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Rabbits/Bunnies fighting/chasing after spaying

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Question
Hi,
We had our 2 female bunnies (Simba and Rafiki) spayed 4 days ago and for the last 2 days, Rafiki has been running frantically away from Simba whenever she gets close, this then leads to a chase, and ends with Rafiki hiding. They are sisters and have been together since birth, and this has never happened before. They normally snuggle up together, groom and eat together, but not at all at the moment Is this to do with them being spayed and they will calm down and go back to normal?

Answer
Dear Chloe,

It's good that they were spayed at the same time, which reduces the chances of "unbonding".  But these things are never perfectly predictable.  It could be that Rafiki feels vulnerable and in pain, and that's why she's running.

And remember that both of them have been hurled into what amounts to instant menopause.  The behavioral effects of that in rabbits are also unpredictable.

I have started an experiment--and I think I'm the only one currently doing this--in which our vet removes only the *uterus* and leaves the ovaries.  This eliminates the risk of uterine cancer, but leaves the normal, hormonal behaviors.  Some of those might be objectionable (e.g., spraying, false pregnancies, sexual interest, etc.), but if you're willing to deal with those, then the plus side might outweigh them.

It's too late for your bunnies, unfortunately, to try that.  So the chips will fall, eventually.  But if you do need to re-bond them, you can find tips here:

http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-a=00062824-sp00000000&sp-q=bonding

Don't let them fight to "work it out".  Rabbits have a LONG memory, and they hold grudges.  One good fight could completely sever their lifelong bond.

I hope everything calms down and they regain their former, cuddly relationship.

Dana

Rabbits

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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