Melodramatic Rabbits

PidderPeets

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More than anything, this post is just to rant about the ordeals of keeping pet rabbits. Maybe other people have similar stories of their own overreacting little fluffballs (or any pets really cuz I'm curious), maybe it's just me. Regardless, I'm running on less than an hour of sleep and need to vent. So everything starts at around maybe 2am this morning. I'm a night owl and so are my rabbits. On any given night, one particular rabbit of my 3 (her name is Midnight) will be out and about running all around her pen or lounging in one of two spots. This morning, however, Midnight night was not in one of her usual spots and was not nearly as active as she usually is for the time of day. She was sitting like a potato in her litter bin. Now this is a rabbit who normally sprawls out in the most ridiculous of poses and would usually never sit looking so dignified, so this was something to take note of, as it was unusual. Upon staying in the same spot for at least an hour (another unusual behavior, as she's usually impossible to keep still), I went to check on her. This normally very friendly and extremely demanding of attention rabbit actually got up and left to go hide in her hiding box, making it clear she didn't want to be bothered. I opted to keep an eye on her and not fret just yet to see if she maybe she was just in a mood or something. At 3 in the morning, I'm not looking to go to the emergency vet almost an hour away over possibly nothing (I've already been through that with one of my other rabbits). So I leave her for about another hour until it's time for my boyfriend to leave. All this time, she has not eaten, drank, or pooped which rabbits do very frequently, so this is a big deal. And on top of that, she starts shifting around uncomfortably, getting up and laying back down, and doing what she can to press her belly onto the floor. Ugh, this means she has gas. To a human, gas doesn't sound like a big deal, but to rabbits, gas can be EXTREMELY painful. Enough to make them stop eating, which makes the gas worse, and if they don't eat soon, their entire intestinal track can shut down and they can die in less than 24 hours from when they stopped eating. So even if it's not actually a big deal and it's just early onset gas that will resolve on it's own, you have to freak out and treat it like it's a major deal. Considering she just seemed uncomfortable and not in pain just yet, the best treatment before deciding to go to the vet or not is usually belly massages and infant gas medicine. And of course I didn't have the gas meds, so she had to make due with long sessions of belly massages until I could leave my house to get the meds. She still seemed unhappy, but the massages definitely seemed to be comforting her. She would press her body into my hands further as I'd be rubbing her belly. Eventually she decided she had enough and wanted to go hang out alone again, so I left her and waited for my brother to leave for work so my car wouldn't be blocked in and I could get the gas medicine and a few other things to help her in any way I could think of. I didn't mean to fall asleep as I waited, but I ended up taking an hour nap or so. I was simply exhausted. When I woke up, my brother was gone, so I was able to leave for Walmart. So with an only half functioning sleep brain and nausea from both anxiety and lack of sleep, I made the trek to the store and amazingly remembered everything I needed to get: gas meds, baby food in case she wouldn't eat, and a whole pineapple to make fresh pineapple juice as it can help them in these situations. After I get everything, and I get back home, I set the pineapple on the kitchen counter and go upstairs to check on Midnight BEFORE cutting up and hand mashing a pineapple, just to see if she's acting any better so I don't cut open the pineapple unnecessarily. She still seemed a little off, so I went back downstairs to proceed with the pineapple plan. I go through the whole process, cutting the pineapple into chunks, then crushing it with a fork to get the juice. I finally have everything ready, and then I head back up to help my girl. And what do I see when I get upstairs? A perfectly normal acting Midnight who seems like nothing was ever even wrong. I opened the door, and she's sitting in the middle of the room, staring at me. Upon closing my door, she makes a beeline for her hide box, which is very typical of her and involved more energy than she's shown in hours. Once she realized it was me, she comes running back out and is sniffing me, nose booping me, and circling me like the normal nosy bunny she is. She had pooped sometime while I was out and she was eating like normal. So this punk acts sick all night, has me worried to no end, and then waits for me to go out to buy a ton of stuff for her and have to prepare everything, THEN proves she's perfectly fine and acts like I'M the overreacting one. She's not crazy about fruits or treats, so she refuses to eat the pineapple that I prepared exclusively for her, but I'm making her take the gas medicine even though she seems okay because there's no real consequences to giving her the meds as a precaution. Over 12 hours have passed since she started acting weird, and she's been perfectly fine since I got home from the store. But this melodramatic little creature has me worried she's practically dying all night because she's acting so far from normal and so uncomfortable, when clearly it was not that bad because all it took was a belly massage and for her to poop to be just fine. Anyone else have stories of their beloved hypochondriacs or are my creatures the only ones that like giving their owner a near heart attack seemingly just for the hell of it?
 
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darkness975

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More than anything, this post is just to rant about the ordeals of keeping pet rabbits. Maybe other people have similar stories of their own overreacting little fluffballs (or any pets really cuz I'm curious), maybe it's just me. Regardless, I'm running on less than an hour of sleep and need to vent. So everything starts at around maybe 2am this morning. I'm a night owl and so are my rabbits. On any given night, one particular rabbit of my 3 (her name is Midnight) will be out and about running all around her pen or lounging in one of two spots. This morning, however, Midnight night was not in one of her usual spots and was not nearly as active as she usually is for the time of day. She was sitting like a potato in her litter bin. Now this is a rabbit who normally sprawls out in the most ridiculous of poses and would usually never sit looking so dignified, so this was something to take note of, as it was unusual. Upon staying in the same spot for at least an hour (another unusual behavior, as she's usually impossible to keep still), I went to check on her. This normally very friendly and extremely demanding of attention rabbit actually got up and left to go hide in her hiding box, making it clear she didn't want to be bothered. I opted to keep an eye on her and not fret just yet to see if she maybe she was just in a mood or something. At 3 in the morning, I'm not looking to go to the emergency vet almost an hour away over possibly nothing (I've already been through that with one of my other rabbits). So I leave her for about another hour until it's time for my boyfriend to leave. All this time, she has not eaten, drank, or pooped which rabbits do very frequently, so this is a big deal. And on top of that, she starts shifting around uncomfortably, getting up and laying back down, and doing what she can to press her belly onto the floor. Ugh, this means she has gas. To a human, gas doesn't sound like a big deal, but to rabbits, gas can be EXTREMELY painful. Enough to make them stop eating, which makes the gas worse, and if they don't eat soon, their entire intestinal track can shut down and they can die in less than 24 hours from when they stopped eating. So even if it's not actually a big deal and it's just early onset gas that will resolve on it's own, you have to freak out and treat it like it's a major deal. Considering she just seemed uncomfortable and not in pain just yet, the best treatment before deciding to go to the vet or not is usually belly massages and infant gas medicine. And of course I didn't have the gas meds, so she had to make due with long sessions of belly massages until I could leave my house to get the meds. She still seemed unhappy, but the massages definitely seemed to be comforting her. She would press her body into my hands further as I'd be rubbing her belly. Eventually she decided she had enough and wanted to go hang out alone again, so I left her and waited for my brother to leave for work so my car wouldn't be blocked in and I could get the gas medicine and a few other things to help her in any way I could think of. I didn't mean to fall asleep as I waited, but I ended up taking an hour nap or so. I was simply exhausted. When I woke up, my brother was gone, so I was able to leave for Walmart. So with an only half functioning sleep brain and nausea from both anxiety and lack of sleep, I made the trek to the store and amazingly remembered everything I needed to get: gas meds, baby food in case she wouldn't eat, and a whole pineapple to make fresh pineapple juice as it can help them in these situations. After I get everything, and I get back home, I set the pineapple on the kitchen counter and go upstairs to check on Midnight BEFORE cutting up and hand mashing a pineapple, just to see if she's acting any better so I don't cut open the pineapple unnecessarily. She still seemed a little off, so I went back downstairs to proceed with the pineapple plan. I go through the whole process, cutting the pineapple into chunks, then crushing it with a fork to get the juice. I finally have everything ready, and then I head back up to help my girl. And what do I see when I get upstairs? A perfectly normal acting Midnight who seems like nothing was ever even wrong. I opened the door, and she's sitting in the middle of the room, staring at me. Upon closing my door, she makes a beeline for her hide box, which is very typical of her and involved more energy than she's shown in hours. Once she realized it was me, she comes running back out and is sniffing me, nose booping me, and circling me like the normal nosy bunny she is. She had pooped sometime while I was out and she was eating like normal. So this punk acts sick all night, has me worried to no end, and then waits for me to go out to buy a ton of stuff for her and have to prepare everything, THEN proves she's perfectly fine and acts like I'M the overreacting one. She's not crazy about fruits or treats, so she refuses to eat the pineapple that I prepared exclusively for her, but I'm making her take the gas medicine even though she seems okay because there's no real consequences to giving her the meds as a precaution. Over 12 hours have passed since she started acting weird, and she's been perfectly fine since I got home from the store. But this melodramatic little creature has me worried she's practically dying all night because she's acting so far from normal and so uncomfortable, when clearly it was not that bad because all it took was a belly massage and for her to poop to be just fine. Anyone else have stories of their beloved hypochondriacs or are my creatures the only ones that like giving their owner a near heart attack seemingly just for the hell of it?
You were right to be cautious though, and it is good that you have the medications for future use if needed.
When my bird showed signs of discomfort I too thought it practical to wait it out for a while in the event it was just a fluke or something. I would take him in to the vet if it didn't improve.

He died 2 hours later, at some point between when I went grocery shopping and came back home. :sorry:
 

PidderPeets

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You were right to be cautious though, and it is good that you have the medications for future use if needed.
When my bird showed signs of discomfort I too thought it practical to wait it out for a while in the event it was just a fluke or something. I would take him in to the vet if it didn't improve.

He died 2 hours later, at some point between when I went grocery shopping and came back home. :sorry:
Yeah, I'm glad I have the medicine now. It was something I always intended to get to have just in case, but as there's never been a need for it until now, it would always get buried in the back of my mind and forgotten about. But now I've learned my lesson. And as emotionally stressful as it is, I'd rather overreact and panic than not treat the issue as serious until it's too late. Rabbits and other prey animals often instinctively avoid showing obvious signs of ailments until it's too late to help them, so you have to take note of even little behavioral changes.

And I'm so sorry to hear about your bird. :( It's never easy to lose a cherished pet. Unfortunately some animals are just very good at hiding when something's wrong
 

darkness975

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Rabbits and other prey animals often instinctively avoid showing obvious signs of ailments until it's too late to help them, so you have to take note of even little behavioral changes.
I am well aware of this, as birds do it too. Even predators will do this because weakness means their status will be challenged.

Sadly there is not much that can be done about it now :sorry:
 

PidderPeets

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I am well aware of this, as birds do it too. Even predators will do this because weakness means their status will be challenged.

Sadly there is not much that can be done about it now :sorry:
Yeah, it's just a sad fact of life. While it might benefit them in the wild, it's nothing but a hindrance in captivity. We can't help them if we can't tell that anything's wrong. And unfortunately, things happen even if we do everything right. I'm sure your bird was very happy in your care, as you obviously cared a lot about it. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss
 

darkness975

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Yeah, it's just a sad fact of life. While it might benefit them in the wild, it's nothing but a hindrance in captivity. We can't help them if we can't tell that anything's wrong. And unfortunately, things happen even if we do everything right. I'm sure your bird was very happy in your care, as you obviously cared a lot about it. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss
Thank You.

Yes it isn't fun but we have to deal.

I am glad your little fluffball is okay though! :) :)
 

PidderPeets

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Thank You.

Yes it isn't fun but we have to deal.

I am glad your little fluffball is okay though! :) :)
Thanks. She's back to her normal hyperactive, slightly troublemaking self, so she's definitely feeling better. I don't know what caused the gas, but obviously it's not something she's still eating
 

darkness975

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Thanks. She's back to her normal hyperactive, slightly troublemaking self, so she's definitely feeling better. I don't know what caused the gas, but obviously it's not something she's still eating
Just for peace of mind, think back over what it has eaten over the previous couple of days. If anything new is in that list you may want to reconsider. If it is the same diet as always, then I guess just chalk it up to a random act of nature.
 

PidderPeets

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Just for peace of mind, think back over what it has eaten over the previous couple of days. If anything new is in that list you may want to reconsider. If it is the same diet as always, then I guess just chalk it up to a random act of nature.
She hasn't eaten anything different. My only thoughts are that she's got really dense fur, and she's been shedding lately. So maybe when she grooms herself, she's swallowing more hair than usual, and it finally upset her stomach. After I got home from work yesterday, I noticed that she had gone to the bathroom seemingly a bit more than usual, so maybe she got it all out of her system. I'm gonna continue with the belly massages though, as she seemed to enjoy it, and if it is her shedding causing the problem, it should prevent another round of gas
 

darkness975

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She hasn't eaten anything different. My only thoughts are that she's got really dense fur, and she's been shedding lately. So maybe when she grooms herself, she's swallowing more hair than usual, and it finally upset her stomach. After I got home from work yesterday, I noticed that she had gone to the bathroom seemingly a bit more than usual, so maybe she got it all out of her system. I'm gonna continue with the belly massages though, as she seemed to enjoy it, and if it is her shedding causing the problem, it should prevent another round of gas
That could be, it make sense.

At least it's not an Angora rabbit!!!
 

Anoplogaster

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I've never kept rabbits. Definitely seems like gas medication would be a good thing to have in your emergency kit, since it sounds like it can get pretty serious. Some humans can get pretty bad gas, too! My most recent illness left me with impressively crippling cramps for several hours!

When my cat is going through shedding season, I use a furminator shedding tool on her very frequently to prevent hairballs. The more fur I can take off of her, the less she will eat.
 

PidderPeets

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That could be, it make sense.

At least it's not an Angora rabbit!!!
Oh my god, I couldn't even imagine how difficult an Angora is! Although my girl is a Rex, so taking fur density into account, she's not much better :rofl:
 

PidderPeets

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I've never kept rabbits. Definitely seems like gas medication would be a good thing to have in your emergency kit, since it sounds like it can get pretty serious. Some humans can get pretty bad gas, too! My most recent illness left me with impressively crippling cramps for several hours!

When my cat is going through shedding season, I use a furminator shedding tool on her very frequently to prevent hairballs. The more fur I can take off of her, the less she will eat.
Yeah, it is one of the must-haves for an emergency kit, so I feel awful that I didn't have it on hand. But I do have two 24/7 grocery stores and a 24/7 pharmacy in the immediate area, so even if there's none on hand at my house, I have a fairly good chance of being able to get some at any time. I always have Critical Care on hand in the event one of the rabbits stops eating and needs to be syringe fed to avoid intestinal shutdown (GI stasis), but it was extremely irresponsible of me to not have something that could prevent stasis in the first place. Luckily nothing came of it, I've definitely learned my lesson, and it won't happen again.

Sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you're feeling better.

And I do have a brush for her, but I'm thinking of getting one with finer bristles to catch more loose fur. As it is, I can usually pluck off small clumps of shed fur at any given time
 

Anoplogaster

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Yeah, it is one of the must-haves for an emergency kit, so I feel awful that I didn't have it on hand. But I do have two 24/7 grocery stores and a 24/7 pharmacy in the immediate area, so even if there's none on hand at my house, I have a fairly good chance of being able to get some at any time. I always have Critical Care on hand in the event one of the rabbits stops eating and needs to be syringe fed to avoid intestinal shutdown (GI stasis), but it was extremely irresponsible of me to not have something that could prevent stasis in the first place. Luckily nothing came of it, I've definitely learned my lesson, and it won't happen again.

Sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you're feeling better.

And I do have a brush for her, but I'm thinking of getting one with finer bristles to catch more loose fur. As it is, I can usually pluck off small clumps of shed fur at any given time
Furminators are sort of on the expensive side. But they're really effective. It's amazing how much fur it catches with each pass. I used to think it was literally plucking fur, but it's not. It just picks up fur that's already shed and is just sitting there beneath all the other fur, waiting to be eaten during grooming. Check them out:

http://www.furminator.com

The one for short hair cats is probably most suitable for you. I usually go easy when I brush. Too much pressure with this thing probably doesn't feel good.
 

PidderPeets

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Furminators are sort of on the expensive side. But they're really effective. It's amazing how much fur it catches with each pass. I used to think it was literally plucking fur, but it's not. It just picks up fur that's already shed and is just sitting there beneath all the other fur, waiting to be eaten during grooming. Check them out:

http://www.furminator.com

The one for short hair cats is probably most suitable for you. I usually go easy when I brush. Too much pressure with this thing probably doesn't feel good.
Thanks for the link! I checked out the website and they actually have one specifically for small animals like rabbits :) It's not cheap, but it's nothing too unreasonable. Rex rabbits have unbelievable fur densities (her fur is black, and it's so dense and dark that when I shine a flashlight on her, her fur actually ABSORBS some of the light), so if it's something that will prevent her from ingesting all that fur, it's worth it. Thanks so much for the suggestion :)
 
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