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Bunny Bulletin

Our regular bulletin board featuring blog articles, updates and advice from our volunteer team.

We recently had to accept Dylan back in to our network.  He had been one of the younger rabbits from the case of 14 rabbits rescued back at Easter time and was very quickly snapped up for adoption.

As with all our rabbits Dylan was neutered and vaccinated with one of our vet practices, and was given a clean bill of health prior to adoption.

Shortly after adoption his new owner's vet completed a further health check and advised his owner that tooth spurs had developed.  His new owner accepted this advice and was unwilling to support the costs involved in caring for him with his dental condition and insisted that we take Dylan back into our rescue network.

We have had one of our vets at Apex Vets in Denny review Dylan's case.  Apex are highly skilled with treatment of dental problems with rabbits and as well as using traditional approaches they are one of only a few vet practices with the skills and equipment to allow conscious dental treatment of rabbits.  Conscious dentals allow reduced stress for the rabbit and avoid the risk of general anaesthesia associated with any rabbit operation.

Our preference though is always to avoid any intervention if we feel that the spurs are very minor and where we feel a change to diet may control the spurs before any irritation or damage can be done.

Our vet has examined Dylan again and has confirmed that in his opinion Dylan does not have any issue with his teeth that requires any surgical attention.  He has identified a few very minor spurs which are likely to be from Dylan's poor diet historically, but his advice has been that this should be managed through diet control, in particular by ensuring a high hay intake to help grind the teeth naturally.

Rabbits teeth continually grow and various factors are at play to the condition of their teeth.  The main issue is one of diet, and in particular a low-hay diet is likely to result in dental problems.  As we rescue each rabbit we will work hard on improving a rabbit's diet to ensure we can minimise such damage.  For example, Dylan had previously been on a diet of rabbit muesli which has been proven to be detrimental to the health of a rabbits teeth (see the Dick Vet's recent research results).  On entering the network we carefully migrated him to a hay diet with nugget supplement and believe that this will naturally resolve any dental problems Dylan may have.

On occasions genetic deformities created through irresponsible breeding techniques can sometimes mean that a rabbit will suffer from continued teeth problems regardless of how good their diet is.  In such circumstances it is not unheard of for these rabbits to need dental procedures as often as every few weeks, and in some cases removal of some of the teeth may be recommended.

Dental problems in rabbits is very common due to a lack of awareness of the correct diet, and a large number of the rabbits in the rescue service do require dental procedures prior to being ready for adoption.  Where surgical intervention is required, it is a costly procedure.  We are aware, unfortunately, of some vet practices opting for surgical intervention at a very early stage, when diet control would still be a realistic alternative.  If your vet advises your rabbit needs a dental and you are unsure, do not hesitate to get a second opinion or do further research.  Anaesthesia is always risky for a rabbit and whilst we always recommend ensuring your rabbits teeth are healthy, this is not a procedure you want your rabbit to go through unnecessarily either.  Gaining a second opinion may allow you to make the right decision on what will be best for your rabbit.

There are some obvious signs of dental issues to look out for too, which can give you additional comfort to support your vet's recommendation.  Look out for lumps on the jaw line, drooling, weeping eyes, changes in food preferences or generally going off their food.  Front teeth are also easy to check yourself at home - clamp your rabbit between your knees on the floor, facing forward, lean over him and gently pull his lips back into a smile.  The picture to the right shows what the front teeth should look like.

Now that Dylan's teeth have been fully checked and his diet has been resolved, we are of the opinion that the chances of dental issues recurring is relatively low for him.

However, we cannot guarantee this for Dylan or any of our rabbits.  Whilst we do everything in our power to ensure that rabbits are in full health at the time of their adoption, a sad fact of rabbit ownership is the delicate nature of their health which can deteriorate rapidly.  Search our site for further advice on keeping a very close eye on your rabbits health for early warning indicators.


If you think you could offer Dylan a permanent home, and let him settle with a new buddy, please do get in touch.

Rabbit dental treatment can be very expensive!  Insure your rabbit today and avoid large vet bills.

In recent weeks and months we've seen an increase in the number of pairs being surrendered into the rescue service.

This is excellent in many ways as it is perhaps showing that more people are considering keeping their rabbits in bonded pairs or small groups - essential to meet the rabbits' basic need of constant companionship.

However, it does create a little bit of a problem for the service.  When a bonded pair enters the service we would not consider splitting the pair for adoption.  Assuming they are happily bonded and there is no behavioural or health reasons for separating the pair, they will remain bonded within the service and we will actively hunt for a new home for them together.

However, the vast majority of our adoption enquiries are from existing rabbit owners looking for a new buddy for their rabbit.  Perhaps they have only recently become aware of the need to keep rabbits in pairs or small groups, or in most cases their rabbit has recently lost their partner and the owner is looking for a new companion for them.

This often means our existing pairs are left looking with nowhere to go, and it is not unknown for pairs to wait in foster care with us for around a year or more before a home can be found.

As with most rabbits that come in to the service, most pairs still require neutering, vaccinations, dental work and often some socialisation before they can be ready for adoption, and this often means that the charity spends in excess of £200 on each pair preparing them for their new home.  Our standard minimum adoption donation for a bonded pair is therefore a very reasonable £75.

We've found ourselves in the difficult position now that we have so many pairs and groups in the network (currently totalling 45 rabbits!) that its causing a bit of a stalemate for us: foster spaces being used up with very little movement in the network to allow new rabbits in need to enter the service, or to keep that all important cash flow moving to ensure the service can continue to operate.

We desperately need to get these poor guys their forever homes.  These beautiful bonded pairs are just as deserving of their forever home as the lonely singles in the network.

On a trial basis, initially for the month of July only, we have decided to adjust our minimum donation adoption fees to £50 per adoption, regardless of whether this is for a single rabbit or bonded pair.  We hope this may encourage adopters to consider our pairs when looking for new rabbits and help secure a loving, forever home for them.

We would remind all potential adopters that rabbits can be expensive pets to keep, and careful consideration should be given to the potential ongoing costs of each pet rabbit.  For more detail see Understanding Costs & Minimum Donations.

We are delighted to announce the birth of our founding directors’ son, Caelan Mackenzie Bell, born on 14th May 2013 at 02:54 weighing a whopping 9lb 6oz.  David, Feona, Caelan and big sister Aimee are all delighted and doing very well getting used to their new routine, and we’re sure it will not be long before Caelan dons his FBRC t-shirt and starts to help out with the rabbits.

It’s certainly the season for babies though, and we have a number of litters in the network just now all looking for new homes.

Many people assume you only get older rabbits in rescue services, but we often receive unwanted litters for rehoming.  The Nursery and Pre-School litters are both unwanted litters that we accepted in to the network.  Their story is one that is all too familiar.  The owners were sold two females by their local pet shop.  By the time they realised that the pet shop had made a mistake with the genders, not only did they now have an unexpected litter of 5 babies, they had to consider what to do about their unexpected male rabbit and a female rabbit who was nursing one litter and already pregnant again with the next.  The family immediately arranged for their male to be neutered, and we are happy to report that “mum & dad” are now happily re-bonded together.  They plan to have mum neutered shortly for health benefits.  They asked us if we would be able to take the two litters for them as they were struggling to find suitable homes for the two litters of 5.

From time-to-time we receive pregnant females into the service.  On occasion we may be advised at the time of entry that the female may be pregnant, but sadly we often are not told that it’s a possibility and its often as much a shock to us as anybody when a litter is born within the rescue.  The Herbs is one such case.  Their mum Thyme was originally bonded with her sister Rosemary and we discovered them both delivering a litter on the same day.  Unfortunately Rosemary experienced complications and after an emergency visit to the vet we’re sad to advise she didn’t make it through her operation.  Thyme however successfully delivered a litter of 4 babies and all are doing very well.

If you think you could offer a permanent, loving home to any of the young rabbits in our litters, please visit http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/adopt for further detail and click “Adopt Me” to get the ball rolling.  Or call us on 0141 280 3272 for further information.

Some  of you may remember when the Troggs joined us last summer.  They were an unwanted litter who were handed in to the service with their mother when their owner decided she could no longer cope with them.

The Troggs mother, who has since been adopted  had been 'caught' by a wild rabbit and just 4 weeks later the Troggs were born.

The four of them, two boys (Reg & Pete) and two girls (Chris & Ronnie), have all been neutered and vaccinated and still live quite happily together as a group of 4 without any relational issues.  They aren't overly fond of being handled (not many rabbits are!), but they aren't scared by human attention, and will from time to time enjoy a nose-stroke and come over to visit you at feeding time and the occasional play time. 

They are still with us though, and desperately looking for a new home.  Their perfect home though will be one that is up for a bit of a challenge! 

There is no doubting that these 4 rabbits contain some wildie genes, and our foster carers who have had them over the past year have all struggled to keep these guys contained.  As with all our carers, they have been offered more than adequate living and run space, but it seems that no amount of space is enough for these bunnies, and regardless what we try they seem to make it out of their run somehow!  Climbing 6ft fencing is no problem for them.  Digging is a joy and they can do it fast! 

As with any notorious group, their 'success' is down to a good leader, and our Troggs are no different.  Ronnie, one of the girls, tends to be the one who escapes most often and from time-to-time will show the other three how to scape too.  Thankfully she will always return of her own accord, as otherwise there would be little chance of catching her. 

We have now transferred them to The Warren where they will be amongst our first residents in the new fully enclosed run systems.  We are hopefully this kind of environment will mean they will be happy, but learn to stay at 'home'! 

Obviously this presents the rescue service with a significant challenge!  We firmly believe that all rabbits are adoptable, and as long as the new owners are aware of any age, medical or behavioural conditions and are happy to support them, there is no need to ""institutionalise"" the rabbits within the rescue service.  After all - they deserve a happy home just as much as any other rabbit! 

The Troggs though would not be suited to just any home.  So we are on the lookout for new owners who can offer the right environment for them.  It would need to offer a very large living space (ideally like a garden shed), connected to a permanent access run, fully enclosed, set on concrete or paving slabs. 

As the 4 of them get on so well, we would ideally look to keep them all together in a group of 4.  However, we appreciate this would not always suit.  To increase their chances of being offered a permanent home we would consider splitting them into two pairs, as we would do any of our litter groups. 

Embracing their desire for adventure, we do believe The Troggs would make great pets for the right people.  They are as much fun to watch and interact with as any rabbit. 

If you are up for the challenge, and you think you have the environment to appease these guys, please do get in touch for further information.

This evening we’ve added 13 rabbits to our rescue networks.

At the start of this week we received a call from a lady who was looking for help with rehoming her rabbits.  She advised she had, as many people do, bought two rabbits sometime ago believing them to be both females.  As it turned out, they were not and over time had been breeding on a relatively frequent basis.  Some of the offspring were passed to new homes.

However she now believed she had 16 rabbits and was finding things a little difficult to manage alongside working 6 days a week.

Whilst we have a large waiting list, we do try to visit cases like this, even at times when we may not be able to offer help immediately.

On arriving we found the rabbits to be kept in very small housing.  Most were in hutches which varied between 1.5ft long to 3ft long.  A few were being kept within triangular shaped runs (approx. 3ft long and only about 1ft wide), and one group of 3 were in a 4ft square run as their living area.  Whilst the hutches were very small, the owner has also been trying to ensure that each rabbit was getting some exercise time every day.

Had this case occurred a few weeks ago, we would have been unable to offer immediate help.  However, thanks to some recent adoptions and The Warren (our overflow facility) being ready for temporary use, we were glad to offer help.  However, this will mean that those on our existing waiting list will now have to continue to wait for longer.  This was not an easy decision to make, but we have prioritised tonight’s case due to the volume of rabbits needing rescued from hutches which we felt were excessively small for their needs.

In reality, the lady actually had 20 rabbits, not the 16 she believed she had.  This evening we have brought 13 of these rabbits in to our network, and intend to collect a further rabbit later in the week when another vacancy becomes available.  This will leave her with 6 rabbits, and we will be working closely with her to ensure that her remaining rabbits are neutered and help her to redevelop the layout of her garden to provide a much more suitable rabbit environment, and ideally would like to see the 6 rabbits being bonded together within a group within a shed-style environment.

Despite the minimal space, all rabbits same to be in relatively good health.  We intend to improve their diet and provide them much greater space and exercise.  One of the rabbits is also suffering from fur mites and will need to be treated for this.  It was clear that their owner did love her rabbits, and her heart was in the right place.  We believe this has been a simple, but all too common, story of things getting out of control combined with a lack of understanding of rabbits real needs.

As you can see from the photos below, they are an excellent range of colours and will make wonderful pets when rehomed.  Each rabbit will be neutered and vaccinated prior to rehoming.

We would encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you think you can provide any of these rabbits a loving, forever home.

{gallery}13rabbits{/gallery}