About Us!


Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bunny Toy Ideas!

 These are great ideas to keep your bunny from being bored or getting into trouble chewing things he shouldn't!
Here is the complete link:
 http://rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=14833&forum_id=1
_______________________________

Bunny Ethel taking a break from digging in her shredded paper dig box.


I've been meaning to make this thread for a while and just haven't gotten to it.  You see, my hubby and I love making toys for our rabbits to play with.  Most of the stuff in petstores is so boring and a lot of the stuff we could buy online is so expensive.  So I thought I'd post about what we've made and see what other people have made so we can share ideas.

Here's a couple of my favorites.

Cardboard toys are mandatory in my house!  The bunny maze...


The Bunny Playground 2000 (my hubby's creation): Hay tube columns, two bunny dig boxes, a vertical hay filled tube, a bunny abacus, rabbit cubicles, post it note wall papering, three seperate dangle toys, a mini-maze, wall mounted notebook (open of course), And three levels of rabbit enjoyment.


And the cardboard curtain:







Those ones are really easy and cheap to make. Pack of wooden clips for a dollar, the colourful sticks come in a bunch of bundles along with square wooden beads all for a dollar, and some twine. Good chew toy and good for throwing around.



Essentially all of the components I've already mentioned, put together and hung up. I've recently found that Moo SHoo seems to prefer toys that are hung, so he can really go at them without them rolling away (especially since his cage has three levels and the toys can roll down away from him). He really likes things that jinle, so cat jingly balls work very well.

A carboard tube cut up into rings can make for a good component in a toy too, like you see there.
 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Nail Trimming Tips / Videos



Today we'd like to tell you about feet. 

Rabbits' hind legs are a miracle of engineering that allow them to balance, jump and thump all with the same instruments. The hind legs are far longer than the front legs for good reason. They are the springs the body uses to propel them with joints at hip, knee and hock, and far smaller joints in the toes.

The part from the hock (heel) to the toes is what we think of as the foot and it has a thick pad of fur along its underside. Part that and you'll see a pink patch on the heel itself. As long as it's pale pink, this is nothing at all to worry about as that is how it's meant to be. It's only when that pink patch becomes red, inflammed, sore and sometimes infected that you need to worry about it. This is pododermatitis or 'sore hocks' and requires veterinary treatment.


There are several things you should and shouldn't do to avoid it developing:


- Keep toenails short so that the angle of your rabbit's feet on the ground is correct.
- NEVER trim the fur off the soles of the hind feet.
- Don't give your rabbit a flooring/bedding that has no 'give' in it and especially not a wire mesh floor.
- Keep bedding and litter dry and clean.

When clipping toenails, you need to be careful not to cut into the 'quick' which is the part of the nail that contains nerves and has a blood supply. With lighter nails, it is visible. With darker nails, try shining a pen light from the opposite side of the nail so that it will show up and you don't cut too far down. You can also use the squeeze, squeeze harder, cut method. If there is no reaction to either of the squeezes of your nail scissors on the nail, then it is very likely that you are not near the sensitive part and it will be safe to cut. Always have a styptic pencil or styptic powder handy, though, in case you do accidentally go too far. Putting a dry tissue or some dry cotton wool on the open end and squeezing will help stop blood flow and then applying some styptic will help any remaining blood to clot.

 

The quick will recede if you keep clipping regularly so if you really aren't confident, nibble bits away over a period of time and the quick will take up less and less of the nail shaft, so clipping will become safer.

If none of this gives you confidence to try yourself, then ask your vet or vet nurse to do the nail trimming for you and to show you how it's done.


Two videos of how to trim your bunnies nails. 
The first with the rabbit in your lap in a normal position. 
The second sitting upright. Some bunnies like to see what's going on and they calm down.  
You can always wrap them in a towel also to protect yourself and them from kicking and hurting either of you, then clip each foot as you need to keeping them snuggled up.


video


video



Here is another version of how to trim nails. You can never have enough ideas!
video





* The Hoppy Bunny Rabbitry 
http://www.hoppybunnyrabbit.com/nails.html

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bunnies That Chew! --Uh Oh!!!

Rabbits make excellent pets if you know how to properly care for them and stimulate their minds. Rabbits in the wild are very active creatures and are also territorial. You need to understand what is required to keep your rabbit from becoming destructive.

In the most ideal situation you adopt a young rabbit, you feed him a good pelleted diet, hay and give him a big bottle of water. You let him out of the cage daily for romps around the house (after rabbit proofing it), to explore, play with toys and interact with you. Rabbits enjoy getting attention and form a bond with their owners. They also are very intelligent animals who get bored sitting in a cage constantly, not to mention they love to run and jump. Unfortunately sometimes a rabbit gets neglected for a bit or is actually adopted having destructive behaviors already. Rabbits also may begin bad behaviors when they reach sexual maturity. There are many things you can do in these situations.

  
First and foremost a rabbit should be neutered or spayed. Many people do not realize that they may misbehave when reaching sexual maturity or that female rabbits are very prone to uterine cancer and that all rabbits should be altered just as dogs and cats should, to prevent behavioral and health problems. This alone may stop a male rabbit from destroying things in frustration from not having a mate or stop a female from digging things up and nesting when she feels like she needs to have bunnies.

If a pet rabbit suddenly starts showing bad behavior and is altered, he or she may be feeling neglected. They very much enjoy time spent with their person, being petted, scratched behind the ears and under the chin, and even cuddling. If you give your bunny more attention its possible that behavior problems will stop all together. They cannot be left in a cage 24/7.


 

Now if your rabbit is given proper attention and also altered and when out and about starts chewing on wood trim, digging in the carpet, and other such things, he could simply be bored with what he has been given to play with. Variety is the spice of life they say, and that applies to rabbits as well. Also having continuously growing teeth they do need plenty to chew on. Try offering empty toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes to hide or dig in (even adding grass, a different bedding, or torn up paper), balls of different sizes he can roll around with his nose, blankets to burrow and hide in, blocks of wood to chew and many more bunny safe toys. Rabbits can be very curious so anything they can sniff around and hide in would provide some entertainment.

  

What does your rabbit want? 

Observe your rabbit. Is he a pusher/buncher or a chewer/shredder?! Perhaps he just enjoys lying contentedly in a tunnel. Once you have an idea about your rabbit's favorite behaviors, provide different toys and activities for him just like you would for a cat or dog. Rotate toys to keep him interested and try new toys every so often. Well placed and interesting toys will keep your rabbit busy for hours. Unfinished willow baskets, a cardboard box or tunnel, hard plastic toss toys and grass mats all have an important place in a bunny home. If you have expensive antiques or other items you just can't risk, make that room off limits. A baby gate may work to keep Bun out, but be warned, many rabbits can jump over these gates or chew through the plastic ones. Or, simply close the door to these off-limit areas. Once you have ideas about your rabbit's activity preferences and have obtained several toys for him to choose from, the next challenge is getting him to use this new found entertainment.
    
When there is destructive behavior in any animal there is always a reason. Please don't write off your furry friend as just a bad bunny, try these suggestions and you will have one happy rabbit on your hands. Get creative and construct cardboard bunny villages, play soccer with him (though obviously don't kick a ball at him, just soft nudges), or design fun chewing toys for him. You can enjoy having your rabbit for many years of fun and friendship if you give him a chance.  

 BONUS READ!!

 Rabbits love chewing cables

                                     Remember to cover those cables!!

The consensus is that rabbits chew wires because they look like roots. They will snip them in half to get them out the way as if they were burrowing. But this doesn't explain why they like just chewing on wires that are not in their way. The Internet tells me rabbits might be able to hear the frequency of the electricity pulsing through the cables and this annoys them but I couldn't find any other articles backing this up.
Nybble definitely only chews cables that are in his way as I discovered yesterday when he tried to get past my computer which had my Sony camera USB cable sticking out. I fortunately still have a sony USB cable, but minus two plugs (which I didn't use anyway). 

 Pixel however loves to chew. He has brought the internet down in the flat and eaten the phone cable twice. Steven's laptop cable was totally destroyed costing in £60 for a replacement. His new cable has bite marks in it and Marks cable has bite marks covered in duck tape. This is what happened when we gave him a cat 5 to play with:


 Pixel is so sneaky about it too - he will slowly idle up to the cable looking all cute and innocent. And then ATTACK! I am surprised he is not dead yet from electrocution.


*"How to deal with destructive behavior in house rabbits"
http://www.helium.com/items/2098090-how-to-deal-with-destructive-behavior-in-house-rabbits
*http://lowmanio.co.uk/blog/entries/rabbits-love-chewing-cables/

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Emergency Kits For Rabbits

If your rabbit hasn't eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, 
call a vet immediately!


Emergencies can happen at any time and you want to make sure that you are 
prepared to avoid potentially life-threatening situations for your rabbit.
Many of the items that you should include in your Rabbit First Aid Kit can
be found around the house. You’ll also want to have a container for all of the
items and to place it in an easy to find spot in case of an emergency.

 You should include the following items in your 
Rabbit First Aid Kit:




Baby Food
- Use when your rabbit refuses to eat; it's easy to get baby food or canned
pumpkin into a feeding syringe. 




 •Chlorhexidine Solution
– Use to flush wounds. 




Critical Care by Oxbow
- You can also use this when your rabbit refuses to eat.
Available through your vet's office or at Petsmart.



Eyedropper
- to administer the saline and Critical Care




Styptic Powder (or flour)
 - If you trim your rabbit's nails a little too short and theybegin to bleed,
dip the paw into the flour.



Gas Medication(Simethicone) 
- Use in case of a gas emergency. Various brands for babies are acceptable, including 
Gerber’s Gas Relief Drops.



Gauze and Cotton Balls
- Use to clean and care for wounds.



Hairball Remedy (always consult with rabbit savy vet during this time!)
- Offer this to your rabbit weekly to prevent the build-up of hair in the digestive tract. 
Rabbits cannot cough up hairballs as cats do. During a molt (shedding), offer it daily. 
Hartz Hairball Remedy can be found in most grocery stores. Make sure to get the malt 
flavored kind and follow the directions. Do NOT give if your rabbit has stopped eating 
and is not producing fecal pellets—consult with your vet. 


Hydrogen Peroxide
—Use initially on wounds. Thereafter use the chlorhexidine solution (see above)
as hydrogen peroxide inhibits the tissue’s healing.

 













Mineral Oil (See vet for Ivermectin injection to kill mites quickly and completely)
– For the treatment of ear mites and skin irritations.
.


Nail Clippers












Neosporin (non-pain relief) 
- You can use this if your bunny has a minor cut or wound.



Probios
- Administer to rabbits who are not eating. Helps to restore balance in an
upset stomach.  BeneBac is another widely available brand.



Rubbing Alcohol
-for sterilizing scissors, tweezers and other tools.

Saline
- for gentle wash around the eye area in case of irritation.

Scissors
- Use to trim the fur surrounding a bunny wound. Be careful!
Rabbit skin is extremelyelastic and is difficult to see through the fur.
Be certain that the skin remains clear of the scissors.




Tweezers
 
*Digital infant thermometer 
-to take temperature (apply lubricant and insert gently into rectum;
normal rabbit temperature is 101-103 degrees Fahrenheit);
ask your vet to show you how.
*Heart Rate (pulse): 130-325 beats per minute
*Respiratory Rate: 32-60 breaths per minute


**How-To info and video on taking temps!!
http://www.houserabbitga.com/?page_id=2105


*Petroleum jelly or KY jelly
-a lubricant to use with the thermometer




 References:
http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2012/03/27/first-aid-kit-for-the-rabbitry/
 http://www.heartlandrabbitrescue.org/documents/Rabbit%20First%20Aid%20Kit.pdf
 http://mnhouserabbit.org/rabbit/care/health/firstaidkit.html
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Safety-Kit-for-Your-Rabbit

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rabbits: Common Illnesses and Infections

Some routine healthcare can be done at home, like trimming claws and dressing small wounds, but every day we hear about distressing and life-threatening illnesses that aren't spotted until it's too late.

The following are the most common illnesses and infections that we see pet owners claim for, so keep an eye out, and make sure you take your bunny to the vet as soon as you think something's wrong!


FLYSTRIKE
As we move into summer it's very important to keep a sharp eye out for flystrike - especially if you're the owner of a longhaired breed. This can often be fatal, and a horrific experience for both rabbits and owners. Unfortunately, we see many rabbits lost to flystrike every year.
Flies lay their eggs in soiled fur around a rabbit's tail, and within 12 - 24 hours, the maggots hatch and burrow into the rabbit's flesh. Death can happen almost overnight, so it's important to constantly check your rabbit, and ensure that the hutch is clean, especially when the temperature begins to rise.
It's a horrendous infection, as maggots can be seen crawling in and around the rabbit. If this happens, please take your bunny straight to a vet, regardless of time or day! Rabbits can recover if treated promptly, but it's often a race against time.
Guard your rabbit from flystrike by making sure you clean out his or her hutch every day, and checking at least twice daily.
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/06/fly-strike-in-rabbits.html 


GASTROINTESTINAL STASIS
Gastrointestinal stasis (or as it's more commonly known - gut stasis) is the process of a rabbit's digestive system shutting down, and is as serious as it sounds.
Unlike us, rabbits can't fast, so when they stop eating for a prolonged period of time, gut stasis occurs. If it's left untreated, gut stasis is fatal. There are many triggers that make a rabbit stop eating, and once they stop, it's very unlikely that they'll start again on their own. Triggers for gut stasis include pain, stress, and internal blockages in the abdomen.
Symptoms to watch out for include an inability to produce droppings, a lack of appetite, not drinking, a bloated abdomen, and general unhappiness! With pain medication, hydration, motility medication, force-feeding (and lots of cuddles!) rabbits should recover, and then it's important to get to the bottom of why they stopped eating in the first place. Treatment varies on whether the cause is in part to an intestinal blockage.
As prevention really is the best cure, make sure to feed your rabbit a high fibre diet, make sure it has access to unlimited water, and fresh greens. Always keep a close eye on your rabbit, pay attention to out of the ordinary behavior, and ensure that he or she is pain-free, and housed in a calm, and rabbit-friendly environment.
 http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/03/gi-stasis-your-bunny.html

TEETH
We see a lot of problems that originate from badly kept teeth. Malocclusion, the name given to teeth that do not meet normally, is one of the most common teeth-related problems that we see, and is usually a consequence of a poor diet. Rabbits have very hard teeth, which in the wild would be naturally worn down by grazing all day, on tough, fibrous food. When kept in captivity, rabbits rely on you to provide them with suitable feed that will keep their teeth in check.
If a rabbit isn't supplied with these kinds of fodder, teeth are not worn down properly, and will wear down at different rates. This turns into a vicious cycle: the teeth do not meet, so they grow abnormally. There aren't always any signs that your rabbit has malocclusion, but you can look out for decreased appetite, weight loss, lumps on the outer cheek, under the eye, or under the lower jaw, uneven incisors, and discharge from the cheek or chin area.
An x-ray is needed to determine whether a rabbit is suffering from malocclusion, so it's important to take your bunny straight to the vets if you suspect he may have it. The vet will then be able to correctly trim and correct the teeth, as well as treat any complications, such as abscesses or infections.
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/04/rabbits-and-their-teeth-they-need.html 


PASTEURELLA
Or as we know it - snuffles. Pasteurella is very similar to the common cold, but unlike when we get ill, it can prove to be fatal for rabbits. It's extremely infectious as well, so prevention and quick-thinking is necessary when a rabbit starts showing symptoms.
Sneezing, runny eyes, wheezing, and discharge from the nose are among the top signs that your rabbit has snuffles, and symptoms worsen as the illness progresses. Abscesses, inner ear infections, and a thicker, more yellow nasal discharge indicate a later stage of pasteurella.
As this can lead to pneumonia, it's better to be safe than sorry, and take your rabbit to the vets if it starts displaying snuffle symptoms. In some cases, rabbits will be able to recover on their own when kept warm and dry, but it's often better to have peace of mind and know that you're dealing with it the right way. For more severe cases, pasteurella can be aided by antibiotics.
If your rabbit starts showing these symptoms, immediately isolate it, and keep a close eye on any other rabbits.
 http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/05/upper-respiratory-tract-disease-in.html 


COCCIDIOSIS
This serious, but very common liver disease is caused by a microscopic parasite. Coccidiosis can cause death through exhaustion. The rabbit will become jaundiced and emaciated, and have an enlarged abdomen from a swollen liver.
Symptoms include a yellow jaundiced appearance, consistent diarrhea, and extreme weakness. The parasites are spread through droppings, so rabbits living in dirty hutches are particularly susceptible. It's very contagious, and any infected rabbits should be isolated.
Coccidiosis can be treated and cured by a vet if caught early enough.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Protozoal_diseases/Cocc_en.htm



Original reference:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-lewzey/rabbits-common-illnesses-and-infections_b_4055784.html

Nail Trimming Tips / Videos

Today we'd like to tell you about feet. 

Rabbits' hind legs are a miracle of engineering that allow them to balance, jump and thump all with the same instruments. The hind legs are far longer than the front legs for good reason. They are the springs the body uses to propel them with joints at hip, knee and hock, and far smaller joints in the toes.

The part from the hock (heel) to the toes is what we think of as the foot and it has a thick pad of fur along its underside. Part that and you'll see a pink patch on the heel itself. As long as it's pale pink, this is nothing at all to worry about as that is how it's meant to be. It's only when that pink patch becomes red, inflammed, sore and sometimes infected that you need to worry about it. This is pododermatitis or 'sore hocks' and requires veterinary treatment.


There are several things you should and shouldn't do to avoid it developing:


- Keep toenails short so that the angle of your rabbit's feet on the ground is correct.
- NEVER trim the fur off the soles of the hind feet.
- Don't give your rabbit a flooring/bedding that has no 'give' in it and especially not a wire mesh floor.
- Keep bedding and litter dry and clean.

When clipping toenails, you need to be careful not to cut into the 'quick' which is the part of the nail that contains nerves and has a blood supply. With lighter nails, it is visible. With darker nails, try shining a pen light from the opposite side of the nail so that it will show up and you don't cut too far down. You can also use the squeeze, squeeze harder, cut method. If there is no reaction to either of the squeezes of your nail scissors on the nail, then it is very likely that you are not near the sensitive part and it will be safe to cut. Always have a styptic pencil or styptic powder handy, though, in case you do accidentally go too far. Putting a dry tissue or some dry cotton wool on the open end and squeezing will help stop blood flow and then applying some styptic will help any remaining blood to clot.

 

The quick will recede if you keep clipping regularly so if you really aren't confident, nibble bits away over a period of time and the quick will take up less and less of the nail shaft, so clipping will become safer.

If none of this gives you confidence to try yourself, then ask your vet or vet nurse to do the nail trimming for you and to show you how it's done.


Two videos of how to trim your bunnies nails. 
The first with the rabbit in your lap in a normal position. 
The second sitting upright. Some bunnies like to see what's going on and they calm down.  
You can always wrap them in a towel also to protect yourself and them from kicking and hurting either of you, then clip each foot as you need to keeping them snuggled up.







Here is another version of how to trim nails. You can never have enough ideas!





* The Hoppy Bunny Rabbitry 
http://www.hoppybunnyrabbit.com/nails.html