Hello… what’s this?
It’s a Coco in a box!
Hello… what’s this?
It’s a Coco in a box!
It’s snowing here in Connecticut today, but Cosette and Coco are happily oblivious on their blanket.
Living with house rabbits over the years has shown me that rabbits are full of surprises.
They can be clumsy and clunky at times. In fact, often, their jumps off the coffee table remind me of this:
But then they go on to exhibit feats of acrobatic brilliance. Their binkies and Bunny 500s, with their exuberant choreography, are thrilling to watch.
They can be extremely cautious and timid, tiptoeing and bowing their heads as they slowly inch forward to investigate a new sight or smell. Yet there are times of sheer audacity when they balance precariously on an unstable stack of boxes or the back of the couch.
Sometimes they make their presence known with thunderous gnawing on their cardboard castles and wooden toys, uncannily timing it for when you’re in the middle of an important phone call.
And yet, they have their moments of ninja-like skill. You go to toss something in the trash can and realize your rabbits are flopped by your feet. How long have they been there? you wonder. Minutes? Hours?
Contrasts like these are well-known to bunny people, and they’re a large part of why we love them!
Cosette and Coco know how to take it easy…
Wild rabbits are well concealed in the brush by their brown coloring. But one thing gives them away – that flash of white from their tails as they’re bounding away. So why did rabbits evolve to have a white tail, and not a brown one? (Or a green one?)
Evolutionary biologist Dirk Semmann of the University of Göttingen in Germany thinks he knows the answer. Semmann believes the obvious, white coloring actually distracts and confuses predators as the rabbit darts back and forth. A predator focuses on the white tail during the chase, and then when the rabbit turns, the white disappears. It takes a second for the predator to regain focus on the rabbit after every sharp turn… and these seconds can add up to enough time for the rabbit to escape.
According to Semmann, “The idea first appeared when I was running,” says Semmann. “I met this rabbit; it was always running and turning at some point. That got me thinking about the problem.”
To test his theory, Semmann used a video game on a group of people which involved either a flashing, bright circle (the white tail) or a non-flashing circle that blended with the background. The presence of the flashing circle reduced the participants’ ability to “catch” it.
Learn more on Nature.com.
A few weeks ago, we noticed Cosette’s left eye was occasionally watery. It left the fur above it messy looking. So we took her to the vet, who tried to flush the tear duct out. While the solution came through Cosette’s nose on the right side, it didn’t on the left side. So she was sent home with an antibiotic eye drop and an oral antibiotic (Baytril) to be administered twice daily for two weeks. We were also given a rabbit probiotic to add to her water to help her digestive system while she’s on the antibiotics.
Giving Cosette medicine has always been difficult due to her bold, independent personality. She hates being held and doing anything that’s not her own idea. She’s very suspicious and very difficult to catch.
Coco on the other hand is the world’s easiest patient. He actually enjoys the taste of banana-flavored medicine and comes willingly when called to lick it from the syringe.
So for our more difficult patient, we’ve been mixing the oral medicine in a mashed banana, the only food she tolerates with the medicine in it. We tried squirting it on lettuce, inside a cored out strawberry, and mixed in with apple sauce. They were all immediately avoided. The eye drops at first were somewhat easy to apply. But then she became wary of that activity as well, so we’ve had to catch her and hold her down to put the drops in.
So the past week and a half has been trying, but Cosette’s eye seems to be getting better. We go back to the vet on Wednesday for another tear duct flush. Wish us luck that all goes well! We’ll keep you posted on what happens…
UPDATE: We took Cos in today, and the vet was able to flush it, though it didn’t go easily. So we will continue with the drops for one more week. The routine will be tortuous for all parties involved, but hopefully it’ll nip the problem in the bud!
These spoiled buns are enjoying some fresh carrots plucked from the bunny garden.
There are few things in life Coco enjoys more than a nice snooze in a sunbeam.
Happy Friday, everyone!