Nala's tell-all blog! Quad-bonding and more! Nala, Alice, Harley Quinn and Barnaby (aka Big Bunny).

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  1. May 22, 2019 #21

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    Jennifer

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    Still asking to be groomed.
     
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  2. May 22, 2019 #22

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    Jennifer

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    Right now, it's a bit after 11 p.m. and the rabbits have technically been together since around 5:45 p.m. I'm really excited about how the session is going - better even than we had hoped.

    I guess at this point, I'm inclined to try fast-track bonding with the quad... work schedule permitting. Whether we stick with that or not remains to be seen. Because of the inherent volatility of a quad bond, even with successful fast-track bonding, the final transition from bonding to living together will take significantly longer than it would with a pair or trio, though. It's simply going to be harder to make a final, confident determination regarding the safety of moving them in together.
     
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  3. May 22, 2019 #23

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    Jennifer

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    7 am. I've had enough of napping in the bunny pen and am moving to our bed a few feet away. Alice has really made breakthroughs in the last 14 hours or so! Hubby says it really only took about 10 minutes into the car trip yesterday for the little lightbulb to go off that other rabbits are for making friends, hehe. So far, HQ seems to be the boss, followed by Nala (who seems to defer to HQ because it's the path of least resistance), then Alice and finally Barnaby... except when exciting food comes up, then he can get a little shovey (and I'm sure having three wifeys to chase won't slow down his circling/chasing at pellet and veggie time).

    There have been a few very minor scuffles and a nip here and there, but they always work things out by themselves and there's no consistent aggressor. Honestly, I feel like we're about 2/3 of the way to being able to call them bonded... with the final third being moving everyone in together. The bad news is that I was totally unprepared for things to go this well and I've gotta wait almost 2 weeks for my next paycheck in order to be able to buy the stuff to finish/renovate the condo to make it new (then find time to do so)... so we'll have to slow things down and just do continued sessions in the meantime, but I think that's probably better anyway since there's a lot of change for them to wrap their heads around. I'll leave them together in the bonding area for most of today if things continue to go okay and then put them up before I go to work tonight.
     
  4. May 22, 2019 #24

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    Jennifer

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    Spoke WAY too soon :(.

    I was still at the computer keeping an ear on things since I suspected that not having me in the middle of the bonding pen might trigger a scuffle... but I did NOT expect a full-on, scary fight (worst I've seen, though that bar wasn't set very high). Barnaby and Alice were tumbling around like crazy wrestlers! I rushed in to separate them, making a lot of noise and commotion on my way into the pen to try to disperse them faster... when I got to them, Barnaby was upright but Alice was on her side, kind of balled up against his side... it looked like she was both biting and kicking at him. Freaking Alice. I love her to bits, but she's definitely our fire-starter. They calmed down very quickly, at least. I inspected Barnaby; his fur is very thick/dense and she didn't seem to get even remotely close to breaking the skin.

    I really should've forced them to end on a positive note with each other, but it didn't happen due to being tired, overwhelmed and having ripped the pen open (meaning Nala and HQ could potentially stroll out while I was dealing with the brawlers)... plus I didn't want to wake hubby, so I was on my own putting all four rabbits back in their enclosures in the other room. I just got them calmed down and put back in their cages, which are next to each other. They both flopped out immediately, pretty close to each other at that, which seems like a positive sign. I feel like I really just pushed it too far too fast on this marathon session, as it was going quite well for nearly 14 hours. On my next day off, we'll take everyone for a reboot car trip again. Man, bonding can be an emotional roller coaster.
     
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  5. May 22, 2019 #25

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I feel this. While I've only been bonding for only 4-5 days, it's a lot. We've gone from what I thought was love at first sight to a couple of scuffs that surprised me and then grooming, and who knows what is going to happen throughout the next couple of weeks.

    I'm sorry they seemed to be getting on well and then they weren't. You're brave for even attempting a quad and I hope things go well. I just love Barnaby. He seems to be the biggest baby! I love how Alice and HQ's colorings match!
    I'm sorry if this isn't appropriate, but your rabbit quad reminds me of the show "Sister Wives" on TLC, with the one husband and a ton of wives :p
     
  6. May 22, 2019 #26

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    Jennifer

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    LOL. Oh, and Barnaby really is the biggest baby.
     
  7. May 22, 2019 #27

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    Yay! You may actually end up with a quad(despite their scuffle).

    I love that last photo with them laying down nose to nose. So cute!
     
  8. May 25, 2019 #28

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    Jennifer

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    Work got cancelled on Thurs (boo ><). We took them out in the backseat of the car again and to a couple of pet stores to ride around in the shopping cart and get attention from strangers, lol. We were out with them for an hour and a half and then had them loose in the big master bath area for about 2 1/2 hours. The whole thing was thoroughly uneventful - yay!! Got tired and put them up while things were still going very positively. All-in-all, a great session. It was like the fight the other night never rabbit happened.
     
  9. May 25, 2019 #29

    JBun

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    "never rabbit happened". Is that different than normal 'never happened'? :p

    I'm happy it's proceeding smoothly. There's hope!
     
  10. May 25, 2019 #30

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    Jennifer

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    Yes, it really is different, lol... an inside joke hubby and I have. I normally feed/water the rabbits but any time I ask him to do it, when I go out there later, they SWEAR it never happened and beg me for whatever (especially when it was pellets or treats that he gave). I say "I know your daddy fed you bitches" (I use that term very affectionately when they're being brats) and they swear on their cute little ears that "It never rabbit happened."
     
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  11. Jul 27, 2019 #31

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    Jennifer

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    Been putting off updates for a while now, heh. First, internet was unreliable and practically unusable on the computer for at least 2-3 weeks (though at least it worked on xbox and we could stream hulu/netflix since we don't have cable)... then life got in the way and I never got around to getting caught up on my blog here. Anyway, screw getting it all caught up... bottom line is, I still don't have a quad and Alice is still a firestarter, but I'm not tripping about that.

    Right now, I'm more concerned about poor Nala. Wednesday, things were fine when I fed morning pellets and evening veggies. Thursday, I gave pellets around noon and instead of running up like an addict to a pile of crack, she ignored them. I wasn't too worried, because I immediately offered a craisin which was eaten. I gave simethicone and moved her to the bonding pen for extra exercise and so that she would be in our bedroom where we could more closely monitor how much she was eating. She nibbled on hay intermittently and was very active (periscoping, running around, flopping and zero signs of pain)... we put her back in her cage overnight, and in the morning the pellets from the day before were pretty much gone... but when I went early this afternoon to give pellets, they were again ignored. I looked her in the eyes and I was pretty sure she was trying to tell me something, but I didn't know what. Activity level still normal, still pooping some, still drinking normal amount of water.

    Since the situation hadn't resolved itself in over a day, the odds of it doing so had clearly decreased. Seeing as she WAS still eating, just less, her behavior was normal and she definitely did NOT look sick or pained, I booked an appointment with a vet for later in the afternoon, with a gut suspicion that the likely cause of her near-stasis might be tooth spurs. She turned 7 at the start of June, so she's a senior bunn - that can mean changes in the status quo health-wise and she hasn't had a general check-up in years because we couldn't afford it and she's never been ill or injured.

    We went to a new vet, as it was our first time needing one since our move last spring. LOVE Pets Paw Animal Hospital in Conroe! They did a great job... as did Nala. I talked to the vet not just about the last couple of days, but about the fact that she HAD been overweight and her recently-ended "diet"... also, about the very faint limp/favoring of one rear hip that I had attributed to obesity and the potential for arthritis. Nala was INSANELY well-behaved! The vet *really* poked, prodded and inspected! Spent a few minutes inspecting her teeth/mouth and then a few more palpating her hips/rear end, watching her hop around, etc. She does seem to have some mild osteoarthritis in one hip. More importantly, she's got mild to moderate pointy bits on her rear molars on the left side and moderate to severe on the right side :(. Filing them down is going to run us nearly $300! Ugh.

    Thankfully, I've been saving up for 3-4 months and had just (seriously, last week) come up with enough money to get the air conditioner in my car fixed - at a cost approximately the same as the estimate for the dental work. Not-so-thankfully, this means spending the rest of the summer driving around with NO air conditioner or even vents *cry* (the blower motor is shot). I severely chastised Nala for not eating enough hay/being too wedded to 3rd cut and costing me an air conditioner, lol... but I booked the next available surgical appointment, on Wednesday. I've also been making the switch from calling her "little girl" to "old lady" lol.

    Vet recommended critical care in the meantime... they sell it for $17.50, which is nearly twice what I usually pay if I shop around online for a good deal, not that I could even afford $10 right now. Instead, I made DIY pellet slurry with some applesauce mixed in. She wouldn't eat it off the spoon, though the other three rabbits were willing to throw down for a chance at it, hehe. I left some of it in a pile on the floor of her cage. Turned around a couple mins later and she was chowing down - yay! She's eaten a good bit of her daily pellet ration that way now and she's still eating hay and fruit/non-leafy vegs. We just have to make it a few more days and hopefully things will be back to normal. I might need to come up with the cash for some 1st or 2nd cut timothy to mix in with the 3rd to help her teeth so we don't have to repeat the procedure 1-2x a year though - 3rd cut was never a problem before, but the decreased caloric needs (and therefore appetite) of a senior bunn can change that. The important thing is that the cause of her semi-stasis may be expensive but it doesn't pose imminent danger, which is a HUGE relief given my past bad experiences with stasis. I'm so glad I listened to my gut and called around until I could get her a vet appointment today!
     
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  12. Jul 27, 2019 #32

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    Yeah, just when you think everything is going good, a rabbit gets sick or has a health issue. If she'll eat it I would recommend orchard grass instead. It has a higher silica content than some of the other grasses, which is one of the primary things in grass that helps wear their teeth down as it's very abrasive. I know of someone who's bun had to have dentals every 2 months. She switched to orchard grass and her bun went a whole year before needing another dental. I'm convinced it's one of the better hays for helping prevent overgrown molars.
     
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  13. Jul 27, 2019 #33

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    Jennifer

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    Thanks! She definitely likes 3rd timothy better, but I could try mixing the two once I've got enough to make another big hay purchase :).
     
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  14. Jul 27, 2019 #34

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Aw, I hope Nala is okay and it doesn't cost you too much. I can't imagine having no A/C in a hot car in Texas!
     
  15. Jul 28, 2019 #35

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    Jennifer

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    Yeah, the no AC sucks so much, but I'm begrudgingly accustomed to it by now, since it's been out for like 3 months :(.
     
  16. Jul 31, 2019 #36

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    Jennifer

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    I've been having so much trouble sleeping ever since Nala first started shunning her pellets last Thursday... just worrying my butt off about whether or not she was eating enough. She only occasionally ate her pellet "oatmeal" (microwave-boiled pellets with unsweetened applesauce and canned pumpkin in it to make it more tempting) - one day's pellet ration (fluffed up from boiling and mixed with the tasty stuff) lasted like four days. She only picked at her hay, she wouldn't eat kale (her absolute favorite) and would only eat small amounts of carrot tops and curly parsley. She'd usually eat a baby carrot, but not always. Syringe feeding would work one day, but she'd put her foot down and spit it out the next. Rolled oats would get nibbled on inconsistently, as would whole grain crackers. Banana and craisins were the only things she never said no to, and those are even higher sugar/carbs than the other junk food I was feeding so I was really stingy with them and would only offer a small bite when all else had failed and it didn't look like she'd eaten anything in a few hours.

    Today might be the first time I've ever been excited to drag my butt out of bed at 7 am (on four hours of sleep), lol. Ever since the vet visit Friday, I've been counting the days/hours until tooth trimming time. I dropped Nala off with a sack lunch since they want to see her eating before they release her (small ziplock bags containing a little bit of both kinds of hay I have, a small handful of pellets, a couple sprigs of curly parsley, one baby carrot and 3 craisins - a grab bag of tempting and nummy things).

    Apparently it's been bunny central at the vet! The receptionist said they saw four different rabbits yesterday. I hugged and snuggled Nala and talked to her a minute about what was going to happen and then handed her over... now it's time to worry all day, heh. I really like this vet office and they're clearly bunny-savvy, but anesthesia always carries a certain risk, you know? "Routine procedure" isn't a guarantee. They're only gassing her, no injectable (why does the spell check say that's not a word? Stupid dictionary and its limited vocabulary *shakes a fist*) anesthesia, so I assume that reduces the risk of complications... but at the same time, she turned 7 about 2 months ago and risk of complications goes up with seniors.

    On the one hand, she *should* be fine, but on the other hand, that little bunny is my heart and soul. I don't "play" favorites with our menagerie, but that doesn't mean I don't have a favorite and it's Nala by a landslide. She was the first one; without her influence, there might not even be a menagerie at all. It's eating me up that I know our time together will come to an end in the next few years - I'm nowhere near ready to say goodbye, so from now until the phone rings, I'll be driving myself crazy worrying about her.

    In the meantime, one can only hope that Nala's day-long absence will somehow clue the other rabbits in that something unusual has been going on - you should see the butt-hurt faces I've been getting from the other three because she's been getting to eat junk food like a kid with strep throat eating ice cream all day and they know it. I've given them slightly more treats than usual but still strictly limited, plus I've been splitting up their pellets and veggies into multiple feedings to reduce the number of times where I bring something to Nala but the others get nothing at all.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2019 #37

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    They just called, Nala did great!! Now I can nap until it's time to pick her up.
     
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  18. Aug 1, 2019 #38

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    Jennifer

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    So the vet tech gave me a quote last Friday... I've always heard around $200-300 is normal for standard tooth work, so I wasn't surprised when the quote was $280ish. She told me that the quote was for the maximum amount it could be and indicated that there was a good chance it might be like $30-50 less by the time it was done - it depended on how long it took the vet and how long they had to keep her under anesthesia. I was floored by the total when it came time to pay - $149! Apparently her mouth was very easy to navigate and they got the procedure done much faster than anticipated. Plus, the vet said her mouth looked so good afterward that he didn't think she needed to be sent home with pain medicine (though if I think she needs it, I can come back for it), which saved around $25.

    When I picked her up, it was nothing like after her spay surgery with the injectable anesthesia (lethargic and groggy)! She was perky and happy-looking. It seems she ate the veggies from her sack lunch, but not much else. Still not eating pellets at home; I'm going to check soon to see how much of what she's eaten. I assume it can take a couple days for her to get it through her head that she can eat normally again without tooth pain.

    Since it cost almost $100 less than what I'd budgeted, I think I'll delay the AC a bit longer and use the leftover funds to get her some orchard grass. I just need to decide what cut to get - 1st is best for the teeth, but she might be more inclined to eat 2nd...
     
  19. Aug 1, 2019 #39

    JBun

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    I think you can just go for which ever cut you think she is more inclined to eat well. It's not necessarily the coarseness of the hay that helps the teeth but the silica content, and the leafy parts seem to contain a lot of it. If you've ever felt fresh orchard grass, the leaves can feel a bit like sandpaper due to the silica in them. So that's what's wearing down the teeth, that rough silica in the grass leaf.
     
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  20. Aug 28, 2019 #40

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    I just read in another post that you have 3 bunnies. I thought you had 4. I'm worried about Nala now, is she ok?
     
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