Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Show Blues

Well, we didn't make it to the show this past weekend=(  A series of events prevented our attendance.  A second opinion and much prayer turned major truck repairs (over $5,000 est.) into minor ones (under $200), thankfully!  But, I was told that the truck should be driven around town for a few days to make sure that the problem is solved.  Unfortunately, a road trip was not wise.

The rabbits are doing great; their coats...not so much.  The mineral oil I used to treat their ears wreaked havoc with their fur.  I may have used a bit too much oil, or this may be par for the course with this treatment.  At any rate, they used their feet to scratch at and spread the oil.  The skin around their ears is red and the fur is oily.  They're a bit of a mess, but if they had ear mites, they should be rid of them - yay!  Or closer to it. 

Hopefully by the Victoria show next month, they will be looking much better.  I've considered using alcohol to remove some of the remaining oil and clean the outside of their red ears, although this may sting.  Any ideas?  Should I just wait and let them groom themselves?  It's not a huge amount of oil; it just makes a big difference in the look and feel of the fur around their ears and neck.  I will repeat the treatment in a couple of weeks.  I'd like to clean them up some after that, if I can, to make them more comfortable and get them ready for the next show.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hissy's Hullabaloo

"Hissy's Hullabaloo" - this may become a regular feature of the blog.  A place to talk about my wild doe's latest antics.  It seems that Hissy Fit is up to no good again.  Big Daddy has his own quirks, but for the most part he's just a quiet little sweetheart.  John Grogan of Marley & Me said in an interview when asked:

Q. Did you ever get another dog?

A. Nine months after Marley's death, we brought home a beautiful female yellow Labrador retriever puppy. Gracie is smart, calm, easily trained – and just a little boring. But then after Marley, probably any dog would be.

In bunny terms, Hissy is anything but boring.  Feisty = interesting.  She's demanding when it comes to her mealtime (note: anytime of the day is a good time for a meal), aggressive when it comes to fresh greens, and very aggressive when it comes to piggies...wait, did you say piggies??  Well, one piggy, in particular.  When I changed out her pan (paper, pine pellets, etc.), I decided to do something about the annoying unpleasantries that attach themselves to the wire.  There are only a few, but they persistently hang on day after day.  So, I grabbed my awesome dollar store find - a pink, piggy cleaning brush - and started lightly scrubbing.  Now, in retrospect, I probably should have expected what came next, but I had no clue.  Honestly, I was too wrapped up in putting my new piggy brush to good use.  Hissy was having no part of this pink she rushed up to meet Piggy.  Then she hopped in a corner and turned around, preparing her next move in the event that this unwelcome invader didn't get her hostile message.  Nope?  "Okay then, it's WAR! Let's do this, Pig-man," her body language implied.  This time she lunged, growled, and may have tried to bite poor Piggy.  Caught off guard, I jumped and fussed at her in a loud and disapproving tone.  Then, I couldn't help myself.  I just started laughing.  It was Hissy's cage and Piggy had no place there.  She was within her rights to defend herself and her territory.  Awww, Hissy, you bring joy to my day:-)  But, really... that was a bad, bad (laughing again) girl. 
What she saw - a menacing, masked pig approaching
Closer to the truth;-) - hearts & halo added for effect

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hissy Fit

It occurred to me, as I glanced at some of my 2011 posts, that I neglected to post about the holland lop doe that I got at Convention.  Fleetwood's Silk is a Black Tort doe out of Stonehill's Zeus (Blue Tort) and Stonehill's Au (Black Tort).  I think she'll be a nice complement to Big Daddy.  She's got a great coat and nice wide shoulders.  Ramonia Fleetwood of Knight Garden Rabbitry was so wonderful to work with.  I cannot say enough nice things about her.  She possesses a wealth of knowledge and openly shares what she knows.  She also worked hard at finding a Texas transporter to get this doe back to Texas.  Bob McBee agreed to a last minute request to take "just one more" back home with him and I truly appreciated it!  I drove up the next weekend after Convention to pick her up in North Texas for the final leg of her journey down to Southeast Texas.  Overall, she fared well during the long trip to her new home.  
At the Convention, her sister was actually the one that was for sale.  A feisty little doe, she literally leaped off the grooming table.  It was frightening to see her jump down off a table that high.  At local shows, I've been told (when admiring a little bun sitting still on top of a grooming table without restraint) that "they never jump down."  While I'm sure that's true for some rabbits, I guess there are exceptions to every rule.  Anyway, I was worried that my doe's sister had hurt herself, but she was all right and was recaptured quickly.  The doe that I bought wasn't originally for sale, but Ramonia was gracious in letting me purchase her.  I think she will get my herd off to a good start.  Like her sister, she does like to throw a fit now and then when being handled until she is let down.  I've worked with her to ensure her that she is safe with me, while also letting her know that thrashing around wildly will not get her what she wants.  She's coming around, but it takes patience on both our parts.  She has spunk and while it might be easier if she was calm and laid back, I like her for who she is (most days, lol).
So, it's been a few months since she's been here with me and she's settled in nicely.  I've noticed that she is rather aggressive...when it comes to her food.  She's the first rabbit that I've had that doesn't really love hay over all else.  She wants her pellets and she wants them NOW!  I mix Manna Pro, whole oats, and a little fruit/whole corn/sunflower seed blend and she loves it.  She props herself up on the side of the crate like Judge used to do, but unlike him, it isn't head rubs that she's looking for.  When she stands up, I naturally start petting her, at which point she hops over to her empty food dish and looks inside waiting rather impatiently for the food lady (that's me, I guess;-)) to hurry up and just pour her the morning ration.  Big Daddy likes to pace himself, slowly nibbling throughout the morning on his breakfast.  Not her; she will typically eat until it's gone.  I've heard it said that rabbits are lacking in personality as compared to other domestic animals like dogs or cats.  I'll admit that there are some major differences between them as far as temperament goes, but each rabbit has a personality that is distinctly their own and it's fun getting to know what makes them tick.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Itchy Ears

I'm afraid that my rabbits may have ear mites.  I've seen some pretty graphic pictures online showing what ear mites can do, but when I look in their ears, they appear to be clean.  I've posted some pictures below.  You can't see into the canal in these photos, but I don't really see much when I look inside their ears.  The doe's ears seem slightly worse than the buck's, but he's easier to deal with so I took photos of him.  Her outer ears are just as clean looking as his are, but her ear canals look a little dirty when I look deep down.  They are not shaking their heads, but do scratch their ears fairly regularly.  I want to be proactive on this rather than wait and see.  In the book, Barnyard in your Backyard, they recommend:

1. Miticide-containing oil or olive, cooking, or mineral oil in the rabbit's ear.  Put drops in the ear and massage gently to distribute the oil.
2.  Cotton swaps to remove loose crusty matter.
3.  Repeat for 3 days, wait for 10, then repeat for 3 more days.

They also suggest Ivermectin (either injected or swabbed into ears).  Big Country (Leo), however, doesn't recommend using Ivermectin without veterinarian supervision.  He used baby oil to successfully treat his rabbits.  Barbi Brown's Bunnies recommends using mineral oil in a spray bottle. 

Has anyone had experience treating ear mites.  If so, what do you suggest to treat them or to prevent them?  I prefer the mineral oil route rather than the Ivermectin or miticide, but whatever I use I want it to work the first time rather than making it worse.