Bunny Blog

Category Archives: Coco & Cosette

The Multifaceted House Rabbit

Living with house rabbits over the years has shown me that rabbits are full of surprises.

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They can be clumsy and clunky at times. In fact, often, their jumps off the coffee table remind me of this:

Corgi flop
(via Imgur)

But then they go on to exhibit feats of acrobatic brilliance.  Their binkies and Bunny 500s, with their exuberant choreography, are thrilling to watch.

bunnyproof4They can be extremely cautious and timid, tiptoeing and bowing their heads as they slowly inch forward to investigate a new sight or smell. Yet there are times of sheer audacity when they balance precariously on an unstable stack of boxes or the back of the couch.

Sometimes they make their presence known with thunderous gnawing on their cardboard castles and wooden toys, uncannily timing it for when you’re in the middle of an important phone call.

And yet, they have their moments of ninja-like skill. You go to toss something in the trash can and realize your rabbits are flopped by your feet.  How long have they been there? you wonder. Minutes? Hours?

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Contrasts like these are well-known to bunny people, and they’re a large part of why we love them!

Why Do Rabbits Have White Tails?

Brown rabbit

Unfortunately for Cosette, her natural brown coloring does nothing to camouflage her here.

Wild rabbits are well concealed in the brush by their brown coloring. But one thing gives them away – that flash of white from their tails as they’re bounding away. So why did rabbits evolve to have a white tail, and not a brown one? (Or a green one?)

Evolutionary biologist Dirk Semmann of the University of Göttingen in Germany thinks he knows the answer. Semmann believes the obvious, white coloring actually distracts and confuses predators as the rabbit darts back and forth. A predator focuses on the white tail during the chase, and then when the rabbit turns, the white disappears. It takes a second for the predator to regain focus on the rabbit after every sharp turn… and these seconds can add up to enough time for the rabbit to escape.

According to Semmann, “The idea first appeared when I was running,” says Semmann. “I met this rabbit; it was always running and turning at some point. That got me thinking about the problem.”

To test his theory, Semmann used a video game on a group of people which involved either a flashing, bright circle (the white tail) or a non-flashing circle that blended with the background. The presence of the flashing circle reduced the participants’ ability to “catch” it.

Learn more on Nature.com.

Cosette has an Eye Infection

A few weeks ago, we noticed Cosette’s left eye was occasionally watery. It left the fur above it messy looking. So we took her to the vet, who tried to flush the tear duct out. While the solution came through Cosette’s nose on the right side, it didn’t on the left side. So she was sent home with an antibiotic eye drop and an oral antibiotic (Baytril) to be administered twice daily for two weeks. We were also given a rabbit probiotic to add to her water to help her digestive system while she’s on the antibiotics.

Giving Cosette medicine has always been difficult due to her bold, independent personality. She hates being held and doing anything that’s not her own idea. She’s very suspicious and very difficult to catch.

Coco on the other hand is the world’s easiest patient. He actually enjoys the taste of banana-flavored medicine and comes willingly when called to lick it from the syringe.

So for our more difficult patient, we’ve been mixing the oral medicine in a mashed banana, the only food she tolerates with the medicine in it. We tried squirting it on lettuce, inside a cored out strawberry, and mixed in with apple sauce.  They were all immediately avoided. The eye drops at first were somewhat easy to apply. But then she became wary of that activity as well, so we’ve had to catch her and hold her down to put the drops in.

So the past week and a half has been trying, but Cosette’s eye seems to be getting better. We go back to the vet on Wednesday for another tear duct flush. Wish us luck that all goes well! We’ll keep you posted on what happens…

Cosette

UPDATE: We took Cos in today, and the vet was able to flush it, though it didn’t go easily. So we will continue with the drops for one more week.  The routine will be tortuous for all parties involved, but hopefully it’ll nip the problem in the bud! 🙂

Hay Day for Coco and Cosette

Our big box of Timothy hay from Small Pet Select arrived today, and needless to say, the buns were very excited. They could smell the fragrant contents before I even opened the box. Cosette decided I was too slow opening it, so she started to help. She’s very good at unwrapping gifts.
Timothy hay

She became a blur when I finally opened the box, swiping the first bite.
Timothy hay

Coco decided he’d have better luck on the other side.
Coco eating hay

He happily munched away…
Coco eating hay

…until he realized that the lid had created a makeshift tunnel. He can never resist a good tunnel.
Coco exploring a tunnel

Cos started to wonder why I was taking photos. The clicking was ruining her dining experience.
Cos eating hay

“Still here, eh?”
Cos eating hay

I took the hint, and turned off the camera so they could eat in peace.

You can buy this hay online for your buns at Small Pet Select. Their boxes of Timothy hay come in various sizes all the way up to 60 pounds. (Click on the link for Timothy Hay on the left to see the larger size options.)

On the topic of hay, be sure to check out our article about the importance of hay in a rabbit’s diet.

 

The January Cure: Bunny Space Rejuvenated

Here at My House Rabbit headquarters, we’re taking part in Apartment Therapy’s The January Cure. The idea is to spend a little time each day this month decluttering and organizing various rooms in our home. Of course, we had to include the bunny space on our list.

We started by recycling some of their overly-renovated cardboard castles and removing some of our underused items from the area. We then took the opportunity to tend to the flooring. After a thorough vacuuming, we shampooed the carpet with eco-friendly carpet detergent and a steam vac. What a difference!

Bunny area

Here is part of the rabbits’ space, decluttered with newly-shampooed carpets.

With the space now clean and decluttered, the fun began!  We rearranged the bunnies’ remaining cardboard castles and tunnels, which is always a delight for them. The change in scenery equates to a whole new playground for them.

Here they are enjoying their “new” space:

Bunny play area

Cosette explores one of the tunnels.

Bunny play area

Coco joins in the fun as Cosette investigates the tunnel from another angle.

Rabbits playing

Another tunnel?

Rabbits playing

Checking out the cardboard castle.

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Doing some more renovations.

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Thinking about going in the tube.

Rabbit sleeping

Taking a break after a tough evening of exploring and renovating.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

After Hurricane Sandy swept through My House Rabbit headquarters in New London, CT, some structural damage did occur.

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Ok actually, that wasn’t caused by the storm. The bunnies happily continued on their normal business of renovating their cardboard castle as the hurricane raged outside. They don’t seem to pay attention to keeping the structural supports.

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But in all seriousness, our area did sustain some pretty serious flooding and strong winds which caused a lot of destruction. We consider ourselves pretty lucky that we live pretty high up on a hill so we were safe from the coastal floods caused by the converging weather systems and the presence of a full moon.

We lost power yesterday afternoon (and continue to be powerless). We also had several big branches fall down, and we wondered if the tree was going to get uprooted and tip onto our house. The pavement by the roots looked cracked like the tree was trying to tilt.

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But all in all, we made out pretty well considering. Hope everyone else on the east coast fared as well or better!