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Home Forums BONDING Bonded Pair Now Fighting

This topic contains 3sd replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Vienna Blue in France 2 years, 8 months ago.

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    Hi everyone! We are the proud bunny parents of 2 bonded bunny pairs. One pair lives upstairs and the other downstairs and it has been this way for 4 years now.

    The pair that has suddenly started fighting is our almost 7 year old spayed Netherlands Dwarf, Lucky and her 2 year old neutered Holland Lop mate, Mozart. They have been bonded for over a year and a half now and were happy as clams together up until Saturday. Mozart is Lucky’s 2nd bonded mate as we lost her first mate back in 2015. She was our special needs little girl and taught Lucky what it meant to be a happy bunny. Lucky and Mozart bonded very quickly after Mo was neutered and while there was the occasional push for dominance (Lucky is and will forever be Queen Bunny) they never ever fought. They are huge snuggle bugs, shared litter boxes, food, etc. They share a very large NIC cube cage when we aren’t home then are out in the downstairs when we are.

    We have no idea what sparked the first fight but we woke up to chunks of both of their hair in the cage Saturday morning but they were otherwise acting normal. We checked them over and found no visible wounds and they were normal for the most part the rest of the day. Woke up again on Sunday to hair in the cage again and they pretty much just left each other alone yesterday until later afternoon when they started chasing/fur pulling while they were out in the room. We got them separated quickly and our girl seems to be the instigator. We tried stress bonding in the car last night in hopes that would shake them out of whatever funk they’re in and it seemed to work for a few hours until she lunged at him and he started giving it right back.

    We put a divider in the cage last night to keep them from fighting and they seemed to be doing okay. Laying near one another, being calm (although Mo seemed more freaked out by the divider, Lucky seemed to care less) and generally not paying each other any mind. We tried removing the divider tonight to see if they’d cooled down and not even 10 mins in Mo seemed to be asking her for grooming and when he started to hop away from her she lunged and a nasty hair pulling fight once again resumed. We couldn’t see any wounds on either minus what looks like a small scratch inside the top of MO’s ears. We’ve since had to spilt the cage entirely because Lucky has started trying to bite MO’s face through the cage every time he comes near her.

    We’ve never had this happen before and are at a loss of what to do next or if we are even doing the right thing right now. The rescue where we have gotten all our bunnies from (except Lucky, she was our first and showed up in my parents backyard when she was just a baby) always handled the bonding so we are quite inexperienced on the actual bonding process. I’ve reached out to the rescue for guidance as well but don’t know how quickly I’ll receive a response and don’t want to do anything that will possibly further damage or irreversibly break their bond.

    Neither appears sick, they’re both eating/drinking/potty-ing and acting normal. Both had they’re yearly checkups within the last couple months. They are both going through huge molts right now and the weather has gone from cold and rainy the last couple weeks to warm, dry and windy. So I don’t know if that’s the culprit but their molts haven’t caused fights before. I just don’t know what to do and am feeling extremely helpless and heartbroken right now.

    Thank you so much in advance for any help or advice you can give.


    Krista (and Lucky & Mo too)


    Boston's Mama

    I’m not much help as I haven’t had this experience before ( all mine have been singles except one pair that never had a falling out ) so all I can offer is the first step ( which will be the most important right now anyhow until more experienced help can lead you to next step ) which I’ve read many times on here -seperate them completely to seperate cages or double divide your cage ( so there are two barriers with enough space between the two bars to stop anyway of scratching / biting etc )
    One divider won’t stop attempts to attack and any further attacks / fur pulling or nips will have a higher chance of them not rebonding

    I wouldn’t be attempting them together at all at this point, I’m not sure as I said on the exact steps but I think it’s usually a week of being separated then very slowly moving the cages closer or removing one by one seperation barriers at a slow pace

    Hopefully some other binkybunny members with experience here will jump on soon


    Boston's Mama

    Also during their separated time try to demolt them as much as possible incase the need for more grooming than each is use to providing is the cultrit – or being too warm with the weather changes you said your having at the moment – the extra fur may be bothering one or both of them.
    If they aren’t chewers you could add a blanket to each of their cages / half of cage and after a few days break from each other you could swap their blankets to the other ones cage daily – helps to reintroduce their smell of each other before attempting the rebonding


    I’m not sure what’s causing this either, but if absolutely everything is as it usually is (and has been) I can only think Lucky is maybe in discomfort of some sort…. and doesn’t want mo near her….

    I know moults can cause personality changes in buns but to start attacking a bonded buddy? If that were the case I’m sure there wld be more posts about it….

    I can understand you feeling helpless…. can you get her checked out by a vet, just in case? And don’t forget to take Mo with you !!

    Keep us updated. Please.

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