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Aggressive behaviour - 6 month-ish old female lionhead.

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by snowsurfer, Jun 22, 2009.


  1. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    Hey!

    I wrote a while ago asking for advice for my daughters' pet bunny, a female lionhead who is now about 5-6 months old. Well, she is starting to behave aggressively with us from time to time. During the day she is usually OK, comes to us and plays, except the odd day when she does not feel in the mood. She has free run of the garden for 10-14 hours / day, sometimes even more. The problem comes when we have to put her in the hutch (which is by the way huge, 2m+ wide). She seems to hate it and it is impossible to "catch" her, and when we finally do if I open the top access to the hutch to get her some hay or pellets inside she jumps on my hand making strange noises, even bit me last night. Then again tomorrow, once outside of the hutch for a while, she is perfectly sociable - most of the days. Licking me and all. :confused::

    She's had both her shots at the vet but has not been spayed yet, we were planning on doing this within the following month. Do you guys think this will help?

    She has no reason to feel threatened, everyone in the house treats her like a queen, and she has a huge garden for herself for a very long time every day. I have started thinking that maybe she is having one of those "fake pregnancies" like some female dogs have from time to time (my wife's Husky had several), since she has started making deep holes in the ground. Is that possible or am I way off?

    Anyway, thanks for any advice you can give!
     
  2. frags

    frags PetForums VIP

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    sounds very much like she just needs to be spayed, i think i remember your previous post is this the little white bunny that you got from the childrens father? if so i know you treat her like a queen from your last thread so im thinking its just pubery kicking in and spaying will tame this behaviour.
    hope you get things sorted x
     
  3. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    Yep you got it a right, wow that's good memory! :) I'll hang on till the kids are back so that we can take her to the vet together. Thanks!
     
  4. frags

    frags PetForums VIP

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    lol my memory is terrible but i remember buns :D oh and numbers, everything is lost in brain space lol
     
  5. crofty

    crofty PetForums VIP

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    She needs to be spayed and yes it will stop the aggressive behaviour, shes just hormonal and being territorial, we nicknamed my saffy the devil when she was hormonal, she was awful, now shes lovely :)
     
  6. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the replies. It seems my local vet from the neighbourhood does not spay rabbits and he's given me other contact numbers. From what I'm reading between 6 and 12 months is about the best time for spaying. Does that sound right?

    Thank again!
     
  7. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    OK tomorrow she has a pre-op check, and if everything is OK she is getting her big op on Tuesday.... :)
     
  8. crofty

    crofty PetForums VIP

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    Oh good luck :)
     
  9. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    Do you not think she would like a friend?

    rabbits are very social animals perhaps once she is spayed and hormones settle and perhaps with a friend she will be totally different.

    having said that my two rabbits are unsociable, one growls as i put his food down and then launches at me hitting out with his front legs and i think he would bite, the other isnt quite as bad just moody, they both have a look of disgust on their faces most of the time lol they are both castrated and has done nothing to improve their personalities.

    i do think she would probably like a friend though, very strange a vet not spaying a rabbit though.
     
  10. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    Well I'm taking it one thing at a time, I'll see what happens a couple of weeks after the op. From what I hear it's the "puberty" too so maybe I'll wait it out a bit and see what happens, and then maybe get her a friend.

    On the other hand, I thought it was strange too that the guy said he would not spay a rabbit, but the contact he gave us seems very reputable, I checked it out.
     
  11. Tink82

    Tink82 PetForums VIP

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    My male lionhead (5months) is the same, I wonder if it's a lionhead trait?! I'd get her done for sure, my boy is being done soon as he can be aggressive and is destroying everything but I have exactly the same problem as you catching him.

    I find getting a light towel or sheet and putting it over him works well as he freezes, I can scoop him up nicely without any clawing and he is more relaxed as he can't see this 5ft2 monster behind him
     
  12. frags

    frags PetForums VIP

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    hope she is ok today and the op went smoothly.
    update us asap x
     
  13. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    Regretfully I had to leave on urgent business and my wife couldn't go, so we had to postpone the op. :( We have to set a new date now. Her behaviour is not getting any better. The other day she squaled when I took her in order to put her in the hutch, and I was gentle, I suppose she is just really nervous and stressed. I understand that this is pretty extreme, that she was really feeling threatened, and there is absolutely no reason to feel that way.

    I've also started using a t-shirt to get her, seems to keep her more quiet.
     
  14. crofty

    crofty PetForums VIP

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    :eek: she squealed crikey shes really scared then. I think she needs alot of time with you just sitting down in the room with her. She should be alot calmer when she is spayed but a rabbit squealing is quite rare unless they are being attacked, maybe the vet should check theres nothing wrong physically that could be hurting her when you pick her up.
     
  15. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    I have a 2.5 year old small cross breed rabbit. (adorable will post pic soon) She is a house bun but has a run outside too. I had her spayed at the age of 2 hoping it would calm her down and so I can eventually get her a friend. Her behavior hasn't changed at all. Some days she will sit next to my computer chair the whole time I'm there (I'm a student so work at home a lot) and loves to be stroked while I'm sat in my chair. other days she will run around and then sneak up an nip my feet! Some days she responds to "go home" and jumps in her cage, other days I have to gang up on her with my boyfriend and chase her in. The last thing she wants is me to pick her up. which she does tolerate well for vets/medication etc but I know shes not keen. She sees herself as the dominant queen of the house. If I try to stroke her standing up she'll run away because she thinks I'm gonna pick her up. If i sit on the floor she'll come over for a stroke most of the time. If I sit on the sofa she'll sit next to me, she doesnt like having anyone else in the room and wont come near me if they are. She used to charge at my hand when I fed her but I have overcome this by feeding her very slowly so neither me or her are scared. She is more passive and friendly when she has had plenty of time out of her cage. All these nasty traits are things which I can directly relate to my contact with her :( but I am the one who feeds/cleans and need to be in charge.
    The only advice I can give is to have your bunny desexed asap this way she wont learn the aggressive behaviors. Also a friend will keep her busy and less likely to have dominating behaviors towards you. If getting a friend I recommend getting one the same weight as her so they both have the same amount of food and 1 doesnt get fat (poor fat rabbits). I hope this helps in some way
     
  16. snowsurfer

    snowsurfer PetForums Junior

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    She only did this once very briefly, last night. Today she's been great the whole day, even when she had to go to sleep. She's been jumping and running around the garden the whole day, I seriously doubt there is anything physically wrong with her, but I will ask on her next checkup. She was also nice and sociable with me, came to lick me a couple of times while I was sitting on the porch sofa....
    That is EXACTLY how mine is starting to behave. Carbon copy. I will have her spayed within the following couple weeks.
     
    #16 snowsurfer, Jul 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  17. Tink82

    Tink82 PetForums VIP

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    I know it may seem like a silly question but how do you pick her up?? My vet showed me how to do it properly (which I thought looked awful!) as Pepsi is a sod for kicking out and thrashing (have yet more injuries today)
     
  18. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    To be honest I dont do it the vet way with the bum grabbing back end support? I put both hands round her tummy firmly and lift, then bring her to my body quickly and put one arm underneath her so her back legs are resting on the arm (normally with a coat on) then the other hand just behind the ears holding her still. I think its important that bunnies are ok ish with being picked up once in a while because of medical checks especially checking for fly strike in this weather.
     
  19. crofty

    crofty PetForums VIP

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    You should place one hand under the front of the bunny and one hand supporting her bum, i dont mean to come across as being horrible i hope im not but your not handling her right at all, this sounds like why she screamed :( you are putting alot of pressure on her rib cage and not supporting her bottom, she will never be good at being handled if you are picking her up in this way, my buns would bite me and rightly so if i handled them like that especially the bigger ones.
     
  20. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    she has never screamed at me or bit me apart from playing, i have obviously tried to pick her up that way but she doesnt like me touching her ass. cats, babys etc have no problem being picked up with 2 hands and it is only for seconds. she doesnt kick like i know some buns do.
     
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