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Forum BONDING Longtime bonded pair, all of sudden one is lunging at the other

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    • prince dorian the bun
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        Dorian and Miu have been bonded for about 2 years. We had one slightly broken bond when Dorian was sick and in hospital, but otherwise they are very snuggly. Tonight after putting them in their room I  double checked on them and Miu lunged at Dorian. They had just been eating their salad together and initially I didn’t think much of it, but she did it again and Dorian hid in their hideout. So decided it wasn’t just a little food thing. Anyway, let them both out the enclosure and now monitoring them. I am mystified what happened.

        Only thing I can think of is that I visited a friend’s foster bunnies earlier. I washed my hands but didn’t change out of my clothes and I cleaned their room right when I got in. Maybe I dropped some strange bun fur? I just sweeped their mats and misted them with diluted vinegar.

        Miu now seems less stressed. I think she may have some vision issues (shes has two different colored eyes and sometimes it seems like she can’t see well) so is more scent based than Dorian.  There was some attempted mounting from Dorian and she just slowly ran away rather than lunge. I sort of tried to distract him a bit, but mostly let them figure it out. They now are eating hay together.

        Still bit worried about locking them up for the night unsupervised.  If the other rabbit smells were the issue what can I do in future? I figure I will wipe down their room more thoroughly tomorrow. Should I be worried about the bond? Is it safe to leave them unsupervised? I would let the freeroam fir tonight. It’s pretty late, so rather want to go to bed.


      • DanaNM
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          I bet it was the smells combined with the cleaning, as you suspect. I think in the future if you change out of the clothes (especially socks) that came in contact with the other buns you should be OK (and hold off on cleaning their area a bit). If you see that bun regularly she also might become more accustomed to the smell and not react so strongly. Other possibility is maybe one of them is having a slight health problem, like maybe Miu was feeling gassy and grumpy or something?

          Although alarming, I don’t think I would worry too much about their bond. Sometimes bonded pairs do have little “spats” (especially in springtime!), but as long as it didn’t turn into a scuffle and they are mostly back to normal now they should be fine.

          . . . 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.  


        • prince dorian the bun
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            Thanks Dana! Hope you are well!

            They seem back to normal.  Miu response is often to lunge when she feels threatened and I suspect she is more territorial. She is much harder for me to read than Dorian.  No health issues for her, though Dorian is molting like crazy and had bad gas a few days ago. As for cleaning,  they both actually find it fun, Miu especially. She will do little binkies and lay in the dustpan, all very helpful. Definitely know not all buns enjoy it from helping with foster buns. I did notice that my leggings had fur on them and I had sat on their floor while tidying. It was after she had been eating pellets from that area she got super aggressive towards Dorian. (Sometimes when he’s too frisky she’ll do a quick turn and maybe stomp as a No! But she’s never chased him after he leaves or when he’s grooming her) She stopped after I thoroughly sweeped the rugs and misted then with diluted vinegar. Almost immediately,  which granted may be a coincidence.

            Definitely take your advice to change out of my clothes and socks in future!

            They have been snuggling together and she tipped over on him yesterday,  so I think we are good. Also I couldn’t feel any bites on Dorian, and he doesn’t seem scared of her anymore. Hopefully it was just stress of other bunnies smell. One of them was a girl bun, so wonder if that would trigger it more? In past it’s been mostly boy bunnies.

             


          • DanaNM
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              Glad they are back to normal! Girls def are more territorial towards other girls in my experience… it also could depend on the other bun’s spay status, etc. Lots of variables for sure!

              I was mostly wondering if by cleaning you removed some of their scent, and then accidentally deposited some of the other bun’s scent, so maybe it seemed more threatening to her?

              That’s adorable that they like cleaning, the image of them laying in the dustpan is too cute. <3 Cooper always tries to eat the rubber strip on the dust pan 🙄 , and Bonnie HATES any kind of cleaning, so it’s always just very chaotic. I always imagine they are like, “DONT TOUCH MY STUFF!” lol

               

              . . . 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 Longtime bonded pair, all of sudden one is lunging at the other