Need advice : Older rabbit humping baby bunny

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mahid

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So me and my husband have had a mini lop for 6 months now. We brought him home when he was about 8-9 weeks old. We always gave him free run of the whole house full time. We only shut the bedroom when we are not home. But we don't ever keep him in a cage or play pen. He has been an amazing bunny. He is not neutered yet and he isn't aggressive as such. He only likes humping his pillow twice a day.
Now we have been feeling guilty for not paying attention to him when we work (even though we work from home) and him being alone when we sleep or when we go out so we were toying with the idea of getting a second bunny. The other day we passed by a pet store and popped in and we saw these really tiny 4 week old bunnies for sale (I know its not right to separate a bunny from it's mother at such a young age but they were already separated and for sale and we felt bad seeing all those bunnies). So we got one bunny from the store. I made the mistake of not reading much about the bonding process and we just got the him home and placed him in the living room. He instantly started exploring the house, eating hay and after a while started running around the living room. The older rabbit saw him and they sniffed each other. They seemed to get along pretty well first day. They were sleeping next to each other, eating from the same bowl, following each other around. However, on the second day the older rabbit tried to hump this baby and I separated them immediately. Now since the past two days I have kept the baby bunny in the bedroom and the older one in the living room. Older one is getting little annoyed that the bedroom is off limits and the younger one loves being in the living room as its really big and he loves running there. I do let him out in the living room when i give my full attention and monitor them. We have an appointment to get the older one neutered next week.
But till then how can I stop the older one from humping the baby? Usually they get along until the older one wants to hump, then he starts licking and nibbing at the younger one (just like he does to his pillow before humping it)
 

Fuz

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Hi there. Older bunny will not stop humping until after neutering, and even after he is neutered he still needs to be kept separately from the baby bunny for a few weeks. You seem like a caring person, so please don't neglect the older rabbit now that you have the baby. In some cases, its also aggression, jealousy and a way of displaying dominance. Allow for play-time in a neutral space (not the living room or bedroom), such as a bathroom if possible. But, as you have done before, this must always be under your supervision. I wish you all the best.
 

Blue eyes

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Yup. The older bunny needs to be kept apart from the baby until weeks after the surgery (for his hormones to fully dissipate). Then in several weeks time, the baby's hormones will begin to kick in and they may tussle over dominance. Then they'll need to be separated again until the newest one can get fixed (whether male or female). Then they'd need to be kept separate again while the new one heals.

After all that, they will need to be re-introduced all over again in some place that neither one has been before. Then cross your fingers and hope they get along. If they do, great. Keep them in that space for a couple weeks before letting them into the areas that each has claimed as their own. That will be the real test then to see if they will get along or fight over their perceived territories.
 

mahid

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I am going to try doing it properly after the older one is neutered. But now its getting a bit confusing. They both love being in the living room. So I let the younger one out of the bedroom for an hour each day. He immediately goes to the older one and bows down and lets him lick and nib at him. When I put him back in the room they are both standing either side of the door wanting to get to each other.
 

zuppa

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4 weeks is still terribly young rabbit he or she still needs mother and family badly so the older one is only rabbit available, that's probably why. This is not bond, this is just baby bond it will last a few more weeks or max 2-3 months. But I understand how it looks must be totally heartbreaking to watch.
I understand that your older rabbit is about 8 months now so he can be neutered today and ready for bonding in 4-6 weeks, then your baby will be 10-12 weeks they still can be together until he/she can be neutered/spayed or maybe they will be fine with just one neutered sometimes it works too.
Your other option would be to rehome the baby, find good people who will take care of him/her. Then, after your first rabbit is neutered and healed you can find him more suitable companion, preferably already fixed female or 6+ months anyway.
 

mahid

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That totally makes sense. I think I will be patient with this. I really don't want to rehome him. Me and my husband are completely attached and in love with him. We pay alot of attention to the older one as well. Seems like we just have to be patient for a bit. Getting the older one neutered on wednesday. I hope he doesnt start hating us for it.
Any tips about taking care of him after he is neutered would be helpful.
 

Donna Standar

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That totally makes sense. I think I will be patient with this. I really don't want to rehome him. Me and my husband are completely attached and in love with him. We pay alot of attention to the older one as well. Seems like we just have to be patient for a bit. Getting the older one neutered on wednesday. I hope he doesnt start hating us for it.
Any tips about taking care of him after he is neutered would be helpful.
He won't be allowed to jump up on anything while he heals. My male was neutered end of November, my female was spayed last Wednesday and she's alone now too in her Xpen. Baby will be next. It is a process! I'm hoping to rebond my male and female in two weeks.
 

Fuz

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Mahid, hi
Before surgery, he can eat and drink water as usual. There is no need to limit food prior.
Then, upon leaving the vet, he will need a very slow drive home.
He must be placed alone in his own environment, with access to fresh water and hay. Place a litter box nearby that is easily accessible. There must be no obstacles for him to jump for the next few days. He needs to be stress-free (always) but now more so.
You must monitor that he starts using his litter box within a few hours. If he is normally litter trained, but now urinates or defecates out of the litter box, it is normal. As long as he actually does urinate/defecate a few hours after the surgery, it is a good sign. His litter habits will most likely return.
After some time, monitor eating habits. You can try to entice him with treats (you will know what he enjoys), as it's important that they eat and drink. If he does not eat after about 4-6 hours, try to slowly and calmly feed water through a syringe to the side of his mouth. Maybe mix a little bit of water with pellets. You need to call the vet if he does not eat on his own after about 12-14 hours.
While you are keeping an eye out for litter and eating habits, you must ensure that he does not pick at his stitches. There are some bunnies who heal quickly and do not have any issues. Others may feel itchy or sore and may pick at it. If your rabbit-savvy vet has done an ideal job, this will heal soon. Please, keep a close eye out for this. You don't want him to pick at it, as it may bleed and most likely open his wound and/or get infected. Don't pick him up, don't let him be with the other rabbit as this will cause him to run around, and if it's too soon it will cause strain. No loud noises, etc.
Please, pay close attention to him. Watch him like a helicopter parent. Give him time and space to recover, but also pet him, show him lots of love and care. Best wishes :)
 
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mahid

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We got the older one neutered today. He ate at the clinic before we picked him up. But after getting home he has not eaten anything at all. He has been sitting in a corner. It's been 4 hours. Now when he moved from one place we noticed some blood on the floor. There is no blood where he is sitting right now. All the vet clinics are closed at this time and I have to wait another 7 hours till the clinics open. I don't know what to do in the mean time. Please advice
 

Fuz

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I hope someone more learned in this sees your post.
I don't know how to help his bleeding, but you do need to take him to the vet as soon as you can.
Please monitor him all night to ensure that he isn't picking at it. Try to entice him with a few of his favorite treats, or some food mixed with water. Has he urinated or defecated yet?
 

Fuz

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I think Blue eyes will know a lot about this, I hope they see this!
 

mahid

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he has urinated. He did eat one piece of parsley but nothing else. My husband is sitting next to him and giving him head rubs for the past hour.
 

Fuz

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Oh he probably feels so loved, that is great! Is his tummy bleeding any more after the first time?
 

mahid

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no it is not bleeding but there is dried blood on his back. Keeping an eye on him so that he does not itch. The vet opens in 8 hours from now. Its like 12:30 am here.
 

Fuz

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You're doing a good job. We know staying up isn't easy, but it will be worth it. Try to introduce water and hay as well. I hope it all goes well and I wish you all the best.

Please keep us updated.
 

mahid

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He is eating little bit of hay and drinking water. We are both staying up literally keeping a watch on him every minute to stop him from licking and chewing on the wound
 

zuppa

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It is normal that he's not acting as usual 24 h after surgery, of course you want him to eat sooner to keep his gut moving to avoid GI stasis but if he eats a little it's fine, maybe offer him more fresh green leafy vegetables, herbs, mint, basil, romaine lettuce etc (you can soak them in water for a few minutes before giving him so he will get more water with them).

If there was just a little blood and not bleeding now maybe it'll be fine, it is important to keep him distracted from excessive licking, also some people use rolled t-shirt or an old tube sock around his neck you can make it easily at home, something like this. Check daily if there's any swelling or warmth or discharge.

Also even if he's free-roam would be better to give him a smaller space darkened and somewhere in quiet corner so he can relax and can't exercise too much, wounds are usually healing pretty fast on rabbits, just one-two days and he'll be better, but he can still be a little slow after anaesthesia, this is normal and he went through stress he just need a small clean warm darkened space and time to recover.

 

mahid

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He is eating normally now. A lot of hay, lettuce, some pellets and some parsley. He is drinking water as well.
I tried to wrap a very soft small pillow case around his neck but he tried so hard to get out of it I got scared he ll hurt himself so I took it out. He is licking and chewing his wound slightly lesser now but we are keeping a check constantly.
 
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