Helpful Information page 1    
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~ Bunnies are individuals:  A pellet that is fine for one bun may be problematic for another.  This became evident in one of our foster homes where the buns are fed American Pet Diner’s timmy pellet (derived from timothy hay.)  But, tiny Bria developed chronic “poopy butt,” so that every third day, she needed a butt wash under the faucet with Zymox medicated shampoo to remove a ball of excess caecals (pronounced “see-culls”) that had hardened like concrete.  Because diet is usually responsible for poopy butts, the foster parents tried many things: cutting the quantity of pellets to 1/8 cup; cutting the morning banana treat to ¼ of one thin slice; cutting out the sprinkle of the higher-fat Rainbow Exact; cutting out the evening treat.  Nothing worked – until they replaced the APD timmy pellet with ZuPreem’s timmy pellet.  No more poopy butt for Bria!  On the other hand, we’ve known bunnies who could eat the APD timmy, but no other.

~ Calm music for buns please!  Many animals, including bunnies can be stressed by loud or energetic type music.  Quiet, calming music is a better choice.
The "Bunny Heimlich" for Choking Rabbits

The Heimlich is described here by bunny expert Dana Krempels, Ph.D, director of undergraduate studies at the University of Miami department of biology: “A choking rabbit is a terrifying emergency and you must act quickly if the airway is completely blocked.
If the airway is not completely blocked, and the rabbit is coughing, it may be best to let the bunny cough up the offending particle.

“If the bunny is extremely distressed, you can help him cough up the particle with a modified Heimlich maneuver: While carefully supporting the back and neck, hold bunny so his nose is pointed towards the ground, and firmly (but gently) press upwards against
the diaphragm. This can help expel air from the lungs and dislodge anything stuck in the trachea.

“In extreme cases, when it’s life or death, I have stabilized a bunny very firmly between my forearms so that the back and neck are absolutely immobile, and then “swung” the bunny from a horizontal position to one where the bunny’s nose is pointing downward. The shifting weight of the internal organs that results from this rapid motion pushes hard against the diaphragm and can force air out of the lungs to dislodge a particle. There’s a risk of losing your grip and dropping the bunny but, if there is no other choice, it could save his life.”

Why Should We Learn This? Here is Sarah’s story. She is a member of national HRS: “I had a horrifying incident with my current foster bunny, Judd, last night. I gave him his pellets, left the room for just a second and, when I came back, I knew something was wrong. Judd was freaked out and agitated. Then, I noticed his mouth kept moving, almost like a fish out of water. It was then that I realized he was choking.

“I picked him up to see if I could tell if he was breathing at all – nothing. His eyes were bulging out and he was starting to go limp. I had remembered reading something about a bunny Heimlich maneuver (I also remembered that it could be risky), but the situation was desperate at that point. I supported Judd as much as possible and swung him towards the floor.

“Well, thank God, it did the trick. He started coughing and a gooey piece of pellet came up. To my horror, he then started screaming. He was breathing by that point, so I just tried to pet him soothingly and calm him down, which he did. Five minutes later, he was munching hay and doing binkies.”

Tips for manic eaters: Scatter pellets on the cage floor so the bun has to work to find them. When you give a papaya tablet, vegetables and treats, cut them in pieces and feed a piece at a time.
A Bunny That Refuses Food Is A Bunny In Crisis!  
The rejection of a favorite food or treat is an emergency.

Your bunny is telling you he is not feeling well. You will have to drop everything you are doing and apply emergency measures to halt the downward spiral set in motion by the failure to eat. To act, you must have an emergency kit with the necessary supplies.
We have assembled emergency kits that we are selling at our cost. We offer two sizes: small for $20 and medium for $21.
The supplies are identical; but you may want the medium size if you have bunny meds and supplies you want to add. Our kits will be available at the Fenton foster home and at meetings.

CLICK HERE to read the life saving article  “A Bunny That Refuses Food Is A Bunny In Crisis”. It contains phone numbers for rabbit-expert veterinarians, as well as phone numbers of members in our chapter who are experienced with this type of emergency.
You are welcome to call them any time your bunny refuses food, even nights or weekends. Assuming you have an emergency kit, our crisis team will be able to guide you as you apply the emergency measures. 

Millie says:
"NO animals should be used as prizes or toys at any event or party."

If you see or hear of this happening:
1)  Voice your outrage to the organizers of the event, and the City Hall of the area.

2) Call 1-970-494-7478 USDA Animal Care and report the incident.  If you are not in MO they can tell you what number to call and where to send letter.

3)  Send a follow-up letter. The letter should state where, when and what you saw or were told. MO residents mail letter to:
USDA Animal Care
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B
Mailstop #3W11
Fort Collins, Colorado

Even if legal in your area, USDA said they check into the situation to make sure the laws  were followed.
Caution: Orange Extract, Orange Peel and a product called "Orange Guard" (used to deter ants), contain a chemical "Limonene" that can cause cardiac problems in rabbits.  "Limonene" is also used in some dog shampoos to repel fleas.  Safe for dogs, NOT for bunnies.

Summer Heat Hazards

Rabbits can not sweat.  The only way they have to release heat is from the large veins in their ears.  Be VERY careful about exposing rabbits to heat outside, in your home, car etc.  If you must transport your bunny in hot weather, put ice packs in the pet carrier with bunny to help keep cool during trip.    Bunnies quickly die from overheating.

Inside, move bunny crates away from windows and direct sunlight.  Keep bunny in a cooler room.  A room temperature of 80 degrees or above is dangerous for rabbits.  If your A/C breaks down, move bunny to safe, cool, dry basement area until repairs are complete.  If not possible, repeatedly put cold water on your bunny's ears, making sure it doesn't run down into the ear canal.   Have frozen bottles of water ready for this emergency. Put them in with bunny as some rabbits will lie next to the bottles or will straddle them trying to cool down.  You will also need to take his/her temperature periodically and make sure it remains in normal range. HRS can teach you how to do this safely. Email  or call 314-995-1457 for info.

Another option is to call your bunny vet or HRS to inquire about boarding your bunny in a safer environment until the dangerous situation is over.  Click HERE for our veterinarian page to inquire about emergency boarding.  Email  or call 314-995-1457 to inquire about emergency boarding with HRS.

Additional important information from HRS National:

Warm weather concerns :

Foods suggested for a healthy bunny:   

"Fly Strike" -  a life threatening situation: One of the many reasons rabbits should be "house rabbits", but even bunnies who never go outside can have this happen to them.  All it takes is one fly to get inside your house.
Learn how to prevent it: