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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! As you can see i'm new to the boards, as well as a new bunny owner! I've grown up around pets all of my life, however, this is my first bunny my wife and I have ever owned! We picked Zuzu (our new lionhead bunny) up from our local pet shop last night and have had an absolute blast with her! Contrary to what I've read on the internet, she actually seems to love to be held, and has warmed up to us rather fast! We let her explore her new home, but she always seem to come hopping back to us as if to make sure everythings still ok :D We bought one of the new starter kits, and the pet shop manager assured us that it should be good enough for her to live in her whole life. It is rather big, so I trusted her word. I had a few questions regarding:

Bedding: The bedding it came with seems to be absorbant pellets, but they sometimes get caught in her long fur. What type of bedding is recommended for longhaired bunnies?

Food: We have been making sure that she has plenty of green veggies (lettuce, celery, etc), hay, and the rabbit food (which seems to be a decent and healthy mix of many good ingredients). Any other suggestions?

Litter Training: We have also started training her to use a litter box that hangs in her cage, and she has taken to it surprisingly fast! If you take the litter box out of the cage while she is playing, will she run to it to the go the bathroom, even though it is out of the cage?

And finally, any other tips/suggestions? We have had such fun with her, and she seems to be enjoying herself with us! I've never heard a bunny purr so loud as when we are petting her! :D

Thanks to everyone in advance! A picture of her is attached! :D
 

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Aww she's so cute! I love her name too. Lionheads are awesome rabbits. I have a 4 year old lionhead and he's the cutest little thing.

How old is she? That's awesome that she seems to be enjoying being held now, but don't be too disappointed if she doesn't enjoy it as much as she gets older. Rabbits personalities actually can change a lot as they reach adulthood. But even if she doesn't always enjoy it as much as she does now, there are plenty of other ways to interact with and enjoy her.

I have that problem with bedding with my lionhead too. A lot of the litter I tried sticks to his long fur and it drives him crazy. I use Feline Pine in my rabbits litter box and cover it with a grate so it never gets on my rabbit's fur anymore. If you litter box train them, you don't need to put bedding in the entire cage. As long as they don't chew on them, fleece blankets or dog beds can make a good comfortable alternative to loose bedding.

Her ideal diet will depend on her age. Usually greens are best left out for really young rabbits, and then introduced very slowly one kind at a time in order to avoid digestive upset. Young rabbits can be fed alfalfa based pellets and hay, but as they reach maturity it's best to switch to grass based foods. The most common type of hay for adult rabbits is Timothy hay, but any type of grass hay or even a mix of different types is fine.

She may use the litter box outside of her cage, or she may not. Instead of moving her cage litter box could you maybe set up another one outside of her cage? Or leave her cage door open so she can return to her cage to use the bathroom? I give my rabbits a few different litter boxes - some inside and some outside of their cage.

Hmm I don't know what else to suggest unless you have any specific questions. If you haven't checked it out yet, www.rabbit.org (The House Rabbit Society Website) has a wealth of information and is a great place for new owners to read up on rabbit care.

Good luck with little Zuzu. Make sure to take lots of baby pictures, rabbits grow up so fast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow thanks so much for the info! We really dont hold her all that much, and instead let her hop around on us or explore :D

And to respond:

I will definitely try the grate and then hopefully she'll get potty trainex enough to where we wont have to use the bedding :D

I didnt know that about the greens. She is about 6-7 weeks old, so it would be best to leave the greens out for now? And the pellets we use are alfalfa based, so we will probably stick with them!

And great idea about the multiple litter boxes. Thanks for that!!

Thanks again for your help! It is much appreciated!
 

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Congrats on the new addition and welcome to paw talk

. When you do start veggies lettuce isnt really all that great for rabbits. plus romaine lettuce is the only one that really has any worthwhile nutrition at all. I sub. it for spinach.

Also I am not positive about this (someone else might know more) but I read adn heard that watery greens aren't that good for them in large amounts or v ery often. I have given them to mine before I told about this. But some watery veggies are celery and cucumbers. There are a few veggies that rabbits can't have. I don't have a list, but someone else here might or you can google it.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your input! As far as veggies, i took your advice and found this little number:

Select at least three kinds of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.


Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
Baby bok choy
Basil
Beet greens (tops)*
Bok choy
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
Brussels sprouts
Carrot & carrot tops*
Celery
Chinese celery
Cilantro
Clover
Collard greens*
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
Dwarf choy sum
Endive*
Escarole
Gai long
Green peppers
Kale (!)*
Mint
Mustard greens*
Parsley*
Pea pods (the flat edible kind: snow pea or sugar snap pea)*
Peppermint leaves
Raddichio
Radish tops
Raspberry leaves
Romaine lettuce (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
Spinach (!)*
Watercress*
Wheat grass
Yu choy

(!)=Use sparingly. High in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time
Hope this helps! And thanks again for your input :)
 

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Betta Bomb
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First of all congrats on your little bunny!! :)
As Dragon said, once her hormones kick in she will probably definitely be rambunctious and terrible. Have her spayed at 6 months, this will reduce her hormone levels and calm her down. Not necessarily will she develop ovarian cancer but having her spayed almost eliminates the risk. As for the cage, no matter what any pet store emplyee tell you, cages bought in the store are too small for permanent life. It's fine for now but think about getting NIC cubes or C&C making her a pen in which she can stretch up tall and binky in and run. Commercial cages are way too small for natural bunny behaviour.

Seems like you're off to a good start though, congrats again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My wife and I were actually going to ask someone about Spaying, so thanks for answering my question in advance! We will definitely look into that! How much does it usually cost to get a rabbit spayed at a vet? FYI, i live in a rural area with lots of farmland and farm animals, not a big city. However, we are very near a decent sized city. I dont know how costs differ, but I would assume that the rural vet would be cheaper.

And I didn't think the cage we got would be big enough for her, but then again, they also told us that she would only grow to about 2-3 pounds (mostly fluff). Does this seem to be a reasonable estimate?

Thanks again for your input! It's very much appreciated! :D
 

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is a little "special"
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Hi there! Congrats on your new baby!


It really depends on the vet, as far as spaying costs go. You need to make sure that you go to a good exotics vet that specializes in rabbit, because they are a lot more difficult to spay than cats and dogs. My vet charges $400 or so for a spay and $210 for a neuter, but that is a little on the high end of things. $200-$300 is pretty common for a spay.


And I would definately go with a bigger cage. Even though the dwarf breeds are smaller, they have TONS of energy! ;)


BTW, what rabbbit food are you feeding her? Plain pellets, or the kind that has cereal and little treats mixed in? You said it was a mix of ingrediants, so just wondering.
 

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Yeah spay costs will vary a lot. I haven't checked for a long time but a few years ago when I called vets about spay prices the pricing ranged from under $100 at an experienced low cost clinic to around $500 which was at a well known vet school.

Having lived in both rural areas and the city, I'll say that my rural rabbit vet use to be a lot cheaper than the one I started using when I moved to the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Called the local vet and their price was 175 to spay her, so sounds like a pretty good deal! And the pellets we are feeding is called Kaytee Forti Diet Pro for Juveniles. Is that ok?
 

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Betta Bomb
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They seem okay to me. For a second when I googled it I found one with colorful seeds and little trinkets which are bad for bunnies. I read the link on the Kaytee site about their test lab and it sounds scary! They routinely cut open bunnies in their lab to test to see if their food is proper. I know this is part of making sure the food is good but I agree with a home based pet test rather then a homeless testing bunny with no loving owner :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
They seem okay to me. For a second when I googled it I found one with colorful seeds and little trinkets which are bad for bunnies. I read the link on the Kaytee site about their test lab and it sounds scary! They routinely cut open bunnies in their lab to test to see if their food is proper. I know this is part of making sure the food is good but I agree with a home based pet test rather then a homeless testing bunny with no loving owner :(
Wow... 0_0

I had no idea! :(

We made sure not to get the ones with the treats in them, and instead we get the ones that are fortified with hay and such. Also, how much do rabbits around 6 weeks usually eat? We make sure that she has plenty of pellets and hay, but it's hard to tell how much she actually eats of it...is it one of those things where she will eat when she's hungry? She ate alot yesterday and last night, but doesnt look like she has touched her food since this morning... do they have certain times where they eat? Maybe i'm just a little overprotective and worrisome right now, and im sure she is probably eating just fine, but it helps to hear it from others :D
 

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Congrats on your new bunny - if that's her in your avatar, she's super cute.

I think the only thing it sounds like you might need to change is her cage. I've definitely discovered that more room you can provide, the better.

I'm new to bunny ownership, too, and trust me when I say you'll continue to do lots of reading and lots, lots more learning. It amazes me how much I know, in terms of written knowledge, about bunnies, and at the same time I'm also amazed by how much I don't know, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congrats on your new bunny - if that's her in your avatar, she's super cute.

I think the only thing it sounds like you might need to change is her cage. I've definitely discovered that more room you can provide, the better.

I'm new to bunny ownership, too, and trust me when I say you'll continue to do lots of reading and lots, lots more learning. It amazes me how much I know, in terms of written knowledge, about bunnies, and at the same time I'm also amazed by how much I don't know, too!
Thanks so much! Yup, thats her! :)

I know what you mean! I've learned more about bunnies in the past couple days than anything else! And cage wise, its actually a good size cage for now, but i definitely think we will have to upgrade in the near future.

Good luck on your new bunny as well! Quite a fine collection of pets you have there! :)

Thanks for your input!
 

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Definitely - I think when they're smaller, a smaller cage is just fine, for sure.

Oliver, well, I didn't have any idea (still don't) about his age, but I've noticed that he's grown a bit, so I think that the vet was right in saying he was a young male. He lives in a chicken hutch (there are pictures somewhere on here), and I'm amazed at how it keeps looking smaller! I think one day, I'll buy a bigger house, but like you, he's set for a while.

And silly me, I see the attached picture now - geez, she's cute!
 

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I've had bunnies for over 4 years now, let me tell you: there ain't no stopping to the learning!! lol I'm always uncovering new things and learning new facts and tidbits. It's enjoyable and rewarding :)
 

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make sure you brush her regularly possibly once a day lion heads have long fur that can be easily matted. I use pine shavings in my rabbits drop pan and litter boxes. Don't buy the colored food from the pet store, pellets are perfect for them. I get my food from a feed store brand Manna Pro Sho series since mine are show rabbits. remember LOTS of hay every day!!! Trim the nails every month be careful though when doing this a vet can this, but for a price or you can do it your slef. Lots of play time, always have fresh water. I don't recommend spaying because lots of the rabbits that go in for the operation never come out. Most people say they live longer spayed/neutered, it's not true. but anyways would you rather have a long living un-spayed rabbit or a rabbit that died on the operating table being spayed. They don't have to many health concerns so they don't need an annual vet check-up. hope i helped! :)
 

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I don't recommend spaying because lots of the rabbits that go in for the operation never come out. Most people say they live longer spayed/neutered, it's not true. but anyways would you rather have a long living un-spayed rabbit or a rabbit that died on the operating table being spayed. They don't have to many health concerns so they don't need an annual vet check-up. hope i helped! :)

As long as you have a good exotics vet that is rabbit savvy, spaying and neutering isn't a problem, and isn't a big risk at all. My vet neutered Smudge when he was 5 years old and he was fine, and I know they hardly ever lose a rabbit. Unspayed rabbits have an 80% chance of developing reproductive cancer and dying by the time they are 4 years old, and intact males also have a chance of cancer, not to mention disgusting behavior problems. Fixed buns can live 10-12 years or more, but with intact bunnies you are lucky if they make it to 4 or 5.
They also really should have annual check-ups, and full blood panels done every couple years, especially once they are seniors.
 

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It sounds like you may have outdated information. Vet care for rabbits has come a long way and at the hands of an experienced, knowledgeable rabbit vet surgery is safe for rabbits. With any animals, including humans, anesthesia is always a risk - but I don't feel that small risk is a good reason not to have your rabbits spayed or neutered.

It is true that female rabbits are VERY prone to developing cancer if not spayed, meaning that yes, they live much shorter lives. Personally I would rather risk getting my rabbits spayed, then risk them developing cancer. Cancer is much more painful for the animal, as well as much more expensive to treat with a much lower success rate (compared to preventative surgery - spaying).

Also I believe that rabbits make much better pets when their hormones are not so hormone driven.
 

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Betta Bomb
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make sure you brush her regularly possibly once a day lion heads have long fur that can be easily matted. I use pine shavings in my rabbits drop pan and litter boxes. Don't buy the colored food from the pet store, pellets are perfect for them. I get my food from a feed store brand Manna Pro Sho series since mine are show rabbits. remember LOTS of hay every day!!! Trim the nails every month be careful though when doing this a vet can this, but for a price or you can do it your slef. Lots of play time, always have fresh water. I don't recommend spaying because lots of the rabbits that go in for the operation never come out. Most people say they live longer spayed/neutered, it's not true. but anyways would you rather have a long living un-spayed rabbit or a rabbit that died on the operating table being spayed. They don't have to many health concerns so they don't need an annual vet check-up. hope i helped! :)

You show your rabbits. Therefore, you care for them differently. In order to make for a good house rabbit it should be spayed. Rabbits are no longer new to vets and therefore more and more are becoming rabbit savvy as the popularity grows. The casualty rate is very low. Not even worth super worrying about as long as the vet knows bunnies. There is a website www.rabbit.org which has a section on questions to ask the vet before taking the bunnies there. The information you provided is wrong. An unspayed bunny has an 80% chance of dying from mammory cancers before their 5 years old. Spaying my Acacia eliminated her territorial and hormone behavior and if all goes well, I can expect her to live to be 11 or 12. (re-gurgitating what Jess said;) )

I might also point out, pine shavings are detrimental to rabbit health. The kiln dried ones are fine but regular grocery strore pine and cedar shavings contain phenols which can irritate bunnies sensitive respiratory tracts.
 
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