More on Sore Hocks

So Jackie asked me about sore hocks recently.   She noticed on the bottom of Sally’s both feet that she had small patches of fur missing showing exposed skin. Because she remembered reading my website about sore hocks she sent me an email which I have posted her question and my answer in my new Forum section. She did go and get some of the A & D ointment from the store to try.  The reason why I am adding a new post is because Jackie got a really good picture of this. See image below and note the following.

In Sally’s case, the skin is exposed but many times longer fur just sweeps over and covers the bald spot. So if you ever pay attention to your vet, they will flip your bunny over and pay special attention to the bottom of those hind legs. You’ll see them move the fur from side to side looking for bald spots just for this reason.  If its pink then chances are its irritated and the bunny will need at minimum some ointment treatments for awhile until it gets better. If its red or bleeding or show signs of white or infection go to your vet asap.

 

Sallysorehocks

Thanks for the pic Jackie…..Bunny parents remember to check your rabbits back feet often for this and it is painful for them.

To see what Red Door Animal Shelter says about sore hocks go the Bunny Care Basics pdf and turn to page 6.

If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at info@bunnymama.com.

The Sweet Non-Smell of Rabbit Poop

Okay so over the weekend, I was cat siting of sorts for my great nephews Oscar and Ralphie. They are sweet boys. I was checking on them twice a day,  giving food, water, treats and cleaning out the liter box.

So the liter box for cats was so much different than my rabbits liter box. I mean everything was different.  Cats use a cat liter material made especially for them that is absorbent and helps with the smell. (rabbits cannot use this)  The newspapers and corncob I use in my rabbits liter pans do about the same but it was so different and foreign to me.

I had a poop scooper sorta like a slotted spoon to use to chase the poop pcs and clumped urine around until I caught them in the spoon and could dispose of them. Oh yes disposing of them  — well I don’t know who evented it but the Liter Genie became my new best friend.  Its sorta like the diaper genie that humans use for their kids but for a cat or dog.  This thing was AWESOME!  I mean as soon as I put it in inside, I closed the lid to contain the fumes ( oh yes there were stinky, noxious fumes). Once I had all the waste in it, you pulled out a little shelf of sorts from the outside which let the waste fall into the bottom of the genie were it was contained  –  all the poop, all the urine and all the SMELL!    I have a really sensitive stomach and the smells from the cat poop and urine were really hard for me to handle but if it wasn’t for the Liter Genie I think I would have been unable to clean the poop dishes out of their waste.  Now the liter inside their poop dish keeps getting used and recycled until its loses it ability to clump and keep the smells at bay. You can add more to the existing or put in new fresh liter.

Unlike the cat poop dishes, rabbit poop dishes have hay in them because rabbits like to eat and nibble while they poop.  So be sure to have plenty of fresh hay in your rabbits poop dish.

So I was NEVER SO GLAD TO SEE RABBIT POOP AND POOP DISHES BEFORE. I mean it seems so much easier for us than cat owners. We can pick up the poop that doesn’t make it into the poop dish without a smell or order. The poop is hard and compact and you just pick it up,  toss in the poop dish or trash and wash your hands and your are done.  For rabbit urine, as long as you have enough fresh material in the poop dish to absorb the urine quickly then you shouldn’t have a lingering smell.  If you do have a smell either switch out the poop dish for a clean or clean that one.

So bunny parents the next time you clean your rabbit poop dishes, be glad you have what your bunmy left you and not some cat poop or cat urine.

PS I still love you Ralphie and Oscar but your mama is back on cleaning your poop dishes for sure, not me anymore until the next time she goes on vacation…

 

If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at info@bunnymama.com.

Personalities – Every bunny has one

So this weekend I am cat sitting (of sorts) for my 2 great nephews Oscar and Ralph.  They are cutie pies and their mom, my niece is out of town so I am going over and feeding and checking on them.  While over there I recently marveled at how different they were from each other. One is so shy he used to hide all the time and the other  is so friendly that he follows you everywhere, yes even into the bathroom and if don’t close the door you’ll be petting him while you pee on the toilet. Funny isn’t it?

Here is Ralphie below.

Ralphie1

Here is Oscar in his favorite position below, both Ralph and him sleep this way.

Oscar

So my rabbits are like that, all rabbits are like that – different personalities. Shy, friendly, lazy, hyper, in different, but all have some sort of personality.  Its good if you get to know how your rabbit’s personality is.  You  need to watch his reactions to different situations to know what scares him and what makes him happy, why he runs and hides and why he follows you around.  This takes time and they can always surprise you with something new about their personality.

So when I got home from feeding the “boys”, I had their scent all over me and my clothes. What I found astounding is  my rabbits Lucy and Dino didn’t care a less. Not a sniff, a wiff,  a close up snoof of the nose – notta!  I thought how could this be? I come home clearly marked with cat fur and scents of 2 cats, not 1 but 2 – and not even a second glance or care.  Huh, I was dumbfounded.

It was my little Baby who could smell the scent of another animal on me from 10  feet away. She would hop over and the nasal interrogation would begin. She would smell me high and low, sniff me up and down, and take whiffs from side to side and then when she had enough and the evidence confirmed that her Mama had been by another animal, she would give me the nastiest look you ever saw and hop away from me and hide in disgust.  She would give me “the cold furry shoulder” as I use to tell people. Yes rabbits can give you an attitude. Those of you who know what I mean are laughing out loud right now. Cuz bunnies can giveth a “tude”, an attitude.

The other time Baby would give me an a “tude” is when I would go on vacation for a few days – not just over night but several days and nights. When I got home, she was happy to see me, for about 20 minutes and then she began to “tude”  me again, yes attitude me  – the cold furry shoulder and hiding. When she did this, I could coax her out by saying “Oh Baby Mama loves you, don’t be mad at Mama, come and snuggle”. She would come out after about the 3rd or 4th time I begged her and all was forgiven and what a glorious feeling it was to be snuggling with my little girl again. I guess my niece has her reunion to look forward to tomorrow night – lucky duck.

So in the mean time, learn to read your bunny. Pay attention to his or her behavior to better understand them and what makes them happy or scared. The more you know and understand about them, the happier he will be.

Also to understand your rabbits normal behavior will help you determine if your rabbit is sick, as rabbits are really good at hiding the fact that they are sick.

To understand some bunny body language, check out Red Door’s Bunny Basics PDF and go to page  13.  This will help you begin to recognize what your bunny is doing or trying to tell you so when you get the cold furry shoulder next time, you’ll know it.

So after having Gracie and Baby who both loved sitting under the Christmas tree, I know have Lucy who could care a less about the tree. She has never even gone near it. Dino does not pay any attention to it either. But as a safety precaution, I do block off the living room that has the tree in it so that the rabbits do not have access to it when we are at work. They buns have free range of the house but not in the living room while the tree is up.  But funny how some buns love the Christmas tree and others not so much!

If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at info@bunnymama.com.

Some Toy Ideas

So I got my weekly email from the Dayton Examiner from Phyllis O’Beollain and she has mentioned what I think would be fun toys for your bunny. Some you can buy and some you can make yourself.  Here is the link

http://www.examiner.com/article/toys-for-house-rabbits-come-many-varieties

I do have to comment tho that I bought that IQ game she shows and I really thought that Baby would get that (cuz she was so smart) but she never did. I think it might have been my fault as bunnies learn by repetition and I got bored with it and just stopped trying to get her to play and understand where the treats were. I might not recommend that toy or the pine cone idea since you have to bake the sap to make them safe — didn’t sound too good.

If you try any of the ideas let us know so other parents can learn what works and what doesn’t.

 

Binky On!

 

 

If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at info@bunnymama.com.

Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few

12.  DonThis is the DON’T BE A DUMB BUNNY PAGE….

So this page is intended to help you not make the same mistakes I’ve made. Oh yeah I’ve made a few and as I remember them, I’ll post them here. I’m not too proud to admit I was wrong and I want to help other bunny parents be good parents so here it goes

1. Don’t even start to give your rabbit any fruit – yeah I know its healthy for humans but not for rabbits. Its too sweet and they will become junkies for apples, grapes, raisins, banana, all of it  –  NO! Don’t even start it and you and your bunny will be much better off.

2. Don’t over feed flat leaf Italian parsley!  Although my rabbits all loved/love it, it can cause a sludgy bladder and Baby had this because at one point we over feed it to her. I mean when she had an x-ray the vet showed us and it was obvious that the bladder had something wrong.  Even tho we just about stopped feeding it to her, the damage was done.

3. Do your best to make sure that your rabbit is eating hay. This can be tricky and some rabbits are persnickety when it comes to hay but seriously it will so help your bunny stay healthy. Most of their diet should be hay. It makes their digestion work and keeps their teeth grinded down so HEY PAY ATTENTION HERE and start to monitor the amount of hay your rabbit is eating and try to get them to eat more.  At certain times of the day, we allow Lucy and Dino to run out of greens so that they have to eat hay. I give them fresh hay twice a day – make sure your bunny has more hay then it can possibly eat.

4. Feed your rabbit the correct diet – this something that was hard for me as my first vet said unlimited greens, but my current vet says to limit greens so encourage them to eat more hay. Check out my Food & Treats page for more information on what is appropriate to feed your bunny.  We still struggle with this as Lucy and Dino would eat nothing but greens if we’d let them. They sit at their empty food plate looking toward the door, waiting to get our attention to give them more food. Sometimes I give in and give them more greens and other times I just give them more hay. But this is one of my biggest issues for sure.

5. Don’t ever totally trust that you don’t have to rabbit proof your house – people tell me all the time, oh my bunny does not nip at electrical or phone wires — they don’t nip them because they haven’t found them yet but they will and you MUST have the wires covered in plastic cord protectors or slit open plastic tubing that can be slipped over electrical cords.  Bunnies will just find trouble in time so you MUST rabbit proof your house to protect your bunny and your belongings. Please read this page to learn more.  This is an ongoing mission in our house to always be thinking what can they get into next and prevent them from getting into danger.  Its not that I’ve made a mistake with this, just that you must be diligent in looking and preventing lurking dangers to your bunny.

6. Don’t get rid of carpeting for a beautiful new wood floor.  Yeah I know you are thinking what?  Well we did this and to be honest rabbits hate wood, vinyl, tile, laminate floors or any smooth surface as flooring. They have nothing to dig their paws into when running and so they normally will avoid areas without carpet. So we got rid of carpet, replaced it with wood to show off our floors and then since Baby didn’t like the wood floor we covered it up with an area rug and rug runners everywhere for her to run on.  In addition if you have more than one bunny in your house and if both will go into the area with the wood floors at different times you will have a poop and pee war.  Its the pee part that ruined my new wood floors in spots.  It would have been easier with tile I guess but I never thought it would be an issue but its an issue so think this one through before installing wood floors if you have a bunny or bunnies.

7. Pellets — all rabbit pellets are NOT created equal some are junk food and not nutritious for your bun.  Please try your best to find Oxbow brand pellets.  Alfalfa for young bunnies and timothy hay bases for adults bunnies (over 6 months).  Ask your vet at what age you should switch your bunny over from alfalfa to timothy hay based pellets and hay (for that matter).  Make sure you are feeding them the right amount. My first vet said unlimited and Baby got used to eating mostly pellets so when the second vet said to limit pellets Baby actually was losing weight because she would not eat hay or that many greens so we put her back on unlimited pellets and she seemed to do fine with them, but this should not be the case.  You should limit and measure how much you give your rabbits.  Ask your vet for how much your rabbit should get daily as this will be determined by age and weight of your rabbit.

8. Nail Trims – well this wasn’t really a mistake more than being afraid to try to trim our Baby’s nails on our own.  Baby was a squiggling, flaying,  squirming mess whenever we had to do anything with her. First you had to catch her, then you had to hold her firm and it was always a challenge. But I remember the vet charging us like $8 for nail trim which was reasonable but I kept thinking what an ordeal it was for Baby to be chased, put in a carrier, taken 30 minutes to the vet, sitting in the waiting room for who knows how long. Get a quick nail trim, back in the carrier for another 30 minutes and then home.  It seemed stressful for her so we asked the vet how to do it, we researched and then we tried it ourselves.  It went pretty good consider how crazy she was to hold. Read our page about nail trims and see Red Door’s Bunny Basics pdf for what they say too. This will save you time and money and earn you some goodwill to not stress out your bunny.

9. If you see wetness, wet fur around an eye, take note and pay very close attention. You might want to review my pages on eye problems now, so that you’ll be prepared. I am always pro active and start to administer plain old saline eye drops at the first sign of weepy eye or red eyes, or watery eyes. Just a good drop in each eye 2 times a day for a  few days might just take care of their business. If the redness persists or worsens or the watery eye gets worse then seek a vet for medical attention.  I also will sometimes just use a clean cotton ball dampened with warm water and wipe Dino’s eyes. He suffers from weepy eye but Lucy normally grooms his eyes which keeps his condition under control. When he was a single bunny I used to wipe his eyes with dampened cotton ball twice a day and that took care of the weepy eye just fine. I’ve had a few bunny parents tell me how much their rabbits started to enjoy the nightly ritual of wiping their closed eye and surrounding fur with the dampened cotton ball.  Might just be something your little one will enjoy too.

10. I never took a selfie pic with Baby – biggest mistake EVER!  I have pics of Baby but not with me in them.  The day before we had to take Gracie to the vet to put her down, I took a pic holding her – she was sick and miserable and I was red faced from crying but at least I have that pic. I don’t treasure it but I am still glad I have it. So on this day, I took pic with Dino and Lucy -here are a few, on a bad hair day to boot but just having these I feel better already.

IMG_1038 - Copy IMG_1047

11. So here is a new one. DAH like this never even occurred to us. So recently a friend crocheted Christmas sweaters for Dino and Lucy. They looked pretty small but we promised her that we would take pics of the buns in their sweaters. So we caught Lucy first and honestly I just don’t know what we were thinking or we clearly were not thinking, but we were standing up and my husband was holding Lucy and I was going to try to put the sweater over her head. Now keep in mind that Lucy has only 1 eye and is very skiddish (again doofs here) and when I tried to put the sweater rolled up over her head she totally freaked out and within a split second leapt out my husbands arms and fell about 4 feet to the top of the coffee table. She landed on her legs and then bounded off the table onto the floor and skidded about 3 feet before coming to a stop. WHAT? I know really this happened. We were so freaked out and she was freaked out. We watched her hop very carefully for several days to make sure she was not limping or favoring one foot or leg. She could have easily gotten seriously hurt breaking a leg or foot or anything really. So note to self and others, hold your bunny while kneeling on the ground so if they get away, they won’t fall like Lucy did. For about 2 weeks afterwards Lucy would not let us near her as she is always frightened easily and that just made it worse. She seems to be coming around again now but YIKES she had to be sore after that and we felt just terrible. Here is a pic of the sweater just laying on Lucy’s back as this was the best pic we could get of her in that sweater.

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12. Don’t ever move their poop dishes once the bun is trained to poop in it where it is. Yes I know you are thinking what?  Yes don’t move them. I have moved them thinking it was no big deal, they will see it, they will find it – NO they don’t.  Bunnies just don’t get the fact that you’ve moved it and they will poop and pee in that same spot whether it has a poop dish or not.   They won’t seek out the poop dish they just go to the place where they have always pooped and pee-d whether it has a poop dish or not and you will have  a big pile of a mess on your hand so don’t move them.  Okay you’ve been warned.

 

More to come as I think of them….

If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at info@bunnymama.com.