Author Topic: Rabbit anger/depression?  (Read 2553 times)

Offline Grace

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Rabbit anger/depression?
« on: December 10, 2004, 11:45:11 PM »
Last Saturday, one of my 'kids', Chester, passed away.  I came home Friday night around 1:30 to find his gut hugely swollen with gas, and him cool to the touch.  4am I got home from the e-vet, where Chester had passed while trying to have a catheter put in.   :'(

My other rabbit, Bunswick, hasn't been the same since.  I've had them both since they were young/babies, now about 2.5 years old.  The first few days, he would rush to see if I was bringing Chester in, searching constantly, depression, etc.  Now, he's becoming angry and destructive.  When I'm not home, he's in a large marchioro cage, when I am home, he has the run of the upstairs (sans bedroom and room with foster rabbits).  He shreds the newspaper in the cage, and just overall destroys it - which he never did before.  He also doesn't like me touching him now, and will growl.  He rushes the cage doors, and is just generally angry at everything involving me it seems.

I understand that he needs to mourn, but, how can I make it easier on him?  Since he *is* only 2.5, I'm assuming he will need a new companion at some point.  But, how soon is too soon?  The earliest I'd plan on adopting another rabbit would be in 2 months - when these fosters are old enough to be rehomed.

In the meantime, what can I do to make him happy?   :-\

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Offline Scubbs

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Re: Rabbit anger/depression?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2004, 11:55:12 PM »
I've had this happen before.  Rabbits can show some pretty strange behavioral habits after losing a loved one, or going through a similar traumatic experience.  I would just suggest you start bonding with him again.  Sit in the area he's usually at, and ignore him.  Read a book, listen to music, watch TV.  If he comes over, try to pet him if he allows you to.  If he doesn't, start trust training with treats and a soft voice.  Rabbits sometimes become like children after events such as this, and will lash out with aggressive behaviors and severe depression, yet you know inside all they want is someone to be near and to be loved by.  It can take days or weeks for a rabbit to re-adjust to life without their cagemate.  Be patient and hope for the best.  Also, providing LOTS of things for him to destroy would be a very good idea.  Dragongrass mats from Pier One are a REALLY big hit with buns to eat, rip apart, dig on, and basically shred to pieces.  Don't try to bring any new companions home until Bunswick is back to his normal behaviors and habits.  Otherwise, he might just see the possible new companion as something else to attempt to destroy. 

I wish you the best of luck.  Rabbits are very emotional creatures, and sometimes owners go through very trying times with them.  Just give him some time, and all the love he'll allow you to shower him with, and he'll be just fine.
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