Bunnies and anxiety.

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Jwcily

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Hello guys :)
So I am a kinda new bunny owner and have been for a month or so now. I have always suffered from anxiety and excessive worrying but I think that my bunny has brought my anxiety to a new level.
I am always worried about her. About a week ago, she had a bout of statis and had to be hospitalised and I was worried sick. Every call I got, I was worried that something bad had happened.

I am also extremely worried about her spay. But the problem is, it kinda isn't exactly in the immediate future. She's currently only 2.5months old so there's still a way to go, but my anxiety is getting to me. I worry about it almost everyday ): I'm worried that something would happen to her during the surgery and that I may potentially be harming an innocent, cute and loving creature. It really gets to me.

Do any of you feel that your bunnies are bringing out the worst of your anxiety?

Lots of love from Lily and I :)
 

curiouscarrot

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I was worried about Cassie having her operation (didn't go ahead) and I am worried that my new adopted bunnies won't ever like me :(

The thing is with anxiety and worry, not just about your pets, but in all areas, is whether it has any positive value. There's a certain positive about considering consequences in order to avoid them or to read up on information to save making a mistake, but where it is just worrying for worrying sake, it isn't useful.

Consider the absolute worst and realize that you'll be able to deal with it. If the surgery did turn out badly, you'll grieve, you'll get over it in time, there'll be another little person looking for a home. There is little point worrying now, because chances are she'll just come home afterwards as right as rain. That's the more likely outcome, but if something awful did happen, you'd cope. We do. As things turn out well over time, you should become less anxious about possibilities, because you'll learn that they aren''t likely to actually happen.

Please don't let anxiety ruin the joy of having a pet. Love her. One day, she'll die, we all will, but worrying about how and when is just pointless.
 

Jwcily

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That makes sense :) I guess I've always worried excessively and somehow getting a pet just gave me something to channel it to. Even if it weren't about her, I would still be worrying about something, regardless.

You didn't go through with the surgery? Do you think you ever will? I've seen many bunnies go in and come out just fine and I think I'm making the right decision and doing what I feel is best for my bunny.

Thanks for listening, though :)
 

curiouscarrot

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You didn't go through with the surgery? Do you think you ever will?
Seriously, stop worrying! It didn't go ahead today because the vet underestimated his fee and I showed up to be told that it was going to cost HEAPS more than I was told, so I'm going to check with my other vets as to what they'll charge. Yes, she's getting her operation, it's just a question of where and when.

Relax..... breathe in, breathe out..... :D
 

Jwcily

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For a moment there i was questioning my decision again! Haha, let me know how her spay goes :)

It's kinda funny how somebody on an entirely different continent is consoling me about my anxiety issues! I will, try to chill out for a little and enjoy my bunny.

Come to think about it, she acts a lot like this! :happyrabbit:
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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I fully understand your struggle with anxiety in general. If only it were as easy as "stop worrying."

For me, the rabbits are an outlet. They're calming and enjoyable, and I feel relaxed around them, which is a feeling I rarely experience elsewhere. But I'm sure that everyone copes differently.

If it is any consolation to you, you don't have to have your rabbit spayed. While it can prevent certain kinds of cancer, it isn't apparent to me that cancer is as prevalent as some reports claim. There has been very little research about health and diet of domestic rabbits overall, and the information currently out there is from very isolated studies.

Altering your rabbit is a choice for you to make, but not a requirement to worry over. Our two unspayed does lived full, happy lives to the age of 10 years old. One passed away about 6 months after her 10th birthday, she had a variety of unrelated health problems (pet store bunny). The other is still going strong. :)

Do what you feel is best for your pets, but don't allow the decisions to take over your life completely. For those who struggle with anxiety, pets are one thing that can really help with coping. I hope you can reach that point with Lily. :carrot
 

Jwcily

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I guess it is not so much about whether getting her spayed is a requirement. I've spent long thinking about it, and while there are healthy rabbits, like yours, who live a full and healthy life, there are also rabbits who aren't so lucky.

I think the worst part about this whole thing are the what ifs, because either way it goes, you don't exactly know where the other path would lead. While not spaying her may take away my worry of something going wrong during the surgery, it opens up the what if as to whether it was possible that i could have prevented some things from happening to her.

I guess you could say my decision to spay is the better of the two, unappealing options. And i probably will stick through with my decision, because no matter how much anxiety it brings me, i know that i would blame myself more if i didn't prevent the preventable :D

Well, there are some better days than others, where i just sit around and enjoy my crazy bunny. With anxiety, it's just a little harder to live in the now when you're constantly obsessed with the future :biggrin2:
 

whitelop

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I have mixed feelings towards my animals. I worry about them a lot and then they calm me down.
I worry when I give Ellie a new food, like 'is this going to cause a GI shutdown or will she be okay?' Or when I put her outside for a few hours, 'is a hawk going to get her or is she going to eat something poisonous in the yard and die right there? What if she got out?' Then I walk outside and she's happy as a clam and filthy from digging her way to China.
I have chickens too and they're a major cause for worry for me. Especially when I had little baby chicks, I always worried about them. Then I had issues when they were 3 weeks old and the hen rejecting two of them, I went out at all hours of the night to check them. On nights it rains I still can't sleep because I'm worried my poor big rooster is sleeping on his roosting bar in the rain instead of getting under the cover(that still has a bar).
And then I go out in the mornings and my not so small babies peck my feet and talk to me and I feel better. And my big rooster is a little wet but more or less no worse for ware and still mean as ever. So after all that worrying at night, I wake up and everything is fine.

I can't say that you are like that. I can't say that you wake up in the morning after worrying and then everything is fine. But sometimes, even if you worry about them you can't let it consume you. You can't let it take over your relationship with your bunny. There is always something that could go wrong and thats part of pet ownership. You just have to keep the worry in check with the animals, you have to put it in a box in your mind and remember that your pet loves you and no matter how long or short the time you have with her is, its always going to be the best time because having a rabbit is a special thing. The worry will always be there, but hopefully your love for your bun will override the worry.
 

Spikethebunny

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Oh yeah, I am anxious ALL the time over Spike. I call myself the crazy bunny lady. He gets bouts of gas once in a while (vet has checked him out - seems he likes to eat too fast and has a crazy sensitive stomach so has to stay on the most basic of diets), and every single time he stops eating and curls in the corner, I am practically having a panic attack - which, my husband always points out - probably just makes him MORE upset. The idea of going on vacation and leaving him for an extended period of time worries me. I have to go away in July for 3-4 days and although he will have a bunny sitter coming to feed and play with him (she comes twice a day), I am already stressed about leaving. I worry about stupid things like the power going out when I'm not there (it will be the middle of July and we live in the world's hottest apartment. If our a/c goes out, it will get really hot really quickly). Some nights thinking about that trip keeps me up at night. I know I am being silly and I cannot revolve every bit of my life around Spike and that I need to take this trip. But it doesn't lessen the anxiety.

So, yes, it does bring out my anxiety. But when I am home, and he is following me everywhere I go, and constantly giving me kisses or binkying or flopping, it all feels worth it. :)
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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Being worried is normal. When it comes to my rabbit having surgery (spay/neuter), I do worry about them. Having a vet I trust does help a lot, but I still worry.
With day to day stuff, I don't worry too much. Even with having 8 rabbits plus fosters, I can still manage. The main things that would be a concern are if they get in with each other. But that has happened and nothing bad came of it. I do realize that I am pretty lucky that is has not been more serious, but it does come down to knowing my rabbits.

Since you do have anxiety, I would suggest being prepared. Have a first aid kit and know how to use it. Your vet might be able to help you learn how to use it and what to do in an emergency. Even with stasis, you can start to force feed so it doesn't get too bad if you can't get to the vet right away. Being prepared means you can do something and are not helpless and have to worry. Even with a spay, ask lots of questions so you can feel more comfortable with what is going on. Bring her home that night so you can monitor her and even feel better that she is home. Most vets don't have much if any staff overnight, so she is better off at home with your anyway.
 

curiouscarrot

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I fully understand your struggle with anxiety in general. If only it were as easy as "stop worrying."
I understand more than my comment you responded to might suggest. I was only saying that because she was extending her worrying from her own bun to my decision about mine, on the other side of the planet....

As suggested, use the anxiety where it's productive. Learn what you can, take precautions against real risks, have your emergency procedures in place, etc. But beyond that, it isn't helpful to you or your relationship with your bun. Different people might have different ways that help them. For me, it's perspective - I can know that worse things happen and then it makes me keep perspective. For somebody else, that might fuel their anxiety - "it could be WORSE? OH NO!" Try to figure something that helps you.

Something that might help is to consider that the anxiety is self-centred and try to focus on the pets instead of yourself. If you are devoting attention to thinking about what might happen, that is focussed on unproductive feelings - your feelings. Instead of putting that energy onto yourself and your feelings, put that attention into something to do with the bunnies and/or something productive. Instead of thinking of the many ways your rabbit can get some horrible disease, think of the many ways she could enjoy her environment more. Design a new rabbit toy, then make it. Imagine making her happy with it and channel your energy into producing something for HER. The unproductive anxiety isn't helping you, and it isn't helping her. Think about enrichment, plan her a snack garden... Focus outwards.

There are lots of ideas for channelling anxiety, do some reading and try to find something that helps you with the way you think about things. Or not. You don't HAVE to do anything at all, just relax and enjoy your lucky pet, getting to live with somebody who cares so much. :)
 

Jwcily

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Hello guys! :biggrin: Today has started off well, with my worry kept in check. I won't say that it'll remain like this the whole day, but it's good to wake up feeling fresh once in a while :)

I fully understand the phrase "don't worry". I mean it makes a lot of sense and in fact, makes me feel a whole lot better even if I continue to. But I guess not worrying is difficult at times ..

When Lily was younger, I used to worry she would manage to get out of her cage at night because she was small enough to fit through the bars. There were days I would worry that I would find her flopped on her side in the morning, especially during her period of statis.

I did this with my dog too. I didn't get her microchipped because I read online that it "caused cancer". Well, the point is that I'm not going to let my excessive worrying control what I do for my pet. If it's what is best for her, then I'll have to keep my worry in check.

I just want to put a tiny disclaimer here that I'm not always like this about everything! My worry is mainly centred about what matters to me most. With time, I guess I'll mellow out and figure that life's alright :):biggrin2:
 

kmaben

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This is my first round of rabbits and I worried over them constantly. They are very use to me getting out the stethescope and doing a gut check and assorted other poking and prodding. It's been two years since we've had them and now I can just look and see who's feeling good, bad, or moody. I think the anxiety will deminish over time once you become comfortable with each other.
 

curiouscarrot

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When Lily was younger, I used to worry she would manage to get out of her cage at night because she was small enough to fit through the bars.
Funny story. When I got my dog as a puppy, I put her in a child's playpen at night, with lino underneath so that she would wee on that and not on the floor. She stayed in there, I'd go and fetch her in the morning, clean up the wee, all good. She then showed me that she could fit through the bars by walking through them. :D Even though she could, she didn't, she stayed in there all night. Just goes to show, something might be possible, but still doesn't happen. No point worrying about it. :D
 

DUSTBUNNY-CLYDE

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I worried a lot when I first got the boys, since it's been so long since I owned a rabbit. They were so messy and was constantly cleaning and worried if they were happy and healthy!!! hahahaha!! Oh and about their neuters!! I was a mess!!! since they are 7 mos. now and litter trained and very happy, my anxiety and worries have gone away. I wanted to be the best bunny mom and do everything correct!!! Now that I'm somewhat educated about them, I can just enjoy them!! good luck!!
 

napagirl

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OMG... you sound like me! Except my anxiety with Dimi didn't really start until after her recent gastric stasis and emergency care. Now I am beside myself, checking her all the time, thinking that if she is sleeping on her side that she is dead! My husband thinks I'm nuts. I don't want to go overnight anywhere, and worry about an upcoming trip. Uugghh. I also suffer from anxiety over the years... it just flares when I'm stressed. I wonder if there's a "rabbit owner" personality? LOL~
 

Jwcily

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I guess it is very possible that it is a bunny owner personality cause we all treat them like our babies! Haha I'm kinda jealous that most of you have already gotten the neutering pains out of the way, I'm still a wreck! It's good to know all your bunnies are happy and bouncing, even if they had problems because they are resilient little creatures.

My shock from Lily's gut statis has passed, but I used to get up every once in a while to check if she was still breathing when she was lying on a side. Haha, glad to know I'm not the only paranoid mother! :)
 

curiouscarrot

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I think you can get a distorted perspective about the "typical" owner when you are keen enough on your subject to join an internet forum frequented by other enthusiasts. I'm sure there are "regular" owners out there just feeding their bunnies "whatever" and not worrying about them dropping dead, the colour of their poo, or them getting some horrible disease but they probably aren't the ones posting on forums asking questions about their pets' every comfort, potential sign of danger or illness, or what fantabulous condominium they can build next to put them in. :D

Some anxiety is useful. It motivates you to gain knowledge, and use it. When it goes beyond that and it's wrecking your happy playtime and turning it into expecting something bad so you aren't enjoying your pet, then it may be better to try to divert that wasted worrying energy into something else.
 

lindemanbunnylover

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Don't worry! Your bunny is lucky to have you around. Without you, who knows what type of condition or situation she/he would be in now! You are an amazing bunny owner to have just discovered this website and posted on it!
 

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