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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I have a Dutch rabbit female, Polo she is an adopted 4 year old who had three litters. She was neglected and so does not like people. I handle her every day, but she is very visious and it is hard to sit on the same chair as her as she will attack anyone who goes near her. I was wondering if anyone knew any ways to get her to become more friendly.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 09:36 AM
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Spaying her may help if she's having hormonal issues. Ovarian growths, tumors, etc, have a hugely high rate of risk, especially in older females, and the cysts can make them very aggressive.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 09:41 AM
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Poor bun - it's understandable why she would be like that if she was neglected.

If there's one thing I've learned about bunnies, it's that you have to do things on their terms. If you just go and pick her up or try to pet her and she doesn't want that, then she'll just act more aggressive.

Is she fixed? I assume she probably is, but if not you should looking into it, sometimes they calm down a little after being fixed.

What I would do then is start to approach her on her terms - ignore her when she's being aggressive or ignoring you. If she comes up to you, offer her treats only at first and maybe talk to her a little - don't try to touch her yet. She'll learn that going up to you is a good thing so she should start to come up to you more. After awhile, still give her treats, but also try to gently pet the top of her head. If she acts aggressive or runs away, go back to just the treats. Slowly she should start coming up to you more and being less afraid. Eventually you should be able to stop giving treats everytime and just pet her. Never chase her around to try to pick her up or pet her - then she associate you with getting chased and she won't enjoy your attention. The key is to make her have to come to you.

Remember to only use healthy treats! Pieces of fruits or veggies should work, or maybe something like paypa tablets?


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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I was wondering about getting her fixed, she isn't, but is she too old and do u know if there is a high risk rate


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 11:36 AM
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We fix older bunnies pretty routinely. I think our oldest pay was 7-8. Their average lifespan is 9-12 years, so 4 isn't really all that old.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, what is the risk? is there is one


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 11:39 AM
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The risk is mainly in the rabbit not reacting well to anesthetic and in post-op infection. It differs from rabbit to rabbit.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 11:55 AM
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Yeah - usually the main risk with any surgery in bunnies is a negative reaction to the anesthetic. This risk can increase with age - but if you find a good experienced bunny vet she should be fine. A good vet should schdule a pre exam before the actual surgery to make sure the rabbit is healthy enough for the surgery, and to evaluate any potential risk factors.

Spaying females has several advantages. It can reduce behavioral issues and make them better behaved. It's also important because unspayed females have a very high chance of getting ovarian and uterine cancer - the risk of cancer increases with age.

I would recommend getting her spayed even though their are some risks. If you find a experienced rabbit vet she should be fine. Where do you live, maybe I could recommend some vets.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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In Beckenham, Kent


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Polo, Pepper, Solo, Bullet, Trigger, Bandit and Gem

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(rats) Ebony and Sotty
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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vet

Ask around about a vet who has any dealings with rabbits. If you can't find one ask if they would be willing to contact a vet that does know rabbits or if they would be willing to read up on them. Here is a medical website that they could look at. Rabbit References - Health and Medicine

My hometown vet had not had a lot of contact with rabbits but was willing to learn. He spayed my foster bun. You will really have to watch her though once she is spayed and make sure she eats. They need to eat as normal before going into surgery. Some vets want them to stop 24 hrs before but bunnies can't throw up so they need that food. Also make sure you have orange flavored baby asprin and baby food (mine liked pears) for the pain after the surgery. This will help her heal faster.
After a couple of weeks mine stopped being so aggressive and started calming down.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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I'm with everyone else on the spaying, i think it would calm her down a bit. As for her age, there is always a risk, but with an experienced Vet those risks are minimal.
In my experience it's mostly the post-op for older rabbits that takes a bit longer, the younger the bunny the faster they seem to heal.

I have a rescue girl who's a bit of a bag, but I spend allot of time just sitting near her and just letting her check me out. I give her treats when she's good, and treat her like a dominate rabbit when she's bad (I thump, turn my back to her or push down on her). Also i have found her favorite thing is to have ALLOT of space to run, and she has now figured out if she allows me to pick her up, she gets to go out and play, so things are working out much better now.
She also hasn't bit me in a long time.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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When we first had Bertie he was reacting to us in a similar way to Polo, and after 8 weeks, I was starting to be very concerned that he wouldn't be happy here.
Here's what we did.

Back off and let her natural curiosity bring her to you.
Always reward the visits

read this website The Language of Lagomorphs
and start to implement asap.
By using the tips on this site, Bertie was changed from frightened aggressive Bertie into completely cute and happy Bertie.
Things that worked esp. well for him were the nose twitching sessions (everyday, 10 mins at least, arms well out of the way), and the psychology bits, turning your back on Polo when she offends you etc. I cannot tell you how much this changed things, fundamentally because Bertie now trusts us, which made approaching him far easier and a happy event for him.
There's more details on my website

As Polo sees you as another human (with the attributes of previous humans) this will help her see you as a bunny friend too and I hope she turns around for you.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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this site really helped i,m gonna try the nose wiggling tommorrow and get my kids to try it, i think twinkle will fall or it but as for bubble am not quite sure as we,ve only had her a couple of days and she still being bossed about by twinkle.i feel so sorry for her but i know that it should soon pass as twinkle gets bored easy, any way i,ll try it out and let you know what happens,
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