The rabbit who won’t be picked up - being spayed today.

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MellowsMum

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Hey All,

I guess I’m here hoping for some help or insight.

So I have a bunny called Mellow.

She was born in November.

I got her in January.

I brought her from pets at home, I now understand I should not have gone there and won’t again As their animal welfare standards are shocking - lesson learnt.

Mellow has never liked being picked up, in fact she won’t be picked.

She scratches, kicks and bucks.

She’s a house bunny that roams in the day and sleeps in a pen at night.

She loves head scratches, she’s super affectionate to me. She lops next to me when I work from home (I full time work from home now) and sometimes grooms my feet.

She runs to be me for pets and sometimes we nap together on the floor.

Today I took her to be spayed, I explained to the vet that she doesn’t like/won’t be picked up, that she scrapes and bucks etc.

The vet told me that I probably not doing it correctly and went to pick her up - all hell broke loose.

Mellow kicked her carry case off the vets table and ran for it. The vet tried to grab her but Mellow scratched the crap out of her.

The vet ended up pinning Mellow to the table and asked me to pick the cage up and the vet put her back in.

I have 3 worries now -
1. I’m worried all the trust me and Mellow had is now lost by this stress experience.
2. I’m super worried that Mellow won’t take the pain killers and hand feeding when she gets back later tonight.
3. How am I going to check the wound.

We had made good progress with sticking a syringe in banana but I’m worried she’s not going to want to go near any human now.

The vet told me Mellow had probably will never be ok be picked up but if that’s the case how do I trim her nails or check her over.

I love her and just want her to be happy and healthy.
 

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Apollo’s Slave

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hey! I’ll answer the questions in order x

1) it’s not likely to ruin your bond if you have a strong one

2) in this situation, syringe feeding isn’t an choice it just has to be done. I would put banana or apple on the end of the syringe so that it tastes nicer. However, if she doesn’t take it, you’ll have to insert it through the side of her mouth so she had no choice but to swallow

3) I generally didn’t physically check my buns agree their castrations. We always have a checkup the next day, after 5 days and a week and a half later, so the vet checks it.

Picking up your bunny does generally get easier, even with a really difficult one. My boy absolutely hates being picked up, but if I need to do it, I can do I easily. It’s also a confidence thing I’ve found :)
 

MellowsMum

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Thanks for the response.

I’ve had the call to say she’s awake and I can collect her soon.

I have read through your answers and thanks for them.

I’m hoping she takes the pain meds well.

I’m going to take things nice and slow with her.

I’m hoping one day she will let me pick her up.

I find it interesting the vet has said nothing about a follow up visit however!
 

John Wick

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"The vet told me that I probably not doing it correctly and went to pick her up - all hell broke loose." -- I understand this was a stressful experience... but I hope you were able to feel validated in that it's not just you!

I echo what @Apollo’s Slave stated, which is a stressful experience will not ruin a bond. Ideally, the stress of getting picked up at times is going to be heavily outnumbered by the positive interactions/experiences with you (mainly you being associated with food honestly, haha).

This is the method I use for syringe feeding/med administration when a rabbit is more difficult. For higher intensity/larger rabbits (I'm a small person), I get the rabbit on a small table that I can sit on/straddle-- the height can make a rabbit less likely to bolt:

I actually don't pick up one of my rabbits for nail clipping, so it's possible to do it without it, just to let you know! If you can get a rabbit more comfortable with you touching their paws, that can help with nail clipping later on on the floor.
 

MellowsMum

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Thank you both so much for the hints and tips!

Having picked her up just now I had an interesting chat with the vets.

They say she is one of the most spicy buns they have ever met.

None of them could pick her up and may of them now have scratches, they said even the burrito technique didn’t work.

They have said to put her meds on some fresh fruit and coriander (her fav treats) in the morning as they don’t think I’ll be able to use the syringe on her.

They normally book in for a 4 day and 7 days check but they have said they only want the 7 days check booked as she got so stressed.

They have said to call her if I sense a single thing is wrong!

I’m going to be watching her very closely over the next few days.

They have also said she’s fat so after the recovery no more apple as treats and reducing the amount of pellets.
 

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JBun

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Seems like she made quite the impression :p

I have a bun like yours. He totally freaks out at being picked up, which I avoid unless absolutely necessary. And syringing meds can be quite the challenge. One thing that can help sometimes, with meds and the occasions when you have no choice but to pick up your bun, is try covering their eyes/head with a towel. Sometimes when an animal can't see, it can help calm them somewhat.
 

MellowsMum

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I feel super relieved this morning.

I checked on her a few times in the night and she seemed fine.

I got up early and prepped a bowl of coriander and small apple bits.

I tried her with the syringe first and she had none of it.

I put the meds on the apple and greens and she ate it all!!!

First dose down :)

I’ve also managed to glimpse her wound, it seems red but fine.

I’ve ended up having to lay on the floor and wait for her to groom herself but what ever works :)
 

MellowsMum

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Seems like she made quite the impression :p

I have a bun like yours. He totally freaks out at being picked up, which I avoid unless absolutely necessary. And syringing meds can be quite the challenge. One thing that can help sometimes, with meds and the occasions when you have no choice but to pick up your bun, is try covering their eyes/head with a towel. Sometimes when an animal can't see, it can help calm them somewhat.
Thanks for the tip!

It’s nice to know Mellows not the only spiced bun out there!

If I do have to pick her up I’ll try the head covering.

Thanks.
 

john.thorpe1952

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I know this is one of those subjects which always draws many opinions,since of course,each rabbit is an individual ,but I have a suggestion which may be helpful.One of my rabbits,Robbie, is very particular about the way he's picked up ,whereas my female,Freya is pretty tolerant. I learned by experience that he,and many 'awkward' rabbits,prefer to be picked up while facing the handler,one arm gently but firmly along the body with the hand cupping the rump,and then brought quickly and firmly to the body and held there.the advantage is that you can place their head into your armpit,which makes it harder for them to try to dive away. The trick is to be firm and confident,if you have a loose grip they will struggle,and they gain confidence from your confidence.Hope this is of help.
 

MellowsMum

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Thanks for the tip!

it’s-something I’ll try after she’s healed up potentially.
 

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