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I needed to vent about rabbit-related issues.

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Catlyn

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I don't know if it's a smart idea to vent here, but at least i know that people will somewhat get where i'm coming from.

You don't have to read it, i just feel like i really need to vent on all the rabbit-related issues i'm having.

I'm starting to think that it would be better if i didn't have rabbits as pets. Not in my country. Well, my family, to be more specific.

Last year, when we took Musti with us, we had an unified view on how to care for him and what to do. Times changed and our views changed as well.

Mh parents have retained their old-fashioned way of viewing rabbits-
"they don't need much space, anything they eat can be given, as much as they eat."

Mum is having an especially strong issue with giving the rabbits whatever, whenever, and all my efforts to guide her to act more responsibly towards my rabbits has been futile. She still does whatever the heck she wants. Of course, she's got some deep-rooted problems on her own, but it' a sorry excuse to cause indirect harm to my boys. Their poops have been wonky for the longest of times because their diet constantly gets ruined by mum giving them more-than-normal amounts of all the sweet vegs, also biscuits, white bread, grains, seeds, chocolate, potato chips and many other terrible choices to feed a rabbit. I never get to give them anything other than hay and little pellets at 8 because i need to balance out mum's impulsive and irrational habits.

" If they get sick, it's okay since "it'll pass" and he's fine! We can do fine without a vet! A rabbit is fine alone in the shed or in its cage(well at least that has changed for the better), it doesn't need toys! Two male rabbits don't need to be neutered before bonding, and it's fine if they "fight it out"-they'll settle down eventually. Why wait so long when we can try doing it shortly after the operation? They'll be fine!"
Clearly Lümi is not absolutely fine. He's now forever an unique, chip-eared rabbit.

I have come to learn the general proper ways on how to care for house rabbits and what they should have in their environment. My parents haven't gone along with renewing their views on rabbit care, and no matter what i tell them, it usually gets dismissed and ignored until the issue becomes absolutely unavoidable.
(Staring at you, nasty freaky joint abcess)
They seem to have no desire to learn further either, good and true informational sources are hard to find in our language and they understand close to none of the languages in which most relevant and useful information is being spread on.
I have tried translating very vital bits of information to them, but it has been of little use. The best it has gotten us to was that my bucks had all been neutered. Needless to say, my parents weren't happy about it.

I read Jbun's reply on one of my threads, and told my dad about the really important parts, that if we're already stopping by the vet, why not discuss alternatives to injective antibiotics. I found a website with the medication's description, in our language, and he didn't even bother reading through it, asking me in quite an angry tone "so what? Is this the only alternative?" To which i asked if he even remembered what the word "alternative" meant. I left the room and mum scoffed at me, telling me that i shouldn't disturb my dad when he's watching a movie.
Oh wow. I never knew that dad watching a crappy war movie was more important to mum than the wellbeing of our rabbits. I don't understand her- she'the one saying that i should get rid of my boys if i hate it so much, but she's the first one to cuddle and give treats.
Clearly we're on different pages when it comes to my boys.
I tried talking it out with them, they wouldn't understand where i was coming from.
Instead, mum started coming up with reasons why i am a bad bunny parent-not cleaning the rug, cutting it, not cleaning ANYTHING like ever. What's she think cleaning litterboxes and enclosures is? What's she think washing bowls and refreshing hay is? And I am the only one cleaning that **** carpet. Ever since my boys came inside, i've been the only one cleaning it. She can't come at me saying i never do a thing. That rug is "crap" to say the best-it's way too rough for the rabbits, it's hard to clean and it slips around from time to time. And as if a pair of small straight slits is going to majorly affect the carpet. Mum never cared for her carpets, but started caring when my rabbits had something to do with it. And then she idk, set a condition on me? Demanded from me?, saying that I had to buy them a new carpet. What the hell?
I wouldn't mind buying a new carpet in the slightest. I could find one that would be the nicest on the buns' feet and my wallet. But she would definetly hate the design.

I've come to realize that Estonia is not a particularly great place to own rabbits. There are close to no vets who deal with rabbits, and apparently finding a honestly savvy vet is a real headache. It makes me wonder if there even is ONE fully savvy vet here.
Rabbit enrichment equipment is nowhere near the "bare bones" minimum, good quality foods are overpriced and hard to find (i pay about 10£ for a 2kg bag of burgess pellets) , shipping anything from global companies is way way too overpriced- hubdreds of euros, i'm not kidding! and good resources in the native language are extremely hard to come by. There is not a single rabbit rescue in here. Like, absolutely none. Heck, there are only 5 country-acknowledged general shelters. Not a single one of them has rabbits in them. So the ideal version of "bunny pre-dates" is just words to me. There is no such option.

Even if i did decide to relinguish my rabbits, i'd have to do it separately for their broken bond. I wouldn't know where to start either. And i know if i ended up doing it out of spite, not as absolute last measure, i'd regret the choice for the rest of my life.

I don't know what to do. I'm just crap-posting in an absolute dump of a mood, shaking with sorrow and rage, so i might've worded myself as more negative and pessimist than the situation actually is. But i think it's not the case.

If you did read through all of it, i just want to let you know that it is much appreciated.
 

Mac189

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I'm sorry your rabbits are causing so much stress and your parents are failing to listen and heed your advice. That's always a really difficult situation. I get it too. I often fear that my age and the amount of time I spend gone at work and school makes me a terrible rabbit parent. I think you're doing great, hang in there.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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^ Agreed. It’s definitely hard for rabbit owners across the world, especially in countries that don’t have resources specifically for rabbits (or in their native language). Rabbit care is so different across the globe too, even just the opinion of outdoor rabbits in the U.K. and USA is different.
I’m also sorry about your parents! I hope they start to listen to what you say!
 

AVIE

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Hugs Catlyn! More hugs. If there is no opportunity to rehome them then their best situation is with you. Even if there were a shelter, I bet their best situation would still be with you. Despite the potato chip wielding mama and lack of state of the art nutrition, you give those bucks every opportunity that your research can find. You give them your heart. It sounds like it's a constant battle but you are the best bunny mother you can be.
 

Freedom

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This post really brought tears and frustration.
I see your posts and questions daily. You are doing your best to be the best bun parent. I hate the stress its putting on your relationship with your parents. Its frustrating that they don't listen to you.
I so wish you had better resources where you live.
I know you love your babies so much. I hope you can get through to your parents. Even if long enough until you are old enough to do more things for your buns on your own.
Continue what your doing. You are amazing doing all the research and working with the vets to get the help you need. Another option on food. Wonder if it would be an option for the vets to order it and you but it from them ?

Hugs to hope yours and their situation improves. Love them buns. I would hate for you to lose them or have to give them up.
 

JBun

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I'm sorry things are so difficult for you there. I think if you really do want to try and keep your buns despite the difficulties, I think you need to approach it with a mind set that there are going to be limitations on what you are able to do because of the home situation with your parents and because of where you live. Just accept it's not going to be perfect but that's ok. Do what you can, but know that even though what you are able to do may not be ideal, it's ok and just go with it.

If your parents are making it difficult and stressful for you, I would stop fighting it. Do what you can on your own, and if there are moments when you can quietly influence them, do. But don't make a battle of it. It's not worth having this stress and conflict with you and your parents. I think with the situation you are in, there will have to be a certain amount of acceptance on your part, that there are some things you won't be able to change with your parents interaction with your rabbits. If they are going to feed your rabbits crap, sometimes you may just have to let them do it and hope your efforts to provide a good diet, offset what your parents do. That's the best you can do, and that's ok.

With the difficulties with vets. Just do the best you can and don't worry about the rest. If you are unable to get what you see as the proper vet care for your rabbits, all you can do is make your best effort and leave it at that.

And just remember, those rabbits are better off for having you as their caregiver, no matter if they can't get the best vet care, or if your parents want to feed them junk food. They still have a happy wonderful life with you, and are lucky to have someone that cares for them so much. So just do your best, do what you can, and let the rest go. And just try and enjoy having them with you and your time with them. It's not worth anything making it feel so stressful and overwhelming that you don't feel like you can even keep your buns, when you clearly do love them and try and provide them with a good home and happy life.
 

Catlyn

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Thank you all so much for the amazing feedback and input! You make me cry and shudder in relief! It never ceases to amaze me how kind and caring this community is. All your replies give me essential support and hope to make things better the best i can.
Who knows, maybe i'll be moving to a more rabbit-friendly country to lead a better life in the near future(i do like to believe that i have the determination and almost-native understanding of english, would be a start to something.), maybe i can give my buns the life closest to my ideals when my parents aren't there to affect what sort of life we're having.
I've actually wanted to try living in another country semi-permanent or longer. Does anybody have any experience with swapping countries?
I guess that in the end i'll do me, they'll do them and that's the end of it.
 

Mariam+Theo

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I'm so sorry you're having trouble with your family! I understand how frustrating it is to have pets with parents who just don't understand how to care for them. My parents have begun to understand but it isn't near what I dream it could be. I have found that the best way to convince them of something and get them to be ok with something is to be respectful. I have taught myself to stay calm and to keep an open mind so I don't look upset when discussing something rabbit related with them. If I don't fight against what they say for simple things when it comes to something big they are more likely to be ok with it.
Maybe spend more time with your parents. Watch a movie with your dad and make him his favorite snack. Or go and talk to your mom about something she loves doing. When you make them happy they are more likely to want to make you happy later on. Obviously, your rabbits make you happy so maybe it will help the boys out!

I have some ideas to maybe make things better:
- When you see your mom trying to give the boys a bad treat, go up with a good treat (a pellet, a dried piece of fruit, or a BOSS), give it to your mom, and tell her that the rabbits will like your treat better and it won't mess up their tummy so they are more likely to want cuddles from her.

- When your mom complains about you not cleaning, don't say anything. She knows it makes you upset and that might be why she keeps bugging you about it. When she sees you don't react she won't find any pleasure in bugging you about it and eventually stop. In fact, go out of the way and clean something extra. Do the dishes, mop the floor, etc. because it will just prove her wrong. Never tell her that you did anything extra, she will know and will be grateful even if she doesn't tell you that she is thankful.

I'm sorry about your vet situation. There are always other options for medicines, so try the best you can with herbal treatments when your rabbits get sick.

I know you are an amazing rabbit owner and that your rabbits are so lucky to have you! I pray that your parents will begin to understand more about rabbits and that you will find good reasonable priced rabbit products. Good luck!
 

Mac189

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I really love Mariam's suggestion to tell your parents that the boys prefer healthy treats... if you can't beat 'em, trick 'em. As hard as it is, at some point, you may have to learn ways to make your parent's behavior not bother you. You know you're in the right.
As far as moving to a new country, I don't have much personal experience outside of longer-term travel, but I have quite a few ex-pat friends. Your written English is phenomenal, I would've guessed you were a native speaker, so that won't be too much of a barrier if you are interested in English speaking countries. My friends who have really thrived in a new country generally have made an effort to join a group or activity that has other immigrants, where they have an easier time making friends. Most of them have found that making friends with people who can understand their experience, at least in the beginning, really helps to make the experience of moving to a new country the best.

Your rabbits are so lucky to have found a place where their rabbit parent tries so hard. I think those of us on this site frequently fail to discuss in-depth how challenging rabbits can be as pets. Beyond the lack of vets and availability of food/supplies, we often have to act as experts because there are so few people that understand how complicated and fragile bunnies are. You're doing a fantastic job, hang in there.
 

nicolekline97

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Your writing seems very educated. All countries have different rules on how to visit long term or to become citizens. In America if a person joins the Army or other armed forces (we have some armed forces that are part time called Army Reserves, Air Guard, National Guard and Navy Reserves). Many places in America need people who speak more than 1 language. Best wishes.
 

Buttercup808

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A big embracing hug to you. I've not been on the site for quite a while and I randomly went on today and this topic caught my eye. Your story truly touched my heart... And I really wished I had some good advice for you... Please know that you are a great parent to your bunnies and you're doing your absolute best under these hard circumstances. They are so lucky that you care for them so much and constantly seeking out advice and help. I'm so glad there is a forum for bunny owners because it is the perfect place to vent, share stories, seek advice, etc. We are all here for each other sharing the same love for our bunnies. Wishing you and your bunnies, and your parents all the best. Warmest Aloha, Michelle, Butters n Luna
 

Scarlette

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Well, I understand your problems. My parents aren't probably that extreme, but they still believe in some more old-fashioned bunny myths. My mom feeds my rabbit unhealthy vegetables like broccoli because they are scraps, I've already ask her many times to stop but she loves 'spoiling' my rabbit to the extreme, like you can just compost you vegetable scraps in the garden! My dad on the other hand still thinks that it's okay to keep rabbits in small cages and hutches, I don't know if you guys already knew this but Corrie started out in a hutch in my backyard before I learned it was bad for rabbits, It took me really long to convince him because he was like "What do you mean? The hutch is like a whole mansion to the bunny!", well dad, guess what?, it's NOT a mansion more like a shack! Then, when he finally gave in he bought a PET TENT for my rabbit as permanent housing for my rabbit, he proceeds to buy a x-pen for outside, wtf? outside ?!? I asked him multiple times to let me keep the rabbit in the x-pen but he thinks the x-pen is ugly and its should belong OUTSIDE, at this point its a lost cause ;-;. But guys please don't worry about my rabbit, she gets a full day of exercise time (9:20 AM -8:30 PM) and she is on a good diet, also thanks for reading !
 

ChloeBunny

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Would it help to provide them with a well-respected and reliable resource for information, often from medical experts (in addition to this site)? The House Rabbit Society provides resources for bun owners and super valuable information, from proper care/diet to specific medical treatment (e.g., what emergency meds you should keep on hand): Frequently Asked Questions | House Rabbit Society and this specific link on that site lists international rescue organizations, incl. Europe International Resources | House Rabbit Society The helpful tabs at the top saved me numerous times providing info. that would have taken a lot of time to research/find elsewhere. As for the real-time experiences of others and their knowledge, this forum is your best connection.

I hope this helps in your efforts - I'm sorry it's been so challenging.
 
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Catlyn

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Would it help to provide them with a well-respected and reliable resource for information, often from medical experts (in addition to this site)? The House Rabbit Society provides resources for bun owners and super valuable information, from proper care/diet to specific medical treatment (e.g., what emergency meds you should keep on hand): Frequently Asked Questions | House Rabbit Society and this specific link on that site lists international rescue organizations, incl. Europe International Resources | House Rabbit Society The helpful tabs at the top saved me numerous times providing info. that would have taken a lot of time to research/find elsewhere. As for the real-time experiences of others and their knowledge, this forum is your best connection.

I hope this helps in your efforts - I'm sorry it's been so challenging.
Too bad that english as language wasn't really appreciated here 20-30 years ago. My parents rarely understand anything the site says, and i've seen them struggle translating even the simplest of sentences. So no, sadly any of the english-languaged links will do no good for them. If our country's info sources on rabbitbcare are still very heavily leaning on the assumption that house rabbits are the same as livestock ones, is there any hope that the local sources can prove of any help?
 

ChloeBunny

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Too bad that english as language wasn't really appreciated here 20-30 years ago. My parents rarely understand anything the site says, and i've seen them struggle translating even the simplest of sentences. So no, sadly any of the english-languaged links will do no good for them. If our country's info sources on rabbitbcare are still very heavily leaning on the assumption that house rabbits are the same as livestock ones, is there any hope that the local sources can prove of any help?
I understand what you mean, Catlyn...a very valid point. You are certainly in a difficult arena. If your parents have challenges with trusted outside sources, the links might be helpful to you in your care or possibly your conveyance of the information to your parents(?). They likely recognize the advances society has made in other areas over time; technology, medicine, automotive (i.e., seat-belts as a proven safety measure vs. when we didn't think they were necessary) and, hopefully, this reasoning might help them recognize the knowledge gained about house rabbits vs. livestock (the differences)? If not, perhaps those rescue connections (second link) to local sources would be willing to offer suggestions; speak with your parents or as a last resort, care for your buns. I certainly don't have all the answers, and any help those rescues could provide may be determined by how close they are to your specific location, but hope the suggestions help in some small way.
 
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Catlyn

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I thought that i would add this segment of information that i found from our country's veterinary board. The text is copy-paste and auto-translated, so many bits of it are quite odd and wacky, i tried fixing the translation to the best of my ability.
Now it wouldn't be too bad, quite good compared to most other local resources, but the VAGUENESS and the CONTRADICTION this arcticle has. And it's from the VETERINARY AND HEALTH board. This shouldn't be okay, should it?
I have added some remarks onto bits that really really irritate me.


The average life expectancy is 6-10 years.
'Das a big fat beeping wrong, right at the first sentence! Nowadays it is 10-14 and over!
Rabbits love to jump, run and make incredible hooks in the air. Many rabbits are happy to communicate with their owner. Rabbits like to be scratched and gently massaged between their ears and on their backs the most, after which a satisfied rabbit often falls on his stomach and starts gritting his teeth.
Generalization, folks!
Calm crunching means the same as purring cats. Rabbits make other voices, for example, growling(snorting and grunting, i'd say) means irritation, desperate squeaking means fear, thumping is a warning but also a sign of fear or resentment. The rabbit can express his affection by licking, but also by running around the person's legs, which is accompanied by barely audible grunts.
NOT all the time though, generalizing rabbits is a bad bad idea.
Because rabbits are wild animals, one of their hobbies is digging. They dig everywhere - in the corner of the room, on the carpet, in bed, but also in a person's lap. The good digging skills of rabbits should be especially remembered when placing the rabbit in an outdoor pen.
What type of pen- condo, aviary, plain wire and wood, how big, for how many?
I personally strongly disagree with keeping rabbits outside. We have a bunch of flying owl/hawk birds, insects and stray pets around, dangerous drunks as well, also quite unstable weather and heavy rain/burning sun, wouldn't want the buns susceptible to that.
The pen must also be escape-proof from below, because for many rabbits there is no problem digging out from under the garden. Another very characteristic activity of rabbits is chewing. They need to chew in order to wear down their teeth growing on them throughout their lives. At home, this habit can be very annoying. Rabbits can damage furniture, tear off some wallpaper, but the biggest danger is electrical wiring, the rabbit should be carefully protected from them.
I think it's the other way round, but this particular sentence is just nitpicking.
Some specimens can also be evil and bite.
Sorry, what? Mishandled, neglected and thus skittish/scared rabbits, might be in a way. Biting rabbits? Can happen. Not their fault if you f- up when caring for them. But never ever are they evil!
Many rabbits can be taught not to chew, but when buying
Soo. Lemme stop it right there. Buying? We have to, most of the time. When there are ppl giving away cats/dogs left&right all the time, but you're lucky to find one bunny post in a month, with the desc "oh we can sell the cage along if u don't have one" and they were just barely avaliable to you since the person who booked the bun before you came to their senses and figured that cat+bun=\ a good pair. The cage thing though-Just. Bad. Promo. The VTA should do more promo on individual rescuers and adoptees.
a rabbit, it is not worth relying on its good behavior, but the worse option should also be considered, and in this case a cage will be useful.
I can see maaany things wrong with just that sentence. Even in plain assumptions. Sterotypical estonians tend to think of bunny cages as 80*70 wire rectangles stacked on top of each othe out in the weather, maybe hutches, nothing more. We haven't apparently developed a better word for any sort of enclosure that is not a cage, "enclosure" cannot be directly translated. Even though Storm's condo is roughly 80*1.60, it still gets called a cage even by the vet, when it' clearlt not that. You get my point.
The cage of the rabbit should be as large as possible, the minimum length of the cage should be 1m (depending on the size of the rabbit) to allow the rabbit free movement and extension space.
Yeah, but it says nothing about the width or the height of the "cage"
Even if you have been able to raise your rabbit very well, teach him all customs and dignified behavior, it is not worth taking the rabbit to bed. According to many, the soft bed has a crazy effect on the rabbit. While in bed, all customs are suddenly forgotten. They start digging, tearing the bed linen with their teeth, and on top of all that, a surprise in the form of pees and poos can come to the bed with great excitement.
Sorry, but that's a cold hard no from my view. Rabbits don't forget their habits when in bed, not all of them go wrecking about the place. A well-toilet-trained rabbit won't leave marks unless you did something to them. Stop generalizing all rabbits as one!
Housing and living conditions As mentioned before, the rabbit should have a large cage. The cage should include a hay rack, a eating bowl and a drinking bottle (the water bowl will be filled with hay and other mash quickly).
Uhh, no? Our boys' bowls stay clean for quite a long time, water gets depleded way before that. Has the vet.agency oroperly seen how dirty an uncleaned bottle can be? Probably not.
In addition, the cage can be provided with a hidey house and a toilet box,
WDYM, "in addition"? They're nescessities, not something to just "add when you want"!
which will then be filled with cat litter.
Ummm, no. Not without being more specific. Almost 90% of cat litters in here are clay-based clumping or silica gel based chemical ones. Cat litter is an absolute no-no! The ONLY seen exception is that one brand "cats best friend" wood pellet litter.
The rabbit can be kept without bedding,
Bedding? No bedding? CONTROVERSY!
but can use paper, sawdust,
No-no-no. They are too sensitive for that excrement.
sawdust pellets, hay, etc. Clumping cat litter should not be used as bedding as the rabbit may eat it and get intestinal obstruction. However, the rabbit should not be kept in a cage only. It is recommended to run it on a larger area for a few hours every day. Rabbits who spend more time out of the cage and interacting with people are often smarter and bolder.
I was just wondering-how true is that, exactly? Smartness and boldness come from personality, mostly, no?
Rabbits should not be washed often,
REALLY SHOULDN'T BE WASHED AT ALL unless it's a special needs one, a dry bath would be enough for most cases. Again, VAGUENESS!
they are generally afraid of water and washing too often has a detrimental effect on their skin. In general, rabbits do a great job of caring for themselves and should only be helped by washing if they get very dirty. Long-haired rabbits should be combed as often as possible to avoid the formation of matted fur. The mats are uncomfortable for the rabbit and the dirt that accumulates under them can cause skin inflammation.
AND NO INFO ABOUT VET CARE? THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINE, SPEUTER, GOOD BONDMATES, ENRICHMENT? ANY LINKS ON WHERE TO GET HELP?
NOPE.

I guess that pretty much sums up my frustration of the VTA's arcticle on how to keep house rabbits. That was the FULL paragraph, mind you. What vagueness!
Maybe this will help people dip into what sort of bad place it is to be properly keeping rabbits in.

Edited for some grammar errors, i couldn't just stand those.
 
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