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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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help! bunny brawl!

as i've talked about many times -- we have 2 dwarf boys: a lionhead and a netherlands. they are about 6 mos. old now and were neutered about 5 weeks ago. they have been caged together since birth and have always been very good friends -- sleep together, etc.

however, last night they were out for their usual romp around the house and they got into a scuffle! charlie (our larger lionhead bun) was chasing sammie around. they couldn't seem to catch each other, but both lost a good bit of hair because of stress. we put them back in their cage and watched them and they were fine all night and all day today.

well... we went to dinner and a movie with friends tonight. when we got home, the bunnies had escaped! luckily, they are friends with our two cats.

sammie was hiding in the back of the house behind our litter boxes and charlie was under our bed. this is very unusual --- they usually follow each other around.

there was bunny hair EVERYWHERE. big clumps from both buns... especially in their cage. we think they got into a big scuffle in the cage and accidently busted the door down.

when i got sammie and put him in the living room, he seemed scared. as soon as charlie saw him, he went after him! we intervened in time... but sammie was really shaken.

sooooooo - for the first time, we've separated them. we have each of them in their own cage (luckily we had an extra) and we have the cages sitting side-by-side so they can see each other. they seem to want to be together, but we're worried.

is this normal? what should we do next? please, help!!!!


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 07:42 AM
Can't Stop Touching Her Eyes
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Oh my. Bunny fights are nasty - I know. Seems odd to me that all the sudden they are fighting. Is their cage roomy enough for 2 buns? Maybe that is the problem? It is wise to separate them and work on bonding again.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 08:40 AM
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Aww that stinks, poor bunnies.

I would say all you can really do is work on rebonding them now. It could be that the cage is too small for the both of them, like Kathydip suggested. My bonded boys love each other but they still appreciate being able to get away from each other to oppisite sides of the cage.

This is from the house rabbit society website :

Quote:
Marriage Counseling
Sometimes bonded rabbits break out in a fight after years of happy companionship. We don't always know the cause, but suspects are: new rabbit arriving in the household; trip to vet or other incident where rabbits are separated and/or pick up a strange smell; a health problem that makes the sick bunny irritable or the healthy one anxious. Once any health problems are addressed by your veterinarian, go back to bonding basics. To mask a strange smell, dab both bunnies with a scent such as vanilla.
Soo I would keep them in seperate cages, next to each other, and start over with the bonding process. I'm sorry your boys are fighting....but hopefully they'll get over it and be friends again soon!


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the feedback!

their cage is pretty big --- it is the largest one we've seen at any of the stores. and it has two stories.

they don't SEEM sick.. still eating, pottying, etc. normally. but, i'm going to keep an eye on them!

they've had wee little scuffles before. actually, sammie used to mount charlie ALL the time and charlie would sometimes snip back. however, this is the first time i've ever seen them charge each other.

i'm going to take them into the bathroom today and sit with them both for a bit and see what happens! if they seem to be okay together, how long should i wait before placing them both in the same cage again?


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

the bathroom thing did not go well.
they were okay for about 10 minutes. then, same thing. charlie started chasing sammie.
you know, charlie's disposition has really changed over the past week. he's been peeing all over the cage --- which he wasn't doing before. and he just seems fiestier than normal. he has NEVER really liked to be handled. he really freaks out if you pick him up.
i'm hoping there will be a light at the end of this tunnel!!

question: do bunnies still have horomones even after they are neutered? he is just about 6 mos. old now and i'm wondering if that has anything to do with this new behavior.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 06:46 PM
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Have they been neutered? it does calm them down.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 08:02 PM
Can't Stop Touching Her Eyes
 
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It does takes a while for the hormones to go away. I believe that they say to keep males away from females for at least 3 weeks because they can still have sperm that is viable. I think some one told me it can take girls 6 months to get rid of their hormones. Maybe that is the problem.
Maybe he is feeling the change in his body. Teddy seemed to poo more often outside his box after he was fixed than before - since I didn't have him long before he was fixed I thought that was just him. And he is much better now so maybe it is the reaction some bunnies have to the decreasing hormones?

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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good news!!! we had a very successful bunny interaction today. we put the boys in the bathtub and let them hang out for a while --- supervised, of course. they seemed to be back to normal. they even bathed each other! we gave them some cheerios and had them eat a treat side-by-side.

they hung out for about 20 minutes and then we put them back in their individual cages.

they've been apart now for 2 nights. charlie's attitude seems MUCH better today. could he have just been feeling poorly the past couple days?

now they are looking at each other through the cages like, "where'd my brother go?"

how long should we wait before trying to cage them together again?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 10:49 AM
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We are in the process of bonding our rabbits. I can't tell you how long you should wait. I do know that if we miss a couple of days of bonding in a row it sets our rabbits back...there is more tension between the two...also ours is male/female combo. I guess you would be able to tell by their body language and for the length of time they are together...if their sessions are going hours at a time it shouldn't take much longer. My biggest fear is housing them together and they get into a fight when I'm not home. I am also stalling until my female is old enough to get spayed (male is neutered) before we put them together....right now I know they are not ready to be left alone in the same cage. I think you will just know when the time is right...just don't rush it.
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