Found Rabbit

WhattaWally

Oh my Golly, it's Wally!
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Thanks! I have read horror stories of bunnies in the UK getting their hutches broken into and so I always come guarded when I see anybody with outside bunnies but it does sound like you're on the ball with the added protection and 4 am visits! Peter sounds so contrary, I thought my last rabbit was bad, but I have never heard of such a character who hides things and doesn't use litter. You got him proper spoiled! Maybe he won't accept a friend and it sounds he likes things the way things are. Too bad, because another rabbit would be absolutely over the moon to win the bunny-house lottery! Will you be a lifetime bunny mom? (what am I asking, of course you are!)
 
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Kieka

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Thanks! I have read horror stories of bunnies in the UK getting their hutches broken into and so I always come guarded when I see anybody with outside bunnies but it does sound like you're on the ball with the added protection and 4 am visits! Peter sounds so contrary, I thought my last rabbit was bad, but I have never heard of such a character who hides things and doesn't use litter. You got him proper spoiled! Maybe he won't accept a friend and it sounds he likes things the way things are. Too bad, because another rabbit would be absolutely over the moon to win the bunny-house lottery! Will you be a lifetime bunny mom? (what am I asking, of course you are!)
Peter is his own special bunny. He has trained me on his food items:
  • He eats only Italian parsley, not curly parsley. Curly parsley isn't even worth moving.
  • Kale leaves are good but only very wrinkly and cold kale. If it gets even a little wilted then it gets dragged outside the hutch.
  • Red leaf lettuce trumps green leaf lettuce but both can't be flat leaves. They should have crinkly leaves.
  • Carrots should only be in peel form.
  • Freeze dried fruit priority is mango, strawberries, apples and then grapes.
  • Blackberries trump any other fresh berry but only in season and only from farmers market.
He's getting an update to his hutch at the end of the year. For now, he does have stones on the floor so no digging in or out. I also purposefully make sure the wire small enough that claws can't easily get through to keep him safe. But the dog fence we have around the whole thing seems to keep most curious critters away. I think its too thin to jump on top of and just tall enough that they don't feel comfortable just going over.
 
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Kieka

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Because 2020 is apparently isn't crazy enough, RHVD2 has come to the American Southwest (and Mexico). RHVD2 is basically a very contagious, easily carried and long lived virus with a high fatality rate. We are talking surviving 100+ days on surfaces, being carried by everything from flies to predators to squirrels, and kills within 72 hours with no treatment options (80% fatality rate). It crossed two states in two months so it is traveling very quickly. Its serious enough that California has a quarentine in effect for rabbits and there has only been a few wild rbabit cases in Palm Springs area first appearing in early May 2020. For more details, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) | House Rabbit Society

There is a vaccine and this virus has been around for 30+ years BUT the vaccine isn't approved for the US. Because rabbit care in the US is so far behind IMHO; there is a reason I import treats and toys from Europe for Peter. The USDA is allowing vets in impacted states to request a waiver to import the vaccine but there are only two dead virus vaccines with limited quantities. Right now from request to vaccine in hand is projected to take 8 weeks plus the vet has to order a minimum of 500 vaccines, which means having enough rabbit patients to use all 500 vaccines.

We are within 150 miles of Palm Springs, which puts Peter in the danger zone of the virus making its way here. Luckily, I did hear about it within a week of the first case in California so I've been taking steps. I've contacted over 40 vets in the last two weeks and got Peter on two wait lists for the vaccine (only 8 vets in the state of California are currently in the process of getting the vaccine, only 4 in driving distance, 3 hours, and only the 2 are willing to see new patients for the vaccine). But we are still 6-8 weeks from the vets getting the vaccine in hand and then however many weeks for them to work through the wait lists.

We are also in the process of converting the catio to a rabbit biocontainment zone. Which means redoing the sides to insect netting to keep bugs out, sealing the cracks in the fencing that makes up one side, deep cleaning and decontamination. Peter should be moving into his new area within the next 3 days (photos to come). Its not ideal because of limited direct sunlight and other issues with the location, but it can be secured and keep him safe. Luckily, I tend to keep several months worth of supplies on hand and hay is dried so shelf stable. Peter's current hay supply was purchased in December and I bought more this weekend that will stay sealed until September. They are recommending storing hay for 3 months in a secure space before feeding it to ensure any virus on the hay died.

My only worry right now is fresh vegetables. If I start growing myself or buy at the store, any flying insect can carry the virus and transfer it to the vegetables. This virus isn’t like COVID19, no fatty layer, so soap won't hurt it. Vinegar is only effective against bacteria. It takes 10 minutes of exposure to bleach to ensure the virus is killed which would then make veggies unsafe to eat. But Peter is used to fresh veggies so his system could have major issues with a major diet change that got rid of the fresh veggies. I am going to rinse them off and just make sure I shop local (since veggies from Mexico or futher East will be more risky). But I might start scaling back his fresh veggies and eliminate them to reduce his risk and allow his system to adjust.

That's the Peter rabbit update. Once his new tempirary area is completed, I will post again.

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Kieka

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Here is where we are at so far with the catio/bunio:

Insect netting over the existing screening, hard to see in photos but its there. With piping along the edge to create a tight seal and keep leaves from getting caught (bug netting goes around pipes and under the ledge). That's the fence to our neighbors house, luckily they were okay with the catio right against the property line. The whole thing has been swept, blown out and washed down.
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The cracks between the fence have been half way sealed, still a few spots to go. Yes, it is a weird fence, concrete slabs that are several feet down in the ground. We are the only house that has a fence like this and it goes halfway down our yard before a normal fence starts.

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Also some deodorizers throughout the space. Just baking soda with lavender oil in two, baking soda with eucalyptus oil and peppermint in two others. One of each will be placed above either ends doors to discourage bugs. Not super effective but I will take anything that might keep some bugs away.

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Peters hutch, some new toys and a new tunnel will all be moved in ideally on Wednesday. Thursday at the latest.
 

rubysmama

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Oh, how scary. 2020 really is a crazy year, and it's not even half over yet. :sigh: Glad you keep up on all things "rabbit" so you have a chance to prepare and protect Peter. Stay safe little bunny. 🐇
 

neely

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I like that you called it a Bunio! :thumbsup: Glad you got Peter on two waiting lists for the vaccine. I will keep him in my thoughts that he doesn't have to wait too, too long. I've said it before but I'll say it again, Peter is a lucky bunny to have you as his mom.:heartshape:
 
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Kieka

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Peter has moved. He would like everyone to know he hates it, he hates us, and we are the worst humans ever for moving him. My only complaint is the area is a little warm. The bottom level doesn't have the best airflow, but we do have stones and grass which should help cool it down. For right now, keeping it wet and ice packs. Probably add in a fan though for air flow.

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Since the whole area is contained and secure, I am not sure if I am going to lock the hutch part up a night. There is a part of me that thinks it will be good to maintain routine and help him feel secure. But there is another part of me that thinks, because of the heat, allowing him to move freely at night is better. He will be able to spread out and lay out more if he isnt locked up. Plus he is more likely to relax and explore when it is cooler.

For now, he's been freezing up with fear from the changes a little. He doesn't like change and its near the air conditioner for our house and our neighbor so louder. I've held him and talked to him to calm him down then he explores for a little before hiding again. He usually is less active when it is hotter and it is hot today, so some of that is connected. He will adjust given time. Change is hard for bunnies with routines; this change is for his own good to keep him safe. I am both relieved and worried at this time. Relieved that he will be safer from the virus until he can get the vaccine, worried because he is having a hard time adapting.
 

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Awww, Peter hon, Mom's just trying to keep you safe. Be brave and adventurous and explore your new gorgeous enclosure. :redheartpump::redheartpump:
 

neely

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He will be able to spread out and lay out more if he isnt locked up. Plus he is more likely to relax and explore when it is cooler.
That was my first thought too. Maybe if he isn't locked up at night he can explore his new surroundings and it will help him to adapt sooner. :dunno: Thankfully you have him where he will be safe and that's the most important thing. 👍 Hopefully Peter's wait on the vaccine list won't be too long.:crossfingers:
 
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I let him stay in the whole area last night. When I went to check on him this morning he was on the step leading into the house. He apparently decided that would be his potty spot, which is pretty much the only spot we don't want him to potty. I changed his water dishes and he growled at me when I put down the one near him. Someone is being a little territorial and grumpy about the change.

He has decided that the best spot, at least so far, is between the fence and hutch in the back corner. The one spot I can't get him out of without some work. Hopefully he relaxes some more today, it has been less than 24 hours. I will probably hang out in the space and read a book after work. Besides the space change the other big change in the area is he needs to get used to us actually being inside his space. The old spot, I could feed and water him without actually walking in it. This area, I have to walk inside it to do anything so he needs to adapt.
 
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Here is Peters Aerogarden with salad greens and a tray of wheatgrass seeds.

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Although now that I have the greens set up, I think I need another aerogarden to grow the herbs in. In two weeks he will have plenty of mixed lettuce but no herbs. Or do I start the lettuces in the aerogarden and transfer them to pots, then start herbs. Decisions.
 
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Day 3 update.

Peter is getting more comfortable in his space. He stopped his tantrum the other day when he accidentally shut himself out of the hutch (pushed the door closed). When I went to check on him he ran up to me, licked my toe, ran to the hutch and ran back to me. Since then, I am okay and the door into his space opening means good things. He is also very curious about what is on the other side of that door. The blackberries I am bribing him with 2-3 times a day when I visit also might have something to do with it. He is still mostly stay on the left side of the door, but he's made a few mad dashes to the right side to check for safety.

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His wheat grass is starting to sprout.

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And two of the lettuces have little tiny leaves starting. I can see sprouting on one of the others, nothing from three of them but they say they sprout in 4-8 days so still early.

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neely

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Glad to hear Peter is slowly adjusting to his new quarters and not holding a grudge against you especially since you bring good treats like blackberries. 😉
 

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I shouldn't be surprised as I know all animals have their own personalities and quirks, but it's still so neat to hear about Peter's likes and dislikes.:redheartpump:
 
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Kieka

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We have lettuce! It's Itty bitty teeny tiny lettuce and Peter would eat any of them in a single bite right now.... but all six are growing!

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We've settled into a routine of me letting Peter out in the morning (he is still getting locked into his building at night just to maintain the habit). Then me coming back about 30 minutes later to refill water dishes, water plants and check the garden. This morning he was very curious about my morning round and kept walking on my foot. He is almost fully adjusted to his new area. :yess:

Now onto the next item of concern, there is a possibility that I will be out of town for a week before he gets the vaccine. I usually would take him to the rabbit rescue to be boarded in their boarding area. But with the virus being a concern and there being a lot of rabbits in one space, I don’t feel comfortable. Ideally, my brother won't go and I can just leave Peter where he is. If my brother goes too, then I need to get a pet sitter who will follow safety guidelines and is willing to wear booties or take off shoes to care for him.
 

neely

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Glad he is almost fully adjusted to his new area, way to go Peter! :goldstar: I hope you find a reliable pet sitter if your brother can't watch Peter so you don't have to worry when out of town.
 
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Kieka

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Peter has finally accepted his new space and visitors into it... at least mostly. Frequent berry offerings and just sitting with him probably help.

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His hydroponic lettuce is coming along nicely. I feel like the growth has stalled but I know that's just perception. It has only been 7 days since planting after all.

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