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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BEHAVIOR 9 Year Old Rabbit Attacking

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    • andyrichin
      Participant
      13 posts Send Private Message

        We have a 9-year-old Holland Lop who has been the absolute sweetest rabbit since we got her at 4 months old. 2.5 years ago she lost her mate, and shortly after started showing signs of Snuffles (Pasteurella). I know the bacteria lay dormant in most rabbits but can be brought on by traumatic events. Anyway, we’ve been treating her on and off with medication, and now she gets a daily dose of Metacam, along with mixing in antibiotics when things get really bad. 4 months ago we rescued a 2-year-old male hoping they would bond and be mates. She has no real interest and they’ve been in some pretty vicious fights, so they are completely separated by way of gates (she is free-roam, he is not). In the last month or so (3 months after we got him), she’s become extremely aggressive toward us, biting and attacking. To the point where she’ll draw blood when she bites you. She’s in attack mode. We now have to be cautious around her, getting on the floor, or putting our faces near her because she seems to “snap” at any point. One minute she’ll let you pet her, then all of a sudden she’ll turn and bite your leg or arm.

        I know there are a lot of factors at play, and I think any of the following could be attributed to her behavior change: age, long-term illness (although she seems very healthy), other rabbit (she didn’t display behavior the first 3 months), some sort of cognitive issue (dementia?). We aren’t really looking for answers but wanted to see if anyone had ever experienced anything like this before. Our vet is at a loss, and so are we. We recently started her on daily doses of CBD to see if anything changed, but so far no luck.

        Thanks!


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
        16821 posts Send Private Message

          Considering her age, could it be a hormone imbalance? Adrenal disease can cause erratic/hormonal behavior in spayed/neutered rabbits.


          • andyrichin
            Participant
            13 posts Send Private Message

              It certainly could! Have you dealt with adrenal disease in animals before? Or seen any instances like this?


          • LBJ10
            Moderator
            16821 posts Send Private Message

              Not personally, but there has been more than one case on the forum. It wouldn’t hurt to check into it, even if it is just to rule it out.


            • DanaNM
              Moderator
              8839 posts Send Private Message

                I’m assuming they are both spayed and neutered?

                What have you tried in the way of bonding them, and did you have them living side by side at one point? I wonder if confining her to a smaller area would help, as she may feel stressed by having to defend such a larger area from an “intruder”.

                I do wonder about medical issues though. There be something else going on that’s triggering her to be more defensive?

                . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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            Forum BEHAVIOR 9 Year Old Rabbit Attacking