r tion e i Rabbit Clinic m Ed um S




Summer is coming

Not all greens are all right!!

and we have to get into the habit of checking our outside rabbits regularly to prevent flystrike. Flies are attracted to rabbits that are wet (after a bath), have poo or urine stuck to their fur or those that have wounds. Although flystrike can be deadly and needs to be treated straight away we often need to look at the underlying problem. Faeces or urine stuck to the fur can be early signs of a poor diet, arthritis, kidney problems or spinal problems. So check once a day and if you see any fly eggs, maggots or even just a pooey bottom give us a call to check out your furry friend!! Please contact the clinic for a handout on dealing with summer and rabbits and guinea pigs. This is a great little bit of information covering flystrike and how to get your rabbits and guinea pigs cool this summer. If your furry friends are being looked after over summer, this is essential information for minders

Photos above are spring onions, chives and wild onion grass (Three Cornered Garlic) We all know that our rabbits and guinea pigs like greens, but remember that not everything green is okay. Plants in the onion and garlic family can damage red blood cells. This can happen to such an extent that a blood transfusion is required. Little Flopsy below came in to us quiet and withdrawn, her gums where very pale. We undertook a blood count and this was far below the normal level of red blood cells seen in healthy rabbits. Most healthy rabbits have a blood count of 35-55 % of their blood. Flopsy had a blood count of 11%. Further investigation revealed that Flopsy had inadvertently snacked on some spring onions. After a blood transfusion she slowly recovered over the next few days till she was back to her bouncy self.

The Language of Bunnies
Rabbits are not cats or dogs; they behave and ‘speak’ to us in different ways. It is well worth learning the ‘ways of the rabbit’ to best communicate with them as rabbits need you to earn their trust and respect - they do not give it freely. We have developed a short check list of ‘bunny language’. about a situation will sometimes hit its hind feet hard against the ground its body and puts its ears down, it means it is scared and is trying to hide.

Thumping: A rabbit that is nervous or not happy Flattening Its Body: If a rabbit suddenly flattens

The Binky: This is a bunny having a good time and

showing off to the world. A rabbit that is happy will often jump into the air and twist its head and body in opposite directions. There is also the vertical Binky (jumping straight in the air from a standing start), the running Binky (hey look at me!!!) and the half-Binky. The Half Binky is a simple toss of the head or ear flick with maybe the fore legs coming off the ground (could this be the “I am too cool Binky”??)

Social Grooming: Grooming you means the rabbit is comfortable with you and considers you to be a big rabbit rather than a possible predator.
While patrolling the bunny friendly websites I have come across this one. http://language.rabbitspeak.com It has a great (although lengthy) introduction to listening to your bunny.

Circling: If your bunny circles around your feet, it

is usually a sign of affection. Bunnies will often choose just one person to circle, usually a human they are very bonded too. In some undesexed boys this can unfortunately be combined with urine spraying… yes, he is saying you are his!!

Teeth Grinding: This can be a soft teeth grind (a happy chortle) or a hard teeth grind. This last one is a sign of pain and you need to get to a vet. The Bunny Flop: This is a big sign of a contented
rabbit utterly at home. This usually starts with a bedding rearrangement and then without warning they will just flop on their side, sometimes with a little wiggle to get comfortable (and I am sure a sigh of contentment if they could make it!!)

Flattening Nose Wriggle


The Stretch: The stretch can deviate to half a bunny
flop with the back legs stretched to the side but the most relaxed pose is a full stretch with rear legs way out the back.

interested or upset about something. Territory Marking: A rabbit will mark its territory in a variety of ways such as urine spraying and poo! This is a behavior seen in all rabbits although can be excessive in very hormonal ones. out! They can stand on their back legs with a very cross look and may often try to bat you with their front legs. This can extend to biting in a very grumpy rabbit. Begging: Rabbits will tell you when they want some loving. They usually nudge you with their nose, place their front paws on you and stare at you, or dance around in their cage to get your attention.

The Nose Wriggle: This occurs when your rabbit is

Please be aware that the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic will be closed from Friday the 24th of December till Tuesday the 4th of January. Make sure you stock up on hay before then!!

Christmas Hours

745 Burwood Highway Ferntree Gully 3156 Ph (03) 9758 9879 Fax (03) 9758 1193 Email: enquiries@melbournerabbitclinic.com
If you would like to receive future publications of this newsletter by email please write to us at: enquiries@melbournerabbitclinic.com

Aggressiveness: When a rabbit gets angry, watch

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