недеља, 23. децембар 2012.

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Urinary Tract Infection in Bunnies / Bunny in Pain: Knowing the Signs

How to Recognize And Treat Urinary Tract Infection In Bunnies? Know the Signs of Pain In Rabbits To Not Oversee This Important Condition!

How important is it to notice your bunny is in pain? I am guessing everyone knows that. I am not sure everyone of you knows that this can be really tricky sometimes. OK, you as an owner, can learn trough the time to notice that something is going on with your bunny. Something is happening which is changing their normal behavior. 

Keep an eye on your pet
for the signs of existing pain.
Bunnies won't scream when in pain. Actually they won't let a single sound as an alarm to you that something is wrong. Then how can you tell if your bunny is in pain? and this is an important question, since aside from injuries, urinary tract infection is leading cause of the pain in these cute animals. 

In the article Bunny language and behavior, I was writing about the most common signs bunnies send to you when they are sad, sick and in pain. I suggest you to read it, and here I will repeat the most important things you should know. 

Recognize these signs of pain in bunnies, and treat your bunny in time:

fatigue, sleepy look, they hardly can walk, rejecting food (even the food they love the most), often they become aggressive if you try to cuddle them, wet nose, local signs which depend on the cause of the pain (swealling, blood...).

What are the main causes to urinary tract infection in bunnies? Knowing the reason to infection is key to proper prevention!

Well known bacteria, E. coli is leading cause of urinary tract infection in bunnies. Their pelvis and genitals are in constant contact with the ground, which leads to contamination of the surrounding fur with bacteria from the soil, floor or feces. If the litter box is not cleaned frequently, the pee absorbs into the fur, irritates the skin and genitals. Inflamed and damaged skin is perfect ground for bacterial colonization and this leads to the most cases of infections of urinary tract in rabbits. 
Other reasons are: bladder calculosis, anatomical abnormalities of urinary system, or too much of calcium in the food.

How to treat urinary infection in rabbits?


bunny in pain urinary tract infectionPrevention is the most important part. And Prevention is what we all can do. Make sure the litter box, or the place where your bunny pees is clean and changed frequently. This corner of theirs mustn't be wet, or it will wet the fur, and make it easier for bacteria to grow on their hair and skin.
If you notice that tail and hair around genitals is soaked with water or pee, you have to dry it out with paper towel.

If, anyhow, the infection happens, you need to take your bunny to the vet. The veterinarian is the only person who can treat these infections. He will also check out if there is something more important behind the pain your bunny is experiencing.

If you are not able to take the bunny to the vet immediately (it is night, it is the day of the weekend...) make sure their take lots of water to wash out the bacteria from their urinary system. it is known rabbits don't drink lots of water, so you will have to improvise. Offer them wet vegetables (parsley, salad, cabbage, carrot). Be there for them and keep in mind: dry up their fur using paper towel as often as you can.
During the infection, they will urinate every few minutes, and they will do it everywhere, since they cannot control the urge. Make sure that you clean it up right after they pee.

I hope this was helpful. For any question, please leave the comment!
Thank you.

субота, 04. август 2012.

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Bunnies: Moult, Bathe and Fur Care

Tips and Tricks about Bunnies: What Do You Need to Know about Moult, Bathe and Fur Care!

How often do bunnies moult? Can you bathe bunnies, and how often to do that? What is the best way to provide proper fur care for your house bunny? 
If you are owner of one or more of these precious creatures, you have asked these questions at least once. Here you can find the most important information on these topics. 

bunnies moult bathe fur care
I like to compare rabbits to cats. In many aspects, those animals are quite similar. They self-groom, they are odorless, clean animals, and pretty much silent. 
That is why I love rabbits. They need minimum of the care, and lots of love and cuddling. They basically clean themselves by constant licking. They do it all the time, when these is nothing more important to do. 
After this it is easy to assume what the answer to those questions would be. But in some specific situations, things get complicated. 
What to do in such occasions? 
Please, keep reading!

What Should a Bunny Owner Know about Moulting of Rabbits? 

Small tricks of bunny fur care!

Bunnies have thin, soft hair, and the season of moulting causes head aches to their owners. This is understandable, because it is quite difficult to clean it of your carpets and furniture. There are few simple fur care tricks that can be applied during moulting seasons.

How often do bunnies/rabbits moult and how  to prevent the consequences?

They moult few times during a year. It depends on the outer temperature. If they are kept in house, they shed every 2 to 3 months, with the peaks in the summer and during the winter (central heating).
Younger bunnies shed discretely, but with the years coming, they star loosing more and more hair, making this process more and more problematic for their owners.
You have to have in mind, that not every moult is the same. In practice, it is proven that every second shedding is more intense.
In older rabbits, it is not rare for them to loose fur completely from their back, or side. This is nothing to be afraid of: it is completely normal, and the fur will return in few weeks, after the shedding is over.
Above and to the right, you can see couple of Amazon products. Those are brushes for proper grooming of your pet. They are perfect for taking away the success of the hair. Since rabbits self-groom, they ingest lots of shedding fur, which can be dangerous in the way of forming clogs in their gastrointestinal tract, and thus leading to gastointestinal stasis (complication of severe moult in rabbits).

To prevent this, and annoying hairballs on your carpet and furniture, use these special brushes to groom your pet once of twice a day. They will love it, and you will ease the pain moult is causing to you. 

Should You Bathe Your Bunny/Bunnies? When is the Rabbit Ready for Bath?

Every pet owner should know that their pet rabbits should never be bathed. Not just that they don't like the water, which is an other similarity to cats, but the water can be very dangerous for them. Even if there is only small amount of it. If immersed into the water, rabbits can suffer from shock and die. This can happen even if there is just an inch of it in bath tub. 

But our pets are known for curiosity, and there are lots of situations when they get so dirty, that something has to be done. So, in those cases, you can bathe them, but you should read how.

You need to place a towel into the bath tub, to prevent your pet loosing a grip.
Don't use shower, and don't immerse bunny into the water. Never shower his head. When bathing, only back, legs and tail can be in contact with water. Try to keep wet area at the minimum size. Use small bottle or cup as water holder. 
On the right side you can see the best choices for shampoo. Use one of those, that are mild and organic, to wash out the dirt from his fur.
After you have gently washed filthy are of bunny's fur, wrap him into the dry towel, and lift him into your arm. Hold him tightly to prevent moving, and jumping (they can hurt themselves in attempt to run away).
Don't use hair dryer, but keep bunny in warm til hi dries up. 
Always offer treat, to ease the stress caused by bathing. 
Note: your pet will keep licking himself after bathe is done. This is more like defense mechanism, and this is nothing to be worried about, if the proper shampoo is used, and washed out properly.

More about bunny hygiene: Bunny as Pets: Improving Hygiene.

I hope this post was helpful. Feel free to ask anything that remained unsaid.

четвртак, 02. август 2012.

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Delicious Organic Snacks for Pet Bunnies

Treat your Bunny with These Healthy Delicious Organic Snacks Made for Pet Bunnies!

Earlier I was writing about pellets, or dried food products rich in vitamins, but not so rich in fibers. Pellets and not snacks, at least they are not healthy snacks for your house bunny. They do consider them delicious, and they are organic, but pellets are carbs, which I don't recommend to be used often to feed your pet.

More about pellets you can read in this article:

Pellets and other snacks for your bunny
It is important to know which food is good and which is bad for your pet rabbit. Some food can be offered to bunnies on regular basis, and other bunnies shouldn't eat more than twice a week.
Learn how to organize your pet's diet in order to prevent serious diseases!

delicious organic snacks for pet bunnies
Rabbit snacks
What do you need to know about various types of snacks for bunnies? 

Are they safe for your pet bunny, and how often can you offer it to him?

First, you need to know something about gastrointestinal tract in rabbits, and the influence bad food has on it. In compare to human GI tract, main intestinal flora is consisted of Escherichia (lactobacillus in humans). While humans need to eat carbs in order to keep number of lactobacillus consistent, rabbits need to eat as many fiber rich food as possible. In their case, carbs are strictly forbidden given in high quantities, or given often. 
If you feed you house rabbit with lots of carbs, you can cause slowing down the GI motility, GI stasis, and later even ileus (gastrointestinal blockage). 
With fruit products, you need to be cautious, for very simple reason. That is because, while fruits are good in the way they are rich in fibers, they are also dangerous because of the high level of sugar. You have to choose proper combination and dosage for the best health of your loved ones. 

What type of delicious organic snacks to choose for your pet bunnies?

I choose only the best organic snacks for my Gary the Bunny!

These Vitakraft products you can see on the right, are perfect organic treats for your bunnies. There are various products in their product list, from all sorts of sticks (carrot, popcorn and alfalfa sticks...) to berry and yogurt drops.

Giving those snacks to your bunny once a day between meals you are making your loved one happier than ever, and plus you are providing essential ingredients for the best health of the pet rabbit.

This is great way to provide high quality and fun chewing exercise for them, insuring proper teeth wear down. Animals just like us are crazy about treats. In case of rabbits, treats are something a bit different from our sweets. While we can eat chocolate and cookies, your pets will have a lot more fun if you provide organic carrot and popcorn snacks for them. Snack made of fruits and vegetables that are allowed for your pets, are recommended for every day use. On the other hand, chocolate and other sweets are forbidden in bunny's diet!

More snacks for pet bunnies on Amazon:

I hope you have found enough high quality organic snacks for your pet bunnies here. I have presented you those I buy for my Gary, and I hope your rabbit will enjoy them as much as mine does.

Until next time, cheers!

среда, 01. август 2012.

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Toys Made of Hay for Bunnies and Rabbits

Bring play and fun to your bunny's life with these awesome toys made of hay! You rabbits will never be happier! 

There is number of possibilities to make your bunny or rabbit happier. Mix their favorite things (food and play) and you will have ever loving rabbit, who will never regret he is with you. If you own a bunny or more, you certainly know they are playful pets, and they require toys in order to keep them busy enough not to think about chewing and biting your furniture.
In other post, I was writing about their need to chew things, in order to wear down their ever growing teeth.

Bunny Teeth Care

Follow the link and learn more about bunny teeth care. Why do you need to feed your bunny with hay, and why is fiber rich food good for your bunny! Excellent post that will tell you everything about hay, and other products from bunny diet. 

Check these awesome toys made of hay! Toys for perfect fun moments for your adorable bunny!

Super Pet Rabbit Rollin' The Hay Holder:

I have to admit that this rolling the hay holder is my bunny's favorite toy. It is not just a toy, it is also source of good old, tasty hay, that my Gary adores! He can't stop playing with it. This way you can be sure your pet rabbit won't get bored, and plus you can stay assured he is wearing his teeth down properly. 
Hay is perfect source of fibers for your rabbit, and rotating hay is just the thing you must have to keep your little devils away from carpets, cables etc. 

This super pet rabbit rolling the hay holder is made of plastics and aluminium wire. It is perfectly safe for your loved ones. You can easily fill it with meadow hay just by taking one plastic side off. 

Peter's Woven Grass Play Ball:

Another awesome toy made of hay for your bunny!

This hay ball is an excellent way to ensure your bunny is having great time, while you are not around. Also, this way he won't be starving either. Provide hours of fun and healthy teeth care to your adorable bunny! 
If you own a rabbit, you are aware that they love to role things, bite them and trow around your house. This toy made of completely natural materials, is going to provide material for hours of rolling, chewing and trowing. 

Hanging Hay Rack for House Rabbits:

I bought this toy made of wood and hay few months ago and I can tell this is wonderful toy for any bunny. Our loving pets are crazy for things colored in bright, vivid colors. Also, they adore to "work for their meal". With this spinning hanging rack for house rabbits, hay will taste even better. 

Don't worry about the safety. This wood is colored using safe colors for your house pet. Hay can be placed easily in this hanging rack, and in few seconds, the treat is ready for your rabbit. Make their day rich in colors and fun!

I hope you like the choice of toys I put in this post. I checked them all, and this is my recommendation. My Gary was and still is very happy to have these hangers and rollers filled with hay to play.
I guarantee every bunny and rabbit will be thrilled to play with such toys made of hay. Endless source of fun and food!

Which hay is the best for your bunny:

Earlier I posted about proper food to feed your bunny with. This time I will just give few advices on issues relating to this topic: Toys Made of Hay for Bunnies and Rabbits.
In order to be fully informed about proper bunny diet program, I recommend you to read this post:
Hay and Vegetables to Feed your Bunny with.

There is no better treat for your pet than meadow hay. Of all types of dry grass, this type is the best, and the most useful to ensure proper teeth wear.

Thank you!

среда, 18. април 2012.

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Depression in Bunnies: Is Your Pet Bunny Depressed?

What Is Actually Depression in Bunnies?

Is it true bunnies can be depressed? Is depression in bunnies serious condition?

Just like other mammals, bunnies can too fall into depression. It is a sort of psychiatric disorder, in which one is not interested for anything, and the one blames himself for everything bad that happens. Lethargy, loss of appetite, insomnia (lack of sleeping) and deep pathological sadness are the most common symptoms in this disease. 
Depression depressed bunny
Depression in Bunnies: Gary having bad day!

Why Is My Bunny Depressed?

There are various reasons for your bunny being in bad mood, or even depressed. All animals, and bunnies suffer from changing seasons (from Winter to Spring, and from Summer to Autumn). This is called seasonal depression and it is not severe condition. Reason for this condition is lack of light. Mammals need light to stay active, and that is why most of mammals sleep trough the winter. 

The light we are exposed to during Winter time is 600 to 1000 lux, and the light we are exposed to during Spring and Summer goes from 5000 to 100000 lux. Our brain needs more light in order to preserve activity. That is why we are depressed when it is raining for more than 2 days. Same thing happens with bunnies. 

Lack of toys can lead to this condition in rabbits too. 
Bunnies that are held closed in the cages for too long, or being ignored by household are probably going to become sad and depressed.
Changing the place of living is huge stress for your pet. In some cases all the toys can't ease the stress in bunny when he finds himself in new environment. 
Never hit your pet, and don't yell at him all the time, even if they bite everything around. This can show them they are not loved, and they can feel rejected in such situations. 

Depression can be the first sign of sickness. If you bunny is sick, he will withdraw to his safe place and wait until the pain is gone. You will rarely see bunnies making noises when in pain. Instead they will just withdraw and avoid any contact with you, or other animals. The most common cause of pain is urinary tract infection. read about it in the post: Bunnies in pain: Urinary Tract Infection in Bunnies

How Can I Tell If My Pet Bunny Is Depressed? 

How to recognize depression in bunnies?

You should notice your bunny is sad, dejected and not in the mood to play with. He would spend time in some corner, or under the chair, avoiding household. If depressed, your pet has probably lost the appetite and thus he is rejecting any food. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but simply not motivated and dejected. His eyes would be almost closed, and even sounds wouldn't affect his activity. 
These were some of the major sign of this condition in rabbits, and you can find some other too, and also not all of those are found in every case of depression. 

How Can I Help My Bunny?

It is really wrong to think that depression in bunnies is always result of the actions of violent and ignorant owners. But often, this is what pushes them into this condition. Be caring, loving owner to your pets. Be as often there to play with them as you can. Bunnies are playful animals, and they love to be cuddled, and played with. Have this in mind.
Sometimes it is not our fault for them being dejected. It is just the weather, or season in the year, or it is just something we couldn't have changed (moving to new home, death of the family member...). In such cases, it is the best thing not to insist on playing with them. Give them space, but spend time with them in the same room. Be there, let them know you are there, but at the same time provide space and give them a time to reach you when they are ready. It will happen. 

Time heals everything, they say. ;)

Make sure, your pet has his favorite food on menu, treat him with new and interesting toys. Offer some old toys he enjoyed to play with. You try to look and feel happy, for the very reason bunnies are empathic animals. They feel what you feel. You need to be there with them, and to be their best friend in order to help them go trough depression. Bunnies love company!

недеља, 01. април 2012.

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Hay and Vegetables to Feed Your Bunny

Go back to What king of food to feed your bunny with?

Here I will talk about hay and vegetables. Lets first write few lines about hay.

Hay is basic food to feed your bunny with

Hay can be offered to bunny without any limits. But keep in mind that not every hay is good hay.

Hay is must-have diet component for your bunny. You have to insure presence of limitless amounts of hay for your bunny. But not all sorts of hay are good for your loved ones. Lets see what sorts of hay you can find out there on market.

There are two groups of hay: grass hay ans legume hay. Grass hay is perfectly harmless, and bunny should have limitless access to it. It provides lots of nutrients, and little calories. Legume hay, on the other hand, is rich in calories, and should be limited. It is mostly used for feeding rabbits for food market (we are not talking about those rabbits). Besides calories, legume hay is rich in calcium, which is not good thing either.

hay too feed your bunnyhay too feed your bunny

You may find few types of grass hay: Timothy hay and meadow hay (made of all different sorts of grass).

Also there are few types of legume hay: alfalfa, beans, peanuts, clover hay. (if you feed your bunny with pellets, it is better not to feed them with legume too).

It is important to provide 90% of daily intake by offering them hay. Rabbits will find fruits, legume, pellets more attractive than hay. If you try to give more other food, and less these grassy components, bunnies will start rejecting hay at some point. Don't let them choose what to eat. Becouse of their lack of judgment when it is about food quality, and their well being, it is your responsibility to take care of their diet.

Many owners prefer to give less hay to prevent contaminating the house with it. It is truth bunnies like to spread hay around the place, but there are ways to reduce that problem. When you offer too much hay, bunnies will eat the best of it, and leave the rest not to be eaten. That hay will soon be around the house. But if you try offering them 3 times a day lesser quantity of hay, they will eat more, and leave less of it not eaten. Also, putting   hay in litter box, or some other box should do nice job too. But be careful then. Bunnies pee and poop in the places where they eat. Having the food in box, it will get contaminated easily. So, try to change hay once a day.

In this what kind of food to feed your bunny to post, I will now write few lines about vegetables.

Vegetables are an other great source fiber for your pets. 

When you imagine rabbits, what sort of vegetables do you link them to? When I think of rabbits, I always think of carrot too. :) Well, aside of cartoons, in reality it is a bit different. Eating carrots, your bunnies take lots of sugar in. So, it is not good for abdominal flora, and the blood sugar levels. Instead of feeding your bunny with carrot root, you should give them carrot tops, and 1-2 slices of carrot root a day.

Lets start with a list of acceptable vegetables:

  • Basil
  • Beet greens (tops)
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrot tops
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens (NO pesticides)
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Green peppers
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Pea pods (the flat edible kind)
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Radicchio
  • Radish tops
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Romaine lettuce (NO iceberg or light
  • colored leaf lettuce)
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Wheat grass

Mmmmmm... :)
Kale, mustard greens, and spinach are rich in oxalate, which can accumulate in the system and cause toxicity over the time.

Vegetables are important for improving chewing habits of your bunnies. Give them every day a different vegetable to chew to make them use different chewing motions, helping that way teeth grinding.

Some authors recommend giving wet vegetables to your bunny. Some others say it can softer their feces. one thing is sure, you have to wash vegetables up well, so no pesticides remain on it. 

Vegetables will provide lots of vitamin, fiber, nutritients and water for you bunny. It is health and low in calories, which is good. If you ask me, the best to feed them with is a salad and carot tops. 

четвртак, 29. март 2012.

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Bunny Overheating | Bunnies and Heat

Introduction to bunny's temperature regulation | Can bunnies overheat?

Can my bunny cool himself? How does bunnies react to heat?

Bunnies are animals extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Actually, there are three main problems in these animals: malocclusion, gastrointestinal stasis (ileus) and overheating. Follow these link to read more about Bunny teeth care and malocclusion and Gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits.

Bunnies don't have ability to efficiently release surplus of energy, which is in this case in form of heat. Optimal temperature for rabbits is 10 to 20 degrees. They like cooler places, and lower temperatures. If thermometer shows more than 20 degrees, there is risk of overheating. This is important to know in summer time. Rabbits can not perspire like humans. They have small mouth, and small tongue, so they can't cool themselves by increasing respiration like dogs. Bunnies are covered by dense fur, which prevents cooling of the skin in the wind.
In short words, in hot days, your bunny is in danger. Bunnies and heat don't go along with each other.

Symptoms of Overheating (hyperthermia) in Bunnies

How can I tell if my bunny is overheated?

Whenever temperature rises above 20-25 degrees, you should start watching your bunny's body language more often. 
Heat can lead you rabbit to lethargy at first. Bunny is not in mood to cuddle, jump or even eat. You will see him lying in the corner, being extremely passive. Bunny will try to find some cool place, like floor tiles, to stretch out and let tiles absorb some of that heat accumulating in his body. You will also notice bunny is breathing really fast, trembling and possible shaking. 
Heat stroke, or overheating is state of emergency! Take your bunny to the vet ASAP!

Prevention of overheating (heat stroke, hyperthermia) in bunnies

What can you do to cool your bunny a bit, and easy a heat?

I need to mark one thing here: when your pet has heat stroke, don't try to apply preventive measures. Take him directly to vet.
But, there are preventive measures that can help you keep your bunny safe from heat. 

Keep you pet away from direct sun: it is the best to take him inside the house over the summer months, if you have outdoor rabbit. If it is indoor rabbit you have, then choose the coolest room to move you bunny to. I like to keep my Gary in hole, with lots of floor tiles  for him to cool on.
Spray his ears with water every few hours: this will help him lower body temperature for few degrees. Ears in rabbits are rich in blood vessels, and cooling them, will lower the blood temperature in whole body.
This is time to turn your air conditioner on!
Fans and hair driers (cooling) will do the trick. Be careful, and not point the fan or hair drier directly to your bunny. 

I hope this post was useful! Let me know!
Thank you for your visit!

понедељак, 20. фебруар 2012.

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Bunnies as Pets: Bunny Spay and Neuter Explanation

You want to know more on bunny spay and neuter topic? Your bunny pet has grown into adult male of female bunny, and he/she is now acting inappropriate? Well, hormons and urges are strange thing, let me tell you that!

Before I continue writing on bunny spay and neuter topic, I am recommending you start reading this blog from beginning to keep up with important things for this topic: Bunnies as Pets.

Do you stil think spaying and neutering
 is out of the option?

I have been asked yesterday by one bunny owner, if he should get his bunny to vet for neutering. Bunny neuter, or spay policy is clear: domestic bunnies should be neutered and spayed for various reasons. 

Bunny spay and neuter corner: 
What do you know about bunny behaviour when hormons strike?

If you don't spay or neuter your bunny then he/she will become more and more agressive. Biting is going to become even greater problem, and your bunny is going to start humping on everone and everything. Your leg could be first victim! As every animal, and human being, bunnies have urges, and needs. If there is no other bunny to help him furfill those needs, than your bun is going to become agressive. 
I bet you are asking yourself if spaying and neutering hurts your bunny. And if he is going to hate you afterwards?
I understand you completely, here. It is relly not easy to make steps toward such procedure if you love and cherish your bun. But, the procedures are relly simple, and not that painful to your bunny as you would guess. 
On the other hand, you are releasing your bunny from a state of anxiety. In case of female bunnies, you really have to spay them. Most of female bunnies will get ovarial cancer in frist 4 years of their life, if not spayed. 
This medical excusse is not in place for male bunnies, but it will ease his life, that is for sure.

Some of you think would it be better if you get male and female bunny together. Would that be better than spay female and neuter male bunny? 
If you own female bunny, I already explaind there is reasonable medical excuse for doing that! Ovarial cancer is not good thing, and you should spare your beloved bun of that!
If you get female bun for your male bun, then you can expect to soon have a nice big group of lil bunnies jumping around and colonizing your house. 

The simplest solution possible, for you and your bunny, is to do spaying and neutering.
Only vet can perform this!

You should know there are some possible complications of this procedure, but they are rare. Every medical procedure has risk of complications. And here, good reasons overdo the bad ones, when it is about bunny spay and neuter. 

I hope you have found information you needed. I hope this post was useful to you! Let me know, and leave the comment!


петак, 10. фебруар 2012.

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Gastrointestinal (GI) Stasis In Rabbits; Why Is My Rabbit In Pain?

Today's topic is GI stasis in rabbits. Do you have a playful rabbit, that suddenly stopped playing? Is your rabbit silent, depressed and does he reject to eat? Does everything indicate your bunny is in pain? "Why is my bunny in pain", you must be asking yourself.
One of the reasons could be gastrointestinal stasis in your rabbit.
Before I continue writing about on this topic, I suggest you to read previous posts about what kind of food to feed your bunny with or, to simple start reading from the beginning: bunnies as pets. And now, lets talk about GI stasis in rabbits, and why is your rabbit in pain.

Proper food is important in prevention of
GI stasis in rabbits.
Gastrointestinal anatomy of rabbits:
Rabbits GI tract is very similar to the one in humans. But there are some differences. Rabbits use coecum besides the stomach to process their food. In coecum, food rich in fiber, is kept for some time. There, the same food is being fermented by bacteria (resident flora of rabbits GI). 

Rabbits resident GI flora is different than in humans. They don't use Lactobacillus colonies to ferment the food, but other types of bacteria. 

It is important to keep the number of resident bacteria on same level. If bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, it can cause GI problems. Bad bacteria produce lots of gas, which bloats bunny's belly.

Main causes of GI stasis in rabbits:
  • wrong diet programme (lack of hay and other fiber rich food in bunny diet) to check what does bunny food pyramid look like check it here: bunny food pyramid.
  • Foreign body in the rabbits GI tract.
  • Other diseases (pain can trigger GI stasis).
Symptoms of GI stasis in rabbits:
Main symptom of GI stasis is lack of appetite. You will notice that, suddenly, your bunny is withdrawing into his corner (cage). He is loosing weight, and refuses to eat anything. This is mostly caused by bloat from the gas produced by growing bad bacteria in the intestines. Cause of this gas, your bunny feels like his stomach is full, and thus he is loosing appetite.
Of course, your rabbit is in pain too. Distended stomach can be very painful. With rabbits in pain, you can hear their pain (they grind their teeth loudly)
If you try to rub their belly, you will feel it is distended, and not soft as it was before. You bunny will react too. 
You will also see their poop is missing, or the droppings are very small. This is one of the most important signs. If there is stasis, it is obvious that droppings will be missing. 


In case of lack of fiber in bunny's diet programme, we are talking about GI flora dis balance. Hay is important to keep the number of good bacteria constant. If you are feeding your bunny to lots of pellets and giving him little or no hay or vegetables, in some time, GI stasis is imminent. GI motility is very important here too. It is known that rabbits fed on pellets and no hay have slow GI motility. When GI motility slows down enough to allow gas to accumulate, and to allow excess amounts of water to be absorbed, at that time problems start. 
Not only that gas is preventing food to go on, but also, the water resorption causes digested masses to go to dry and compact. This, with hair in the stomach can lead to forming hair balls, that can completely block the passage. Gas accumulating is causing bloat, and the pain coming from distension. Dry food and hair masses are blocking the passage, and the extended and full GI is telling bunny that he is not hungry. The water intake is also stopped, so dehydration is one of the signs. And it can lead to the death of the bunny.
Your bunny is in pain, and dehydrated and he is loosing weight.
For more info on bunny language, follow the link.

Pain can cause GI stasis too. The most common reason is pain from molar spurs growing into gums or tongue (see bunny teeth care). In this case pain and starving is leading ti GI stasis. You have to know that even 24hrs without food, can cause major health disorders in rabbits. The process is the same as when they don't eat fibers, just faster.

Treatment of GI stasis in rabbits:
Fifty percent of these conditions, can be treated only by putting rabbit back to fiber rich diet. Tummy massage is useful too. BUT YOU MUST TAKE YOUR RABBIT TO THE VET if your rabbit is in pain. No matter what the possible condition could be.
Metoclopramid and cisaprid are good procinetic drugs. They will improve peristaltic.Hydratation is key in recovering!

I hope this post about GI stasis in rabbits was helpful, and that you have found what you were looking for. And remember, if your bunny is in pain, GI stasis is only one of the possible reasons. Seeing vet is best choice to solve the problem. Every condition is treatable, if discovered in time. 

Feel free to ask anything you want, and to join the blog so you don't miss next posts.
Thank you for your time.


петак, 03. фебруар 2012.

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Toys For Bunnies: Make Cheap Toys For Your Bunny

Hello everyone!
Today's topic is toys for bunnies: make cheap toys for your bunny.
Last time I was writing about bunny teeth care. I mentioned there how important it is to give things to your bunny that he can chew to keep wearing off his teeth. Before I start writing about toys for bunnies and how can you make cheep toys for your bunnies, I suggest you start reading blog from beginning if you haven't read it already: bunnies as pets.

Toys for bunnies: cheap toy (paper bag)
Bunnies are playful pets. They love to run, chew, jump around, anything but to stay at one spot. If you have one I believe you understand me. They need toys more than cats and dogs need them. If your bunny doesn't have toys to play with, he will find something in your house to play with. I believe you will agree with me that carpets, and shoes are not cheap toys, at all. And besides that they are not the best toys for your bunnies to play with, either.
Not many toys for your bunny can be found on the market . And even if you find few toys, they won't be cheap toys, that is sure thing. If you try to understand that your bunny cares only about chewing, throwing things around, rolling thing and making noises when they land on the floor, you will see that you don't need to buy things for that purpose. And, besides, it is great fun making toys for your bunnies.
Every bunny has different personality. What one bunny likes, other one, of course, can ignore it. You have to experiment with toys. See what does your bunny like.

Related article:
Toys made of Hay for Your Bunny!
I suggest you to read this excellent post about toys made out of hay and wood. Learn how to provide lots of fun for your pet, and at the same moment to feed him with quality hay. On this post you can find Amazon links to some very interesting toys too.

So, what are the best and cheapest toys for your bunnies?
I will start from my Gary. He loves bags. All sorts of bags. Paper bags are his favorite toys, though. Every time I buy something I bring him one paper bag. They like to play with plastic ones too, but keep those away from your bunnies. Bunnies will eat plastics, which is not healthy for them (for anyone). The good thing about these bags is that they are multifunctional toys. First of all they are cheap toys. Bunnies can chew them, and train their jaws and sharpen their teeth that way. They can use them as shelter (their safe place to run from unusual sounds). Jumping on the bags is an other way of having fun. They are just enjoying sound of paper being scrambled, or just torn apart.

Toys for bunnies: cheap toys (fun and tasty)
Empty roll of toilet paper is an excellent choice. They can bite it, roll it on the floor or throw it around. To make it even more interesting for your bunny to play with toilet paper rolls, you can try filling the tunnel with some hay. So it will be fun and tasty. You can try cutting edges in different shapes, and then folding the shapes toward outside. It will make it easier for them to bite it.

Willow toys are an other thing that you can make for your bunny. Balls and huts made out of weaved together willow twigs, is great fun for most rabbits. You can weave them together, just find some nice willow trees and choose a few nice twigs and twine them in and out of each other.

Toys for bunnies: cheap toys
(willow balls)

Bunnies like obstacles. They love to jump over things, or to crawl under something, or to go trough tunnels. So you can make a tunnel out of cardboard. No need to explain that (:D). You can put more effort in it, and use 2 or three cardboard boxes. Those can be put together, and connected by a tunnel, or a hole in their walls. Make a training polygon out of cardboard boxes. Be innovative!

Packages of cereal is great source of fun for your bunnies too. They can bite it, jump on it, or even enter the package (if bunny is small enough :)). 
Towels are good toys too. Towels, old scarf, some old pieces of clothes. Make humps of those things. Your bunny will be happy to go on it, and trough it. Bunnies like to push things between front and back legs using front legs. Old clothes and towels are just perfect for it. 
If you, or someone close to you have a baby. You can "steal" one toy and give it to the bunny. They will enjoy those bright colors, and ringing sound those toys make when thrown around. I suggest you use a plastic ball with ring, or something in it that can make sounds when manipulated. 

Try with corks and plastic bungs. 
Anithing that comes across of your mind. Use simple solutions and imagination to make cheap toys for your pets. Toys for bunnies are easy to be made. They don't ask for much. Just be innovative.
I hope this Toys For Bunnies: Make Cheap Toys For Your Bunnies post was useful. If so, tell me. If not, ask what do you want to know. I will do my best to answer, and to update the post with new information.

Thank you for your time.

понедељак, 30. јануар 2012.

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Bunny Teeth Care | Trimming Rabbit Nails

Bunny Teeth Care Trimming Rabbit Nails

Earlier, in post What Kind Of Food to Feed Your Bunny With?, I talked about importance of rich diet programme as part of bunny teeth care. If you haven't read it, maybe it is best you start from there, or from the very first post: Bunnies as Pets. All owners know about need for nail trimming, for those buns can scratch!

Lets take a short view of which teeth problems am I going to write today, and what measures of bunny teeth care do we have. Later I will write more about it. After discussing bunny teeth care programme, I will explain nail tripping techniques.

Bunny Teeth Care
Bunny Teeth Care - malocclusion

  • Malocclusion,
  • Molar spurs,
  • Teeth loosening,
  • Gum infection,
  • Teeth root infection,
  • Root extension farther into jaw.
First, let me say that bunnies have incisors (4 front teeth: 2 in the upper and 2 in the lower jaw) and molars (teeth located in the back of the jaws). Molars are not easily visible and reachable, while molars can be seen easily if you separate bunny lips. 
NOTE: Bunnies' teeth are growing continuously whole life (hipsodonts) and they need to be wear off. Feeding your bunnies with food rich in fibers (hay, wood), or giving them toys which are safe for them to bite the, will do the job. This works for normally occluded teeth.

Malocclusion is term used to describe situation when teeth are not meeting well. Either upper teeth are growing over lower, or it is other way round. In both cases there is an issue: teeth wearing off (sharpening while chewing food) is being compromised. If they can't sharpen their teeth (wear off), teeth will continue to grow. The same thing can happen in case of normally occluded teeth (if bunnies are not feed with proper food). This is why proper bunny teeth care is important.
I hope you understand the importance of giving to your bunny something he/she can bite and sharpen their teeth.
Malocclusion can be inherited (teeth are in malocclusion from the very start of growing up), or earned after jaw trauma.
If not wear off regularly, incisors AND molars will continue to grow. Incisors can grow outside of the mouth, or inside (hurting opposite gums, or tongue.). Teeth can sometime be so curved, they brake up. It is understandable that overgrowth teeth are not useful. Many dentists will use trimming as first teeth care solution. In practice this was proven to be not that successful as thought before. Teeth will continue to grow, and procedure has to be done every 2 to 4 weeks. It is stressful for your bunny, of course. Leading world veterinarians agree that pulling maloccluded teeth out is the best solution.
Molars (important for grinding the food after it being cut into pieces by incisors) won't overgrow in this way, like shown on picture (incisors overgrowth on the picture). Here we will see molar spurs (spikes, extensions) originating from molar edges (not aligning to upper/lower teeth). These molar spurs can grow into gums, or into tongue. Also they can grow that long so they make pressure on tongue not allowing bunny to move his/her tongue. It is then causing huge pain to your pet, not allowing him to eat anything. So, the main symptom is weight loss, and gas accumulation in intestines (this can cause ileus- lethal complication).

Teeth loosening is something not that rare, that affects elderly bunnies. It can cause root extension deeper into mandible/maxilla. If not treated, in time, teeth root can penetrate sinus, and is often followed by infection (mostly fecal bacteria from feces which has been pushed between loosen tooth and gums).

Gums and teeth root infection is caused mostly by bacteria moving under the gingives trough small fractures in the teeth (they can be caused by repetitive teeth trimming). This is one of the reasons veterinarians are recommending teeth extraction nowadays.

How to prevent bunny teeth going wild? 
What is proper bunny teeth care?

Bunny teeth care- biting
 In case of no malocclusion, the best thing you can do is to check your bunnies mouth every 7 days to have an overview on teeth growth! Feeding your bunny to fiber rich food is essential. Give some proper toys which he can bite and use to sharpen his teeth. I will repeat that it is crucial for your bunny to have rich and different diet programme every day. Also, lots of toys for biting and chewing is as important in bunny teeth care strategy (see TOYS). Seeing the veterinarian from the first day you got the bun is great investment in bunny's health and thus his long and health life!

Bunny teeth care - trimmer
Teeth examination:
Just like it is normal thing to examine your own teeth from time to time, it is the same thing with bunnies. Just, you need to do it more often. Their teeth are growing really fast, and in a week they can go from good into bad!
Checking incisors is easy job. You just need to hold your bunny tightly, and move his lips so you can see first 4 teeth (2 upper, and 2 lower ones).

Checking molars is, on the other hand, tricky. It is better to check them indirectly, buy looking for secondary signs of molars disorders:

  • swelling,
  • drooling,
  • laud grinding,
  • bad odor coming from the mouth,
  • eating disorder,
  • weight loss.
Treating teeth disorders (bunny teeth care in general):
As I stated earlier in this post: some veterinarians choose to trim bunnies' teeth. Others choose pulling them out as the best and long lasting solution. It is surgical procedure with little incision into the gums. It is important to pull out the whole root (their teeth roots are much longer than in human species). Antibiotics are per scripted for next 10 days. Healing is fast (bunnies are able to take food from 4 to 12 hours after the procedure). 
What after loosing teeth? Your bunny will adapt fast! Pellets will be his favorite food, since they are small and they pick it easily of the floor. You will have to cut hay into 2 to 3 inches long pieces for easy grabbing with their lips (they are not able to cut hay without teeth- you have to do it for them). Long term prognosis (your bunny is happy, and able to eat. pain is gone! Procedure is up to 100% successful.).

Long rabbit nails bother you? How to perform trimming rabbit nails?

This is not about some disorder. It is normal, common thing to see nails grow up, and be cut down! We all do it. The tricky part comes if your bunny is one of those which will do anything to get out of your hands. Well, my Gary is that type. He doesn't enjoy being tide up, and hate nail trimming (cutting). Most of rabbit hate it. Some of them will lie calm.
What to do if you have non-cooperative bunny? Just insure you have control over his legs, so he doesn't hit and scratch you while trimming his nails. You can to that by folding him into a towel, while keeping nails on his front legs little above the towel edge. Use trimmers for trimming dog nails (even regular nail clipper will do). Insure not to cut too far (watch for red line under the nail). If you cut the nail too far from the nail edge, there is chance you will hurt live tissue, and cause pain and bleeding. If there are few drops of blood in claws after cutting nails, put some antiseptic solution to prevent infection.
Now you know everything about trimming rabbit nails. Not the hard. The hardest part of it is take control over your bunny.
If you are interested in how to treat their fur, and should you bathe your pet, I suggest you to visit this post: Bunnies: Moult, Bathe and Fur Care.

Did you find Bunny Teeth Care | Trimming Rabbit Nails post useful? If so, tell me. If something is left unexplained, please ask.

Next time I will talk more about proper toys for bunnies to wear their teeth, and playing with your bunny. Stay tuned.
Thank you!

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петак, 27. јануар 2012.

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Bunny Language And Behavior

Today I will write something about bunny language and bunny behavior.

In the latest post I've been writing about food, and feeding your bunnies. I mentioned then that it is important to ensure that your rabbit has something to grind his teeth of ,in order to wear them off. Their teeth grow constantly during their lifetime. So it is important to ensure different food types (improving chewing techniques, and eases teeth ware off).
If you don't provide something for it, they will find the solution in your furniture and you don't want that (read more about bunny behavior).

If you have missed previous posts about rabbits, I suggest you start here: bunnies-as-pets.

What? What did you say? (bunny language)
Lets now say something about bunny language and habits.

Teeth chattering- it can mean pleasure and pain. If you are cuddling your bunny, and he chatters softly (tooth purr), consider that as sign of pleasure. Much louder chattering indicates your bunny is in pain!

Thumping with back feet- it tells us, bunny is frustrated. He is telling you that way to step back, to stop following him. Just stop doing what you were, and give him some time to come to you by himself. Also it can indicate sexual frustration being close to bunny female, but being unable to reach her. If you own two bunnies being different sex, this is moment to separate them.

Hissing- your bunny is frightened. Next step can be attack. So, be careful.
Squealing- this tells us bunny is in extreme pain. It is serious situation. NEVER DISREGARD THIS NOISE! Always pay attention. Mostly bunnies make this noise moment before death.

Honhing- In bunny language this tells us bunny is annoyed. Stop doing that!

Light nudging with the nose- it means bunny is seeking for your attention. It is the sign to you that he cares for your attention. Be happy to see your bunny doing this to you. It means you are loved!

Strong nudging (pushing) with the nose- tells you bunny wants to be alone. Every being have moment when they are not in mood for play or company. Understand your rabbit's wishes, and come back later.

Pretending to chew something- your bunny is being content and relaxed.

Eating his droppings- some owners get really upset seeing this. This is surely one bunny behavior owners don't like to see! There is nothing to be worried about. Bunny droppings are rich in vitamin B which hasn't been used during first digestion. So, bunnies use this act to insure nothing is wasted. So, dear bunny owners, don't freak out! :)

Watch me doing binkies- when you see your bunny jumping and rolling, and running, it is sign of ultimate happiness. join your bunny, and play with him. This bunny behavior just makes you lie on the floor and share fun time with your bunny. Bunny doing binkies is one HAPPY bunny.

Running around your feet- tells you he is excited to see you, or he is sexually attracted to you.

Lying completely stretched out- if you see your bunny stretched out, with his hind legs to the back, and his front legs to the front, then leave him to rest. It is last stage of relaxing. He will fall asleep soon. He usually does this after good play.

Standing on hind legs- asking for attention. Mostly asking for food.

Running the bunny 500- Bunnies love to run. They will use your house as running polygon. They will test their abilities by changing directions fast, cutting around the corner, jumping, etc. Pay attention on their ears. If they are up, bunny is running of the fun. If ears are to the back, he is running from danger.

Nose wiggling- If wiggling is slow, it indicates your bunny is calm, and content. On the other hand, if nose wiggling is fast, it tells us bunny is agitated. Try to calm him, or if you were the reason for this, give him some time to calm down by himself.

Rubbing chin of things- I like you. You will be eaten soon (watch closely on that piece of furniture). If he did that to your hand, it meant affection.

Licking- it can mean various things: licking your hand (He is grooming you. It is great honor to have your bunny doing this to you. It is showing affection and accepting you as a master), licking your clothes (Also, showing affection), licking furniture (need for an other rabbit's companion-ship (if he is licking your spot on sofa, he is just imaging you instead of sofa).

Any change of behaviour can indicate health problems. Bunnies are not going to show us they are in pain or sick. They will just pull back to their safe corner and remain quiet. Watch out for this. If you see your bunny suddenly became quiet, and sad, take him to vet. Maybe it is just his bad day, but vet is always the best choice. Many diseases are threat able if discovered in early stage. In bunny language, this behavior means something went wrong! They are friendly and joyfull animals and it is to expect they are jumping and running across the house all the time (when not sleeping).

I hope you have found this Bunny Language and Habits post useful. Tell me about it. What else would you like to know?

This should be enough for this post. Tomorrow I will write more about teeth problems, nail clipping, shredding and bathing. Stay tuned.
Thank you for your time!


четвртак, 26. јануар 2012.

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Bunny Gallery (Gary)

You can never see enough bunnies. :) They are endless source of fun! Tell me, which is your favorite picture?

Bunny language: King of the world!

Bunny language: Gimme that camera! I will eat it!

Bunny language: It looks it is too high!

Bunny language: What? What did you say?

Bunny language:
I am watching you! Keep away from my meal!

Bunny language: I will hurt you, boy! You are not that high!

Bunny language: Look away! I am entering this bag.

Something terrible I have found in!

I'll try this...



среда, 25. јануар 2012.

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What Kind of Food To Feed Your Bunny With?

Hi, dear reader.

Yesterday I was writing about litter training. It is giving head-ache to new bunny owners. And I hope my advices were helpful to you.

If you have missed last posts, it is the best you start from the beginning:
bunnies as pets,
litter training.

"What do you want from me???" :)
Today I will write something about food that is good and bad for bunnies.
In general, bunnies will eat everything you give them. They will even show more interest for food that is BAD for them (such as chocolate- they love it, but it is poison for them). That is why you need to know basics about their nutrition, so you can be sure food you have been feeding them with is good for them.
What kind of food to feed your bunny with?
Lets start with bunny food pyramid:

Bunny food pyramid
As you can see from the food pyramid, the main food, your bunny should always have on menu, is hay. Timothy and meadow hay should always be there for you bunny. They can eat it in unlimited quantity.
More about hay you can find in the post Hay and Vegetables to Feed Your Bunny.
Water is the most important substance in bunny's life. We all know the value of water. In this case water also helps bunnies digest their fur hair, they ingest by licking themselves. By doing it, they take lots of hair in their digestion system. All that hair can cause many problems. The greatest of them is Ileus. That means passage in their digestion system has been blocked, and is life-threatening. Water prevents them going into Ileus. So, make sure, there is some water around them all the time.

On the next step on the food pyramid, there is vegetables. It is great source of vitamin, fiber and water. Fresh and green vegetables are the best. Some authors say that we should be feeding them with wet vegetables, and others claim dry is the best. The one thing is sure: vegetables should be well cleaned! Avoid feeding them with too much vegetable that has lots of sugar in it (carrot and other roots).
More about vegetables you can find in post Hay and Vegetables to Feed Your Bunny.
In second part of What kind of food to feed your bunny with post I will write few lines about pellets and fruit. Stay tuned!

Rabbit pellets, known for their ease of feeding and rapid weight gain, were originally developed for the rabbit "livestock" market, where rabbits are raised for their meat or fur and not intended to live out their potential lifespan. For house rabbit, that are expected to live 10 or more years, it is preferable and vitamin rich diet.
Pellets are rich in calcium, and many of them are rich in sugar and fat. Calcium can cause many health problems (urine sludge, heart conditions), and sugar and fat lead to obesity. FAT RABBIT IS NOT A HAPPY RABBIT! There are different pellet products, and you can choose ones that are low in previous mentioned ingredients. More about pellets you can find here.

What you have to know about fruit is that fruit provides lots of vitamins for your pet, but, lots of fruit in their diet is bad for having sugar in it. You pet will love fruit. Apple and banana is my Gary's favorite food. So I like to use it as reward for his good behaviour. I do feed him with apple often, I must admit (2 slices per day), but I don't give banana to him that often. The main reason is a sugar. So I give it once per week. Pineapple and papaya juice is good for digestion. It prevents condition of Ileus. Fruit provides lots of water for your rabbit, so that is one big plus too. But, I will repeat: be careful. Tu much sugar, can cause abdominal flora dis balance, which can be lethal. More about fruit you can find here.

What kind of food to feed your bunny with? Well, treat is not one of that food. Treats, as sweets, are rich in sugar and fat. So, better not to use it. Better treat is fruit (apples, pineapples, banana). Few raisins can do great job too. Use treat only during learning lessons as a reward. Later, give some treat to your bunny once per week. And remember: FAT BUNNY IS NOT HAPPY BUNNY!
On the other hand, there are some sorts of snacks and treats which can be offered to your pet. I suggest to check those out here: Organic Snacks for Your Pet Bunny.

For any question, feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer to it. Thank you for reading my blog.

Next time I will talk more about bunny habits and behaviour.

Did you like it? Did you find it useful? Please, leave a comment, and share ideas, thoughts, ask something, or  give a critic.

Thank you.