Year old, female, spayed bondmates(?) suddenly fighting

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Jen G

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Washington
Hi, new member looking for some help with our situation of the last 10 days. We adopted 2 lop mixes in July. They had been together since birth although not siblings. They have always gotten along well, no dominance issues noted, the smaller of the 2 is the boss and all was peaceful. We had them spayed at 6 months of age (Oct 2020). No health issues, shared their area and have free roam majority of the day, good litter box habits.
In the last 10 days, fighting has ensued, not tiffs or chasing, real fighting with bites to ears and face of the larger, submissive rabbit and plenty of fur lost by both. Needless to say it's been sad to see them separate, they seem sad but unless you are sitting in the area with them, the slightest eye contact caused the smaller dominant one to throw her tail up and launch herself at her "sister". Obviously we have them in separate areas since this has happened, only together when directly supervised, separate free roam time, etc. I've read so much about rabbit bonding in the last 10 days, much of it contradictory, so I joined this site in the hope of some more direct assistance with our specific case. I guess I want to know if this is a reconcilable situation or if our attempts at re-bonding are hopeless at this point. We have put them in their carrier together for car rides and they are fine. We took them to their vet for check ups, all is well, physically, with both rabbits. Your insight is appreciated.
 

Attachments

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
9,494
Reaction score
4,380
Location
Utah, , USA
It's possible rebonding could work at some point. Though there's no way to know for sure until you attempt it. It's definitely much harder when they've had an actual full out fight though. Usually when something like this happens, the rabbits need to be separated for a while. How complete the separation, just depends on how they still react to each other when they can see and hear one another.

If their pens are next to each other and they react aggressively at all through the bars of the fencing, then I would do a complete separation where they are in different parts of the house, where they'll have no visual contact, and can't even hear each other if possible. The point of this is for them to essentially forget the other rabbit, and so forget the fights and previous bad relationship. Though even if they don't react aggressively through the bars, you may still want to consider a complete separation to help them have time to 'forget' everything.

I would do this separation for at least two weeks, though a month would probably be even better. Then see how they react to one another in a very closely supervised date. If they go straight into fight mode, they may need to be separated for much longer, like months, before trying one last time.

It's very possible that this upsurge of aggressive behavior from your rabbits, could be linked to 'spring fever', where rabbits, even spayed/neutered ones, can have an upsurge of hormonal type behaviors like nesting, marking, humping, and increased moodiness. And once spring has passed, the behavior calms back down and things return to normal. So if this has caused the problems with your rabbits, then it's quite possible rebonding could work.
 

Jen G

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Washington
Ok, now we have a plan. We can accommodate complete separation and reintroduction. Thank you for your experienced advice! Here's to hoping our buns decide to forgive and forget.
 

Latest posts

Top