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Devi

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My two male rabbits (both are fixed) were bonded but it seems to have broken last Sunday ending in a fight between the pair with lots of fur pulled out. I have them separated right now using ex-pen panels so they can still see each other and can't fight. at this point, they are:
1. still grooming on occasion and semi-cuddling each other​
2. seeking each other out.​
3. but they mainly sit loafed staring each other down.​
But every time they are together without the barrier they fight starting with them going nose to nose and then circling each other before the fur starts to fly with them going for the belly areas of each other with their teeth. the worst one being one having the other down on his side as he attacked him. I'm not sure how to proceed or if I should even try to rebond them. They have never been separated since their bonding, the only thing that happened was I took them both for a vet checkup (in the same carrier) and they got vaccinated, and a week later they were fighting.​
 
First, if you haven't already, I'd recommend checking both buns over very thoroughly, including the belly, as it can be very easy to miss injuries hidden in their fur.

If one wasn't feeling well post vaccination, that could be enough to spark something. Sometimes when a bun is in pain or feeling unwell, it can cause them to show reactive aggression towards the other bun.

The problem with a bonded pair having a serious fight, is there's a chance they won't rebond. And from the sound of it, it does sound like there was extreme aggression. So I feel I also need to add this caution, that the behavior of going for the belly with teeth (or claws), is an attempt to inflict serious, possibly fatal, damage to the other bun. If you feel they're to the point already of being too aggressive and reactive towards each other, it may be the point of no return already, and no rebonding should be attemped or it risks serious injury occurring.

If you do feel there's a chance and would like to attempt to rebond them, I'd suggest keeping them completely separate for at least a couple weeks. They essentially need time to forget the fighting that's occurred.

Then if you want, try a brief highly supervised interaction, to see if they're ready to be rebonded. But be ready to immediately intervene and separate, carefully with a soft broom or gloved hand, etc. You just don't want to get bit yourself or risk harming them, but also need to be ready to try and prevent a potential fight and injuries occurring.

If they start up with escalating aggressive behavior, I would intervene immediately and keep them separated several more weeks before trying again.

If they're showing any aggressive behavior between the pen bars of their separated areas, you may even need to put up cardboard or other physical barrier, to block sight and contact, or even remove one bun to a separate room. They'll need time to forget each other and the fighting that's already occurred.

But even given time, there are no guarantees. Some buns, once they've had a real fight (not just minor bonding dominance behavior), may not ever rebond. And the more aggression and fighting that's occurred previously, will further diminish the chances of a successful bond occurring.

I'd suggest refreshing yourself on bonding and the signs of what escalating aggression looks like. Sometimes buns will start to become slightly aggressive, but with good intervention it can be stopped before it escalates into an all out fight, where bonding then has to cease. Because once that fight occurs, chances are high bonding won't be successful at any point.

The hope though, is that this was prompted by the vaccination and that they'll be inclined to rebond once any ill effects have worn off. But that becomes less likely each time aggression and fighting is allowed to occur.

https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
https://cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
 
First, if you haven't already, I'd recommend checking both buns over very thoroughly, including the belly, as it can be very easy to miss injuries hidden in their fur.

If one wasn't feeling well post vaccination, that could be enough to spark something. Sometimes when a bun is in pain or feeling unwell, it can cause them to show reactive aggression towards the other bun.

The problem with a bonded pair having a serious fight, is there's a chance they won't rebond. And from the sound of it, it does sound like there was extreme aggression. So I feel I also need to add this caution, that the behavior of going for the belly with teeth (or claws), is an attempt to inflict serious, possibly fatal, damage to the other bun. If you feel they're to the point already of being too aggressive and reactive towards each other, it may be the point of no return already, and no rebonding should be attemped or it risks serious injury occurring.

If you do feel there's a chance and would like to attempt to rebond them, I'd suggest keeping them completely separate for at least a couple weeks. They essentially need time to forget the fighting that's occurred.

Then if you want, try a brief highly supervised interaction, to see if they're ready to be rebonded. But be ready to immediately intervene and separate, carefully with a soft broom or gloved hand, etc. You just don't want to get bit yourself or risk harming them, but also need to be ready to try and prevent a potential fight and injuries occurring.

If they start up with escalating aggressive behavior, I would intervene immediately and keep them separated several more weeks before trying again.

If they're showing any aggressive behavior between the pen bars of their separated areas, you may even need to put up cardboard or other physical barrier, to block sight and contact, or even remove one bun to a separate room. They'll need time to forget each other and the fighting that's already occurred.

But even given time, there are no guarantees. Some buns, once they've had a real fight (not just minor bonding dominance behavior), may not ever rebond. And the more aggression and fighting that's occurred previously, will further diminish the chances of a successful bond occurring.

I'd suggest refreshing yourself on bonding and the signs of what escalating aggression looks like. Sometimes buns will start to become slightly aggressive, but with good intervention it can be stopped before it escalates into an all out fight, where bonding then has to cease. Because once that fight occurs, chances are high bonding won't be successful at any point.

The hope though, is that this was prompted by the vaccination and that they'll be inclined to rebond once any ill effects have worn off. But that becomes less likely each time aggression and fighting is allowed to occur.

https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
https://cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
Yes, the very first thing I did after breaking them up was to check them over from tail to nose for injuries. And Thankfully the worst was a couple of thin fur spots on the smaller one.
When They first fought last Sunday I broke it up it was just an extreme chase and circle (no actual biting happened here) kept them at a distance from each other for a bit by using the ex-pen panel thinking they disagreed on whose the boss or who got what toy, then I lifted the barrier and they played fine outside the pen then once they got back in after a few hours they started fighting again worse than before ripping at each other's fur.

So I broke it up and checked for wounds and put the barrier up between them once more. And since then within minutes of being together without the barrier they fight. And each time it gets worse even submission poses from the one (he's the usual submissive of the pair) is getting ignored by the other (the usual dominate bun). Their very last fight was yesterday (12-02) after 5 days apart that's when they started to go for the underside of each other. They show no aggression with the barrier up. But the smaller of the two (he tends to be the submissive bun) I see him being a bit more unsure and more defended against the other even with the barrier..but then he was the one who got attacked and gets attacked each time. He tries to submit to the other bun when the aggression starts but the other bun refuses it. So I'm not sure if they will rebond.

for clarity, they only had 3 fights with the third being the worse one. Before that I would pull them at any show of aggression and separate them. and that last fight was cause my husband pulled the barrier in spite me telling him not to that they will fight.
 
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Hopefully they just need a break from each other for a few weeks, and this will help reset the situation. Best of luck! These buns of ours can be so unpredictable sometimes.
 
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