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Forum BONDING “Submissive “ bun suddenly Mounting?

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    • LittleLionMan
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      Hi there! I’ve been absent from this forum for a month, during which time my bunnies have been doing well! To refresh memories, were having some difficulty with chasing snd bullying from my new girl, Pixie. Since most of the issues stemmed from night time caging, I moved to free-roam and the issues largely subsided!

      a few days ago I moved back to my apartment with them, which Pixie has never been to. The first few days were fantastic without issue. Even yesterday was great, with them being inseparable and cuddling under my bed for hours and hours. Cut to 10pm when Wolfie (my typically submissive boy) decides to start exerting dominance. It was a lot of nonstop chasing and mounting from him from 10pm to 2:30am, which is when I finally broke down. I didn’t want to close doors and have them not smell and see each other, but I knew I couldn’t leave them out or in an enclosure together. So ultimately I caged him and left her out so he didn’t further establish this “my apartment” mindset. This morning there is no mounting yet but the day is young.

      I find the whole thing odd. Zero dominance issues from him and the first few days were nothing but bunny bliss. They also lived in “his” room for many months over the summer without issue, and he hasn’t been to my apartment in like 4 months. So my question to you all is what is happening? Has anyone else had a blip like this with random mounting? Or do I have to be concerned that their bond is breaking? In which case, what the heck do I do?!


    • DanaNM
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      Things like this can happen when you move to a new space. Best thing is just to supervise them and let them sort things out safely! It’s good that it didn’t lead to fighting. The mounting should calm down with some more time! When I moved my Bun Jovi was mounting his bonded mate really relentlessly, but it calmed down after about a week.

      It may also help to restrict the space a bit. Not to a tiny area necessarily, but having a large new area suddenly available can cause issues with some 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.  


      • LittleLionMan
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        thank you so much, Dana! I just set up a camera facing under the bed (where they are currently) to make sure all stays calm. Wolfie is still flopping in front of her, and they are still sharing the space pretty well. you can just see his brain turn from calm grooming mode to “must. mount. now.” Pixie (the slight bully before) actually seems much more submissive today. the whole thing is just a bit concerning given that I have my first in person class on tuesday – so I hope I can get it resolved by then. I’m thinking a vinegar-water deep clean may be in order today, as well as some pets and treats as I did during bonding.

        Out of curiosity, how should I handle it if he gets revved up again? I can keep my eye on them during the day, but the night time was pretty rough. I wasn’t sure if caging him was ok, but since they’re free-roaming I really didn’t know what to do. I guess I could get a pet gate to separate the rooms if need be? Bunnies are amazing but my god can they be stressful!


    • DanaNM
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      If needed I think penning or caging one bun is OK if it’s just while they can’t be supervised. Ideally though you just let them sort it out (as long as it’s not fighting). Giving some obstacles (like tunnels and hides with at least 2 exits) can help the bun that’s being mounted get a break.

      The other thing that I noticed with mine (but that might be specific to my bunnies), was that Bun Jovi got a bit dehydrated during the move, and I think that made him mount more (urinary issues are sometimes linked to mounting). I’ve also found that parsley and dandelion (both diruetics) trigger mounting in him. So you might also make sure Wolfie is well hydrated and avoid feeding either of those greens if you have been.

      . . . 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.  


      • LittleLionMan
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        Ah ok! I’ve definitely been getting too involved so I’ll have to trust them and the process. It’s interesting you mentioned dehydration. Wolfie has always been a really bad drinker but oddly has been much better after bonding with Pixie. My apartment is pretty dry, so it is totally possible he is a wee bit dehydrated. I’ll start adding more water to their lettuce to make sure they get in extra water. We have a wellness visit scheduled next friday, so that’s good considering all of this.

        They’ve been under the bed together for the past few hours. While they’re not really cuddling at the moment, they are flopping and sleeping under the bed together (positive?). They’re also still mirroring each other which is encouraging. Part of me thinks this might be a coup attempt! Pixie is a bit nervous in the apartment since it is new to her, and Wolfie is pretty confident in the space.  The other day I was happy to see him acting like his old, confident self. He may be trying to overthrow her when she’s “weak” hahah! We shall see!

        Thank you so much for your continued help and support, Dana! Your bonded buns seem similar to mine, so it is good to hear your experience!


    • DanaNM
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      That all sounds very positive! I think it’s normal for buns to kind of re-assess things over time, if that makes sense? In my other pair, Cooper and Bonnie, Bonnie is super submissive in terms of doing the grooming and who eats first, etc, but every once in a while she tries to mount Cooper! He just looks very confused. lol

      So yes, it’s normal to see mounting and even a little nipping in bonded pairs, so I would just keep doing as you have been and keep and eye on things.

      Have you every tried a pet fountain? I got one for my cat at one point and the bunnies liked it more than my cat did. 🙂

      . . . 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.  


      • LittleLionMan
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        Thanks so much! I deep cleaned the apartment and we went a good few days without any issues. They went back to flopping and cuddling together. Today I had to get out of the house for a bit, and when I came back they oddly close together in the back part under my bed. not really where Wolfie prefers to be, but they looked fine so I brushed it off. After about 10 minutes I heard scattering, and saw Wolfie back at it again.

        I *think* it might just be a dynamic change? She runs away and doesn’t try to fight, which is quite different than the first night it happened. He’s a few years older, is chubbier, and is generally slower than she is. He jogs after her and she doesn’t really sprint away, even though she could. So they both just jog around my apartment while Wolfie tries to grab onto her butt. I’m a bit frustrated to see it still happening but I guess im a bit relieved to see that she is just running away from him.


    • DanaNM
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      When he chases her are his ears forward or back?

      I agree that if the chasing is kind of a slow jog (with ears forward) then it isn’t something to be too concerned about (especially if they go back to cuddling after).

      How old is Wolfie? Older male (neutered) bunnies seem to get a little extra hormonal sometimes. I haven’t seen much info on it, but a few of us here on the forum have experienced it. The only other thing to keep an eye on is for any sorts of urinary symptoms. In your case it seems much more likely to be triggered by the move, especially since cleaning did the trick. There are cases where excessive mounting can be triggered by a UTI or bladder stones.

      I wonder if blocking access to the area under the bed might help? I can imagine that area would smell really familiar to him, even with a deep cleaning.

      . . . 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.  


      • LittleLionMan
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        I hadn’t heard about older males getting hormonal! He’s 5 and got neutered pretty much as early as he could. I don’t think his ears are back? It seems the most that happens is that his ears turn out (to hear) or move back slightly when he thinks he can mount her. But the ears never get in the position you would see if being aggressive. While he “chases” under the bed, he also will follow her through their castle and really everywhere. I saw him reverse mount Pixie and the poor thing just closed her eyes. It was a bit sad to see, not gonna lie. I also think his back nails may have scratched her (no blood) when I was trying to get him off, which was also sad.

        i have the vet appointment on Friday, so if there are any issues then I should find out then. Is there another way I would be able to tell if he has a UTI? They’re both eating, peeing and pooping as usual. The only difference is the freaking mounting! I hope it’s something similar to your buns and calms down after a few more days.


    • DanaNM
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      Yep, sounds like what Bun Jovi does to Myra. 5 is getting older but not quite senior yet in my mind (Bun Jovi is 12!). I do think it will get better with time and is almost certainly from the move, but I would still mention it to your vet. They can do a urine screen to look for an infection, and if they suspect sludge or crystals they can do an x-ray (I had BJ checked for both when the behavior got worse). Other symptoms would be peeing in weird places, dribbling urine, or straining to pee.

      . . . 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.  


      • LittleLionMan
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        I haven’t noticed those signs that much, but I will definitely mention it to my vet! I’m slightly impressed that Bun Jovi still has a spicy side at his age hahha! Wolf actually used to constantly pee outside of his litter despite being litter trained. He’s been pretty good since moving back he, though. So either his renewed litter skills are a sign of issues, or the new litter set up is working. We shall see on Friday! I’ll keep working on their bond until then! Thanks again, Dana! You always rock!


    • DanaNM
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      You’re welcome!

      And LOL yes Bun Jovi is just a dirty grandpa in his old age lololol

      . . . 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.  


    • LittleLionMan
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      Mounting seems to have calmed down or subsided (I hope)! we went to the vet last week and everyone is happy and healthy! They even did a fecal test for parasites even though my vet could tell they were parasite free given “they are quite robust!” The wording is just too perfect for me.

      QUESTION: I noticed pixie has an open cut in the corner of her mouth. It’s not oozing or bleeding, so I imagine it’s been healing for a few days. I’m not sure what it’s from, but can I treat it at home with vetericyn? Or do I have to take her to the vet to evaluate the wound? Never had a bunny injury before, so I don’t know the protocol!


    • DanaNM
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      That’s great the mounting calmed down and the clean bills of health!

      I’m not sure about the cut, can you post a picture? Any ideas what could have caused it? Also since that’s new topic you might get more replies if you start a new thread.

      . . . 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 “Submissive “ bun suddenly Mounting?