' attitude.
Rabbits can also be territorial about their bedding and/or possessions, especially when they're still getting used to their new home. My male rabbit is very possessive and we went through several months of charging and teeth-baring. He's much better now but still doesn't like you to take his towels, and if I pick up one of his toys, he promptly and firmly takes it away from me.
He also punched me with his front legs a couple of times but a firm 'no' curtailed that issue.
A lot of buns are kennel posessive. Not sure if spaying will fix this, but it certainly may help.
Find a good vet who has exerience with rabbits. They do not need to be gassed down, IM injectables are often used (ketamine, midazolam or ketamine, medetomidine) and then the can be maintained on gas througout the procedure. The injectables also provide some analgesia, unlike gas alone. Rabbit spays (especially when mature) are painful so please ensure your vet will provide the bun with adequate analgesia post op
I have spayed my own rabbit before, her uterus was HUGE. She was certainly a happier bun after the spay as opposed to before...but I'll admit she did still retain some 'tude