Behavior changes within the last week

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Seattle

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Our 'new' rabbit Seattle (female Holland Lop, 7 months old) changed her behavior drastically in the last week. We adopted her 2 months ago, mostly litter box trained (with the occasional poops here and there). After her vet visit a week ago to see if she was in good shape for being spayed her behavior changed so much. She has been peeing everywhere but in her litter box, figured out how to jump out of her play pen (never tried in the previous months) and peed on her neighbor (Toby, neutered male). Also seems she started some nesting behavior (she's ripping paper towels out of my hand whenever I clean up her pee puddles and collects the towels). And the last 2 days she even started nipping us whenever we get near her. Is this all hormonal and is spaying her going to fix this? Anything I can try to get her back to her original litter habits or do we just have to sit this out and hope it'll get better?
 

Blue eyes

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Definitely sounds like hormones! How soon will she be spayed? The sooner the better. Forgetting of litter habits, excessive destructive chewing, aggression -- these are all typical potential behaviors that can manifest with the onset of hormones.
 
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Seattle

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She will be spayed on the 22nd this month. Luckily she has been a bit more calm today, still pees next to her litter box but went back to pooping in it. Small steps :) Also no nipping today, and she seemed more happy in general compared to the past week. Even with her living space smaller for the time being (less floor space for her to pee on) and her playpen completely covered to prevent any more escapes she was pretty chill today.
Thank you for your reply, I sure hope it's just hormones and she will get back to making less of a mess after surgery.
 

Seattle

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Quick update on our Seattle girl, she had her surgery last Wednesday. She did awesome, surgery went well and she started eating pretty soon after waking up (she's always hungry it seems). We got to take a very groggy bunny home the same day and then the worrying started all over again. She was very out of it, hardly moving and would only drink if we would hold her water right in front of her. No interest in food for hours, no pooping to the point where I fed her some mashed up pellets in water with a spoon. Within minutes she pooped and peed and I could go to bed for some sleep ;) It still took her another 24 hours to really be interested in her hay and pellets again, but treats and greens went in fine if we fed it to her (same with water). Little spoiled princess had us working for her. 3 Days after surgery she is back to her old self (minus the honking when food comes near her), she is back to eating a lot, making a mess in her (temporary) small enclosure and peeing everywhere she can. Work in progress but I'm so happy her surgery went well and she is doing great.
 

Catlyn

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Happy recovery for your girl!
Her honking when food is served, that might not be all about hormones. My royal pair (reference current profile picture) will always circle me when it's time for nightly pellets and every time hay is topped. Sir Storm is also a fan of small grunts when he impatiently waits for his meal. So your lady might just be excited for her food, and this cute little behaviour is harmless and mildly entertaining, so it wouldn't be a big thing if such an act never stopped.
 

Seattle

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Thank you! She is doing very well post surgery. Day 6 after surgery now, her belly looks perfectly fine (no swelling, redness) and she is back to eating like she used to. Her behaviour seems slightly less crazy, pre surgery she would go crazy whenever our male rabbit stopped by to say hello. But she's a lot less hyper now, no instant pooping and peeing whenever our Toby gets to say hello. And today she even used the litter box again for peeing! So happy about that, we only had 2.5 weeks of complete pee chaos with her and it was already driving my husband crazy. Might have been a lucky day for us, but we'll take it. Hopefully in a few weeks Seattle will be back to her old litter box habits, and we can finally start the real bonding between her and Toby :)
 

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I'm glad to read that she's mostly recovered!

But speaking from personal experience, i'd strongly suggest waiting at least a month after her fixing so that she could have time to let her hormones fade off more. The first time i bonded buns, a speedy moving stopped us from waiting enough and the end result was two unbonded bucks; the second time i pressed to wait, and it was a smooth sailing for the pair.
Undoubtedly, the time you need to wait also deoends on your rabbits, but unless it's very clear who's the boss and who's the groomer, it is safer to wait it out. (In my case, both are dominant-aligned so i waited about 35 days post-op, and the lady took the groomer spot) You can try pre-bonding with litterbox, toys, base swap and mild interior reconfiguration in their areas. Do keep in mind that you need patience and undivided attention for the first few bonding dates/days.
 

Seattle

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Thank you for the advice to wait for the hormones to fade away. We haven't started any true bonding with the two rabbits, they were next to each other in different enclosures before Seattle's surgery. I decided to move her one floor up (main living room) to keep a better eye on her after spaying, give our male rabbit a break from his crazy neighbor and to clean up the mess she made downstairs. Turned out our male rabbit freaked out when she was away at the vet, and he ended up running all over the house looking for her (he gets free roam time during the day when we're home). When she got back home our male rabbit had to see for himself she was back and every day when we let him out of his playpen he zooms upstairs to check on Seattle. Guess he forgave her for peeing on him a few weeks ago :)
We usually let them sniff each other through the bars, Seattle flops down for one of her many naps and Toby stands guard and we have to move him back downstairs. Plan for now is to wait a few more weeks before moving her back downstairs and set up her playpen next to Toby's. See if she can stay litter box trained this time when near him. For now it has been 2 days of no pee on the floor, very happy about it!
 

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I just want to say that your plan sounds solid, there seem to be early embers of the two getting along,
and Toby is just a dang cute name! Could you share a picture, i'd so want to meet him?!
 

Seattle

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Thank you, I hope our plan will work out. We had done a lot of research (me and my daughter) on bonding rabbits before we even considered adopting a second rabbit. But Seattle's crazy hormones made me worry if the two could ever get along (she peed on him! Toby was so upset for days, took a couple of days before he wasn't sulking and was interested in playing again). Hopefully taking it slow after her surgery will pay off in the end, I would love for Toby and Seattle to become friends and share a living space together. So far so good, Seattle seems more calm and is still using her litter box. Recovery is going great and as long as Toby's daily visit doesn't cause her stress we're letting him stop by. There was even some mutual grooming involved through the bars today!

Here's a recent picture of Toby checking in on Seattle:
IMG_20211223_114027.jpg
 

Catlyn

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Wow! He's lovely. He seems to be donning a silky coat with a silver sheen. How dare he be so cute?
Can you see where he's at in the dimmer evenings? Midnight black bun and dark room won't always mix if said bun decides to sprawl out on humans' typical paths.
Storm is notorious for laying bang in the middle of our usual walkways. He's ashy black and with a ticked coat, lucky for us he has white markings just in the right places that we don't completely lose him in the dark. Here's an example
With some hard light and deep shadows:20210821_154329.jpg

Without any direct light:
Screenshot_20211231-095651_Gallery.jpg
 

Alana g

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Hey guys new to this but my female lop the last 2 days is worrying me, she is rubbing everything with her chin over and over again my coffee mug the cage her toys everything and also digging up my carpet!
i am going to replace it but I’m not sure what with as she is digging and loves to bite skirting.
she is nearly 14 weeks and like above started pooping everywhere even tho previously litter trained.
I’m very confused.
A lady in pets at home told me I should of got a boy?? I mean are they really that different?
Any help please guys
 

JBun

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Hey guys new to this but my female lop the last 2 days is worrying me, she is rubbing everything with her chin over and over again my coffee mug the cage her toys everything and also digging up my carpet!
i am going to replace it but I’m not sure what with as she is digging and loves to bite skirting.
she is nearly 14 weeks and like above started pooping everywhere even tho previously litter trained.
I’m very confused.
A lady in pets at home told me I should of got a boy?? I mean are they really that different?
Any help please guys
It would be best for you to start your own thread under the appropriate subforum(eg. 'Nutrition and Behavior') to ask your questions, as posting new questions in another person's thread can cause some confusion for those posting replies.

 

Seattle

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That's so cute he sits and guards her 🥰 All good indicators for bonding.
He still goes upstairs to check on her and they have been on dates for the last week. We're keeping it short, they both get to go in the kitchen (which is new territory for both of them). Nothing exciting, Seattle hops around and explores while Toby watches her and sits on my daughter's lap most of the time. He is not a big fan of the kitchen and usually leaves the area after awhile. No signs of fighting/stress, just some sniffing, grooming attempts (Toby puts his head down for grooming and Seattle ignores him and hops over him) and after 10 minutes Toby is done waiting and takes off. Guess we're doing okay so far :) Pretty happy with the way it's going and hopefully we can do some living space swapping the upcoming week. I'm sure with all of us home again (back to remote learning here) we can speed up the bonding a bit if both buns are happy with it.
Most exciting news is that Seattle is completely back to being litter trained, she even gets most of her poops in the litter box and after her surgery turned into a complete love bug. She was already adorable but nowadays she's even more cuddly, silly and outgoing than before her surgery.
 

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