Friday, June 25, 2010

June diary

This month I found myself speaking to a number of people about their bunnies which always reminds me how much I didn't know when Dingleberry first came to live with us back in late 2001.

Our expectations for a rabbit were very low. Both Nimal and I didn't know much about rabbits and all we knew was stereotypical information about lettuce, carrots & hutches. Thank goodness for the US House Rabbit Society's website!! (

I imagine most people who get their first bunny make loads of mistakes... just like us!! This month reminded me how poorly we started out with Dingy. She really is lucky she's still with us! Fortunately for her, she was 8 weeks old when we took her home so she had been weaned from mum. Her younger siblings from the accidental second litter probably didn't have as good a start as Dingy. Unfortunately, we didn't really know what to feed her though. She suffered a terribly icky bottom from all those carrots we gave her, ate her way through several rugs and suffered many phantom pregnancies until we realised we should have her spayed.

Many of our bunnies now have the benefit of all that we have learned from Dingy. After she suffered a life threatening stasis episode in 2004, we started taking our bunny care far mor seriously. We almost lost her and that was a wake up call to us that we needed to find out far mroe about rabbits.

This month we also had a few buns that didn't feel so well. Izzy wasn't so well as she was moulting and went off her food for one day. Fortunately, she bounced back reasonably quickly.

Lulu, on the other hand (pictured above), was quite unwell for a few days. We were very worried about her. She sometimes has trouble going to the toilet and strains. It's very painful for her and she gets very tired. The pain of straining then makes her not want to eat, so stasis sets in. She was on critical care, fluids and pain relief for a few days until finally she passed some faeces. She was so happy after that and we are hopeful that she'll be okay for the next week as she is booked in for surgery to help her with her condition.

The problem is a small lump that sits near her bladder. We're nto really sure what the lump is yet but surgery will help to either remove it or attempt to open it up. The lump seems to cause a blockage at times when Lulu needs to go to the toilet. Of course, we're worried about Lulu and surgery, but if we can fix the condition, it will help Lulu for the future.

May diary

Bunny get together
We were so excited and happy to have so many lovely and friendly bunny lovers over to the Do Hop Inn last month.

Thanks to everyone who came along!! We will do it all again later in the year.

12 month anniversary for farm buns
May celebrates the 12 month anniversary of our farm bunnies being released from their prison and coming to live with us. Poppy, Lulu & Isabelle have been having the best time since coming to stay. One year on and three bunnies who would not be here today, if they had stayed at the factory farm where they were rescued, are now very loved members of our family and we could not imagine life without them now.

Fox reminder
Sadly, May also marks the 12 month anniversary when we lost our Charlotte & Billy to a fox/dog attack. Please use this reminder to check your outside enclosures if your bunnies stay outside overnight. If you can cut the wire with a pair of scissors, a dog/fox can chew through. If a bunny can dig out, a dog/fox can dig in. If there is no roof, a fox/dog or hawk can get in. Please ensure that Charlotte & Billy's memory lives on to help your bunny live a stress free & safe life outdoors.

Bonding disasters
This month we attempted to bond Ally & Molly. They had several dates in person after living next to each other with a barrier between for a few months. The dates went okay but both were never really bonding with each other. They could never be left unattended as they would quarrel and fight. We are not fond of forcing a friendship so if the buns don't like each other, we'll find them a friend that they do like.

April diary

Easter time means quite a few boarding buns coming to stay for the holidays. Some old friends and some new friends coming to stay at the Do Hop Inn. It's always fabulous to see such loved house buns!!

As we were expecting holiday buns coming to stay, there was a need to move some of our own buns around a little to free up space. It turned out to be a good idea! Cleaning up & moving things around was a very therapeutic exercise!!

Molly moved into Ally's room into a new enclosure. Our attempts to introduce Ally & Tinkerbelle doesn't seem to be a great match so Molly's new addition to the room is already making a difference to Ally. I think they might get along in the future!! (fingers crossed xx)

Princess had a room makeover! Her room will never be photographed for a glossy magazine cover but it's looking pretty good (in our opinion) and is much more human & Princess friendly. Kitty's also moved into Princess's room (into a new enclosure) and she loves her new spot (fresh air & sunshine) - so she couldn't be happier!

I thought that Kitty & Princess would be so unhappy living next to each other (even with a heavy barrier between them) but they have been really great. Neither is angry or upset and both lie next to each other. There's been a bit of nibbling of the barrier but I was completely surprised. Both buns, known to be both angry girls, are really enjoying having a neighbour to chat with. I still wouldn't introduce them in person - we sadly know they would tear each other apart!!

Poppy's been on the rampage again chewing a hole in the couch and wreaking havoc on anything else she can find.

Dingleberry has a weepy eye we have been trying to fix for quite a while. It doesn't seem to be anything teeth related but it's her uppy eye (she has a head tilt) so we have to make sure that her good eye stays healthy.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Feb/March diary

Tessie & Rex (our latest glamour couple) pictured above
Sadly, we lost our beloved Pancake last month. Her kidney failure caused huge weight loss and weakness. We were really sad to have to step in & make that horrible decision but it was only a matter of time before she was going to leave us and we didn’t want her to suffer any longer.

Ally, Pancake’s long term partner, couldn’t understand why his girlfriend of six and a half years couldn’t walk anymore without assistance or needed a silly rolled up towel to lean on. He would pick up the towel and throw it aside, which didn’t help Pancake, but made him fell like he was helping. On the day we made the decision for euthanasia, we told Ally to give her a kiss goodbye. He kissed & kissed her. When we brought her body home, he kissed & kissed her some more.

Ally now has a new roommate to keep him company. We have set up a double barrier between him and Tinkerbelle. Tinkerbelle was once bonded to Pumpkin but since their spat, she has been living a single life. She’s a bit feisty and can be aggressive but she’s already behaving much softer towards Ally as she can see how lovely and friendly he is. We hope they’ll become great friends in the future.

Our latest couple, Tessie & Rex, are doing fabulously well. Tessie has been showing her dominant side lately but they are just wonderful little buddies. It’s so wonderful to see Rex with a girlfriend as he had never had a bunny buddy before in the 6 years before coming to live at BOING and he’s besotted with Tessie. She loves to snuggle and rest her head on Rex’s back.

Poppy Popstar has again excelled herself with more naughty antics. She’s obviously aiming for the 2010 Fuzzly Awards already. This last month she bit my upper arm after pushing open a barrier to start a fight with Lulu (both were okay), then she hurt her foot and was limping (still don’t know what happened there but okay now) and then she ate all but two buttons off the remote control (real fun trying to figure out what the buttons do now!).

We were very fortunate to recently have the lovely Dr Narelle Walter over to visit all our bunnies and give them all their yearly calici vaccinations. It was quite a task vaccinating everyone but we’re so happy and relieved to know that they are all now safe from such a fatal virus.

The moulting season has definitely started on the BOING bunnies! There is fur exploding everywhere! Peanut looked like he was doubling in size as all this fluff was coming out in one go.

Our latest rescue bun, Ginger, is doing very well. His loose & matted fur started to come off by itself which was great. I just helped a little. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ginger was at all pleased or comfortable with all the new attention which did cause him a bit of stress. He looks great though & it must be much more comfortable for him.

The recent giant hailstones that plummeted down in Melbourne recently were something we hoped would not upset the bunnies. Luckily, they all took it in their stride without a care in the world.

Novelty factors this month included a visit to the White Rabbit Brewery in Healesville. If you like dark ale (naturally brewed and no additives), lots of bunny references and soft squishy couches, you’ll love this place

Just so happens, you can also get a wonderful Shiraz from Bunn Vineyard in Western Australia. This wine is really nice, all naturally fermented and contains no additives or preservatives! This wine can be found at selective bottle shops (or request it!).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

January diary

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a busy month at the Do Hop Inn. Holiday buns have been coming and going, Pancake is still with us and Pumpkin has had his abscess removed.

Our most recent issue has been picking up a bunny that was rescued from the cooking pot. The little ginger bun (pictured above) was bought from a market with the intention that he was to become dinner at some stage.

Well, two years on and the family who bought him apparently changed their minds (though we can only guess there have been others in between). Maybe this little ginger bunny was too cute? Perhaps the little ginger bunny was too scrawny and never gained enough weight? Perhaps the family kept the bunny too long and became attached? Who knows????

Anyway, after juggling a few phone calls & arranging a rendezvous in the streets of Melbourne, the little bunny is now living with us. He’s a cutie but his fur is badly matted, his nails are very long and he has an irritation under his chin. His veterinary checkup revealed that he’s pretty good otherwise and his teeth aren’t too bad (even though he has a number of uneven teeth around the front, indicating a bad diet, the back teeth are not bad).

Funnily enough, I originally thought the bunny was a girl but it turns out that she’s a he as the stress of his previous life caused his testicles to go north. Hopefully with some love and a better diet, the little bun’s testicles will venture further south soon!

We’re planning on looking after the bunny in the meantime and will book him in for desexing when he’s ready.

We’re calling the little guy Ginger at the moment and he should be ready for adoption by the end of February. If anyone is interested in adopting this little bun and can give him a permanent and loving home where he can be appreciated and loved, please let me know. Preferably, we would only be looking for indoor accommodation where there are no small children or dogs.

Our Mr Pumpkin has had his neck abscess surgically removed (after an altercation with Izzy the “tank”). He’s much happier but it did take him a few days to get over the surgery. The lovely Dr Kay at the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic looked after our Pumpkin and she said that the abscess came out very neatly as it was localised.

Pancake has been struggling with her kidney failure for three months now. She’s very thin and her back legs have mostly given out. We really don’t know how long she’ll be with us and whether we’ll need to intervene but she’s still enjoying her treats and eats her greens and hay. She seems okay but her quality of life is fairly limited.

A bit of great news…..we have a new glamour couple!!!! Tessa & Rex (small little netherland boy that was surrendered to us last year) are now an item!!!

Rex is the cutest & friendliest little guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Tessa is a little more nervous and has rejected all other attempts at bonding her with other buns.

Rexie and Tessa have been living next to each other for months and the day came to introduce them in person. Rexie tried his best to hump Tessa but with his one disabled leg, he fortunately couldn’t keep up with her.

Tessa realised that Rexie really wasn’t too much of a threat & before long the two of them were living a contented life together. It’s really sweet seeing them bonded finally. One change has been in Tessa’s eating habits. Alone she was never interested in greens but as Rexie is a real foodie, she has been running to the greens & sharing the meal, otherwise he’ll eat it all!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

December diary

With Christmas fast approaching and holiday buns due to land on our doorstep in the next few days, the BOING household is expecting its usual Christmas chaos. Loads of barriers, leaping over doorways to find the bathroom or toilet, trolley loads of fresh veggies & emergency trips to the stockfeed store for more hay. Ah, yes Christmas! Ho Ho Ho!

As for the buns, everyone is doing okay so far (touch wood). Pumpkin unfortunately had the misfortune of meeting Isabelle face to face one day when she pushed through a flimsy barrier I had set up between them. I had the silly idea that they might like each other. I think they were both interested but Isabelle is quite pushy and days after erecting my see-through barrier, she barreled through to Pumpkin & fur was flying. Pumpkin never had a chance against the “tank”. He now has bites all over him, the chances of bonding them is over and a very nasty abscess formed on his neck.

The abscess became very large & I was worried about him. He’s been on chloramphenicol antibiotics for the last few weeks & the abscess has dropped dramatically in size. Hopefully it will go away on its own but knowing bunny abscesses, it can probably only be removed surgically. Pumpkin’s now happily on the other side of the house away from Izzy with his beloved friend “Butternut”.

Pancake is still plodding along with her kidney failure. Her back left leg is very weak so she sometimes falls to the left but she’s doing as well as can be expected. She gets her special bowls of critical care a few times a day which she eats without help and every second day she is given fluids under the skin to help her kidneys. Ally, her devoted partner, is doing everything he can to make her feel happy & loved. He grooms her constantly, lets her lean up against him and doesn’t eat her special food. He’s a lovely boy!!

All our buns need to be vaccinated against calici now. Still have to work out how that’s going to happen!!

Grooming the fluffies (Missy & Charlie the angoras) has been going very well with our new cordless clipper. I can only clip off little bits at a time but the difference from manual to electric has been dramatic. It’s amazing how beautiful their fur feels and how wonderful it is to get those horrid knots & tangles out with a quick clip. I have to be very careful about pulling the fur though as the skin is very delicate & can tear if pulled.

Poppy has now been given the new title of “Destructo Bun”. She’s a disaster area!!! Given the entire lounge room to roam at all times, she’s normally a very happy bun. However, when we’re out of the room she gets super bored! So far she’s chewed through a light cord (after she’d pulled it so hard that it unplugged on its own fortunately!!). The cord was already covered in irrigation pipe but not long enough for a bun who squeezed herself down a miniscule gap to grab the cord with her teeth.

Then there was the chocolate! I was out of the room for two seconds & had left some soy chocolate sitting on a table. Before I could run to stop her, Destructo Bun had grabbed the wrapper & chewed half a piece! We panicked that she’d eaten chocolate, but fortunately she was okay. Then only another half a day later she climbed high up on furniture and gained access to the top of our mantelpiece. Destructo Bun then grabbed a tiny bottle of visine eye drops & cracked the container!

Fortunately, Destructo Bun is still with us & hasn’t killed herself yet! All vaguely dangerous items have now been removed from the lounge room but she still manages to discover something else naughty to do!

So, from everyone at BOING at the Do Hop Inn, we wish you all a very happy festive season.

Keep your buns safe, don’t forget summer is upon us so flies, mozzies & fleas are at their peak numbers. Summer heat is deadly to buns so bring them inside on hot days.

May your buns stay safe & your holidays be cruelty free!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November diary

Last month we took a urine sample from Poppy (above) to find out why she & Lulu may have been having problems urinating. The sample came back clear without any infection found. Good news I guess but still no answer to why these two girls sometimes have problems going to the toilet.

Both buns are off antibiotics currently and seem to be okay. Poppy has had a few upsets but, mysteriously, bringing her out to the lounge room seems to cure her problem. Possibly the whole issue might be based on the previous lives of these bunnies. Since being locked up in small boxes at the factory farm, it appears that whenever Poppy is moved to the laundry (so we can let another bun out for a run in the lounge room) it triggers off her condition. Bring her back out to run free in the lounge room & she’s fine. Lulu has also had her home expanded to include the bathroom & the hallway. Both buns have been fine so far (cross paws!).

Pancake is still with us but becoming weaker & wobblier as time goes on due to her kidney failure. She’s still happy though & loves snuggling up with her partner Ally. She loves her food but her back legs are giving out which is really sad to see. She’s still licking up her critical care in a bowl but we found out that high potassium is not good for kidney problems so we’ve stopped mixing in banana & now use mashed pear.

As mentioned earlier in the article on heat & bunnies, the fluffies (Missy & Charlie – the angoras) have now had a radical haircut using our new professional pet clippers. Marvelous things!! (both fluffies & the clippers!)

Since our house is now being taken over by Lulu, Poppy & Izzy, we needed to move a few bunnies around to allow for maximum space for everyone. This meant that Charlie & Missy have now moved into our studio, which is also the major reason for our purchase of the new clippers. The studio is fabulous & large which suits the fluffies very well. The floor is cool concrete, they have a large rug to run on, a skylight for added light, a daybed for relaxing on special occasions and now a lovely new screen door to let in fresh air & sunshine.

They’re loving it but the main thing is knowing that they have lots of room to run & their fur is now under control!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October diary

This month BOING celebrated World Animal Day at Edgar’s Mission in Willowmavin, Victoria –

World Animal Day is celebrated every year on 4 October to acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives. Nimal & I had a wonderful day at Edgar’s Mission and enjoyed visiting our favourite friends Tony Blair (turkey), Edgar (pig), some very funny sheep and of course the rescue bunnies!! BOING had a small table to highlight the diverse range of interactions between bunnies and humans – from loving companions to products in the meat, fur & cosmetic testing industries.

This month at the Do Hop Inn we were reminded of the dangers of leaving items around the home where inquisitive bunnies can find them. After coming home with a plant cutting I intended on putting in the garden, I placed the plastic bag with the plant inside on the couch (silly I know!!!!). Coming back into the room a few minutes later, I discovered Poppy sitting on the couch next to the bag & a piece missing out of the plant. Panic set in, the bag was thrown out the door and all we could do was to wait & see if she would be okay. Fortunately, she was fine but it is a reminder to all bunny lovers to not leave items around for your fluffy friends to find!!

Sadly, we discovered this month that Pancake (pictured on the right sitting next to her buddy Ally) is suffering from renal (kidney) failure.

She has been quite weak & has been losing weight for the last few months. Pancake is around 8 or 9 (we guess) and has always been a very confident & happy bun.

Currently Pancake is on daily fluids and is being encouraged to eat more. Luckily, she is very keen on banana & critical care mixed in a bowl and she licks that up very happily. Ally (her long term partner) will be devastated if he loses her. He spends most of his time grooming her and is never very far away from her side. It’s a sad time at the Do Hop Inn as we know that her time with us may be coming to an end.

Poppy & Lulu (our ex-farm bunnies) are back on antibiotics after a urine sample revealed a medical condition that causes pain when urinating. A culture is currently being grown to see what the actual bacteria could be & the best way of treating it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September diary

The Do Hop Inn has been filling up with even more bunnies this month! Fortunately, most of these newbies are just “on holiday”, but we do have one more surrender bunny called Rex. He’s a little black undesexed bunny nearly 6 years of age. The short story is that he was surrendered because his health issues were distracting his human friend from her studies so her mother decided he must go (hmmm….. some people just amaze me!) Since Rex’s age, wonky front leg & dental problems would not have given him a chance at a shelter, he came to live with us.

Good news so far with our ex farm bunnies. Poppy has recovered really well after her abscess was removed. She was on pain relief & antibiotics for a long, long time but everything seems to be okay for now. She seemed to develop an addiction to pain relief but, for now, she’s off the stuff! I can’t imagine her spending time in Rehab with the likes of Amy Winehouse.

Just when I was going to say that Lulu hasn’t had any problems since her spell on antibiotics, she’s had another tummy upset. We’re really hoping that she’s on the mend though. Nicknamed “polar bear” (because of her size & her luminescent white coat), she’s just the most glorious bunny and so beautiful.

Izzy, the only farm bunny that hadn’t required any medical treatment so far, developed ear mites this month! They were seriously nasty and I was very annoyed with myself that I didn’t notice them earlier. By the time I saw her ear, the mites were thick, brown & crusty. Fortunately, one dab of Revolution for cats on the back of her neck (measured for her weight) fixed them right up. It was quite amazing to see how quickly the mites went away. In only a few days, her ear was looking much better and in one week, they were all gone.

We celebrated Dingleberry’s eighth birthday mid September!!! Woo hoo – Carrot cake, cranberry juice and celery muffins all round (and that’s just for the humans!!).

Dingleberry is our very first bunny. She now has a bit of a wacky head tilt from an inner ear infection she acquired four years ago but she’s still running around & enjoying life.

Pumpkin, after breaking up with his girlfriend Tinkerbelle, now has a new girlfriend. She’s gentle, won’t bite, she’s super soft and loves to be groomed. Her name’s Butternut… and she’s a sheep! A sheep pillow that is. Oh well, she might not be another real live bunny but Pumpkin thinks she’s pretty cute!