Never Trust the Bun!

One of the things I wanted to write about before — this happened last month:

This is a warning to be ever-vigilant!

So out of the blue, after showing zero interest before, Chance starting nomming on the rug beneath his condo.

(A bit of background: the rug is slightly bigger than the condo, so the edges extend beyond its walls. This is best practice because edges are generally attractive to rabbits: for nibbling, pulling up, etc. So, Chance can’t access the edges from inside his cage; but, while outside his cage, they’re fair game. I watched him closely for the first couple weeks… and then became complacent.)

It sounded so much like he was eating hay, I didn’t notice at first. I wouldn’t have noticed when I did if I hadn’t happened to walk by and, in a perfunctory glance, notice the oddness of his position, so focused and crouched he was at the edge of the rug, with paws beneath and head down… Bunny!! What the eff, bun?!?

He got two or maybe three chomps in before I chased him away. With my last rabbit, I was prepared for this kind of thing: you crouch behind the rabbit, brace him against your body; you open the mouth with a fingertip at each side; and then you just keep your fingertips in there until, through the action of the tongue which I think is intended to get your fingers out, anything in the mouth is brought to the fore and easily removed. But this new guy, I’m not as confident in my handling — he zigs when I think he’ll zag, and he resists so much sometimes it’s a little frightening.

Needless to say, the rug was swallowed. (Damn beast.)

Of course, I kept an eye on him. A day or two later he came down with some pretty bad gas, which may or may not be related. This was his second case of gas with us, but the first was quite minor (and only suspected, really). Both times, he took the massage like a hero — actually flopping over and stretching wide to ease my access. Quite nice to help a bun and have him know you’re helping! This time I gave two doses of simethicone, too, which he mostly licked up from the bowl. Really, he couldn’t have made it any easier on me. Luckily, he didn’t let his discomfort impact his eating, and by the next morning he was back to normal.

Big sigh of relief!

And lesson learned! Now we watch him closely around the rug (even though he’s since gone back to his old ways of ignoring it), and we’ve removed all visual obstructions so that we can see what he’s up to from the sofa. And I put a tile down over the bitten area because I know: once-bitten, forever-attracted!

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