Friday, November 26, 2004

What a hot one!

Today was 36 degrees and too hot for the fluffies. Our house does get a bit warm by the afternoons but with all the fans, the buns seemed not too fussed. Annabelle had a major haircut today as her fur is too long and thick for hot weather. She looks quite funky with her new "do" and even though she's quite proud of her long mane, I think she quite welcomed the new look for the summer.

3CR - Today I emailed 3CR radio with another bunny query for the vet on Monday. It would be great if they could mention the website but I'm not sure if they do that. I just hope they answer my query.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Welcome to our new diary

We've updated to a new blog diary to keep things up to date so we hope you like it. In case you are not a regular, I'll update with a few issues that we've been dealing with lately.

Vets - our local vet in Mt Waverley (Dr Neil Harding) prescribed some Baytril for our littlest bunny, Minnie who has had a problem with snuffles. She was on Bactrim for 5 days but there were problems. Since being on Baytril she is making a very quick recovery so we are thrilled about that. Thanks Dr Harding!

3CR PAWS program - since I was worried about Minnie, I called the 3CR PAWS (Pets & Animal Welfare Show) Monday week ago to talk to the vet (PAWS is on weekly, Mondays 10-11am, 855AM). The program is good but not many people know about it so the vet doesn't get many phone calls. I figured I'd add a bit of a bunny flavour and call in which ended up being good (although I got a bit nervous about being on air). The vet advised that Bactrim causes nausea and that's probably why Minnie wasn't happy for the 5 days she was on the stuff.

Rescue Rabbit Australia - Our "Rescue Rabbit Australia" forum is gaining more members which is fantastic. There is a little bit of banter going on and some plans in the near future for getting in touch with more shelters.

Funny Buns - The "Funny Bunny" survey has been sensational and the stories coming in are really lovely. There is now a separate blog for the stories which are now going to be a regular thing if we can keep it going and encourage more people to participate.

I have included all the previous diary posts from our website on this blog if anyone wants to read what we have been doing in the recent past. This blog should now be updated very regularly so please keep on tuning in and we hope you like reading what we're up to.

Friday, November 19, 2004

16 November 2004

Just a short note with an update on Monty (now called Minnie). Her breathing has become very strange since she went onto the Bactrim so she's off the medication for the time being to see if things change. She was on the stuff for 5 days and she sounds terrible. She's still sneezing a little but is sounding very chesty now. Fortunately she's still very happy, eating, going to the toilet and generally running around so she'll be back to the vet soon to see what else we can do for her. We've moved her enclosure into the bathroom so she gets regular doses of steam. Hope that helps!

12 November 2004

About a week ago I thought that Gus (who is our only bunny outside), was sick. He wasn't eating his dinner and so thought he may have been having a bit of a stasis episode, even though he was still looking lively. After a few days, I came to the conclusion that he wasn't sick, but just bored and lonely! After all, he'd been outside by himself for nearly one year (how time flies - he wasn't supposed to be out there that long!). So I bought him inside to the laundry and he perked up right away. He was a bit scared and shy at first but I could tell he was happier and started eating his dinner again. It turned out to be an interesting research project as when he was outside, even though he was safe and had lots of room to run, he wasn't getting any attention or affection like the other bunnies who are indoors. I think I'd spend about 5 minutes a day with him if he was lucky whereas the rest get our attention constantly. I introduced Gus to Monty a couple of times while Gus was in an enclosure and Monty was running free and it was hysterical!! They look like they'll be a pretty good match but I have to wait until Monty is a bit healthier before she gets to meet Gus in the flesh.

Little Monty, who is our latest arrival, has developed "snuffles". This is an infection also known as Pasteurella which makes the poor little thing sneeze and her breathing has also been affected. As bunnies breathe through their noses, it makes life very difficult for them if they develop this virus. I took her to the vet last Wednesday and had her checked over and it turns out she has also been affected by mites, probably due to the stress of snuffles. You can tell if they have mites by a patch of skin where the fur has fallen out and there are little tiny scabs on the skin (usually on the neck behind the ears). Mites are usually present on rabbits anyway but under stressful conditions, they can cause hair loss and itchy skin. If the condition is serious, injections from your vet can help. In Monty's case, the hair is already growing back and it hasn't been itchy so I guess she's on the mend with them. The snuffles problem is fairly serious though and she's been put on a course of Bactrim for 10 days (she can't go on Baytril as she's too young and it can affect the growing plates apparently). So I'm trying to administer this horrible sticky stuff by syringe twice a day at the moment which is both stressful to me & to Monty!! Peanut had the same problem when he came to live with us earlier in the year but he loves fruit and I used to syringe his Baytril into a piece of apple or strawberry and he'd eat it in seconds. Monty is a bit picky with food and doesn't rush to eat anything so I have to do the "bunny burrito" thing and squirt her medicine into her mouth while she's all wrapped up with nowhere to go!

27 October 2004

Well it's been quite a month for us with so many disruptions and computer problems that I'm glad it's nearly November! We're back online now and I'm so excited I can't begin to describe it!!!

On the bunny front, we have another new addition called Monty. S/he (we don't know the sex yet as it's only very young) came to us from a vet in Fawkner who had our number as a rabbit rescue contact. I'm still not sure how they got the number but after a week of them trying to find it a home (it was found loose in someone's backyard) I ended up picking it up and bringing it home with me. What a cutie!!! It's a little himalayan (white with dark markings on the nose, ears & feet). All our other bunnies are enormous compared to this one but it has just the most gorgeous personality and so very delicate. I have built a three storey NIC condo in our bedroom and that now makes 4 in our bedroom!!! I was going to try and bond Monty with one of the others but they are a little aggressive at the moment towards the new arrival so we'll have to wait and see.

Peanut had a mild case of stasis a few weeks ago. He just wasn't himself and wasn't interested in dinner (which is very much unlike him!). His tummy wasn't making any sounds which is a good indication that things have come to a standstill. I spent a few hours gently massaging his tummy and listening for any noise and when nothing was happening, I gave him a tiny bit of Metacam for pain and a little bit of Prepulsid to get his tummy moving. I also took him out to the loungeroom for a run as exercise really helps get things going. Everything worked fortunately and it wasn't long before there were a few gurgles and he was instantly happier. The difference was amazing. He was running, jumping and his little face looked brighter and relieved that he was back to normal. After he ate something, I took him back to our room to be with Lavender who was very happy to see him again (she doesn't come out of the bedroom as she's scared but normally I'd recommend that a couple should not be separated).

4 October 2004

Peanut's now waking us up at around 5.30am or earlier. He quickly figured out that if he keeps annoying you, he'll get some food. I now put Peanut & Lavender's breakfast in a container for Nimal to give them as he gets up way earlier than me. Peanut's also now figured this out and leaves me alone to sleep. Nimal gets all the attention now!

I accidentally left our bedroom door open the other morning to find Annabelle running back & forth in the doorway wanting to go and meet Peanut & Lavender in person. She looked so excited but we were worried that a fight could have started so we cut her visit short. Thinking that there could be a possibility of a friendly bonding, we've moved Annabelle's enclosure to the end of our bed so she's closer to the pair. Things were going fairly well and it looked like the three of them could be friends but while changing Annabelle's tray the other day I left the top of her enclosure opened for two seconds to find Lavender had jumped in and the two of them were fighting. Little Annabelle was very frightened and distressed and we've been very careful since then not to let them get near each other again. I've had to put towels on top of her enclosure as well since Lavender (who we thought was just the most docile of bunnies has turned into a big thug - we've nicknamed her "Big Gladys" from a character on the Basil Brush Show), as she's taken to jumping on top of the enclosure (another thing that came as a surprise as we've never seen her jump on anything!) and wees on top of it! Probably doesn't look good for bonding. I think Peanut would be fine but two girls looks like a bit of a disaster! Never underestimate your bunny!

22 September 2004

What do you think our our new-look website? After lots of work, it's hopefully easier to use and has better navigation. The new Rescue Rabbit forum is up and running too and I'm hoping that people will want to join the group to discuss ways of helping bunnies in need.

On the bunny front, Dingle has decided she prefers the contents of her litter tray to be on the floor. She's being very messy but I think it's because she's a bit distressed that Annabelle is getting so much attention. Whenever Ding comes out to the loungeroom, she smells Annabelle and she spends quite a bit of time searching for her.

Annabelle is doing really well and spends all day out and about around the house. She shares the house with our cat, Puddy, who officially turned 18 this week. Puddy doesn't go out much now as there's a nasty cat in our neighbourhood that's threatening her. Annabelle and Puddy get along quite well. Better than any of the other buns, especially Dingle who chases her up the hallway and across the loungeroom. You'd think that an 18 year old cat would be enjoying her golden years without being chased by fluffy things bigger than her.

Gus has decided not to use his tray either and since he's outside, he's been eating the hay in his tray but going to the toilet next to it. He managed yesterday to push his tray down two levels of his home. Quite a mean feat really since the levels are staggered!

Everybun else is fine. Peanut has been waking me up around 6.30am daily by running up and down my back. The other day he was jumping up to the bed from the floor and trying to clear the doona which had been bunched up. He jumped so high, he landed on my face which promptly woke me up! I think we gave each other quite a fright.

20 August 2004

All our bunnies are fit and well and now are up to date with their calici vaccinations. It's been a few weeks trying to organise 7 rabbits to be vaccinated but it's worth the peace of mind that they are now safe from the virus.

I ended up looking around to find another vet for the vaccinations and was originally getting quotes for a house visit. I then decided that I should really visit various vets personally to make a decision on which vet I would choose as a regular vet. I started with Ally & Pancake and booked them in for their shots. The only thing is that it's very stressful driving around with rabbits as they are not at all comfortable in the car. I knew this before but had decided to ignore my better judgement. The whole experience at this new vet was not a pleasant experience as the vet I had booked in with was not there, I was left waiting for quite a while and during the consultation it was obvious the vet I met was not at all comfortable with rabbits so both did not get their teeth, ears or heart monitored. Both Ally & Pancake were extremely upset which made me upset and I just wanted to leave quickly and get them home.

So, after that experience I rang up my local vet who had seen my bunnies before and booked in a home visit. He was fantastic!! I highly recommend a home visit if you have lots of bunnies (or other animals) that need vaccinations in one go. The cost was minimal compared to the stress and anxiety of travelling and you can get everyone done at the same time. Now I have a date to remember for next year!

The only thing I would do differently next year would be to put the nervous bunnies in carry cases before the vet arrived so I wouldn't be running around trying to catch them. This caused a little bit of embarassment on my behalf and upset the ones I was chasing.

Annabelle, our latest addition, is settling in very well. She's completely litter trained and very trustworthy so we leave her out to roam the house during the day while the others are sleeping in their rooms. When the vet examined her teeth he said that they weren't too bad but slightly misaligned to the side. I can't get her to let me see them but I do have to monitor them in case they grow too long. We had her vaccinated as well even though we were unsure whether she may have already had her injection. The vet said the serum does not harm if injected previously so she was done at the same time. Everything was fine so if you're not sure about a bun you have found and would like to have it vaccinated, go ahead there's no risk.
Annabelle has caused a bit of jealousy with Pancake. Whenever she's running past Ally & Pancake's door, Ally runs to stick his nose under. Pancake's become very jealous of his behaviour and has been grunting and running at him. She's not aggressive but it's obvious she's worried that Annabelle's moving into her territory.

Peanut's doing well now that he's out and about with Lavender. She's thrilled to have her boyfriend out all the time but is quite jealous if we pat him too much. After we've patted him, she'll lick his head and then grab hold and hump the poor little guy. She's stopped doing it as much now that we're giving them some space but I miss my little Peanut cuddles. He's a different bunny now that he has a girlfriend. He's turned into a real bunny's bunny and seems to prefer her company to us but that could be because he knows that if he shows interest in us, he'll get another humping!