Bunnies Fighting!!

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Crypo, Oct 25, 2018.

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  1. Oct 25, 2018 #1

    Crypo

    Crypo

    Crypo

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    Hello! I need help! I have 2 holland bucks that I rescued from a hoarding situation that are 5 months old now. Both were neutered 3 weeks ago. When I first got them at 8 (ish) weeks, there was a scuffle during a "bunny date" that resulted in a bleeding ear. I eased up on the bonding for a week, but still kept their cages next to each other. After that week, I slowly started letting them spend time together in a neutral area. Things went fine for 3 months; they would play, eat together, cuddle, etc., although I have never let them be together all night when I'm not just an earshot away.
    Anyway, brown bunny has always kind of been a jerk. He's not friendly, thumps me everytime I get close, and even though the buns would get along, he would still chase white bunny off frequently, then groom him. Lay down next to him and then nip him. Total mixed signals!! The day before their neuter appointment, BB (brown bunny) out of nowhere went after WB (white bunny) and bit him on his testicle. So bad in fact, that WB had a piece of skin dragging behind him from his genitals. Of course I separated them immediately and took WB to the vet. She said it was the worst fighting injury she had ever seen. She was hesitant to even do the neuter because of the severity, but I opted to have her do the neuter anyway, since surgery would be required either way to fix the injury.
    It's been 3 weeks now and I still have them separated. WB is so sweet and bows his head to BB through the wires of the cage, mirrors him and just wants his friend back, BUT, is it ever possible (or worth the risk) to attempt to bond them? I know the hormones play a big part, and hopefully the neuter will take care of some of that, but now I'm scared to ever let BB near WB!!
    If you read this far - THANK YOU! I need all the help I can get!
     
  2. Oct 25, 2018 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Hormones can take up to 6-8 weeks after neuter surgery to fully dissipate. Until then, it isn't worth the risk to try bonding them.

    Just to be clear, any "bond" they may have had when young really doesn't count as a bond. Babies don't have true bonds because the onset of hormones changes all of that (as you have seen).

    Is it still possible they could bond? Possibly. Male/male bonds are considered most difficult. The fact that they've fought in the past isn't great either. But I would see how they do still being kept apart but in proximity until 8 weeks post-neuter.

    When/if you do decide to test them out, be sure it is completely neutral space (where neither has ever been before). Have a board handy so you can use it to separate them if they do start to fight. Some people wear oven mitts to save themselves from being bitten.

    The only way to know if they will accept each other is to give it a try (when the time is right).
     
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  3. Oct 25, 2018 #3

    Crypo

    Crypo

    Crypo

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    Thank you! I will give it a month and try again.... very slowly. WB is so submissive to BB. He bows his head to him and just stood there when BB bit him, bleeding all over.
    So, you think it's possible that they can bond after this fight? WB clearly wants a bunny friend, and I can tell he's lonely not being able to be with BB (although their exercise pens and cages are both right next to each other). If they don't bond, do I just keep them in seperate cages forever? WB would be so lonely and unhappy without a mate :(
     
  4. Oct 25, 2018 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    If it doesn't work out, you could find a different bondmate for WB. You can find an already fixed rabbit at a rabbit rescue (different than a regular 'shelter') and they will work with you to ensure a bond. The advantage of working with a rescue is that if you try one rabbit and it just won't get along with yours, then they will allow you to try a different rabbit. They also typically allow someone to bring in their rabbit so they can bunny date to pre-screen for potential compatibility before bringing one home. I would suggest a spayed female.
     

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