Bonded pair now fight and won't eat hay

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pbruno1111

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Jul 1, 2019
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Hi All,

I'm in trouble with my bunnies (male and female both neutered/spayed), a bonded pair for 4 years now.
One of the had GI statis 2 weeks ago and had to be taken to the vet and stayed in hospital for 6 days.
During this time her bonded pair became lethargic and stopped eating hay. They were always eating together before, most probably he didn't want to do it alone.
When she came home other problems started: They attacked eachother so they had to be separated and it can be clearly seen that they are both very territorial now. This never was an issue before. And things got even worse. Now none of my bunnies will eat hay, they have to be separated and sometimes even force-fed just to keep things going.
The male bunny who wasn't sick, just sad is a bit better, he sometimes eats hay on his own, but usually he has to be convinced. He eats greens and pellets well, but that wasn't his normal diet before.
The female who was and still a bit is sick won't eat any hay at all. She also eats her greens/pellets but no so much, that is why she has to be force-fed some times.
I have experimented with various hays with little or no results. The only thing both of them accepted and liked was a mixture from which they picked out wheat-grass leaves. That is the only dry hay-like stuff they would eat.

I would like to ask some advice on how to rebond them without causing too much stress that would interfere with their bad eating habits.
Or maybe I should first try to fix how and what they eat and then reintroduce them?
Any advice on how to get them to start eating hay again?

As for the rebonding what I have achieved so far is that they won't attack eachother and will stay close together in the bathtub,but nowhere else...even on neutral territory they don't like seeing eachother and won't get close at all.

I would be very thankful for any good advice on solving these.

Thanks.
 

zuppa

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Hi, I think this happened because your female was in hospital and when she came back she smelled not like home so your male rabbit refused to accept her you should probably keep her separated for a couple days so she could get her home smell back and then re-introduce them to each other.

For your existing situation I think that best would be to separate them completely so they can't see and smell each other for a week or two so they can forget that they had some kind of conflict there and then you can start all the bonding process as if they were new to each other, starting with switching their toys and toilets and cages hopefully they will re-bond quickly. They should start eating hay again and you're very good at trying offering it to them in different ways, good luck!
 

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