5 mo. old messy, bad boy

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Postby Bunman » Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:56 am

Hi Dean. You may want to separate him & the cage while you do the cleaning, to relieve the stress for you.

I think the posts above have pretty much covered the territory. There are people who would be glad to take on a difficult rabbit. You can screen them so they know his issues & also assure yourself that he'll be getting a good home.

You could work thru HRS or another agency to make sure of this. You could look for another rab more temperamentally suited for you; people are always looking to rehome bunnies.
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Postby esc » Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:58 am

Yeah, I'll definitely second Bunman on contacting the House Rabbit Society (http://www.rabbit.org); also checking on Petfinder.com to see if there are rabbit rescues listed for your area. You might also want to post to a list like Etherbun (a Yahoo group) to ask for more info. about rescues. Many good groups are small and can't afford to maintain a high profile on the web, etc.

This guy sounds like he needs someone with experience in working with aggressive rabbits, and there are some folks out there who are able to do this - it certainly isn't for everyone! (My girl was bossy - and is still very exuberant - but she's a notch or two down from this guy.)

you did the right thing in getting him out of his old living situation, and I know you're trying your best to do the right thing by him now. That counts for a lot!
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Postby lynnette » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:13 am


I am sorry to hear of your troubles with your new rabbit. Sounds like you have had a tough time with him.


I think you may have already tried this page for advice, but thought I would post it just in case. There is a section which sounds like your bun, but you have to scroll right down to the bottom of the page for it.

I have seen somewhere that with extremely aggressive bunnies that the best way to deal with them is to give them lots of love, but that it really really hard to do consistantly. If I find the article I saw on this specifically I will pm it to you.

Good luck with him, you obviously care very much to try so hard. I hope his "time out" helps.

Merry Christmas

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Postby esc » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:05 pm

Am also wondering if the vet gave you anything for pain control post-op? If I'd had major surgery, I might be inclined to bite, too... ;)

Not to sound like a broken record, but there could indeed be something going on physically that might make your rabbit more prone to react in the way he does.... sometimes, as with us humans, a good checkover (and a second opinion) are very helpful at uncovering - or properly diagnosing - physical problems. Pain can make us humans irritable at the very least (I know from personal experience).

In some ways, this might be a lot like dealing with an infant/small child who is in pain but has no way of expressing their discomfort except by screaming, crying and acting in "unacceptable" ways - and vice versa, since it can be very tough to comfort a child who isn't yet able to speak or understand explanations of why they're hurting.
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Postby ColoradoDean » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:47 am

Update for Blue:

I am pleased to announce that it has been a month since Blue has bitten me (5 months after his neutering). Of the 4 experts consulted, only one, my vet friend, believed I could turn him around. That’s how bad he was. My wife suggested one day, months ago, that I get down on the floor and give him the nose-to-nose, that that might break down the barrier we had. It was too soon to do that. He bit me on the nose perfectly centered top and bottom, otherwise I would have had a pierced nostril. Yes, it bled and it hurt and I told my wife to get down and see how it worked for her, but she wouldn’t do it. Many times, he was on the brink of a one-way ticket elsewhere but, due to schedule conflicts, he had multiple fortuitous reprieves.

Up until now, it has been constant goodie time, with me giving him treats throughout the day, and very little reprimands. Luckily, he is very smart and there have been few occasions when he has been only mildly bad. The indiscriminant pooping anywhere he felt the urge stopped within weeks. More of concern was his occasional urinating outside his box around the house, but that also stopped for good—I hope.

Funny thing about my plying him with goodies was that I knew I had to have something in his mouth while I could give him rubbin’-lovin’ at the same time. Then he associated my hand with treats, of course, and he began making lightning-fast runs at my hand even when it was empty. At first, I would lose my nerve and jerk it away, and he would go after it. It took a while for me to leave it still while he would give it a nip.

The last altercation we had is a little amusing. Without any treat preoccupying his mouth, I was bravely, I must say, massaging his back. I then rubbed the top of his back foot and he went to bite me, but at the last second he stopped, turned his head back forward and you should have seen how big his eyes dilated, like wow, that was close.

Later that day, I was sitting on the carpet and he came up from behind me. I looked down to see that he had put his head down right beside my hand and he was leaving it there. I took that as his way of letting me know we had turned the corner. I got out my camera and took his first picture. We’ve been buddies ever since, and there is no longer a problem with me servicing his house while he’s in it. No more silly and frantic diversions!

I submit this update for everyone who might have a similar problem with an aggressive rabbit and need reassurance that there is hope. Perhaps Blue was insecure, with trauma somewhere in his past. Perhaps it was only a hormonal thing that took time after his neutering.

We’re at the point now where he is allowed to roam the house 14 hours a day while we’re here. I believe it will be soon that his out time will be even when we leave; that’s how smart he is (and lucky) for a little guy who has his first birthday this July 4th.

It’s amazing what a lot of work rabbits are. To succeed, it takes time, requires non-stop love and patience, and tactile and verbal reinforcement at every opportunity. Good luck to all. May your efforts be as worthwhile as ours have been.

And may George Bush stop screwing up the world soon. Real soon.
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Postby Ellie » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:57 pm


I was so happy to read your update on Blue. From your previous posts it sounded like you wren't going to be able to keep the guy. Though I understand why, I couldn't help but feel for him.

I hope people with an aggressive bun will read your posts and realize that perseverance really can pay off.

Good luck to you and Blue. May you have many happy days together.
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Postby esc » Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:53 am

I'm so happy to see your latest post! Congrats to you for not giving up on this guy - what a time you've been through together. Have you thought about writing something for the HRS about your experiences with this guy? Might really help others in a similar situation.
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Postby zuchinno » Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:13 am

ColoradoDean, this is a wonderful story. And I agree with you about eveything.
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Postby chafey » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:40 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! I have had a similar experience with a rescued rabbit. it took a year before i could pet her and she almost went back to the humane society several times. now when i put my hand by her she puts her head down and waits to be petted. thank you for keeping him, i cant rescue any more rabbits.
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Postby indi » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:54 am

I am DELIGHTED for you both :)
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Postby molkite » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:44 pm

Aww I'm so glad you've worked it all out!!!! xx
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Postby babybunnies3 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:06 pm

Wow, thats a great story to read, very pleased you managed to become friends in the end!
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Re: 5 mo. old messy, bad boy

Postby ColoradoDean » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:10 pm

With a heavy heart I announce the passing of our beloved little man Blue. Born on July 4, 2006, he completed his final task a month ago today on March 14, 2017, nearing his eleventh birthday. After losing our first little Holland Lop at sixteen months, and then his luckier successor who made it a couple of weeks past his sixth birthday, we fully realize how very fortunate we were to have had Blue for over a decade of non-stop days filled with rituals and reciprocated love.

He was gladly agreeing to add new daily tricks for goodies until the very end. Good humored and mentally sharp, his health was excellent. His teeth were in fantastic condition.

Medically, the only daily concern we had for the last couple of years was with an eye that wouldn't adequately drain, from prior nostril damage from a bit of hay he snorted up and apparently it scarred, resulting in a wetness at the corner of his eye that would dry and cake. Never a big fan of being picked up (trauma before we got him at the age of five months?), nor did he appreciate being tricked when he was picked up, he was good about sitting on my lap as I would use one of my wife's tiny eyebrow comb/brush combos and GENTLY remove the crusty bits from the corner of his eye, then drop the eye with eye drops , then soak the spot with a mildly warm washcloth for a few seconds, then dab dry, fluff and comb. Of course, once back on the floor, if he didn't have a goody in his mouth within seconds he'd thump! The periodic use of Ofloxacin and Tobramycin were of no lasting help, unfortunately.

To diminish stress, I stopped all medical drops and began using the eyebrow comb/brush only, and sometimes the wet washcloth. I believe he understood I was trying to help him, for whenever he would be up on his cardboard box with its carpet top in his sunny Chaos Corner, he would stay still and allow me to comb and brush his eye daily without being picked up, and the washcloth every few days to clean the tender skin at the corner. A goody was always expected and delivered.

Initially, in case of possible infection, Baytril was prescribed twice a day for ten days. He hated the taste and the process. It required a lot of trickery to pick him up, which was excellent for destroying trust. Pure hell for us both to syringe his dose orally. Since he loved banana, I found it stress-free to cut a quarter of an inch of fresh banana and mix it with the Baytril and he gulped it off a plate within seconds. From that point on, we reserved fresh banana to be used only for medicine, not a treat.

His diet was Oxbow hays (five kinds) and pellets. Small piece of dried papaya daily. Twelve to fifteen heart-healthy rolled oats in the morning, which helped with decreasing goopie-poopies, we think. Pellets, hay and water (in a bowl) available at all times. We dehydrated strawberries (couple of slices per day), occasional dried banana slice, occasional dried or fresh pineapple, apple dried or fresh more occasionally, occasional bit of fresh peach or pear (his favorite). A couple or so fresh raspberry leaves daily, or mint leaves, but no lettuce ever. Beat leaves sometimes. We grated fresh carrots and slowly dried them in the oven, so he got a thimble-full of carrot crunchies everyday. He got other store-bought treats, but he worked for them with runs down the hall, etc. Believe me, we had activities throughout the day to spark his little brain. He was always a willing, expressive, entertaining singer and dancer at night when my wife would put him to bed for the best goodies of the day. He had such personality!

Blue had stasis maybe a half dozen times in his life. He was uncomfortable for a few hours, would re-position himself constantly, then he was okay and back to eating. And since he didn't like going to the vet, we were never in a rush to unnecessarily stress him.

He seemed perfectly fine his last morning. Then mid-day, he couldn't get comfortable. I picked him up and had him run back down the hall in trying to get him to get things moving. No luck. A couple of hours later, he made a sound with his teeth which sounded like a person walking in wet, squeaky rubber sandals. When my wife got home from work a couple of hours later and he did the teeth grinding again, we took him to our vet. His temperature was 96 degrees and dropping. I had no idea that he was now dying and, in leaving him at the vet's overnight, it would be the last time I would rub his little paw. He died fifteen hours after the onset of his discomfort. Had I taken him to the vet hours earlier he would quite likely still be with us.

I told that little guy everyday when I laid down on the floor with him how important he was to us. To me especially, though I did tease him for not detecting the cancer I hadn't known I had in my kidney, like how some dogs can sniff it out. Once my cancer was discovered and my kidney removed, I told him he had to get me through this cancer stuff. Exactly one week after being told I was cancer free, Blue had done his job, and he was gone. I should have asked him to get me through the next four years, to 2020, if you know what I mean. For the sake of the world and me.

So, please, when you hear the sound I described with the teeth, waste not a minute in getting your best little friend to the doctor and you won't have failed him.

And see? A five month old messy bad boy treated gently can turn out all right after all.
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Re: 5 mo. old messy, bad boy

Postby Bindi » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:30 am

Sorry to hear that, what a good age he was.

Unfortunately hindsight is always 20/20 and you can often end up kicking yourself over not doing something better or sooner and all you can really do is try to come to terms with it and learn from it. I've made mistakes in the past as well and they do haunt and you never forget the furry ones. I hope that bit gets a little easier with time.

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