Rabbit facts and truthes for the month of March. Contribute please

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Luvmyzoocrew

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Ok so on my facebook everyone hears me talking about my animals, rabbits, and posting animal realted things. Well come March when everyone starts thinking about Easter (the biggest "buy a cute lil bunny/piggie" campaign starts) I want to start posting the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY about owing a rabbit. I want to put on "did you know fact,caring for tip, whatever" about rabbits on my facebook page


my hope is that even if i keep just ONE person from buying a rabbit that they will not keep or really dont want then that is one bunny that wont go to a shelter. If one person takes my posting and posts it to their wall and gets someone on their list not to get a rabbit that they dont want then i have done my job or what i have set out to do.

Now this is where you come in i need the facts, the truthes the everythings so that i can post them



Some of what i have so far



Rabbits should be fed a variety of "rabbit safe" veggies everyday.

Rabbits should have be fed LIMITED pellets everyday

Rabbits should have fresh water EVERYDAY

Rabbits should have HAY everyday.

Hay is very important in a rabbits diet to keep their gut moving.

Rabbits are great at hiding illness and problems so it is important to pay close attention to the food, water , and hay intake as well as the poop.

Rabbits can be litter trained.

Female rabbits should be spayed to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

Rabbits CHEW ON ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING, so it is important that if you are going to let your rabbit roam in a room that it be RABBIT PROOF.

Intact male rabbits can spray if not nutered, this behaviour can be decreased , if not eliminated completly , with being neutered (is this a female fact too?)

Rabbits NEED to be seen by a "rabbit savy vet" and not just any vet. Rabbit.org is a good reference for finding a rabbit savy vet.

Rabbits are considered "EXOTICS" so their care at the vet is usually more expensive then regular care of a dog or a cat.

Gas for a rabbit can be fatal

A bored rabbit can be a destructive rabbit, which can be an expensive rabbit.

You should consider the cost of Veggies, Hay, Pellets, litter and vet care before making the COMMITMENT to a rabbit.

Rabbits do NOT make good pets for CHILDREN. Rabbits can be hurt and even killed by a very well meaning child who is trying to pick up the rabbit.

Rabbits can have something called Malocclusion (a mis alignment of the teeth) from improper diet, lack of chew toys, genetics, or injury to the face/jaw. This can be a VERY costly and stressful condition that could range from anywhere vet visits every 4-5 weeks for trims or having the teeth filed down, to surgery, and these all have risks of their own.




ok so these are some of what i came up with , so please feel free to fix anything that is wrong. I will also stress the petstore aspect, unexpected pregnancies, the importance of sexing a rabbit correctly. Any other links would be great too for information, in alot of these posts i will also include the piggies in it. I will also put RABBITSONLINE link in my posts for the peeps on my facebook that have rabbits already to check out and if someone does decide to get on, a great place for them to research it.
 

Silver Star Rabbitry

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Spaying can reduce the risk of uterine cancer, but uterine cancer is rare in rabbits (atleast I have never heard of a rabbit with it.) Spaying is also stressful and dangerous for the rabbit.
I have never had a rabbit that sprays.

Emily

Silver Star Rabbitry
Raising and Showing Quality Silver Martens, Mini Rex and BEW Netherland Dwarfs in North Louisiana

http://silverstarsilvermartens.webs.com/
http://slverstarrabbitry.blogspot.com/
 

Byfuzzerabbit

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The rabbit will accept you on there terms. Got to follow there rules if you want to stay on there good side.

Something that small sheds how much?! Get the brush out.

Apartments are sometimes not rabbit friendly (even if they are cats and dogs friendly) Make sure you get there approval in WRITING. Things could turn ugly.

You'll get excited over poop.
 

MiniLopHop

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Rabbits can kick hard enough to break their own backs.

Rabbits can literally be frightened to death by preditors even if they physically can not touch the rabbit.
 

Luvmyzoocrew

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thank you , i have to laugh at the hair thing cause my Charger is shedding something fierce and my dog is too and it is nuts in my house with the hair, i cant vaccum enough,lol
 

BrittsBunny

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Okay well not everyone thinks it's best to feed their rabbits veggies every day for it can cause bloat/gas/etc. I have been told to only give veggies to my rabbit as a treat.

I for one, primarily feed my rabbit pellets and timothy hay. Just saying.

Some of those aren't necessarily facts, just opinions.

But I do think what you are doing is a great idea! :thumbup
 

itsazoo

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^^ I agree, some of those are just opinions, I was just going to say the same thing..well exept the opposite..feeding pellets, just like feeding veggies in an opinion not a fact :p
 

MiniLopHop

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Emily- I am confused by your post. I have read in several sources that rates are very high?

"Unspayed female rabbits have a hery high incidence of ovarian or uterine cancer- as high as 80-90% by age three." page 32 Rabbit Health in the 21st century, second edition by Kathy Smith and Noella Allan, DVM (example source)
 

Yield

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[align=center]Not only can girl bunnies get Uterine cancer- boy bunnies can get Testicular cancer when not neutered, right?

Umm...

Don't forget the - You can't just put two bunnies together- even if they are spayed/neutered. There is a long bonding process for most bunnies and many will fight- which is the scariest thing in the world.
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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Rabbits can live for 10 or more years. This means they are as much of a commitment as a cat or dog.

Buy 2 rabbits, even of the same sex and from the same litter, will not mean they will stay friendly forever. They can start to fight at about 3-6 months old when they reach maturity. You need to be prepared to house them separately.

Rabbits can breed as early as 3-4 months and can have a litter every 28-25 days.

Rabbits can be trained. They can do agility (Rabbit hopping), as well as do tricks like spinning, standing up and weaving through legs. However, you can't force the rabbit to do something it doesn't want to do.
 

maxysmummy

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Silver Star Rabbitry wrote:
Spaying can reduce the risk of uterine cancer, but uterine cancer is rare in rabbits (atleast I have never heard of a rabbit with it.) Spaying is also stressful and dangerous for the rabbit.
I have never had a rabbit that sprays.

Emily

Silver Star Rabbitry
Raising and Showing Quality Silver Martens, Mini Rex and BEW Netherland Dwarfs in North Louisiana

http://silverstarsilvermartens.webs.com/
http://slverstarrabbitry.blogspot.com/
everywhere i've read has said the rates are as high as 80-90%
 

gentle giants

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MiniLopHop wrote:
Emily- I am confused by your post. I have read in several sources that rates are very high?

"Unspayed female rabbits have a hery high incidence of ovarian or uterine cancer- as high as 80-90% by age three." page 32 Rabbit Health in the 21st century, second edition by Kathy Smith and Noella Allan, DVM (example source)
Reproductive cancers are possible, but no where near as common as that. Those stats tend to be exaggerated to encourage people to spay/neuter. I have and have had several rabbits that lived to ripe old ages intact, and have yet to see a reproductive cancer. I had two of my older Flemmies in the same year pass away because of two other types of cancer, but neither were uterine/ovarian/testicular cancers.
 

Silver Star Rabbitry

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I have had a LOT of old does over the years. I have never had one with reproductive caner. A few months ago, on a yahoo group that I am a member of, this came up. The poster had found the 80-90% rates and asked if any one had had a rabbit with it. It turned into a large discussion and a lot of the people that replied are huge rabbitries with hundreds of rabbits. No one could think of any rabbits that they have had that had reproductive cancer.

Emily

Silver Star Rabbitry
Raising and Showing Quality Silver Martens, Mini Rex and BEW Netherland Dwarfs in North Louisiana

http://silverstarsilvermartens.webs.com/
http://slverstarrabbitry.blogspot.com/
 

woahlookitsme

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I have also had some older does in my past and none of them have died because of a uterine cancer. I also agree with the statement of spaying can be very dangerous because I have experienced the worst. Find a rabbit savy vet to do a spay and even things can go wrong there. I almost want to ask does having litters or reproducing actually have anything to do with the increased or decreased probability of getting a uterine cancer?

Oh I aslo wanted to comment on this one:
Rabbits should have be fed LIMITED pellets everyday

Only one of my rabbits is fed a limited amount of pellets everyday because she is overweight. Some rabbit breeds just like humans metabolize feed differently and there are breeds who can eat alot and burn it all off without gaining weight.

Also wanted to add on spraying. I don't think I have ever seen a female rabbit spray.
 

maxysmummy

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i'm shocked as to the above... wow! how odd. it would be good to read something in a veterinary journal re: uterine cancer rates.

Re: spraying - i THINK my female doe does this as have to clean the walls quite often (sometimes up to a meter above her cage) because of little urine splashes, lol.
 

MiniLopHop

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I did a search on line, and will continue to look, but found a good article for people interested. It is a little dated, but has references:

I would bet many of you reading this have never experienced uterine cancer in your herd. Therefore it is understandable that many breeders doubt the information passed out by many rabbit rescue groups, especially when they throw figures out such as 85% of all unspayed does will get uterine cancer. The veterinarian community is also mute on the subject, some cite book references but do not share their experiences with us. I had my doubts about the high incidence of uterine cancer and set out to find the facts about it. I wish to share what I have learned with all of you in order to better the knowledge of the breeding community.
Uterine cancer is the most studied form and most common of cancers found in rabbits. Many studies have found incidence rates of 1.3%-2.6%, The Biology of Laboratory Rabbits report studies finding numbers such as 16 rabbits with cancer out of 599, 4 in 150, 2 from 400 (1). It appears there is a low incidence of uterine cancer in these studies however the rabbits in these studies were juveniles and not considered old enough to be "cancer-prone". TBLR reports that most rabbits used in research colonies are between 4 and 24 months of age. Cancer occurrence in younger populations is normally a low amount.

Harry S. Greene spent years researching cancer in rabbits and his findings are the source of the infamous 80% figures for uterine cancer incidence. He studied a colony for 30 years and his findings reveal a significant incidence of uterine cancer in older does. "Greene reported that 16.7% of 849 female rabbits (dying of various causes) were found to have uterine adenocarcinoma (Greene, 1958a)." (1). When one examines uterine cancer in the age groups we find the incidence increases with age. Greene reported an incidence of 4.2% in does 2-3 years of age and 79.1% in those 5-6 years old. Other researchers have also found similar results in aged rabbits. "Notwithstanding heredity as a factor, the incidence of uterine carcinoma has been noted to exceed 50% in certain colonies of random-bred females kept past age 5- 6 years." (1).

Dr Barbara Deeb DVM in Washington state reported that in her practice among spay surgeries she performed during 1994-1996, she found 9 out of 16 does over 3 years of age with adenocarcinoma (56.3%). In does 1-3 years old it was 6 out of 37 (16.2%), however 9 (24.3%) in that group had endometrial hyperplasia (precursor to uterine cancer). Does under 1 year of age had no occurrence of uterine cancer, but 4 out of 77 had endometrial hyperplasia. (2). A pet owner on the Petbunny mailing list has been tracking incidence of uterine cancer among house rabbits. She has a survey pet owners fill out and she is keeping records based on it.

The last update appeared in September of 1997, she had records on a total of 209 rabbits with the average age of 2.9 years. The total incidence is 14%, but does over 3 years old have an incidence of 40% (24 out of 60). Does 1-3 years old have an incidence of 3.2%. There were a total of 18 does over 6 years of age and 8 had uterine cancer (44.4%). This information suggests the occurrence of uterine cancer is much greater than many of us have experienced.

Greene also found that reproductive problems occur in the does prior to tumor detection (3). The reproductive disturbances he reports include: diminished fertility, reduced litter sizes and many dead young, retention of litters, abortion, or resorption. In one fourth of the uterine cancer cases cystic breast changes were also observed. He also found that the incidence vary in relation to age, breed, and other constitutional factors (3). "No instance of the tumor occurred in the Belgian or Rex breeds, and the arrangement of breeds in order of increasing incidence stands as follows: Polish, Himalayan, Sable, Beveren, Chinchilla, English, Marten, Dutch, Havana, French Silver, and Tan." (3). Another interesting note from Greene is that crossbred animals had a total of 21.1% incidence while purebreds had 14.2%. The crossbreds were kept because they showed or transmitted "constitutional variations" while the purebreds were considered "normal".

Greene also found that there was a link between pregnancy toxemia and eventual development of uterine cancer (3). Apparently tissue changes and blood chemical alterations were the same in fatal cases of pregnancy toxemia as "mild" cases. All animals experiencing toxemia later developed uterine cancer. This is the link between endometrial hyperplasia and uterine cancer, it always preceded the development of a tumor in the studies. Greene's paper goes on to suggest that liver function is affected by pregnancy toxemia and can last up to a year.

During this time the inability of the liver to suppress estrogen could ultimately result in tumors. As responsible breeders we should be sure to warn any pet owners who buy a rabbit from us that has had a history of problems, they would be at great risk of developing uterine cancer. Also of interest is that carcinoma of the cervix in rabbits is apparently non-existent. Greene's laboratory searched for it during autopsies of almost 4,000 does over 2 years of age but didn't find a single case (3). Greene says there is an anatomical basis for this.

Although no one has reported "the" incidence of cancer among the general population of rabbits, pet or breeder, we should pay attention to what the studies are showing us. Adams (1962) made the observation that the incidence of uterine cancer in breeder rabbits and aged virgin rabbits was the same. Many breeders do not keep their does past breeding age and often will not keep does around who have reproduction difficulties, so this may explain why many have not experienced the incidence.

I believe there is enough evidence to support the position that there is a significant risk of uterine cancer in older female rabbits. I believe it is our responsibility to inform pet owners of it and to promote spay and neutering of all pet rabbits. In addition to removing any risk of uterine cancer it also provides a behavioral benefit. Many people who abandon a pet rabbit do so because of hormone driven behavior such as spraying, aggression, and mounting, however spay/neuter can often prevent or lessen these problems.

References:
1) The Biology of Laboratory Rabbits 2nd Ed 1994, Manning, Ringler, Newcomer
2) March 1997 Veterinary Conference in CA Rabbit Medicine and Procedures for Practitioners Program and Abstracts "Neoplasia in Rabbits" pg. 171.
3) Adenocarcinoma of the Uterine Fundus In the Rabbit by Harry S. N. Greene pg. 535-542, Annals New York Academy of Sciences.
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
Domestic Rabbits May/June 1991 pub. by ARBA, "Medical and Surgical Care of the Pet Rabbit" by Robert C Clipsham DVM. The article mentioned that uterine cancer was one of the most common forms of cancer in rabbits. Ovahysterectomy (spaying) was mentioned as preventative care for does not destined for breeding. As a benefit it also helps to lower what the author referred to as "the very high rate of endometritis and endometriosis documented". It was also mentioned that these reproductive disorders account for a lower expected lifespan for rabbits (6 yrs vs a potential of 15 yrs.)
From e-mail conversations with an experienced rabbit vet, I found out he sees an estimated 20% incidence of uterine cancer in his practice and he does most spays at 5 months of age. He also said that he has read several articles that cite incidence rates of between 14%-35%. He also told me that the mortality rate for spay surgeries should be less than 1% and that he has never lost a doe so far. I have read other sources they state a mortality rate should be less than 1%.
The decision to spay or not is up to you but it is important you research all the factors and talk to your veterinarian. I hope you have found the information on my site helpful in your decision. Personally I recommend spaying for pet rabbits because it will eliminate the possibility of your doe having cancer and there is a behavioral benefit. Just be sure you go to an experienced rabbit vet who has a good (or non-existent) mortality rate for the surgery.
@2001 Corinne Fayo
 

Chansey

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I would like to add..

Rabbits need time outside of their cage for exercise every day.

Rabbits living in wire/mesh bottom cages need a mat or solid surface somewhere in their cage so they can get off the grate if they want, because it can be painful for them.

Rabbits should never be picked up by their ears or by the scruff of their neck. Instead you should support both the rear end and front of the rabbit to make them feel secure.
 
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