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My bonded bunnies started fighting with each other last week…

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My bonded bunnies started...

My bonded bunnies started fighting with each other last week and now I can't have them in the same room. Both are neutered males and have been happy together for months now (since the younger one got fixed). I've noticed that the older one (only 3, I think, but adopted) wasn't staying super clean around his bottom and found that he'd stopped cleaning his scent glands. this has never been an issue in the two years i've had him. He's otherwise happy/active, eating, running around (separate from the little guy) and doing binkies.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the bunny's name?

Brennan

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 17 hours by:
12/12/2017
Pet Specialist: Dr. Meghan Denney, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1,980
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
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Hi, I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your question. This service is used for general information only and is no substitute for a veterinarian-patient relationship by examination.

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Pet Specialist: Dr. Meghan Denney, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

When two bunnies who normally are very close and get along rally well start exhibiting this type of behavior it is usually because one of them is becoming ill and the hierarchy of dominance is out of balance. It may not be an illness that is showing symptoms currently, but that is slowly coming on.

I would recommend getting them both examined and get stool and urine checked to rule out common causes for illness in rabbits.

There are certain adrenal diseases that can cause these behaviors

First thing to check is that both rabbits are clinically healthy, including dentition, joints etc. as pain can be redirected as aggression. No residual testicular tissue?
Then consider their social interactions....if the common room is their usual room consider introductions in completely neutral territory. Observing interactions with 'barrier contact' initially meaning they can see each other but cannot touch. Ensure the rabbits do not need to compete for resources (space, food, hide areas) if in the same space. Provide plenty of distractions. Start with the rabbits positioned far apart, reward positive interactions and work toward being in closer proximity. Can be tricky with a very dominant personality.​

Offer them both their own core areas in the house that they always have access to where they can find litter tray, something to chew and somewhere to hide, as well as water. They should always have the opportunity to avoid each other.​

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Pet Specialist: Dr. Meghan Denney, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Good luck !

If this was helpful I would be most appreciative if you could take the time to rate my assistance so the site will credit me with helping you

Without a rating (the stars at the top) the site will not compensate me for helping you.

I am also here for additional questions you may have, just reach out to me here and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meghan Denney

This Content is not intended to be a substitute for a professional veterinary exam, diagnostics, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your attending veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of a pet.

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