Found bunny, need lots of help.

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Rebekah Venero H

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Hello, I'm a newbie here.
Two hours ago I was the happy owner of 3 cats who looked after themselves, I went shopping to a store some blocks away from my home and while coming back minding my own business I saw some street dogs surrounding a small box, then one of them put it's muzzle inside the box and pulled out a bunny by an ear!!! I was so shocked I just yelled at the dog and it let the bunny go, I picked up the bunny and took it home, it was just a rushed decision but I couldn't leave it there, the problem is I know absolutely nothing about bunnies, zero, nada de nada, and I don't know what to do with it, I have Googled a lot of things but is just too much info so I guess I need a crash course in rabbit welfare, where should I start? What should I do in this moment? How do I feed it? Can you potty train a bunny? Do they need vaccines? What about parasites, flees or ticks? I plan to keep the rabbit until I find a better place for it or if I learn how to look after it properly well then make it part of the family.

Please help and keep in mind that:

In this moment is the dead of the night where I live so I can't go to a vet right now and I need to go to work very early tomorrow as well as my husband.

I really know nothing about buns, I can't for the life of me guess if I have a male or female or how old it is, all I know is that it weights very little, it's ears are not that big, white fur, black eyes, huge paws, I can venture to say it looks like a baby.

We have a 6yo girl and a 1yo baby, both are gentle with animals as we have cats but I wouldn't trust the baby near the bunny as I don't know the bunny.

I live in a rural town and people here see bunnies more like food than pets however this bunny seems quite used to human contact and does not look like those meant for consumption, on the other hand, the fact that it was in a box, in the street indicates that it was abandoned, poor thing.

I have no suitable place to keep it, nobody sells proper hutches around here so I'll have to make it a place to live.

English was my first language but I haven't really used it since I was veeeery little, please excuse my mistakes.

I do want to learn and I'll do my best. Please help, meanwhile I'll be checking your lovely forum.
 

JBun

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I'm not sure what food you are going to have available to you, but the basics for eating would be primarily free feeding a grass hay(good quality, not moldy or containing toxic weeds, the type suitable for feeding to horses) or fresh long stem grass. A good quality rabbit feed pellet, 1/4-1/2 cup per 5 lbs body weight per day, which is basically hay and vitamins made into a pellet for rabbits. You can feed veggies and leafy greens, but it's best to gradually introduce those into the diet to give the rabbits digestion time to adapt to the new food. And water in a water dish.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Food/feeding_en.pdf

You can use something like a puppy play pen for your bun, or some sort of wire panels. Rabbits can even be free range house rabbits, with the proper rabbit proofing done to protect against things being chewed, especially power cords. But since you have cats, I'm not sure this would be a consideration, unless your cats are outdoors.

Rabbits can be litter box trained. Cat litter boxes will work. You need a rabbit safe litter(not clumping cat litter) like a wood(not cedar) or paper based litter. Topping the litter with hay is what most of us rabbit owners prefer.
https://bunnyapproved.com/litter-box-set-up-for-rabbits-what-are-the-choices/
http://myhouserabbit.com/rabbit-care/litter-training-your-pet-rabbit/

No vaccines in your country I believe. If the rabbit doesn't have thinning fur from fur loss, isn't scratching excessively, doesn't have dandruff, doesn't have scaly skin, and doesn't have black specs in the fur, then there are probably no external parasites. If the poop comes out looking like round balls of a medium brownish color, and smooshes easily, with no sign of worms in the poop, then there are probably no internal parasites of significance to worry about.

If the bunny has any wounds, you'll need to make sure they don't get infected, or if already infected they will need the appropriate antibiotic treatment. Some antibiotics will kill a rabbit, such as penicillin given orally, so you have to make sure the antibiotics are safe to be given to rabbits.
http://www.medirabbit.com/Safe_medication/Safe_drugs_main.htm

Just a note about vets. Cat and dog vets usually don't have the correct knowledge to treat rabbits. Rabbit vets require very specific knowledge and training, as rabbits are very different to cats and dogs. Many medications used for cats and dogs, can actually be fatal if used on rabbits. If you happen to be in Lima, there is one listing for a knowledgeable rabbit vet.
http://www.rabbitvet.net/LatinAmerica.htm

Here are some good websites with good rabbit information, including medical information.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/index_en.htm
https://rabbit.org/

Well done for rescuing this poor bun.
 

Rebekah Venero H

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Thank you for your reply, I'm reading all the links, I'm feeding the bun fresh veggies these days as i can't find a good quality pellet, the ones I've found are the ones meant to get rabbits fat fast, I'm still looking though. I can't find hay where I live or maybe I'm not looking in the right places, people here feed their rabbits and guinea pigs "alfalfa" (I'm not sure if it's the same in English but I think it is) and fresh corn leaves, I've offered those and bunny seems to enjoy them, am I doing the right thing? We have a big yard and is not raining heavily yet so the bunny is roaming freely, it doesn't like to be inside (or maybe it's just scared because of the kids) we set up a sort of hutch with an old bed frame and bunny has been hiding there and coming out from time to time to eat and drink, cats have looked and smelled it but mostly, once the novelty was over, they've just left it alone (I keep saying "it" as I don't know if it's a he or a she, how to know?) We will get it a decent hutch though before the rains start. I've checked it's fur add it's clean, no bugs, however it has some hair knots that seem to be pulling on the skin, is it ok if I cut them?
 

Preitler

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Hi,

fresh corn leafs are fine, it's a sweetgrass after all - if they are sprayed with Insectiucides and other toxins I would use them only as an emergancy feed, not for a long time.
Alfalfa is ok, too, it's somewhat rich in proteins, which is great for growing bunnies, but it doesn't hurt when offered along other stuff.

Shouldn't be any problem cutting matted fur out, only reason not do do it would be temperatures well below freezing.

I don't know what your vegetation looks like, but simple grass and weeds other animals eat are fine for rabbits. Also thistles.
 

Mariam+Theo

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Where will the rabbit be living? Inside or outside? You need to find some Timothy Hay or Orchard Hay because Alfalfa hay is not good for adult rabbits. Can you send a picture so I can try to find out what kind it is, that is if you don't mind. I will also need the weight. To find out how much it weighs, look at the link below.
https://www.wikihow.com/Weigh-a-Rabbit-without-the-Correct-Scale
 

JBun

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Where will the rabbit be living? Inside or outside? You need to find some Timothy Hay or Orchard Hay because Alfalfa hay is not good for adult rabbits. Can you send a picture so I can try to find out what kind it is, that is if you don't mind. I will also need the weight. To find out how much it weighs, look at the link below.
https://www.wikihow.com/Weigh-a-Rabbit-without-the-Correct-Scale
The OP is in a foreign country and doesn't have the same access to the usual rabbit supplies that we do. Which means that they can only do the best they can to feed a balanced diet to the rabbit, based on what they have available to them. Alfalfa might not be ideal for an adult rabbit, but it might be the best the OP can do in their circumstances. And if it's supplemented with veggies and the corn leaves, the alfalfa might be just fine, especially if it's still a young rabbit(which it sounds like it might be) then the alfalfa is just fine and is actually better since it's higher in protein and calcium, which young rabbits need.
 

JBun

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Thank you for your reply, I'm reading all the links, I'm feeding the bun fresh veggies these days as i can't find a good quality pellet, the ones I've found are the ones meant to get rabbits fat fast, I'm still looking though. I can't find hay where I live or maybe I'm not looking in the right places, people here feed their rabbits and guinea pigs "alfalfa" (I'm not sure if it's the same in English but I think it is) and fresh corn leaves, I've offered those and bunny seems to enjoy them, am I doing the right thing? We have a big yard and is not raining heavily yet so the bunny is roaming freely, it doesn't like to be inside (or maybe it's just scared because of the kids) we set up a sort of hutch with an old bed frame and bunny has been hiding there and coming out from time to time to eat and drink, cats have looked and smelled it but mostly, once the novelty was over, they've just left it alone (I keep saying "it" as I don't know if it's a he or a she, how to know?) We will get it a decent hutch though before the rains start. I've checked it's fur add it's clean, no bugs, however it has some hair knots that seem to be pulling on the skin, is it ok if I cut them?
Rabbits can do just fine without pellets if you give them the right balance of nutrients. I would think alfalfa, corn leaves, and veggies will be fine for your bun. If you can get a salt lick, I would offer that as well, since this is something that is usually added to the pellets.

The matted fur can be cut out, just be very careful not to snip the skin. Putting a comb in between the scissors and the skin can help prevent an accidental nick.

How to determine sex.
http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/education-resources/articles/rabbit-care-articles/how-to-sex-your-rabbits/

It sounds like you're doing great. This bunny is lucky you happened along at just the right time.
 

Bam Bam

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Hello Rebekah
Everyone here has given you amazing info to care for your bunny.
I’m just going to say thank you for taking on the responsibility of caring for your new friend. I wish people here would do the same when they even get a rabbit and decide later they don’t want him or her.
Rabbits can be extremely loving and social and I know you will fall in love with your new friend fast.
 

AmberKoenders

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The things I can think of to add:
  • Look for pallet food that all looks the same (the grey/green, all shaped the same kind). They contain all nutrients they need and some bunnies are picky about their food when offered muesli type feed (all kinds of different shapes, colours and types of feed mixed) and they won't eat everything - and thus al nutrients - they need. If you don't have much time, don't worry about it, they need some kind of food and if you can find muesli it is just fine for now :)
  • Feed your bunny about as much hay per day as the bunny is big. So about the same volume hay as the volume of bunny.
  • Keep fresh water to drink accesible to the bunny at all times. Keep in a heavy bowl so the bunny cannot knock it over and maybe elevate it a little bit to avoid getting dirty things in the water.
I hope you can find the things you need, or any alternatives you can find. Good luck with your bun <3
 

Mariam+Theo

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I recently spoke to someone who also lives in Peru. He said that you should be able to find that kind of rabbit food at a pet store. You probably don't live in the same town as him though. Alfalfa Hay should be fine if the rabbit is young.
Just as Bam Bam said, thanks for taking him in and not leaving him for the dogs. :)
 

Rebekah Venero H

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Thank you all for your kind replies, I'll keep looking for pellets, one store offered to bring me a bag of better quality ones made for pet rabbits, so I'm waiting, I live in a big town and good stuff for dogs and cats is easily found, buns however are hardly seen like pets and as I mentioned before I was only able to find low quality pellets, this particular pet shop though brings healthy food on demand so my hopes are set there, if this fails too I'll order some food online and I'll made them send it as I do with everything I can't find here.
At the moment the bun has been named Mr(s). Ears by my daughter and it's probably going to have a long term stay with us as the kids are all smitten with the rabbit.
I'll try to address some questions, I've asked a local carpenter to make a hutch for the bun, meanwhile it's been living... well... all over the place :oops: it is roaming free in the yard and we've used an old bed frame to make a "roof" if it rains, Ears seems quite happy hiding there and some times takes his leaves with him inside.
We have a bowl of water outside for the cats (we change the water daily) and we've seen the bunny using it, should we put a different bowl for the bun?
I understand that alfalfa may not be good for an adult bunny so maybe giving it along something else? About the corn leaves I was worried about possible insecticide usage too, I've been discarding the outer leaves and keeping only the inner ones (those closer to the corn) for the bun.
I've also seen Mr(s). Ears (I checked the link on how to determine the sex but couldn't bring myself to examine the poor thing so closely) nibbling at some grass leaves in the garden, we use no pesticides and just let it grow, is it dangerous for the bun? I like to see it hopping and running in the garden and wouldn't like to have to limit it's recently acquired freedom.
I'm trying to upload a picture, and I'm probably failing but at least I tried. :)

20181129_170805.jpg

PS: I've tried to put its food on a bowl but the bun keeps taking it away so I've given up and now I just put it where Ears wants it to be.
 
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JBun

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Are you kidding! That looks like a bunny paradise!

Grass is the preferred diet for rabbits. Grass hay is just dried grass, and that's just for convenience and for those of us who aren't lucky enough to have lovely fresh grass we can feed our rabbits. In fact, forage is a much better diet for a rabbit anyways. If it were me I would skip the pellets. If you don't have an extremely reliable pellet source with high quality ingredients, there can actually be contamination problems with pellets, which can even cause severe health risks for a rabbit. As long as you have that nice grass and vegetation for the bun to feast on, I would just stick with that, and if you want to add in some veggies and limited fruit as treats, that's an option too. You'll just want to make sure bun doesn't eat all the grass up and there is always enough growing for him to munch on.

What a lucky bun! He's adorable and looks to have found a wonderful home with you. I'm not certain, but just from the picture he does look to be a younger bun, possibly around 12-14 weeks old. Fully matured is around 6 months old.
 

Evelyn Gomez

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What a beautiful bun! Oh my are those eyes blue? I'm swooning. Looks to be a young lionhead perhaps.
 

Bam Bam

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OMG what a beautiful bunny.
You have gotten great advice so I just want to say thank you for rescuing your bunny.
I have been part of a rescue group and most people here usually report to us there is a domestic bunny loose. Very rarely do they rescue the bunny.
I know you will become a great bunny owner.
 
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