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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

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 BONDING Bonding After a Different Bond Broke

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    • abonelli
      Participant
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      Hello everyone!

      I have a little bit of a complex situation and I’d just like insight as to whether I’m rushing everything.

      I have 2 rabbits, Perry and Harry, both of which are around 1.5 years and neutered Netherland Dwarves. They had been bonded for their entire lives, but their bond randomly broke around a month ago. I immediately separated them and planned on keeping them apart for a couple weeks before working on rebonding. My suspicions are that this break happened because an immature cataract spotted in Harry’s eye last year started to grow much larger, which made Perry want to flip the hierarchy (he was the submissive rabbit); both have been checked by a vet and don’t appear to have any problems otherwise, and the cataract has yet to actively bother Harry.

      Last week is when things took a turn for the worse: while I was staying the night at my partner’s, Perry managed to shove his enclosure’s gate open and escape into my bedroom. While I don’t know for sure, I believe Perry clawed at Harry’s gate until his door opened, which led to them fighting for hours across my apartment. When I found them the next morning, Harry was immediately moved to my partner’s apartment. Both rabbits were examined and appeared to be fine overall–there’s just a scratch on Harry’s lip that appears to be healing normally. As of now, both are eating and drinking normally and have not shown any subtle signs of pain. However, we don’t plan on them coming into contact for the foreseeable future (if at all).

      My partner also has a rabbit, a spayed Smoke Pearl (I believe; I’m not too sure) named Piper who also happens to be around 1.5 years old. Because they are sharing the same apartment, we agree that their meeting is inevitable. What I’m wondering about is how long we should wait to start the bonding process. Harry seems to feel comfortable in his new home (he has always been very adaptable), but I don’t want to overwhelm him, especially considering that his cataract seemed to affect his first relationship. That said, he’s seemed pretty sad and lonely since his bond with Perry broke. I know that bond readiness varies from rabbit to rabbit, but would we be rushing things if we attempted to introduce him to Piper in the next couple weeks? And if that’s okay, how exactly should we go about it?

       

      (As a side note, I have not forgotten about Perry! I have also been monitoring him and his behavior and he seems content about being a solo rabbit for the time being. I don’t know how long that will last, and I am worried about the next steps with him, but that is definitely a different topic–I don’t want to load more than I already have onto this post!)


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7577 posts Send Private Message

      Awww, I’m so sorry. How stressful and sad. 🙁

      I agree that Harry and Perry should not be rebonded at this moment, or maybe ever.

      As for Piper and Harry, I think you could set up Harry in neighboring pen next to Piper for now and let him continue to get settled in but with her as a neighbor. He will likely benefit from having another bunny nearby, even if they aren’t bonded yet.

      I think you could also plan to do a relatively long prebonding period and a slow and gentle bonding method with them, just to make sure he doesn’t have any underlying health issues.

      So yes, I think you could have them meet (but not face to face) and have them live side by side for a few weeks. If that seems to be going well (the buns seem relaxed and healthy), then you can start cage swaps for pre-bonding (swap which bun is on which side every day or two) for a couple more weeks. If that is all going well (lots of relaxed behaviors), then you can start dating sessions in neutral territory.

      . . . 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 BONDING Bonding After a Different Bond Broke