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Rabbits/Normally Gentle Female Suddenly Aggressive

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Question
I have a female lion head mix rabbit approximately 6 months old. Her name is Ezmerelda.
I am normally not a rabbit person but I saw her at a local pet-store and absolutely fell in love with her gentle disposition and big brown eyes.
I've had her since April and she has never showed a single sign of aggression until today. She was making noises when she normally isn't very vocal at all and she was acting skittish and not at all herself. She even went as far as to lunge at my boyfriend and draw blood on him when he is someone that she spends just about every day with and usually loves. Her eating, urinating, and deification seem normal but her pupils are very dilated (not sure that has anything to do with it).
Any amount of information that you could give me on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Answer
Hi Krissy

Sounds like your baby bun is becoming a lady bun! At around 6 months old female rabbits have their hormones kick in, this will cause territorial grumpiness. I recommend getting her booked in at your vets for a check up and a spay - this will remove hormonal aggression and mean she won't become afflicted by horrible conditions including womb infections and reproductive cancers as she gets older (a large proportion of females over 6 years old who remain unspayed DO suffer from these things). Make sure your vet is a bunny-savvy exotic vet too!

It will take a month for her to heal and her little body settle down post spay. In this time you can make sure she has lots of space at all times, as small spaces such as cages will amplify any territorial aggression. You can also have a read of this site so you can read her body language and understand when she doesn't want your attention: http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

You could also see if there are any rabbit rescues in your area as a neutered husbun for Ezmerelda would also help. A good rescue will have neutered single boys and will offer bonding advice. Seeing two snuggle up together and groom one another is the most adorable thing ever! Pairs are also more relaxed and less destructive.

Hope I've helped!
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Expertise

I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.

Experience

I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

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I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

Education/Credentials
I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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