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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Just Bought My Bunny today, need plenty of expert advice + support

Hi, frens.. i'm new here..just bought my pet rabbit today. The farmer who sold it to me said that it is a Himalayan rabbit and there were 2 other siblings in the cage with white fur and black markings but mine is actually all blue with no markings, which makes me doubt if it is a Himalayan.

I have a picture of my bunny (which i named as Chomby) and would really love it if anyone can help confirm if it is indeed a Himalayan rabbit.











Another worry i have is regarding fleas. I bought it from a farmer so i 'm just being extra cautious considering my bunny might have been raised amongst cats or dogs. My bunny has been scratching herself intensely in about every 20 minutes. She would even bite her own back area sort of like what cats/dogs do, and shake herself off after scratching. I don't know if it is normal, but i have seen it in some of my friend's cats who has fleas.

i wonder if i should put her away from my bedroom/ living room in fear that the flea spreads to the rest of the house/occupants. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment and i have bought her a comfortably large indoor cage with a little room to hide, a litter with hay, box and food/drink available.

Thanks for reading, and hope i can make this forum as a second home for Chomby and me.

Last edited by chomby; 07-05-2008 at 05:13 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 05:39 AM
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i have no idea, but she is cute!!!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 07:10 AM
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To me a himalayan is white with smudges of colour normally on the nose and rear end so i would say that your bunny is NOT a himalayan lol. I am not quite sure what breed she is but she is a total cutie! Congrats xx

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 11:13 AM
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Hmmmm mine scratches and grooms herself alot too... never thought about fleas tho.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Smile

thanks for the responses
im so excited i could hardly sleep all night.

hi! yup..she is a cutie , Kendalle! hehe.. i'm so tempted to cuddle with her but i'm afraid of fleas jumping on to me.. (paranoia? maybe?)

hi, Cazsamps! thanks for your feedback! yeah, i think that was a wrong information from the farmer.
He did look like he knew more about his chooks and ducks tho'

hi, Squirrely! Aww yours might be alright, mine is a bit aggressive in her scratching and came from the farm, so i'm just being extra cautious..

UPDATE:
-after observing her last night, i've made up my mind to buy Advantage for treating her fleas.
-she is staying in the bathroom at the moment, cos its the only room without carpeting. i turn on the ventilation so she wouldn't feel humid or cold. she looks happy and even bounce around and lounge in her cage.
-i am now bunny proofing the living room, yippee!!

QUESTION:
-if i get her on Advantange flea drops, how long could it take until we can let her roam free in the house?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 10:14 PM
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Hi!
Whatever, you do, just don't get FrontLine because it kills rabbits. Revolution is actually preferred for bunnies, as it can protect against some mites too that cause irritation to bunnies.

To be sure if your bunny has fleas, you should buy a flea comb and brush her on a white surface. Black things should fall off (flea excrement). Wet them with a few drops of water - if they turn red, you'll know that they're fleas.

Advantage takes 24-48 hours to fully work.

And lastly, as the best advice I could give a new bunny owner - spay her! She'll live a longer, happier, cancer-free life!

Enjoy your new companion!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 11:01 PM
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Hi and welcome to Paw Talk. Your bunny is sure sweet!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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thanks, AlmostTan!!
that's very good advice, im glad you mentioned it! I end up getting Revolution and had just gave Chomby a little drop from the kitten kit.

and i will get her spayed but i haven't made a trip to the vet yet.

thanks, Luckybunny!!
i feel so welcomed, starting to get the feel of Paw Talk, the forums are light and friendly. Chomby is cute -and- naughty as well, she seems shy when im watching her but romps around hopping and snooping about when she thinks no one is watching.. hehe
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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i've got a few pics..just noticed that Chomby has exposed skin around the fold of her ears..

please have a look and tell me whether its a sign of fleas or if it is something else..
i'm a bit concerned.

(the pics are a bit blurry cos she kept moving/munching)



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 11:52 AM
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Hello and welcome!

Chomby is a cutie! I love blue bunnies

I belive that blue is a recognized color for himalayan rabbits. Either way, she is adorable!

Like on a cat or dog though, you should be able to see the fleas or their droppings on the rabbit. Look in areas like under her arms and legs for either the fleas themselves, or little black specks that are the fleas droppings.

Actually from the most recent picture you posted, I'd say that looks more like a mite problem then fleas, although I guess it could be either. Mites are pretty common and can be passed from one rabbit to another, she she could have picked them up from the other rabbits before you got her. The flea treatment may actually help with the mites as well.

I would take her to the vet just for a check up, and a vet will be able to tell you exactly what she has and what the best treatment would be.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, Dragonrain, thanks for the warm welcome =)
yeah..i read there are blue himalayan too but i suppose they have to have the markings of a himalayan as well..

and thanks for the informative feedback, i can't see any fleas/droppings on her..so i hope its just mites.
- am planning to take her to the vet tomorrow..

i do have some new queries for experienced rabbit owners;

1. how do i bond with Chomby?
i have been feeding her every morning and evening, and sit there to accompany her so she would be familiar with my presence.
both my husband and i are not used to handling animals except my previous pet turtle so we are taking it slow,
not trying to handle her and let her get used to her hutch for the time being.
we feed her from our hand behind the hutch wires..hehe
we had once opened up the hutch and setup a small outside perimeter for her to venture out and join us but she was still shy.
can anyone share any advice on how best to establish that she doesn't have to be afraid of us?

2. how best to clean her hutch?

since her hutch is big, i get to compartmentalise her space into 2 areas by putting in a card box wall (much like zoo kepers do with tigers, lol).
i put up some food (carrots and celery are her favs) on one area and i go on cleaning the free are..and vice versa.
she is usually too occupied with her food to worry about my presence, but i wonder if this routine creates stress for her..
throughout the day, she is usually relax and snoopy but there are times that i see her looking afraid and jumpy on hearing sounds.

3. she is sitting lounging on her litter box, not her cubby.
we do have a built in cubby that we shifted a lil' so that it will have two exit points..but Chomby still doesn't sit or play there..she just peeks and rarely walk through.
how do i make the cubby house more comfy and inviting without risking her mistaking it for another litter box?
the litter box is the only area with hay and old paper lining while the other areas are lined with table mats.
she currently pees only on her litter box but does poo in and around it, on the top of the cubby cos it is where her food bowl is, but never in the cubby itself.

+ i have seen her laying outstretched outside of the litter box, but very rarely.
+ she runs and sit on the litter box whenever she is afraid..

4.can you suggest home-made toys for Chomby?
Chomby is active and she hops around from the top of the cubby onto her litter box. we had to take off the hay stack because
she would hop and sit in there! could be dangerous when the hay is low.
i have started to put carrots tied to a string and hang it on the cage so she could exercise while eating.
we also left a knotted string hanging on the cage cause she loves to nibble on the end knots.
and i just bought an inexpensive toy loofah for her to chew..

phew, thanks for reading ;D
it may seems like a lot of questions but please don't hesitate to share any small comments.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:35 AM
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1. how do i bond with Chomby? it took me a couple months for my rabbit to really feel comfortable with me. He's a much bigger rabbit and I couldn't really hold him much. What I did was lay on the floor close to where he was playing, fed him treats, and brushed him every day. Those things helped him to feel comfortable with me and now he'll let me pick him up and carry him around (but not for long periods of time - he's a 22 lb flemish giant!)


2. how best to clean her hutch? it's best not to clean her hutch TOO much for the first few days so she feels "at home" and comfortable. What I do is wait until Hagrid is out of his cage running around and I clean the whole thing. I use Clorox anywhere spray which is safe for animals and just wipe the whole thing down.

3. she is sitting lounging on her litter box, not her cubby.
She might just need awhile to get used to things. I've noticed that if I put anything else in Hagrids cage other than food bowls and a litter box that he always poops on/in it at first.

+ she runs and sit on the litter box whenever she is afraid - Hagrid does the same thing.

4.can you suggest home-made toys for Chomby?
Hagird loves to shred phone books and old magainzes. He also likes to chew on wicker baskets. We have a giant teddy bear set up in the corner of our family room and Hagrid rubs up against it and "grooms" it and sleeps with it. I've also given him a couple of other older stuffed animals that my kids were finished with and he tosses them around, chews them, ect. Oh and cardboard boxes! Cut a hole so she can hide inside a large one and she'll love that - Hagrid likes to chew them up.

Good luck!! Very cute bunny!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:20 AM
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Just like Fizz said, give it time. When I first put in the small cardboard hideaway in the cage he didn't even pay it any attention and prefered to sleep in the open on the 2nd floor of the cage. It took couple days for him to start using it. But he still doesn't use it very often. So I don't know if rabbits use it except when they're scared or in rare occasions.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:14 AM
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1. Bonding - just pet her often. Bunnies usually like being scratched behind the ears. My Flash likes it when I scratch his nose, too, and I've heard of other bunnies who like that, but none of my sister's rabbits have ever liked it, so that's probably less common. But the more you interact with her directly, the sooner she'll get used to you.

2. Cleaning - As Fizz said, don't clean too often at first, because you want her to get used to the area and have her smell all over it. But the way you're doing it now sounds very good - it can be stressful for her to see you cleaning, so distracting her is a good plan. I usually let Flash out for play time, then clean his cage while he's playing elsewhere in the living room. Sometimes he comes back and jumps in his cage while I've got all his stuff out of it, and he gets a little upset, but he's a laid back enough bunny that he doesn't seem to stress out as much as some rabbits would.

3. Getting her to sit in the cubby - try putting a treat in it once in a while.

4. Toys - Cardboard boxes are great toys. Shoe boxes are a good size for them. Flash loves to shred paper - phone books are his favorite toy at home. When I boarded him at the vet while I went away for a weekend, they said that they line his cage there with newspaper, and he loved shredding that and spreading it around.

Also, they need to gnaw on some wood once in a while, to file their teeth, which continue to grow their entire lives. Just be careful about what types of wood. Use google to find lists of woods that are acceptable or poisonous for rabbits. I actually bought 2x4's to line the bottom of my couch to keep Flash from going under there, and he chews on the edges of those occasionally. He also tries to chew the corners of walls sometimes, so I have to keep an eye on him and give him other stuff to chew on to distract him. Generally, they like large, stationary targets to chew on - it's like a major project for them. Pet stores sell small wooden blocks to chew on, and most bunnies just ignore those.

Some of them like tossing hard plastic toys around, too. Just make sure whatever plastic isn't soft enough for her to actually chew through. I picked up a hard plastic baby toy from Toys R Us and gave it to Flash. He tossed it out of his way and never looked at it again. But I also have vertical blinds in front of the sliding glass door to my patio that are hard plastic, and he likes pushing those around. He'll push one out of the way, and it'll swing back and hit him every time. He also likes just hanging out between the blinds and window at night when they're closed. It's like a compact space for him to burrow.

Two other things I noticed in your posts:

You mentioned that she sometimes lays stretched out - that's actually a good sign that she's comfortable in her new home. Rabbits are natural prey animals, so they're used to being ready to run from predators at all times. If they lay down with their rear feet stretched out behind them, then it means extra steps to get up and running. They only do that when they're comfortable with their environment. I've seen it referred to as "happy feet" when a bunny lays down with the bottoms of their feet showing. And if they flop down on their side, that's the ultimate sign of contentment. Flash does that every morning after breakfast - he LOVES his pellets.

You also mentioned that you give her celery. While this is a decent veggie to feed to rabbits, the strings can get stuck in their stomachs, like hair balls. So cut the celery into little pieces to eliminate the strings, and it'll pass through her easier. Generally, they do best with leafy greens. Check out the House Rabbit Society's suggested vegetable list for recommendations: http://www.rabbit.org/care/veggies.html

--Fromper
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