Archive for the ‘Coco & Cosette’ Category
We did an interview with Pet Hooligans about our experiences running the My House Rabbit site.
When we switched from store-bought timothy hay to a locally-grown timothy hay-orchard grass mix from a farm, we realized there was one disadvantage. The hay was more tangled together than the store-bought kind, and Cos, being very greedy/possessive of her food, started running away with large clumps of hay in her mouth. The hay got all over the carpet, and it was a big pain having to constantly clean it up.
Enter the Screwy Rabbit Hay Buffet. We recently acquired this durable (but lightweight) hay feeder from Wabbit Works. It’s actually large enough to hold a substantial amount of hay, unlike the hay feeders available at the pet store. This feeder caters to a rabbit with a proper hay-based diet. It keeps the hay contained (so no dragging large clumps out of the litterbox anymore), and it fits next to a litterbox. (We actually have three small litterboxes surrounding it because our rabbits seem to like having options.) There is less waste because the hay stays more or less in the feeder rather than being sat on in the litterbox.
Cosette eating out of the Screwy Rabbit Hay Buffet.
Coco takes his turn.
Cos gets jealous…
and joins him.
I get a lot of emails describing the same scenario: Bunnikins has taken to hopping on the sofa and peeing on it. It’s a frustrating situation and one that has happened in our household as well. I remember after the third time it happened with Cosette a few years back, I had picked her up and put her in her cage. (She still had a cage back then although it was always open.) I closed the cage door and closed the kitchen door where the cage was located. But even in the other room I could hear her thrashing around in the cage trying to break free. For a rabbit who detests being picked up and despises even more being cooped up in a cage, this was the greatest insult. I felt bad locking her in – and I did let her out again after an hour - but after that time, she never peed on the sofa again.
I later came across an incredibly useful article on the House Rabbit Society website which helps shed light on this behavior and suggests ways to train your rabbit. The article is called “FAQ: Training,” and under the heading “Behavior motivated by social structure,” it delves specifically into the peeing on the couch problem.
Anyone who is experiencing this issue should read the article. The entire article is actually very enlightening as well- covering various issues that most bunny owners will come across at some point.
Cosette with co-editor P.A. Smith in 2006.
Like all good friends, Coco and Cosette take turns. In this case, they took turns sleeping all flopped out next to the computer.
We decided to build another 4×4 raised bed devoted just to lettuces and other bunny greens. They really do consume a lot. So yesterday I planted three different kinds of green leaf lettuce, more cilantro, and some basil plants.
In the fall, we’ll do another round of romaine lettuce, plus we’re going to try growing some bok choy as well.
In our new raised bed, we planted three different kinds of looseleaf lettuce, basil, and cilantro. In the background, we have a pot of mint, more lettuce, and carrots growing in the raised beds behind.
The cilantro I planted a few weeks ago in one of our other beds germinated. So Cosette will be happy in a little while when it’s big enough to eat.
We’ve expanded upon our experiment from last year to grow some of Coco and Cosette’s food. This season, we have four raised beds of fruits and veggies – both for the bunnies and ourselves.
For the bunnies, we have growing: Lettuce (pictured above), carrots, basil, broccoli leaves, dandelions, and apples (our trees have fruit this year!).
I might try growing cilantro next spring because it’s Cos’s favorite, but I’ve heard it can be difficult to grow.
UPDATE: Bought some cilantro seeds. I read that I still had time to plant them. So we’ll see how that goes. Also bought a mint plant that we’ll keep in a separate pot because apparently they spread quickly.
We’ve had a very scary last few days here. Cosette had to go to the emergency vet over the weekend because she had stopped eating and pooping and looked quite hunched. After an x-ray, the vet found that her stomach was extremely distended and she had two large gas bubbles. The diagnosis was GI stasis, and her prognosis was guarded.
A dental exam showed that her molars were unevenly worn, which most likely led to her digestive issues. They filed her teeth that night, and during her stay at the vet’s, she received motility medication, pain medication, IV fluids, and force feeding of Critical Care.
Sunday morning, her condition had worsened, and the vet was not optimistic about her chances of survival. With dull, droopy eyes, a hunched, tense posture, and a visibly bloated stomach, Cosette looked like she was experiencing a lot of pain.
Sunday evening, she started perking up a little, and she managed to eat a little on her own and finally excreted some soft stool. We brought in more greens and she ate some cilantro with encouragement by us. This morning, she excreted formed stools and had more of an appetite, so she was allowed to come home this evening. Coco was very excited his friend was finally back.
We will continue her motility medication for the next few days, and if necessary, we may need to continue syringe feeding Critical Care to supplement her diet as well. She is not quite back to her old self at this point. She doesn’t have quite the appetite, and her stools are quite small. But I was pleasantly surprised that her litterbox habits appeared to remain in tact, despite having quite a stressful weekend. (And of course, that she was actually going to the bathroom again, and her digestive system was active again.)
I wanted to share this story so that other people could learn from our scary experience. For example, it’s so important for your bunny to get regular checkups, including a dental examination. Even rabbits with a hay-based diet, who show no signs of pain, can have molar spurs. And this condition can lead to potentially deadly conditions like GI stasis. For more information about GI stasis, see Dana Krempel’s article, GI Stasis: The Silent Killer.
Sometimes Coco and Cosette like to snuggle. I thought their first formation was a little bizarre, but it seemed to work for both of them…
until Coco decided he needed to groom… maybe he got fur in his eyes somehow?
He decided on a different formation when he finished grooming.