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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 THE LOUNGE Bun sleeps on back

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    • Jupiter_Flemish Giant
      Participant
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        HI GUYS

        As you can see, my rabbit enjoys sleeping on his back. If I were to let him lay long enough, he would be asleep rn. I love the way he does it, I just want to know if it can hurt him? But isnt he adorable!!!!!


      • Bam
        Moderator
        16806 posts Send Private Message

          Very young rabbits often like to sleep on their backs. I’ve never heard that it could be harmful in any way. The human should not put the bun on its back, (aka “trancing”, however sometimes a bunny savvy vet will do trancing for certain procedures to avoid using a tranquilizer drug), but if the bun itself chooses to lie on its back, it’s fine.


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          8839 posts Send Private Message

            In the picture the bun appears to be “tranced”, which is not recommended. it can be stressful to the rabbit even if it appears that they are sleeping. There have been studies that show it slows the heart rate, and it rare cases this can be dangerous to the rabbit.

            . . . 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.  


          • Jupiter_Flemish Giant
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              I fell so bad for doing this to him. I truly thought it was cute, but if it hurts him I will never do it again. I hold my cats like this, and from what Ive read I thought that it would be ok.


            • Jupiter_Flemish Giant
              Participant
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                My rabbit has since been sleeping on his back also, and I thought it was fine because the lady at the breeding den held him on his back to check his gender. Now that I think of it, she was a rabbit breeder, whos house looked like a rabbit puppy mill .


              • DanaNM
                Moderator
                8839 posts Send Private Message

                  Don’t beat yourself up, I used to do this too when I was younger and had 4-H rabbits, before I knew it was stressful for them. Sleeping on their back is a bit different, there is something about being flipped and held that triggers the “trance” (also known as “tonic immobility). It is still used somethings for medical procedures or things like nail trims, but most rabbit welfare groups recommend avoiding it if possible.

                  . . . 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.  


                • Jupiter_Flemish Giant
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                    I was wondering why that he was so calm when I clipped his nails. I was like ¨Mom, he’s not complaining or anything!¨ and we thought it was bitter-sweet. While I cut his nails almost the exact way I wanted them, we were worried that maybe there be an underlying issue. I’m glad you told me!


                    • DanaNM
                      Moderator
                      8839 posts Send Private Message

                        Here’s a method for nail trimming that doesn’t involve trancing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9KemnaTGIs&ab_channel=Howcast

                        I would give this a shot. I have in the past used trancing for rabbits that are VERY difficult to do nail trims on, but only when the only alternative was a trip to the vet (as I figured a few minutes of trancing was less stressful than a full-on vet visit). Most of my bunnies do very well with this method, especially when I have a helper.

                        . . . 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.  


                      • LBJ10
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                        16821 posts Send Private Message

                          Haha! I wish I could do that! 😛


                        • DanaNM
                          Moderator
                          8839 posts Send Private Message

                            It only works for Myra and Bonnie! I’ve had to do some other gymnastics for the other buns 😆

                            . . . 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 THE LOUNGE Bun sleeps on back