Monday, March 18, 2013

Why every home office needs a rabbit or two

Sitting at my desk on a gloomy Monday morning with an overflowing in-tray and absolutely no desire to do anything about it...

How to get started?  Coffee is not doing its usual trick.  The weather is no help, with rain turning to sleet to snow and back to rain.  At times like this, working from home is a motivational challenge which I am ill equipped to face.
The Den... Flicka in prime position, Bailey getting ready to wedge

And then, I look down.  A smile dawns on my face.  Unusually, Bailey has nabbed 'prime position' in the den and is happily reclined with his head resting on the cushion, his white toes stretched out to the max and his ears twitching happily as he dreams about... who knows?  Banana, probably.  Or hot chicks.

Flicka is lurking somewhere behind him.  Soon, she will reclaim her rightful position (in her eyes) and roll on her back at my feet, white tummy flashing, eyelashes fluttering.  Bailey will wedge himself in behind her.  And there they will remain - offering silent, sleepy support while I tap away; emailing, Facebooking, number crunching, phoning...

They keep me calm and make me smile.  Shouldn't every home office have a rabbit or two? is a complete rabbit information resource and non-profit site raising the profile of rabbits as pets.  Join us on Facebook

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nut carpets, triceratops and butt curtains

Bizarre title, I know, but this blog post is actually about the more mundane realities of life with house rabbits.  It's not all binkies and bunnyflops...

Nut carpets

Bailey likes to have a few nuts around him at all times
Whatever you call them - raisins, cocoa puffs or, in our house, nuts - rabbit droppings have an amazing ability to travel, lurk and resist the suction power of all vacuum cleaners.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time each day sweeping them up, only to have them quickly replaced by our helpful bunnies.  No big deal, except when visitors drop in unannounced and I cringe in embarrassment, hastily kick them under the sofa (the nuts, not the visitors) and hope that nothing surfaces in their cup of tea...

What can you do?  Keep calm and carry on sweeping...


This is what my husband calls caecotrophs - mostly in humour but also partly, I suspect, because he can't pronounce it.  I'm not sure I can either, to be honest.  Whatever you call them, those clusters of soft squidgy poo lying in wait for our bare feet on the carpet may be rare but are pretty unpleasant when trodden on.

What can you do?  Thankfully this one has a solution - reduce the greens, up the hay, wash your feet and try not to retch...

Butt curtains

Bailey's butt curtain

Bailey and Flicka seem to moult almost constantly, to the point that it is a brief and blessed respite when they are NOT moulting.   And where there's a moult, there's tufts or, as we call them, butt curtains.  Teasing the tufts out without further upsetting an already grumpy bun is one of rabbit life's great challenges, and one which I have yet to master judging by Bailey's ever-present grumpiness.

What can you do?  Grin and bear the grumps... is a complete rabbit information resource and non-profit site raising the profile of rabbits as pets.  Join us on Facebook

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hot new bunny shop on the block

Looking for great bunny themed gifts online?  Read on!

Now that's what I call a well wrapped present...
I recently commissioned a piece of artwork from Olya Schmidt through her Etsy Bunny Diary shop for a good friend's birthday.  I could not be more happy with how it turned out - the attention to detail was amazing, from the packaging to the wrapping to the artwork itself.

The shop has only been open for a month or so and new items are being added all the time.  For me, the pricing is excellent - low enough to be affordable but high enough to warrant being a very special gift for the bunny lover in your life.

Here's the picture itself.  Was sorely tempted to nab it for myself but resisted temptation and gave it to my friend, who loves it.  Thank you, Bunny Diary, and keep on creating!
The painting... pic courtesy of Olya Schmidt

Friday, March 1, 2013

Flicka has a brush with GI stasis

Flicka has lived here for a year now and has had a couple of episodes of tummy trouble - a little gas taking its time to work its way out.  She would look uncomfortable for a few hours and had to be coaxed to drink water and move around.  Like many whose rabbits are prone to this problem, we can find no reason for these episodes - no change of diet, environment or stress - all we can do is help her through them.

This week she had a particularly bad episode which led to her staying overnight at the vet hospital.  Here's how it went down...

Wednesday morning and she's binkying around as normal, scoffing her breakfast and eating plenty of hay, then disappears to the bedroom for her usual morning nap.  At lunchtime we offer her some food which she refuses.  We try to get her drinking and moving around but she just wants to hunch up and focus on her sore tummy, which feels large and tight.  I phone our vet and luckily he has a free consultation at 4.30pm, so we take her in.  He agrees that her stomach feels 'stodgy' (but no obstruction, thankfully) and admits her for an overnight stay and treatment for suspected GI stasis.  She is given Metacam (pain relief), a gut motility drug, sub q fluids (under the skin) and is syringe fed liquid Recovery Food every 2 hours through the night.

She doesn't produce any droppings until around 8am, so it is likely she was on her way into stasis and we were right to take her in.  She starts eating veggies, is given more pain relief and gut motility drugs and is allowed home in the late afternoon; cue - a touching reunion and much mutual grooming with her partner, Bailey.  She is clearly delighted to be home and runs around frantically chinning everything, including us!  A final dose of gut motility drug and some Fibreplex before bed and the next morning she is bright as a button and 100% back to her normal self.

A slightly scary episode but not an uncommon one at all for rabbit owners.  Our first night without Flicka was an eye opener - made us realise (a) how much noise she makes (think, herd of horses!), and (b) how much we love her.  She may look (and act) tough and strong, but she's as vulnerable as the next bun and just as easily lost.  To lose a rabbit to stasis is heartbreaking and all too common, even with all the correct care being given.

Lesson learnt: rabbits are so fragile - each and every day with them is a gift. is a complete rabbit information resource and non-profit site raising the profile of rabbits as pets.  Join us on Facebook