Need advice re: litter box issues, dirty bum, and how to bond with new buns

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blwinteler

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I just posted about my new buns. I have some questions. Before I adopted them, I was told that they are resistant to litter box training. They are almost 3 (born 5-19-19). Both are fixed, but I don't know when. Both have used the box, but rarely. They both pee and poop all over their enclosure. Blitz, the girl, peed in their hidey box just not. I cleaned it up and put the paper towel in the litter box. Almost immediately after, Frosty peed in their water dish! Upon examination, it seems he's fine that a few times at least. I don't know what to do. I want to let them free roam, but I can't until they use their box. Pic of their enclosure attached.

Next issue: Frosty has a poopy butt. He won't let me even pet him much, and won't let me go near his hind quarter at all. He thumps and hides. How can I clean him? Pic of his bottom attached.

Finally, any bonding advice to get them to trust me more? Blitz will let me hold her sometimes for her eye meds, but then she hides. They'll come out and are starting to ask for treats if I sit by the open x-pen. I think I'm making progress. Blitz even did a dbf yesterday. Anything else I can do?

Tia!
 

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FuzzyBunny ph

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hmm have you had them checked by your vet to confirm if they are really fixed? Bunnies are quite easy to litter train so I dont think they'll be resistant to it. Some tips I can think of off the top of my head:
  • keep the water bowls and food bowls on the other side of the pen, away from the litterbox
  • can the litterbox fit 2 bunnies? If not try to look for one that fits two bunnies (based on the photo it looks big enough)
  • random pee outside the littebox sometimes mean UTI, so might want to have a urinalysis to rule that out.
  • try to litter train from scratch, once you see them lifting their bum to pee, quickly move them to the litterbox (this is tricky, I could never do this without scaring them lol). If you see random pee on the floor, wipe it and put the tissue in the litterbox. Same goes with poop, this will help them realize that thats where their bathroom is :)

Does frosty have wet poop also? If so, might need more hay in his diet, but I see there's hay all over their place already 😆so maybe get a fecalysis to rule out any bacteria. Vet might prescribe some probiotics like Bene Bac also :)

If you're having problems trying to pet him or going near him, might want to bond with him first. Just lay on the floor of their pen, and dont mind them. Do what you do, they'll explore you and sniff you. You can have some pieces of pellets on you so they can see that you're a safe person to be around with :) You can also try trick training! this facebook page has a lot of training tricks which is another great way to bond with them! Empowered Animals Behavior and Training, LLC

Once they're comfortable around you,then you can try to give Frosty a butt bath! =D
 

Diane R

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Poopy butt is almost always diet related. Keep on a hay only diet (nothing else at all) for at least a couple of weeks. Then gradually add in a tiny bit of other food. Wait two weeks between introductions of new foods and keep a food diary. Don't give more than 1 tbsp pellets a day (and none in the first couple of weeks).
 

blwinteler

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Poopy butt is almost always diet related. Keep on a hay only diet (nothing else at all) for at least a couple of weeks. Then gradually add in a tiny bit of other food. Wait two weeks between introductions of new foods and keep a food diary. Don't give more than 1 tbsp pellets a day (and none in the first couple of weeks).
Thank you. It is all old dry poop that was there when I got him Thursday. He's starting to warm up to me. Hopefully I can get him to let me clean it up soon.
 

TeddyTruly

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My advise is for the peeing outside the litter box is decrease the encloser space until they get litter trained. I am not sure how big your area is, but at least in my experience when you give a rabbit a big area before they get litter trained they will poop and pee everywhere. Make sure to keep it in an x pen though, and have a decent amount of space. If they are housed together than that may not work. If they are together, maybe try seeing if they drop feces in one specific area, and then move the litter box there? And ^, might want to check with a vet that they are fixed, fixed rabbits mostly do not not want to use the litter box unless somethings wrong.
 

TeddyTruly

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Oh I meant that when rabbits are fixed, they do normally are not hesitant to use the litter box if something isn't wrong, ignore the double negative.
 

blwinteler

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I got a new rug that doesn't smell like my previous bun. They have not pooped and peed as much on it, but they still do. As for them being fixed, I sure hope so! They are a male and female pair! In all seriousness, though, I've been assured by the rescue they are fixed. I think they were mostly marking territory, covering up Groucho's scent. I'm going to rent a carpet steamer before I let them loose in the apartment. And find a good vacuum. My shop vac was stolen in a robbery on New Year's Eve.

Anyway, they are still a little skittish, but will let me pet them more than before. They'll eat pellets out of my hand. They are starting to get better about the litter box. I'm expecting a low entry box in the mail tomorrow. Their space is about 4x4, maybe a little bigger. Once I have the new box, it will be half litter box. That should help a lot. I'll post whenever I have an update. Thank you all for all of your help!
 

blwinteler

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Update: they are using their boxes more often than not, now. One of them (maybe both, but I've only seen Blitz do it) is peeing near the door of the x-pen. She also stares at the door wistfully. I think she wants to explore. I also think she knows the litter boxes have something to do with it. She has, twice now, slowly gotten into one box while alternately looking at me and the box. When I am clearly watching, she'll turn around and poop. Make it 3 times, now. She just did it again. I'll let them run around soon. I need to try to get rid of Groucho's smells. I had to borrow a vacuum from a friend because we were rubbed recently and they stole my shop vac, among other, weirder things. I'm gonna vacuum tonight or tomorrow. Then, they can roam.
 

Blue eyes

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If they aren't 100% urinating in their litter boxes while in the ex-pen, then it is not advised to expand their space. It will only give them more reason to urinate everywhere else. Don't worry about the occasional poos. That's to be expected. It's the urine that should be 100%. Until it is, best to keep them confined.
 

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