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How long will it take a rabbit to grieve their bond mate? Also, head tilt?

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Apollo’s Slave

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Apollo has been acting a lot sadder, which of course, I had expected but not really prepared for. For the first few hours, he was really good, binkying, running around, eating a ton of hay. But as we settled more into the evening, he began to get more reserved, didn't eat as much, and stayed in my room even when I left the door open. I know he misses Athena, but I don't want him to stay like this. I ran out of forage a few days ago, so I don't really have anything I can put on his hay, so I've tried adding on crushed treats to see if that helps him eat it. How long does it take for them to grieve their partner and go back to normal? Or will they never go back to normal? And how do I make him happy again? I know to give him lots of love but he doesn't want me to touch him

Also, I'm slightly worried that he has a head tilt. He can hold his head up like normal when he's running around and eating and stuff like that, but when he pauses and stares, his head flops a little to the left - I'll insert a picture when I get one. It's not a big droop like the rabbits that I've seen when I google it, it's more like when you make a weird noise to a puppy and they cock their head to the side. I'm booking him in for a vet checkup tomorrow though, and hopefully, we can get an appointment for very soon.
 

JBun

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Him turning his head might not be health related at all. It's possible he's turning his head to the side trying to listen for sounds of Athena's presence.

I think all you can do is just spend time sitting with him and make sure he continues to eat enough. And maybe try and distract him with things you know he likes. There's no exact timing to this. Some rabbits move right on, some really grieve the loss, so much that the owner decides they have to find their rabbit a new companion right away. It's just a matter of giving it time to see how he copes, and continue to monitor how he is adjusting.
 

Mariam+Theo

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Does he have a toy, blanket, or stuffed animal that Athena really loved? Most rabbits like cuddling with things that smell like the other rabbit after they lose them.
I wouldn't force cuddles between him and you, let him come to you. I would stay in the room with him and not leave him alone so he doesn't get lonely. What are some of his favorite things? I know you have said he loves his slinky, maybe stuff the slinky full of veggies? Hide treats around his wooden hidey houses?
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Thank you. I’ve been keeping an eye on him and he seems okay. He was chewing my mirror earlier like he usually does, and has been eating a good bit of hay, just a little less than usual.

I washed all their blankets, and beds on Monday, so they don’t smell like anything at the moment. But I’ve given him one of her old beds to see if that helps - it hasn’t been washed but she didn’t use it for a little while. And I’ll try using his toys to get him to interact a little more :)
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I thought I’d give an update!

We just got back from the vet. They said he weighs just under 5lb, and is a healthy weight - so at least I know he’s not fat! They did say he had gained weight since last year, but it wasn’t a problem.
They checked his tummy and said that he had normal stomach sounds so they weren’t worried about stasis. Clipped his nails and checked his hocks (all good too)! And finally, they said they couldn’t see a head tilt during the examination but gave us Panacur to give him for 9 days, and said to keep an eye on it in case it gets worse, but they don’t believe it is an issue. So all round, he’s healthy and fairly happy :)
 

Diane R

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I thought I’d give an update!

We just got back from the vet. They said he weighs just under 5lb, and is a healthy weight - so at least I know he’s not fat! They did say he had gained weight since last year, but it wasn’t a problem.
They checked his tummy and said that he had normal stomach sounds so they weren’t worried about stasis. Clipped his nails and checked his hocks (all good too)! And finally, they said they couldn’t see a head tilt during the examination but gave us Panacur to give him for 9 days, and said to keep an eye on it in case it gets worse, but they don’t believe it is an issue. So all round, he’s healthy and fairly happy :)
That all sounds very good but I would not give Panacur for 9 days as that doesn't do anything at all for EC. If you're going to give it, it should be for 28 days.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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That all sounds very good but I would not give Panacur for 9 days as that doesn't do anything at all for EC. If you're going to give it, it should be for 28 days.
Ah okay! I'll buy more today. Is it something that they can like overdose on or something like that? Like if he doesn't have it but I still give the full 28 days, it wouldn't hurt him
 
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Diane R

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Ah okay! I'll buy more today. Is it something that they can like overdose on or something like that? Like if he doesn't have it but I still give the full 28 days, it wouldn't hurt him
It's never a good idea to give medicines unnecessarily but either you treat for EC (28 days) or you don't. At one point (not sure if this is still the case) the expert rabbit vet advice in the UK was to treat all newly adopted bunnies and their mates with a 28 day course of Panacur. I did this when I adopted BB 8 years ago. Panacur is not terribly dangerous but it can reduce appetite. You could get an EC test (special blood test) if you wanted to avoid giving Panacur when he doesn't need it.
 
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