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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2005, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Advice needed

Hihi,
I recently got an angora rabbit and I would really appreciate some advise.... firstly, my rabbit has been chewing fur off his front right paw, so much so that now one of his toes is exposed, i.e. no fur. Is that normal? Any reason why he is doing that? Secondly... litter training is still... a failure.... my rabbit poos everywhere in the cage EXCEPT the toilet!!! He loves sleeping in the toilet though.... Any advice will be greatly welcomed....

P.S. My cage is a wire bottom cage. Does it matter?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 12:50 AM
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hi!
First off with the fur..I've never owned an angora but I do own two long furred rabbits and none of them chew off their feet...or anywhere. He is being irritated so it wouldn't hurt to get him a vet check with an exotic vet!
The litter thing...how old is your bunny? Is he neutered? If he isn't neutered this will play a huge part! All rabbits like to mark territory, some more than others. They mark by pooing and sometimes spraying (be thankful he isn't doing that!) Neutering/spaying a rabbit helps out with this problem emmensly!! Generally a rabbit can still poo outside the tray until it is one year old...some never stop. I have two female rabbits, that hate each other. THey are both perfectly trained in their cage but when they are out for free time in the animal room (seperate times of course) their is poo everywhere. One poos a lot more than the other but I always have to vacuum the animal room after they've been out (they get out just about every day..a rabbit should have at least an hour of free time a day. Mine get anywhere from one hour to 6 hours out of their cage, depending on the day. Very occassionaly I won't be home long enough to let them have a run so generally either just one gets it or I make sure they have a lot of time out of their cage the next day. Both cages are big enough for them to stand right up, lie down and stretch right out etc. so they can still stretch and kick those back legs in their cage) They will sleep in their litter tray...mine do it all the time! They also like to eat while in there....some people put hay in the litter box...mine just drag their food bowls over and eat it.
The wire bottom cage isn't a problem...as long as they can have a break from the wire to prevent sore hocks. Personally I prefer a solid bottom cage...I find it less messy and I don't have to worry about supplying them with a mat to give their feet a rest but it certainyl is done by many!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 02:07 PM
 
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Carmen is right, the chewing is a sign of agitation. You say it's a wire bottomed cage? Is there anywhere else in the cage, besides the litter tray where your rabbit can get his feet off the wire? The larger the breed (what kind of angora have you got? They generally weigh anywhere from 7-13 lbs, depending on the breed, with the exception of a few miniature breeds), the more irritating the wire bottom cage can be. Also, the litter tray should be as far away from the food as possible.

If there is enough room in the cage, try slipping a piece of drywall/jiprock in the cage for your bunny to rest his feet (it's safe, even if they chew at it). You could try a piece of wood, but wood can stay damp and cause even more damage to feet that are already sore from the wire.

Also, if you look on the bottoms of your rabbit's feet, do you notice any sores or scabs? Those are "sore hocks" which means that those sores are caused because of the wire bottom. Usually, providing something to rest on will cause those to clear up (again, wood can get damp and cause those sores to become infected). That may be why he sleeps in the litter tray all the time.

With a wire bottom cage, usually there are pull out trays underneath, so there usually isn't a need for a litter tray -- if I may ask, why did you decided to use a litter tray?
Most of the time, rabbits will pick one corner to go to the bathroom in most constantly, even though a few escaped poos will find themselves elsewhere (either as marking, or just because he couldn't get back to his corner in time). This corner is usually the opposite corner from where the food is.

How long have you had the rabbit for?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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If you have a wire bottom cage then the bunny won't be able to eat his cecotrophs, I believe they are called, which is a vital part of his nutritional needs. Also, with the litter training, try taking the litter box out for awhile and seeing if he calms down and poops and pees in one corner. If so, put the litter box in that place and put some of his poops in the litter box. Keep doing this and eventually he'll catch on. If he does not poop in just one area, gather up all the poop and keep putting it in the litter box. One day he'll probably get the idea to eliminate in the litter box. I had to do that with Charlie although Caesar caught on almost immediately. Do remember, your bunny might never be litter trained, some bunnies just never catch on because they are all their own bunny.
What the other guys said is great info too. Good job guys!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millimi
If you have a wire bottom cage then the bunny won't be able to eat his cecotrophs, I believe they are called, which is a vital part of his nutritional needs.
This is partially true -- (please pardon my bluntness in advance) -- though rabbits have been known to not even let them fully exit the body before consuming them -- ie, eat straight off the plate. Plus, if there is a litter box in the cage, then he could still access them if he prefers not to go the "self serve" way... (I'm really sorry, I was trying to put that in the least graphic way possible)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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But IF they do fall through the cage he won't be able to eat them.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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That's why I said your comment was partially true
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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I've had my rabbit for close to a month now...he is 3 mths old. I used a wire bottom cage as I thought it was the cleanest thing... I tried putting a piece of cardboard for him to rest, but he ****ted on it frequently so I removed the cardboard in the end.. My litterbox is also wire bottom, so I guess yah, he cant really eat his own ****.. is that very important?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 01:20 AM
 
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There are certain kinds of "night droppings" that contain important nutrients, like Natalie said. Really, he can eat them still, despite the wire cage, but it depends on whether or not he knows to do that. How big is his cage? Where did you get him from, what do you know of his background? For instance, if you got him from a breeder, then there's a good chance that he's used to wire bottomed cages (though maybe not, depending on how serious an angora breeder the previous owner is/was).

How much time does he spend in the cage? If he spends more than 3/4 of his time in the cage, then you should have a large cage. If he spends less than 3/4 of his time in the cage, then you can get away with having a cage that is just big enough for him to stretch out in. Either way, there should be substantial space between where he eats and where his litter box is. The other thing is, if you want him to use the litterbox, it would help if it wasn't made out of the same material as his cage. Perhaps that's why he's confused? Also, putting in the litter box AFTER he's decided which corner will be his bathroom corner is a good idea.
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exotic vet, food bowl, food bowls, litter box, litter train, litter trained, litter training, litter tray, wire cage


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