Thursday, 17 September 2009


Valentino our french lop is slowly taking over our home although we are trying to restrict him to certain areas of the house but as you can see from the photo he is quite determined to have his way and is currently going through his KEVIN stage and this involved doing what he wants, when he wants to do it and sometimes, yes we do give in but we are hoping once he settles in more he will understand that he cant always have his own way. He usually comes out in the morning for an hours playtime in the kitchen area and as we were going out today this was cancelled. He decided that he would throw all his toys, chew his bed, trash his litter tray and thoroughly wreck his house so we gave in and let him out and then of course he was a happy chappie but I am sure in the long run we will suffer.

Poppy and Oscar Romance

We are pleased to announce that both Poppy and Oscar have decided that life with each other is better than living on their own and after a day out at Wind whistle Warren today and having all the normal distractions i.e. dogs running around, lots of other rabbits, ducks and chickens, this seemed to encourage their friendship to develop. Neutral territory is always the best area to use when bonding rabbits and the more distractions the better and more successful the bonding. Along with the car ride to and from the rescue this has now enabled us to put the bunnies together in a large playpen area and we hope that they will now develop their friendship further. Its still early days but we did catch Poppy giving Oscar a big face wash earlier this evening which was a very good sign.

Windwhistle Warren residents.

Windwhistle Warren

As most of you may know both Sharon and myself help out occasionally at Windwhistle Warren, and that was where we spent this afternoon. A lot of you will have got your rabbits or guinea pigs from here and realise what a sterling job is done by Alice, taking in all the waifs and strays as she does.
We just went for a few hours to help clean out a few hutches and put some of the rabbits out in runs for their exercise. Most of the time Alice does this on her own, and with anywhere between 60 and 80 rabbits and guinea pigs in residence at one time this is a huge undertaking.
She does get some volunteers to help out at the weekend but the rest of the time is is down to her. W.W. is a registered charity and relies on donations to be able to function.
Please go to their website to get an up to date look at what is going on and to see which animals are up for re-homing.
The next post is just some pictures of those animals currently at the Rescue, although not necessarily up for re-home.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Ins and Outs

Oscar and Poppy are due to go home tomorrow after a week of bonding. They are much better together now than when they came to us, but still have the odd scuffle, over food mainly. We have seen some good signs though that they will become good friends with a bit of perseverance. It is possible that they will have to be fed separately for a while until they realise there is enough food for the both of them to share.

Marvyn and Stevie rat went home last evening, and we will miss them a lot. They were very playful and inquisitive and were very friendly once you had gained their trust. Marvyn especially liked to have his head scratched, and would shut his eyes, purr and grind his teeth in pleasure.
They spent the evenings either running around in the hall or on the sofas in the lounge, and apart from one little 'accident' were fine and did all their toilet on their tray in the cage.
Their owners shave assured us they will be returning in the future and we look forward to seeing them again.

Parker is with us for one more day before he goes home tomorrow. He is very friendly and has enjoyed spending lots of time out in his run, playing with the tunnel we have given him. He is getting on a bit now, but is still up for his food and loves his cabbage and especially his porridge oats.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Stevie Wonder and Marvyn Gaye

The guys have been out and about again tonight although we decided to let them play in our hall tonight as last night one of the boys had a little accident on our sofa. We were assured by their owners that they were perfectly fine and would never dream of going to toilet anywhere but their litter tray.... unfortunately, not the case and we guess its because they have smelt other animals in the house, so playtime is now on a washable floor!

Poppy and Oscar Bonding

Poppy & Oscar spent nearly an hour this evening on our patio, there were some scuffs between them, some chasing and some mounting but generally, for their first hour out since a rather nasty fight which they had at home, we were quite pleased with this first encounter. We used the water pistol tactic, which is not the preferred option, but basically, when bonding bunnies you have to have distractions and you do not have to actually spray the rabbits with water but the area near to them and this acts as a warning if they go towards each other with a view to having a fight. Unfortunately, both Poppy and Oscar managed to get wet, but at the end of the session both were more comfortable with one another and were washing and then ignoring one another, which in the early stages of bonding rabbits is good news. We will keep you posted on how they progress.

Valentino's Playtime

Here is Valentino playing at being a tortoise, with his stool on his back acting as a shell. He also has a new tunnel which he loves to play with, but is yet to venture through it!!
He is still quite young though and I'm sure he will get the hang of his toys as he gets a bit older.

M & S

As a follow up to last nights post, this is Marvyn and Stevie rat having some play time. They quite enjoyed running around on the sofa, me and anywhere they could get their noses into. They were very inquisitive and very playful.
They were very good and so got a small treat before going back to their cage for bedtime. We shall get them out again tonight and now we know what they are like will let them have a run in the hallway.

Friday, 11 September 2009


Here is Parker who is enjoying his time out in his run. He loves playing with the tunnel we have given him and is always comes running up when we walk past his run.
Parker's stay with us has been extended with us until next week and we hope the sunshine stays with us so he can carry on enjoying his time out.

Poppy and Oscar

This is Poppy (who was with us during the summer) and above her new boyfriend Oscar. They are with us for this week with the view to bonding them together.
They have spent this afternoon outside in the garden in separate runs, so that they can get used to each other and also to enjoy some outside activity.
Both love to sit on their stools and we think there may be love in the air.......fingers crossed!!!

Stevie Wonder and Marvyn Gaye

Here are two newcomers to the camp, Stevie and Marvyn rat. They are dumbo rats who are with us for the next few days. They came with their own cage and have not ventured out much as yet. We aim to get them out this evening for their hour of playtime.
They have spent most of today asleep in their hammock, although there was a burst of activity at breakfast time.
We will keep you posted as to how they are getting on.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Valentino Recovers

Valentino had his little operation today and although a bit sleepy from the anaesthetic and not wanting to sit down for too long, he is recovering very well and has already been munching on some carrot tops and parsley. We are pleased its over and look forward to a more relaxed Valentino and can hopefully get the litter training on track now. Although he has been quite good, he was doing a lot of territory marking and this should stop over the next few weeks.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Harvey & Parker

Just a short update on Harvey who is still at the Animal Hospital in Quedgeley and was unable to come home today as hoped for as he has to remain on a drip to keep his fluids up. Rabbits need 120 mls of fluid per day and although they get quite alot of this from their food it is very important to prevent them becoming de-hydrated at any time and particularly when their are poorly. I visited Harvey today and gave him some cuddles and spent some time with him and hope he soon improves and is able to come home.

Parker is enjoying his food as always and here he is having his tea last night, carrot tops and spring greens, his favourite.

Suze & Hero Relaxing

Suze & Hero continue to enjoy their holiday with us and are generally adapting to their new environment although they do keep reminding us "its just not like home" and each morning something has been trashed. We are trying to keep them happy by giving them treats and attention but I think they are missing their owners and will be pleased to go home on Monday. This photograph shows them relaxing and we thought they looked very sweet.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Valentino continues to settle in well, he had his myxo vaccination yesterday, an MOT and was given a clean bill of health from our vet. He is very playful and has now started following me around which is great and quite funny but he seems to have this attraction to my leg and is constantly trying to hang on to it. Valentino now being 4 months old has discovered that there is more to life than his bowl of food and gets very excited. Male rabbits will start to spray at this age and if you are going to have your rabbit as a house bunny this is the time when he will need neutering. Valentino is off for his little op next week on the 9th Sept so we shall keep you posted on that.


Rabbits become adolescent from 10-12 weeks of age, and at this time they tend to become moody and restless. They start to become more aggressive towards other rabbits and people, and also become less reliable where litter training is concerned. Both males and females may treat a family member of the opposite sex as a surrogate mate, following and circling that person and trying to mate their arms or legs. In male rabbits, courtship can include nipping the surrogate mate.

Neutering is one of the best things you can do for your rabbit. It will ease or illuminate these problems without changing your rabbit’s personality. Your bunny will not realize that anything has changed but the pet will become happier and more relaxed. Neutered rabbits are easier to litter train and their urine and droppings will become less smelly.

Female rabbits should be neutered when they reach 5-6 months old and male bunnies can be neutered as soon as the testicles have descended at around 3-4 months of age. Spaying your female rabbit is extremely important because as many as 85% of adult does die of reproductive cancers if they are not neutered.

It is important to realize that the changes in behavior associated with sexual maturity do not suddenly disappear - female rabbits take a couple of months to generally calm down, and male bunnies may continue to spray for a few months after being neutered. Not all aggression is caused by hormones, a rabbit that has become aggressive due to cruelty or mistreatment will not be cured by surgery, but will need a lot of time and affection before it can trust its new carers.

Neutering is particularly important if you have more than one rabbit. It will of course prevent unwanted pregnancy, and make it possible for two rabbits to live happily together. A neutered pair of bunnies can form a strong bond and often spend a lot of time huddling together and grooming each other. Two bunnies who have grown together (even siblings) can suddenly become hostile and very aggressive towards each other. This can result in serious injury to one or both of the rabbits, and them losing the bond they had forever. Neutering both rabbits can prevent this happening, providing it is done early enough. Neutering after the event may help but there is no guarantee that their friendship will be restored.

Many facets of your rabbit’s sexuality will remain post neutering, but in a gentler more subdued form. The extent of the sexual activity really depends on your rabbit’s personality before neutering. Many neutered rabbits retain a certain amount of sexual interest and may continue some courting behavior - a spayed doe is more tolerant of a buck’s advances than an un-spayed doe will be. Some rabbits lose all interest in sexual activity but their need for cuddles and affection, from humans and play mates alike, remains the same.

Harvey & Parker

Harvey and Parker who have been with us for a couple of weeks now have been enjoying their holiday. Harvey has had to have some dental work done this week at our local vets due to the fact that he has a couple over-grown teeth which were causing him pain and therefore he could not eat properly. We fed him critical care until he went into the vets for his teeth to be burred. Below give an explanation of Clipping versus Burring and information about rabbit dental problems, which may be of interest to some rabbit owners. Harvey is 13 years old and to have a general anaesthetic for him would be very high risk and therefore his teeth were done whilst he was conscious as he is such a relaxed bunny.

Clipping versus burring

The use of clippers is not generally recommended as can cause inaccurate reshaping of the chisel shape and irregular sharp edges, which can cause discomfort and possible lacerations to the tongue. Clipping can also create micro fractures to the teeth, unnoticeable to the eye, that nay result in periodontal problems and pulp infection, leading to malocclusion or osteomyelitis. Excessive force to the tooth may also result in damage to the germinal tissues affecting future tooth growth. Burring allows accurate and humane reshaping of the incisors and will be tolerated by most animals without sedation. A general anaesthetic will be required for molar burring to gain adequate access and control reflex chewing. A mouth gag with hold open the area and ensure soft tissue is secured away from the sight. A tongue depressor should be placed behind the teeth to protect soft tissue during the process. An endotracheal tube is advisable to prevent debris from entering the back of the throat and trachea. Trimming and reshaping should not expose pulp cavity.
How do you tell if your Rabbit has dental problems?

Slobbers – salivation around the mouth, front limbs and chest
Matted coat, due to inability to groom
Innapetance and reduction of food intake
Weight loss and anorexia
Lack of caecotrophy
Nasolacrimal duct infection
Flystrike, as result of inability to clean
GI disturbance due to disruption of caecal flora or reduction in fibre intake.
And the causes of dental problems in rabbits are as follows:-

Congenital deformity, especially in dwarf (brachecephalic) breeds.
Dietary problems, such as calcium deficiency
Fracture of mandibles affecting occlusion
Infections of root, jaw and pulp
Neoplasia affecting normal occlusion
Feeding your rabbit large amount of commercial rabbit food
We will keep you posted on Harvey and how is recovers, he is only eating small amounts of food himself at the moment as his gums and mouth are quite sore from where his teeth have ulcerated the areas.
Parker is absolutely fine and eating for England and is currently enjoying time out in a run in the garden, yes we have sun today, amazing...

Pebbles & Rocky

We have two other little guests staying with us at the moment and both have settled very well. Rocky is the Lion head and Pebbles the agouti and white rabbit. Rocky has a delicate stomach and we are very careful what he has to eat but up until now he has had no problems. These two come with their own piece of carpet and toy box and Rocky even has his own rock for scratching his nails on. All these things help to make the bunnies feel more settled and therefore prevents stress which sometimes occurs when bunnies are boarded.