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    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    Default Ask that guy with all the animals!

    I'm starting this thread at Zuul's suggestion!

    I don't hold a degree in anything animal related, but for the full 24 years of my life animals have been a hobby and passion for me. I currently teach (in a non-certificated position) animal science to a group of elementary age students. I have hands on experience with dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, poultry, pigs, sheep, goats, turtles, a few birds, assorted kinds of fish. I have delivered a few babies, done a few necropsies, been injured a few times.

    For the last 9 years my family and I have shown and bred rabbits and (if I may toot my own horn) we're one of the top nationally recognized rabbitries in our main breed.

    I've amassed a bit of knowledge, so if you have an animal related question I may have an answer. If I don't, I can certainly help you find one.

    NOTE: If your animal is bleeding, oozing, or has something sticking out of it's body that should be inside of it's body, just go to the vet. Probably right now.

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    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Okay, I've got some good animal questions, but first there's something you've got here that surprised me. What have you done necropsies on and why?

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    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    The ones I remember:
    1. Sheep. We had a ewe die out on the school farm when I was in high school. We didn't know why, so a bunch of us from the vet science class, Merek manual in hand, decided to cut her open and see what we could find.

    2. Rabbit. A friend's rabbit died, didn't know why, I offered to take a look.

    3. Horse. My favorite horse ever died six weeks after I got her. I assisted the vet with the necropsy because I'm odd. The necropsy itself didn't bother me. It wasn't until we were done and I asked the vet for a knife so I could cut off some of her tail hair to keep that I got choked up again.

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    Quote Originally posted by RabbitMage View post
    The ones I remember:
    1. Sheep. We had a ewe die out on the school farm when I was in high school. We didn't know why, so a bunch of us from the vet science class, Merek manual in hand, decided to cut her open and see what we could find.

    2. Rabbit. A friend's rabbit died, didn't know why, I offered to take a look.

    3. Horse. My favorite horse ever died six weeks after I got her. I assisted the vet with the necropsy because I'm odd. The necropsy itself didn't bother me. It wasn't until we were done and I asked the vet for a knife so I could cut off some of her tail hair to keep that I got choked up again.
    Were you able to determine what had killed the ewe and the rabbit? I actually think that's pretty cool that you took the initiative to try to find out.

    That's really sad about your horse dying so quickly after you got her. I think I can understand wanting to assist there, though.

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    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    I don't remember in the case of the ewe. The rabbit died of mucoid enteropathy. It's a fairly common disease in young rabbits that can happen in even the cleanest environment.

    I still miss that horse, too. I have the hair and oddly enough, a tooth from her. Eventually I'm going to have some horsehair pottery done with it.

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    Global Moderator AllWalker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RabbitMage View post
    For the last 9 years my family and I have shown and bred rabbits and (if I may toot my own horn) we're one of the top nationally recognized rabbitries in our main breed.
    I'm curious about this. What traits are you aiming for with your breeding? I mean to me a rabbit is a rabbit, but then I've never really looked closely at one. What separates a prime specimen from a not-so-prime one?
    Something tells me we haven't seen the last of foreshadowing.

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    Quote Originally posted by AllWalker View post
    I'm curious about this. What traits are you aiming for with your breeding? I mean to me a rabbit is a rabbit, but then I've never really looked closely at one. What separates a prime specimen from a not-so-prime one?
    It depends on the breed. The American Rabbit Breeders Association in conjunction with all 46 breed clubs and the American Cavy Breeders Association issues a booklet called the Standard of Perfection every five years or so. This book covers all 46 recognized breeds of rabbit and all 13 breeds of cavies (guinea pigs). Each breed has a specific standard in that book that assigns point values to different qualities like fur, color, and body type. The points will typically reflect what's important in that breed. For example:

    The tribble-like English Angora is judged largely on the quality of it's wool.

    The Holland Lop standard places a lot of importance on a large, round, bold head.

    And the New Zealand, historically a meat rabbit, must have full hindquarters and a firm, smooth, broad loin, which would lend itself to producing more meat.

    The two breeds I show currently are Tans and Rhinelanders. While they have both been used for meat and fur production, their primary purpose these days is to be show rabbits. They're both 'running breeds', which means rather than being posed on the table like the rabbits above, they're asked to run back and forth in front of the judge, showing off their markings, body type, and movement.

    In a Tan, good traits would be a short shoulder, a high, smooth arch over the back. Round hindquarters without being too wide through the hip, a dark, even tan color along the underside of the rabbit, and a clear, crisp line where the body color and tan color meet. Overall they should look racy, but balanced.

    A poor Tan would be heavy-boned or just plain heavy, would have a washed out tan color, a long shoulder, a flat back, short legs, and small or ragged markings.

    I was trying to find a Youtube video of a Tan being shown, but I can't find one. I know what I must do.

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    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Does this mean we get bunny videos? Please tell me this means we get bunny videos.

    When breeding your Tans, what goes into your choices there? Are you thinking a lot about genetics, what traits their parents had, things like like that, or is it less structured than that? What makes you decide on the particular pairings you go with?

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    Quote Originally posted by Zuul View post
    Does this mean we get bunny videos? Please tell me this means we get bunny videos.

    When breeding your Tans, what goes into your choices there?
    Not the greatest, but the best I can do without an assistant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWPkdjRUizE

    Usually, it's a big, involved process. We consider the entire rabbit's pedigree (and even the generations beyond what the 3-generation pedigree covers), the traits of the rabbits involved, where they excel, and where they need improvement. We have a program that saves all of our pedigrees for us, so we can trace the family history of most of our rabbits at least ten years back (that's around 15 generations).

    Every once in a while we consider a doe we want to breed and say "Hey, let's try X!" and see what happens. X could be a younger buck we've never bred before, could be a close relative (linebreeding, which we do occasionally), or just a combination of bloodlines/genes we haven't tried before.

    An example of something we keep in mind: Several years back we had several breeders import Tans from England in an effort to improve the tan color. English Tans tended to be darker/more even colored than what we had here. We ended up with several rabbits who were direct English imports, as well as a few offspring of direct English imports. Around the same time...we started seeing misaligned teeth in some of our kits. You can go ahead and insert your own British Teeth joke here, but it seemed like any time we bred to English-lined rabbits together, we got bad teeth.

    Those imported rabbits are 4-7 generations back, now, but we're still careful with crossing rabbits together out of those lines.
    Last edited by RabbitMage; 15 Oct 2009 at 03:21 PM.

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    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Very cool.

    How many rabbits do you have right now?

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    At the moment, 36. We have had as many as 80. We're probably considered a smallish-medium sized rabbitry.

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    If someone was interested in purchasing a pet directly from a breeder, what should they look for as the signs of a "good" breeder? I imagine some of this will differ based off of the animal in question. It seems like there are a lot of really vocal people, particularly when it comes to rabbits and cavies, who think any breeder is evil, but obviously that's not a stance you would take.

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    This is a little trickier than finding a good dog breeder. In dogs you can look at involvement in breed clubs, health testing, and things like that to figure out who's good and who isn't. My recommendations would be this:
    DO look for someone who's involved with their breed. If they can't spell the name of the breed they have, it's probably not a good sign.

    Ask questions: the breeder you're considering should be able to tell you a decent amount about the breed you're looking at. Typical temperament, the good and bad points of a rabbit (even if it's a pet, they should be able to tell you WHY it's a pet instead of a show rabbit), probably a bit about the breed's development and history. They should absolutely be able to answer your questions about basic care. If their answers don't really cover what you want to know, or if they don't seem all that interested in helping you learn, you may want to find another breeder.

    Don't be too put off if the breeder won't allow you in their rabbitry. We all hear several reports a year of someone coming in, looking to buy a rabbit, only to have several rabbits missing the next day, or animal control knocking at their door, and that makes a lot of breeders wary of letting people in. You should be allowed to see some of their other rabbits, though. If you meet them at a show you should be able to have a look at a few of their show rabbits, or if you're meeting elsewhere, they should be able to bring a few of their other rabbits along. Check our their overall condition, look for basic signs of illness like runny eyes, sneezing, or diarrhea.

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    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    Woo, double post!
    Last edited by RabbitMage; 15 Oct 2009 at 04:07 PM.

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    MOON GIRL FIGHTS CRIME Myrnalene's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RabbitMage View post
    Not the greatest, but the best I can do without an assistant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWPkdjRUizE
    That is a really handsome rabbit. It looks like one of the animals from Watership Down.

    What is the relative intelligence of the animals you have experience with? Are guinea pigs as pork stupid as they seem?

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    Intelligence can be tough to measure, but guinea pigs are bright enough to get what guinea pigs want. I don't think they'll be winning any IQ competitions, but they can learn, they do have personalities, and I've certainly encountered dumber animals. Even if they are dumb, just watch a boar do his little 'bum dance' and you'll love them.

    Sheep as a whole can be pretty stupid, but I've known some star pupils. Horses can be very smart and very, very dumb at the same time. Rabbits, too. The hogs I've worked with are at least as smart as-though possibly more stubborn than-most of the dogs I've ever known. Commercial-bred turkeys are, in my experience, every bit as dumb as people say they are. I've never seen one drown in the rain by staring up at it, but I've seen several die overnight because they chose to sit outside instead of hanging out under a shelter and got chilled.

    So guinea pigs are the C students of the animal world, and if you prefer to eat less intelligent animals load up on the turkey but go easy on the pork!

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    I have no question at the moment, I'd just like to thank Rabbitmage for that wonderful image of Einstein The Sheep stood in a corner of the field on his own, pondering the universe and its workings.
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

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    אני אוהב יהודים!
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    This thread is so interesting, thanks for doing it!

    My question is one that I'm afraid I already asked you somewhere else and lost the info I thought I'd ask it here in case there are others who want the information too.

    I adopted a stray kitten who is now (approximately) 15 weeks old. According to the vet he is a healthy boy. I've been feeding him food and he seems to like it. As we discussed before, you felt that was just a "meh" food to give him. Unfortunately I've lost the links you gave me to the good food. Is it possible to get a few of them from you again?

    Looking at the ingredients for the Nutro, I'm happy that chicken is the first ingredient but unhappy that corn meal and wheat are #2 and #3. I realize there are all kinds of favorites that people have for their animals, but I just want to do better than what I've got for him. I started to read about it online but within five minutes I was nearly convinced that I need to start making my own food for him out of raw meat. Instead, I thought I'd ask you for your advice.

    He's 5 pounds now, if that helps at all. Thanks!
    Last edited by Sleeps w/Butterflies; 13 Dec 2009 at 05:45 PM. Reason: removed sig

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    Are there any cross-species diseases common to humans and the animals you've worked with (dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, poultry, pigs, sheep, goats, turtles) that people should be aware of?

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    Quote Originally posted by Sleeps w/Butterflies View post
    My question is one that I'm afraid I already asked you somewhere else and lost the info I thought I'd ask it here in case there are others who want the information too.
    No problem. I'm glad to hear your kitty is doing well!

    Nutro's Natural formula is a decent middle of the road food. It's not fantastic, but if it's what you can afford and is available in your area, you could certainly do much worse.

    In the case of both dog and cat food, check out the ingredients list. The first ingredient should be a named meat or meal meal (i.e. chicken or chicken meal). A meat like "beef" means just plain beef, 'beef meal" has been ground and had a lot of the moisture removed. For the purpose of dry kibble, meal may actually be better than meat. Of course the higher up on the ingredients list an item is, the more of it there is in the food.

    As far as fillers go, just about anything is better than corn. Dogs and cats can't digest corn and many are allergic. Rice, barley, and other grains are generally better tolerated.

    Premium cat food brands include Wellness http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/cat_index.html
    Blue Buffalo http://www.bluebuff.com/products/cats/index.shtml
    Natura Pet's selections: http://www.naturapet.com/
    Orijen http://www.orijen.cz/orijen/products/
    Taste of the Wild http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com...eline_formula/

    But honestly, my own kitties are getting Kirkland Signature, which is Costco's house brand. It's a step below the above foods, but it's a great food for what you pay, and really helps if you're working with limited funds or multiple cats or both.

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    אני אוהב יהודים!
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    Thank you! Nutro has corn as the second ingredient I'm off to order one from those links right now.

    Thank you again, so much. I'm soon to add a friend for him to play with and I want to get them started with the good stuff.

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    FTR, went with Blue Buffalo
    Last edited by Sleeps w/Butterflies; 14 Dec 2009 at 07:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally posted by Duck Quack's Echo View post
    Are there any cross-species diseases common to humans and the animals you've worked with (dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, poultry, pigs, sheep, goats, turtles) that people should be aware of?
    Nothing that I'm too worried about personally.

    When you talk about diseases people get from animals, rabies always tops the list. But rabies infections are very rare. Still, keep your pets up to date on their vaccines.

    If you really want to worry yourself, here's a list of zoonotic diseases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoonosi...ectious_agents

    Of those, the only ones I'm really concerned about are the parasites such as giardia and ringworm. When working around animals, namely livestock, it's always a good idea to have your tetanus shot up to date. More because the environment lends itself to getting it rather than actually getting it from the animal. Animal bites and scratches, even from a healthy animal you know, can turn very nasty very quick. Be sure to clean them well and if you have any concerns, don't hesitate to see a doctor. This goes double if you're suffering from a cat bite. Cats have seriously gross mouths.

    Oh, and wash your hands after you touch anything, but especially birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

    Of course note I'm not a doctor, and if YOU are concerned for any reason, find a medical professional etc.
    Last edited by RabbitMage; 14 Dec 2009 at 12:09 PM.

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    Animal bites and scratches, even from a healthy animal you know, can turn very nasty very quick.
    You know, I never took cat scratches at all seriously. Then my step-father's friggin' arm nearly had to be amputated within days of a particularly unlucky cat scratch. Apparently, this particular cat had some Streptococcus pyogenes on his claws and, whoops, next thing you know the step's got necrotizing fasciitis. It was a bizarre million-to-one shot, I'm sure, but there's never any telling what an animal has been exposed to.

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    Yeah, you never know, sadly. Immediate first aid to any animal related wound will help, and you need to monitor is very closely, and then head to a doctor at the first sign of an infection or anything 'odd'. You don't want to mess around with those things.

    My brother's cat bit me once, got my right on a finger joint. I couldn't move that finger much for about a week and it got all gross and puffy and oozy. Do not recommend.

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    Is animal shit as dangerous as some people make out?

    I'm guessing you've encountered a lot of it so do you have any excrement related mishaps, or hazards you can tell us of?
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

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    Quote Originally posted by ivan astikov View post
    Is animal shit as dangerous as some people make out?

    I'm guessing you've encountered a lot of it so do you have any excrement related mishaps, or hazards you can tell us of?
    Generally, you have to worry about parasites. I've never been knowingly infested, thankfully, but if you touch some worm-ridden crap and then your face without a thorough washing, yeah, ew.

    There are other diseases you can get of course. When I was doing sanitation at an animal clinic, my co-worker refused to wear gloves. Guess who came down with e. coli? Hint: it was him.

    Of course if you're in a vulnerable group: young, elderly, pregnant, or have a compromised immune system, you should not be handling poop.

    And in my opinion, there are varying degrees of poop. I'm generally okay with herbivore crap. Cow pies are gross, but I've been known to flick bunny pellets off of my grooming table at a show and then eat off of the same table without washing my hands. Pig poop is disgusting because pigs are internally very similar to humans, and it looks a bit like the human kind and smells ten times worse.

    Carnivore poop is disgusting, though, and I don't touch that stuff without some kind of barrier. Or maybe a stick.

    I actually don't have any really great manure related stories to tell. Aside from that one about the rabbits I already mentioned. I'm sorry I don't have more interesting crap stories.

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    Tom pointed me to this thread since I LOVE rabbits.

    My aunt has a rabbit who's generally sweet. His cage is kind of boring, but my aunt is very good to her animals and supposedly when she doesn't have company the bunny runs free -- along with her tortoise, beagle, and three cats. Her animals never fight, all are groomed, etc etc.

    Except when she or anyone else puts their hand in the rabbit's cage he bites them. We're in disagreement about this, since I think she thinks of her bunny as territorial? I think the rabbit doesn't respect her as superior and she should give him a little pinch back to show she's boss until he stops being so feisty. She seems to think he's scared. Notably, when you put your hand in the cage he does not shy away, nor does he sleep curled, so he doesn't act particularly scared.

    Any suggestions?
    comcast guy - m4m - 18 (nb)
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    Rabbits don't work like dogs, unfortunately, and letting them know that you are SUPREME TOP BUNNY usually fails to impress them. Ask me how I know!

    Most animals operate on a basic 'fight or flight' principle. In a small cage there isn't much room to run, and if your aunt's rabbit isn't especially timid, this usually means they turn around and fight you-which can include lunging, growling, biting, and digging/boxing with the front feet.

    Especially if the rabbit isn't aggressive while it's roaming the house, I'm inclined to agree with your aunt that this is a territorial reaction. The bad news is I've never been successful in stopping this behavior. The best I've managed has been with rabbits that weren't serious about biting-I'd just give them head scritches, let them know I didn't care about their little display, and go about my business. Those rabbits would usually run around, huff and thump and then rush at me, but they'd just bump me with their nose and that would be that.

    Recommendations: Have the cage somewhere you can let the rabbit out without having to pick him up. Offer him food as a distraction if you need to get into his cage. Wear gloves. Using something sturdy (like a book you didn't like) as a shield. If he isn't, tell you aunt to consider neutering him, as it might calm him down a bit. Also don't let the tortoise wander the house, they can do things like spread salmonella everywhere.

    Actually, while you're at it, have your aunt make sure it's a male. While males can display territorial behavior like this, 90% of the time it's the females that do it.
    Last edited by RabbitMage; 26 Jul 2010 at 02:31 PM.

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    Thanks for the help RabbitMage.

    I think part of it may be that his cage is set right by where everyone walks through the house. Would it help if she put him in a corner where he'd have a little more privacy when in his cage? Or even something in there so he had something to hop up on?

    All rabbits are different, but my mother's rabbit has a couple things in his cage he can hop on and he usually will move around semi-frequently and his cage is more out of the way. He doesn't exhibit any of these behaviors either (although to be fair, I believe he is personally handled a lot more).

    And good luck getting her to put her tortoise away. She projects a lot on her animals. Also, he is very cute and follows people around which I admit is pretty endearing.
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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    The food lure trick use to work well with my sister's squirrel. He would bite anyone who stuck their hand in the cage except my sister. However, this was a problem when trying to feed him while my sister was away. So a carrot stuck in the very top of the cage and then a quick change of bowls, full one in and empty one out worked well.

    The little rascal still escaped on me once though, it is hard to capture even a tame squirrel that does not wish to be captured. Finally lured it into an animal carrier with treats and then just effectively dumped him back into his cage.

    My MIL raised and showed Belgium dwarfs rabbits (if I remember right). A few of the bucks would be aggressive, none of the does. So does aggressive behavior vary by breed perhaps?

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    Moving the offending bun into a different spot in the house might help, but chances are while it's in the cage, it's going to be aggressive. However you probably won't hurt it by moving it around, so if you aunt wants to give it a go, Panther, have at it!

    What Exit, one, I cannot imagine the chaos of having a pet squirrel. Holy crap.

    I do think aggression varies by breed. In my personal experience, the dwarf breeds (your aunt probably has Netherland Dwarfs) tend to be more nippy if not outright aggressive. I don't even own Netherlands, but I've been bitten by more of them than any other rabbit breed. Dwarf Hotots are known to be especially bitey, along with Britannia Petites, although I kept a very sweet Petite as a pet for years. Checkered Giants tend to be incredibly aggressive, too, and scary as hell because they weigh 12+ pounds at maturity and run really, really fast.


    This one is probably about to leap over the cage and decapitate the guy in yellow.

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Vorpal Bunny?

    Scary!


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    I adopted a lop-eared bunny off my brother's ex years ago. He was named Charlie because he used to tear around like he was on cocaine. I loved that little fella and he had to go and have a heart attack when I was taking him to the vets to have his teeth sorted.
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

  35. #35
    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    Rabbits are very prone to dying in stupid ways, like freaking out and either breaking their spines or giving themselves heart attacks.

    Stop dying in such dumb ways, rabbits.

  36. #36
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    Rabbits are very prone to dying in stupid ways, like freaking out and either breaking their spines or giving themselves heart attacks.

    Stop dying in such dumb ways, rabbits.

  37. #37
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    I have an issue. My cat (Pepper) got adopted by me when she was pregnant. She showed no real signs of stress, except for acting skittish when unexpectedly finding herself without a convenient exit/you were blocking the only one, but she got over that quick.

    The only time she ever really vocalized but for food or the occassional attention was when she was going into labor.

    The issue is now that her kittens have become more independent/for the last 3 or 4 weeks she has been really, really vocal. She will meow seemingly for nothing at all; loudly, constantly, etc. I've checked her out and watched her closely and she shows zero signs of any illness or injury. IN fact, she's probably in the best health I've ever seen her.

    But I'm thinking maybe she's not adjusting well to her kittens becoming more independent? I thought maybe she was going into heat again, but some of the kittens will still nurse a little off her everyday (although I think by next week they'll be utterly weaned). What do we think? Her constant noise is driving me insane and, since it's different from her previous behavior, I can only assume something has changed.
    comcast guy - m4m - 18 (nb)
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    you had a blue shirt on nice asss,dought you will see this but dosnt hurt to try, but id love to play with you. tell me what you where fixing, or the street name,or describe me.

  38. #38
    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    It's possible that she's upset her kittens are moving around without her, especially if they're going out of sight. But it's also totally possible for her to go into heat again even though she's nursing. It should be a shorter than normal heat cycle, though, so count yourself lucky!

    Make sure she has no outdoor access, let the kittens nurse for another week or two, and if they all seem to be eating well and mostly weaned, go ahead and get her spayed. Also, buy earplugs.

  39. #39
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    Thanks Rabbit. She makes distinct noises, but she DEFINITELY does not like her kittens moving without her. Whenever they crawl someplace she can't reach she has a distinctive trill/meow and you can see her looking. But otherwise I'm suspecting she may be going into heat again. Hopefully I can have her at the vets by January, but miss thing is NOT getting outside and NOT getting preggers again.
    comcast guy - m4m - 18 (nb)
    seem like we had that connection when we looked at each other
    you had a blue shirt on nice asss,dought you will see this but dosnt hurt to try, but id love to play with you. tell me what you where fixing, or the street name,or describe me.

  40. #40
    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    I know they make underwear for dogs in heat, but I just tried to picture a dignified feline wearing such a thing and killed myself with the lolz.

  41. #41
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    I tried doing a Google Image Search of "cat wearing underwear." I got a bunch of male underwear models and what appeared to be a black bear using a urinal.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  42. #42
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    If humans have belly buttons, what do animals have?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  43. #43
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    Belly buttons. Well, more correctly, mammals have belly buttons, non mammals don't. Since they spend their fetal stage like we do, hanging out in their mother's womb, they get an umbilical cord and as a result, kinda end up with belly buttons, too. They don't tend to have the obvious innies and outies we human are blessed with. An animal's belly button usually looks like a small scar, indent, or bump. But it is there.

  44. #44
    my god, he's full of stars... OneCentStamp's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RabbitMage View post
    And the New Zealand, historically a meat rabbit
    This raises a question for me. Rabbits are rather unique among animals in that they are commonly raised for food as well as pets, even within the same culture. Do/could you eat rabbit? If so, does it give you any emotional pangs?
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  45. #45
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    I don't, but that's only because I haven't had the chance. I can tell you that rabbit is lower in fat that beef but higher in protein than chicken, and has a taste and texture similar to the latter. I would totally eat rabbit if I had some good edible rabbit sitting around. The breed I raise isn't the best for eating.

    I don't think it would trouble me any more than any other kind of meat. I'm actually looking forward to the day when I can raise all of my own food. Knowing the conditions the animals lived in, how they were cared for and eventually slaughtered actually makes me feel better about eating them.

  46. #46
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    Randomly, if you get an equine, you need to make sure you can cover the basics of care. This includes a safe area to live, shelter, water, food, and routine vet and farrier care.



    I understand this image comes from a rescue who took in too many animals-over 800 according to reports-and couldn't properly care for them.

  47. #47
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    i have also a rabbit...and i have also a other animals but no one animals fight with each other...that this not be happen because my animals don't fight all are very friendly.so that i think they are never fighting with each other..nature is very different.

  48. #48
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    Wow, that photo in post #46 - the hoofs (hooves?) of that donkey (mule? ass?) are actually curled around? What happened to it? And what happened to the #*$&^ owner?

  49. #49
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    I don't remember what happened to the owner/s in that case, but yeah, the hooves are curled around. I think that's either a mini mule or a hinny. Mules are the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare), whereas hinnies are the offspring of a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny). Mules tend to look more like donkeys and hinnies tend to look more like horses.

    Hoofpost ahead!

    The outer wall of the equine hoof grows continuously. In the wild through constant movement the hoof is worn down. In captivity horses don't move enough to wear down the hoof, so roughly every 8 weeks they have to have their hooves trimmed, usually by a farrier or trimmer. The excess hoof will be trimmed away and the hooves will be rasped (filed) so they are smooth and balanced. If the owner wants this is also the time the horse is fitted with shoes.

    If the hoof isn't worn down or trimmed it will continue to grow. The sides of the hoof usually chip and fall off on their own, but the toe of the hoof tends to curl upward. Once it has no contact with the ground there is nothing to wear it down, and it keeps growing.


    Milder, but still unacceptably long.

    If left alone it will continue growing, sometimes up and over itself, sometimes back toward the horse's leg. This can also cause internal problems, such as founder.



    Inside the hoof the coffin bone is supported by the laminae. As that hoof wall pulls up it can separate from the laminae and rotate. In extreme cases the coffin bone can even push through the sole of the horses' hoof. This is incredibly painful for the horse and can take years to correct-some horses are never sound again.



    All it takes for a horse to end up looking like the one above is neglect. There are a lot of bad things that can happen to a well cared for horses' hooves, but that is nothing but neglect-several years of it.

    Here's a video geared toward potential farrier students. You can see different shots of trimming and making and fitting shoes:


    And a video showing a barefoot trimmer doing a lot of shaping with rasps and using nippers to remove excess hoof wall:

  50. #50
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    I think we'd touched on this a bit when I was visiting you and your farrier came, but what's your opinion on shoes?
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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