Our youngest bunny, Echo was spayed about 3 weeks ago. Her surgery took place later in the day, around 3pm, so she was still pretty dopey when we got her home that evening around 7pm. She was contented to spend that evening being cuddled while wrapped in a towel. I sat comfortably in one of my favorite chairs, my computer on my lap and the bunny on my chest and shoulder. One hand typed and surfed the net while the other scritched the bunny on the head. Occasionally she would get up and reposition herself in the bundle of towel. Mostly, she was just content to lie there quietly accepting scritches and the comforting warmth of my body. (Hey, I can play living heating pad if she wants it!)

Since then Echo has recovered remarkably well. While she was ready to get out and run the day after surgery, we didn’t actually let her get any out time till a week after surgery. We discovered that the stress of surgery had caused her body to purge itself of a large number of pinworms, a common intestinal parasite found in rabbits. Luckily, treating for pinworms is fairly easy and they aren’t terribly harmful to the body of a healthy bunny. Aside from that, Echo has been a happy, healthy bunny who doesn’t seem too concerned with the bald spot on her belly or the healing stitches where her spay took place. For the first couple weeks after surgery, when she did get out time, it was in short half hour sessions. As her body healed, we have her longer sessions out of the cage. Her fur is already growing back nicely on her belly, and its only been about 3 weeks since the spay. Her litter habits have started to become more consistent. She also seems less inclined to scent everything in sight.

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Last weekend, we took a chance and put Echo in the bathtub with our other two bunnies to see how they’d get along. Echo got anxious and scared pretty easily. Whenever one of the other buns would express interest in her, she would immediately try to assert dominance by nipping and grunting. Lookout, our other female bun who is a fairly agressive bully, was amazingly indifferent to this behavior. She would either hop away, stand there just looking at Echo, or just put her head down in the expectation that she was eventually going to get groomed. Beanbag, who has always been the submissive bun in every relationship he’s had, was acting agressive and territorial. We aren’t sure whether he’s defending and protecting Lookout, or whether he’s just trying to establish himself as higher in the pecking order than Echo. Either way, we were very surprised to find that after 20 minutes in the bathtub, Lookout the bully of the bunch, was the one who’d been disciplined the least. Echo was pretty soaked from the number of times we’d had to squirt her with water for bad behavior. Beanbag had a couple of wet spots.

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We plan to try taking the buns to a foreign location next and seeing what they do when all 3 of them are in alien territory. Perhaps, if the weather is good this weekend, we’ll build a pen to put out in the back yard…

-Liz:HRN Member-