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Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Lakarr00 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:17 am


So I got a new female holland lop over the weekend. I already own a female (+6 babies) and a male (My male is in a seperate cage). I keep my rabbits outside so to accumulate my new bunny with the temperature and the new rabbits I took her outside every evening and watched there interactions. 1st night was good mom rabbit was licking her. 2nd night mom started nippy at little girl. Tonight mom got ahold of her and torn her skin off from about mid rib to shoulder blade. She didn’t rip into the skin, just torn off fur and a few layers of skin. What I’m wondering is how long will it take for that fur to start growing back or will it scar over. (I’m applying vetericyn)

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Re: Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Post Number:#2  Unread postby ladysown » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:01 am


You took a new rabbit and put her in a cage with an old rabbit. That's generally speaking a No-No.

I find rabbits tend to heal fairly quickly as long as you keep the area clean and dry.

Do not expect that you can put those two rabbits together. Rabbits can and will kill each other if they are in each other space
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Re: Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SixGun » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:36 am


Like most animals they do establish a territory of their own. a more neutral meeting place is necessary and even then putting two does together may just never work. And it sounds like your doe has had babies recently. That is going to make her especially protective and dominant. I wouldn't put them together again.

And yes, rabbits heal quickly. There will be a scab and within a few weeks it'll be healed over pretty well, but she may likely always have a scar or area that is missing fur there.

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Re: Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Preitler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:57 am


Oh my, you might want to read up on bonding rabbits.

Though most of what you'll find is about neutered rabbits, it's worth a read anyway.

I keep my breeding does in pairs, but they are all mother/daughter pairs, so no experience with bonding, just that I wouldn't have the nerve to try to bring my two pairs together, they accidentially got in the garden at the same time several times, there were tufts of fur (never black fur from my small Fury), but they have 200m² with a lot of obstacles and holes to get out of sight of each other. I'm quite surprised that it worked well the first time you tried, and would deem that as a good sign.

I'm very relectant to seperate my pairs, there are sometimes troubles when putting them together again. Imho it's that "Oh, someone is invading MY place" that causes problems. When the other doe is always there, well, there are tensions at times, but they can deal with that. Just humping, chasing, tufts of fur, no real fights. I only separate when one, or both does are about to give birth, they aren't too interested in social issues then, and appreciate some rest and privacy - and their very own nest box. They have garden time together, but are seperated in the hutch then. Each has her own hutch, they are connected via tunnels.

When putting them together do that in a neutral space where none of them has been before. Can't tell if having babies does have an effect (it actually is more peacefully in my hutches when there are kits around, best thing is to breed both does at the same time, but that is settling into a familiar relationship)

That is not an expert opinion, but I would seperate them for at least a month or until the kits are weaned and away, introduce them again on neutral ground, and keep them there for at least some days if it works out.
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Re: Old rabbit attacked new rabbit? Help

Post Number:#5  Unread postby akane » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:49 pm


How long it takes to heal is going to depend how much damage there is to the tissue underneath, how wide the damaged areas are, and if you keep infection off it. If the skin is mostly intact then shallow wounds should close quickly and regrow hair. I would normally rinse those with betadine. If you have a large area of raw tissue you actually want to use something that keeps it more consistently covered and moist instead of just periodic rinses and not use drying antiseptics like betadine. It will be harder for dried out tissue to reach the center of the wound for closing making it slow to heal and more likely to develop scar tissue for covering the exposed tissue instead of using normal, healthy skin tissue. One of the blue kote or off brand other colors that are technically the same thing are frequently used to protect wounds on animals or places you can't wrap. For large, deep wounds it is not enough to keep the tissue healthy for best growth but if it's shallow it works fine.

Rabbits won't always fight right away because they can often have more tolerance for another rabbit passing through than for one staying in their territory. They also change their reactions as hormone levels change so when breeding one or both does it is more difficult to pick a time to introduce and then keep them peaceful. All relationships with rabbits are ongoing and may require quick separation or changes months to years later.

You need to start with a laaaarge neutral meeting place for strange rabbits and usually permanently a much larger cage than the space each separately would require or just using a floor pen. You also don't want any kits around. While they don't usually react due to having kits back in their personal cage while being introduced they do have higher levels of hormones starting shortly before nesting and until the kits are leaving the box that may make them much more likely to pick a fight. You also can't go stick both does into the cage with the kits and you could interrupt a doe from caring for young kits if you move them to a new cage so generally be ready to wean first. I've had a couple does that are peaceful until 2-3weeks into pregnancy and then can be returned to a colony after weaning but start fights in that time around kindling.

I don't put the large commercial breed does together and especially have them producing litters unless I can do an 8x8' pen or their own shed for 2 or 3 of them and their litters. I have done pairs of small rabbits in 3x6' or 3x8' cages if they already show they get along well in a full room or were being taken out of the 12x12' colonies already living together. Then you need a lot of obstacles to break up line of sight so they can don't feel like their territory is constantly invaded in the cage/pen. Once they fight you have to be more patient, careful, and work harder to get them together than if you make sure they are comfortable with the situation the first time. Some rabbits will never share even a large floor pen long term. They will always be set off by something eventually and cause injuries. Some rabbits you can never separate or you can't get them back together again. Some rabbits you have to keep removing during hormonal times and putting back when peaceful. Like I said it's an ongoing situation with rabbits and their personalities. The cage that worked yesterday might need to be twice as big tomorrow for them to not escalate a squabble into a dangerous fight for space.
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