Found Mini Rex - Need Guidance on Care

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Munha, Sep 7, 2017.

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  1. Sep 7, 2017 #1

    Munha

    Munha

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    Hello everyone. Late on Monday night when taking my dogs out before bed, I spotted a domestic rabbit in my neighbor's yard. I'm fairly sure she's a black mini rex. I've reported her online, have asked around the neighborhood, have reported her with animal services, etc. So far I've not been able to locate her owner but I plan to keep her until I do. She is very affectionate and loves to be petted, loves to play, etc. so I feel like someone has to be missing her terribly and I want to take the best care of her possible until she can get back home.

    I got her a cage, water bottle, food dish, Timothy hay, pellets, a grass tunnel, a bunny chew, bedding, a litter pan, and some treats. Because of the situation I have no idea how old she is, however, she has a small dewlap. I tried to weigh her on my food scale (which she didn't love) but I think she's right about 3.5 pounds. I've been giving her lots of the hay, some pellets in her dish and 1 or 2 little treats (either a dried papaya chunk or a timothy/dried apple disk) a day. She had diarrhea on her first day but everything was solid by the next evening with a rabbit diet. She's not eating many pellets and barely touches the treats but she loves her hay!

    Is there anything I should urgently know or any mini rex specific information I need to be aware of? I had a lop when I was a child but that was many more years ago than I would like to admit. I appreciate any help and guidance and will continue reading the forums to attempt to educate myself. "Esther" the bunny and I thank you!
     
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  2. Sep 7, 2017 #2

    Munha

    Munha

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    Adding a picture of "Esther" in case I'm totally wrong on breed type! Appreciate the expertise here!! :)

    Esther.jpg
     
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  3. Sep 7, 2017 #3

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    So you have a rescue bunny! Literally rescued by you. Chances are high that the owner just released her on purpose. That, unfortunately, is all too common. So this sweet bunny may be yours after all.

    It sounds like you are doing well already with her care. The fact that she loves her hay is just super! That is actually better than her pellets anyway. Who knows how long she'd been on her own. But the hay - being dried grass - is closest to a wild diet anyway. The pellets are just a supplement.

    Gradually you can begin to offer her fresh greens. The greens can then be part of her daily diet as well. There isn't anything breed-specific to know when it comes to feeding. All rabbits get the same. Mini rexes can be more prone to sore hocks, so keep her off of wired flooring.

    For specific detail on rabbit care, you can check here. In the meantime, sounds like you are doing well and congrats on what will likely be your new bunny.
     
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  4. Sep 7, 2017 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    I was typing my previous response while you were posting photo. :) She's adorable (and looks like a mini rex to me -- though I'm no breed expert). Hopefully those shavings are aspen -- not pine. She may take to a litter box easily which would make clean up easier (and less waste of bedding). That info can be found on the link offered above.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2017 #5

    Munha

    Munha

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    Thank you so much! I would have assumed someone let her go but she immediately latched on to me so I felt like someone really devoted some time to her. The shavings are poplar and were recommended at my local pet store. They use the same for their bunnies, chinchillias and guinea pigs so I think they should be okay. If not, please let me know and I'll swap them out.

    I got her a litter box today and put it in the corner she seems to prefer so I'm crossing my fingers she'll take it it! She is an absolute sweetheart so it won't be the worst thing in the world if she becomes mine though it adds an interesting challenge in my home... I have a greyhound, a beagle and a coonhound mix. So far they're scared and/or disinterested and I hope that continues! lol
     
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  6. Sep 7, 2017 #6

    majesticmoose

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    Aw, she is so cute! She is really lucky to have been found by you, you seem to be so knowledgeable about bunnies. I mean, what are the chances? I agree that if she is so friendly and sweet, somebody must have spent a lot of time with her, so how can they let her just go? That is or would be heartbreaking. How is she doing with your dogs? I have two mini lops and one of them is very scared of dogs - the smell is enough to freak him out, except for one dog, who seems to be rather special. I do a lot of dog-sitting and the annoying thing is that I need to keep them all seperated, which means the dogs are excluded when the bunnies and I watch some tv ;)
     
  7. Sep 8, 2017 #7

    Nancy McClelland

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    Very cute. Kiln dried pine is alright to use as bedding as the kiln drying gets rid of the Phenols--Cedar is never okay and is very toxic to small animals, so avoid it.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2017 #8

    Munha

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    Thanks, all. So far, she doesn't seem to care much about my dogs one way or another. lol When they get loud about something (e.g., saving me from the UPS guy they're sure is going to kill us all) she just goes in or behind her tunnel then pops her head up to check things out. She seems like she may have been in a home with dogs because they're far more curious about her than she is about them.

    I definitely wouldn't say I'm knowledgeable about bunnies but I had some fallback experience as a vet tech years ago and from a childhood rabbit. Those things, and the advice at my local pet store, got me through a few days without making her worse off for having found me. She's an absolute sweetheart that loves attention. She will actually push my hand onto her head to be rubbed when I stop. She's pretty darn easy to fall in love with. I may have stopped at the pet store tonight and bought her another toy... lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  9. Sep 8, 2017 #9

    Whiterabbitrage

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    Congrats! Sounds like you found a treasure. She's beautiful and sounds so loving. I'm glad you found her.
     
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  10. Sep 8, 2017 #10

    mark

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    Hats off to you for rescuing a bunny in need! That is awesome!

    And I agree: that is an adorable rabbit. :) She is lucky to have found you, or you to have found her, I guess. Good stuff!

    We are on our first rabbit and are in love with him. He's a great pet. We're going to have him fixed soon - feel a little bad about that - but it's all good since we're going to try to find him a bondmate through a local rescue.

    Keep up the good work, Munha!
     
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  11. Sep 8, 2017 #11

    Munha

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    Thanks so much! I'm going to wait a bit longer before I claim her as mine but if her owner doesn't come forward, she's headed for spaying too. Don't feel too bad about neutering - I understand it usually prolongs their lifespans and prevents many types of cancer. I never feel great about taking an animal in for any surgery though.

    It sounds like your bunny is a lucky guy too and very cute judging from your profile picture. T

    I appreciate the encouragement!
     
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  12. Sep 16, 2017 #12

    Munha

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    Hi! I just wanted to post an update on Esther and be sure I'm still on the right track. Since no one has claimed her and there are no reports of missing bunnies in my city right now, I've gone ahead and scheduled an appointment with a rabbit savvy vet for her on September 23rd (we'll be traveling to the next county for a rabbit savvy vet since the one in my city wasn't accepting new patients). She needs her nails trimmed terribly but I have no bunny nail trimming experience and would like to see the right way to do it from the vet before I make an attempt (my prior rabbit had free run of our upstairs and never needed his nails trimmed that I recall). Other than that, I want to have her examined, have her age approximated and schedule her to be spayed.

    She continues to be an absolute delight with a huge personality. I bought her the largest cage I could find online since she needed a bigger long-term home for sleeping and when I'm out. She is LOVING it! The first night she made a circuit - run through tunnel 1, run through tunnel 2, run into hidey hole, run out of hidey hole, hop onto balcony, ding bell, hop as far as as possible across the cage and repeat indefinitely. lol It was adorable and I watched her for at least 30 minutes straight. I've also got an XL exercise pen with an expansion kit on the way to give her a safe, larger area to roam in when I can't watch her as closely and it's due to arrive on Monday. I learned (the hard way) that she has a heck of a vertical leap and could clear the pen designed for small animals easily so this one is for dogs. lol Eventually I plan to convert a spare bedroom into a space that can be all hers but that will take me a bit of time.

    I have tried introducing a few greens (romaine, cilantro and baby spinach) but, so far, she has zero interest and just lets them wilt in the corner. I don't think she ever had anything but hay/grass in her previous home as it took a while to warm up to pellets and treats too. She is now eating pellets really well and goes running to her dish when she hears any plastic bag that crinkles the same way. She still seems to think her treats are toys for tossing around rather than eating so I got some orchard grass and oat hay to give in small amounts as treats since she's hay crazy. Are there any other treats/greens I should try to expand her diet a bit? I've been sort of hesitant to introduce much until she sees the vet and I have a clearer idea of her age.

    I learned she would rather go without water than use either of the water bottles I bought her so I've switched to a bowl and she seems happy. She was getting her dewlap wet so I got a different shaped bowl and it seems to have solved that problem. She's also not much of a fan of her hay rack and would clearly prefer I not use it but it keeps things much tidier so I'm hoping she'll adjust to it.

    Two of my dogs seem to not care a whole lot that she's here and one is terrified to go near her (some hunting breed, huh? lol). She seems entirely disinterested in the dogs for now too though they've still not yet "met" without barriers.

    I can't thank you all enough for the great information on this site and the free education you've given me! I've read EVERYTHING, including links I and others have been directed to and I really appreciate the guidance and encouragement. Any suggestions, ideas, etc. for improving her life are greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  13. Sep 16, 2017 #13

    Blue eyes

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    Sounds like you've got a good plan laid out and are making all the right adjustments. Rabbits do tend to prefer bowls over bottles for water.

    One tip on the greens is to be persistent. For example, choose one green only to start. Then keep offering that same type multiple times. Sometimes they refuse to try something new until it seems familiar. The more it is offered, the more "familiar" it becomes (at least sometimes it works that way).

    As for the hay, you can try putting it directly in her litter box if she doesn't like the rack. Rabbits won't eat soiled hay, but they enjoy the ease of sitting on it and grazing. I've done this for years now with my rabbits (after I finally decided to try what others had suggested) and have never looked back. Refresh the hay a couple times per day.

    As for the dogs, there is a page here that shows the way I've introduced dogs to rabbits. We have a couple large dogs and I've had prior dogs with prior rabbits as well. I do believe there is a right way to handle introductions and that "just letting them meet and see what happens" is not the way to do it.

    You have a lucky bunny!
     
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