Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adopting a Bun

Adopting a house rabbit is an important decision for both the bun and the human. I've seen a lot of questions on several house rabbit groups and they seem to cluster around three care areas: diet, 'pooping' aka litter box training and play. There are also questions about bonding but I'll save for another post.

Diet: hay, hay, hay! The best all around hay is western Timothy, in our family it's Oxbow. Treat hay can be oat, botanical and other grasses. Since our bun is full grown alfalfa is rare to none. Next comes the veggies. Green leafy lettuce (not iceberg because there's not enough bun nutrients). Our bun prefers Romaine even when droughts and storms raise the price to $2.49 :( Parsley and Cilantro are the treats added to the lettuce and in the morning it is lettuce and carrot tops with about 1/3 actual carrot. Contrary to popular belief carrots are not the main meal. Suppertime her greens get about a quarter to half dollar size slice apple.
And Polka weighs about 3.5 pounds so her pellets (Bunny Basics T- again Oxbow)are about 1/4 cup in the morning and again at night. Water like hay is to be available at all times.

Litter box training: Actually I refer you to the pages of the House Rabbit Society- they are experts. Our bun experience since each bun has been a shelter rescue and neutered/spayed is that they are already good with the litter box. Our current bun though does make a point of keeping her boundaries well marked with a 'poopy trail' around the pan and her sleeping area. Everytime I sweep up she puts up another fence. But they are dry, don't smell and apparently a stray poop is important to her. She rarely if every soils when out playing around the downstairs and when the urge ensues she heads back to her pan.

For the litter in the pan- we use old newspaper, line the pan and then shred into strips, pile in the timothy hay- humans like to read and poop; buns like to eat hay and poop- go figure! We get the newspapers donated by neighbors and a local store who would otherwise have to pay to have their unsold papers returned- a great saving over those pet store products.

Play: Buns are very social, even the grumpy ones. It is important for your bun to learn house manners (well humans learn how to keep a bun save in the house) and have time out supervised with family. The most important is to protect wires, and there's a variety of tubes one can get in the housegoods store- and unplug what you don't need while bun is out.Toys are individual preferances. Our lady scoffs at any toy, she'll toss a papertowel tube every now and then and scoot my clogs across the room, but her best toy is the hound--- another story, another post. I swear given the opportunity she'd be a worthy chess oponent. Keep in mind bunny's do get bored so some colorful play items, which can even be as simple as tied rags, are important; and the savvy human changes the toybox every now and then for variety.

These are the basics and for 2010 I will be more attentive to posting and we can explore living with buns in more detail.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Even more bunny vets

Please include the following:
USA, Minnesota,Duluth, Dougherty Vet Clinic
I found Dr. Jeanetta on as she is the only vet in my area that is recommended by Minnesota House Rabbit Society. She is very good with both of my rabbits and did a beautiful job on my little Hershey’s neuter. She went out of her way to take the time to return my call and talk to me for 10-15 minutes to patiently answer my worried questions pre-surgery. I have coworkers who go to her with their rabbits too and other pets and they absolutely love her. :) and

Philadelphia Suburbs: King of Prussia / Devon / Wayne
Radnor Veterinary Hospital,
Dr. Leonard Donato, who specializes in exotics is one of two bunny vets at the practice and has his own bun at home; Dr. Meghan McGrath handles the de-sexing on rabbits. The receptionist, Rachael is a volunteer at the Se PA/DE HRS and has 7 buns at home.

Lakeside Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Jeffrey L. Rhody

I have 2 dwarf bunnies and we found the greatest Vet in Laurel, MD. It’s a 45 min drive, but well worth it. Dr. Rhody treats my babies like the adored companions they are. I’ve had some not-so-nice encounters with other vets that treat bunnies like second -class citizens so I’m very greatful to have found such a well-informed and loving Doctor for the children.

NY, Huntington, Island Exotic Veterinary Care , Dr. Heidi Hoefer Dr. Cheryl Pfeffer, Owasso, OK 918-274-8387 -

Small Animal Hospital of Owasso on 86th
She specializes in exotics…..birds, reptiles, rats, etc., and of course, bunnies. She’s very good - takes care of all my bunnies. I confess - she’s also my daughter-in-law, but I still would take my bunnies to her, even if we weren’t related!

And our bunny folk have added even more vets!

Bigger Road Animal Clinic in Dayton, Ohio
Far Hills Animal Clinic in Centerville, Ohio Dr. Emily Coatney-Smith. Both hospitals are great. I worked for Dr. Emily for several years and she is wonderful. She specializes in small animals, including rabbits. I forget the Dr’s name at the Bigger Road Animal Clinc, but he got me and my Spice thru a serious fly-strike and the following stasis.

Westchester, 60154
Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital
1923 S. Manheim Road
Dr. Susan Brown

Tempe, AZ 85284
655 West Warner Road
(480) 598-3669
Dr. Donald Holmes
Pecan Grove Veterinary Hospital


Eastern Exotic Veterinary Center
4001 Legato Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22033 USA
Tel: 703.654.3100 | Fax: 703.654.3109
Dr. Carole Richards, ** 24 hour emergency staff are available at this clinic **

Dr. Natalie Antinoff
Dr. Sue Chen
Gulf Coast Avian and Exotics
1111 West Loop S # 110
Houston, TX 77027 -9055
(713) 693-1133

Monday, October 5, 2009

And even more vets!

My ravelry colleagues are amazing, here are additional bunny rabbit vet recommendations. (Oh I promise 'soon' to get online and organize this list better) but for now...

Gloucestershire, UK recommendation:
Jason Burgess at Wood Veterinary Group


United States
Canton Center Animal Hospital - Dr. Andrew M. Grzanowski

Saturday, August 15, 2009

ravelry bunny vets - more

the ravelry folk keep on keepin on ... to share their bunny vets

If you are in the DC/Baltimore/Newark area the best bunny vet I know of is in Abingdon, MD. I’ve heard people in the office talk about driving as much as 2 hours to see this doc. Their website needs some serious updating but we love everyone in this practice. Chadwell Animal Hospital Dr. Keith Gold

New Jersey Paramus, Fort Lee, and Hasbrouck Heights
Oradell Animal Hospital - Dr. Boren

Minnesota, Cottage Grove, Cottage Grove Animal Hospital
phone: 651-491-0200 ' Dr. Peg Frank Dr. Peg is awesome! I work with a lot of foster bunnies, and before Dr. Peg we often had to do a day or so of supportive care for post-spay bunnies. It made sense; if someone had played around in my insides, I might not want to eat either. With Dr. Peg, though, the girls come home eating and comfortable without being zoned out on drugs.

Cottage Grove is on the south-east corner of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro, but she is, IMO, well worth the drive.

Also, for those a little further south or west: USA, Minnesota Jordan Veterinary Clinic phone: 952-492-5000 Dr. Rich Lancello. We used to go to Dr. Rich before he moved south, and still go to him if Dr. Peg is out of town and we have something that cannot wait.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bunny Vets II

The bunny folk at ravelry have certainly stepped up since the last blog entry. Here are more bunny vet references-- good for those living nearby and those traveling with bun...

Champaign, IL - Dr. Ken Welle at All Creatures Animal Hospital. and If someone is in the Twin Cities, MN area, Dr Peg Frank at Cottage Grove Animal Hospital is just the greatest, IMHO. It might be a bit of a drive to her place in the southeastern suburb but she’s TOTALLY worth it.

then- Madison, WI - The University of Wisconsin Vet Med Teaching Hospital has a great staff for exotics.
In Laytonsville, MD, Dr. Claire Godwin takes care of my buns (including dental for buns whose moms did not get them fitted with braces at an early age). I understand that HRS in the DC metro uses Dr. Gold, who is north of Baltimore (Harwood County(?)).
Then there is Tulsa Oklahoma Forest Trails Animal Hospital - no URL, but phone number is 918-299-8448 Dr. Paul Welch. USA
Another Ravelry member says Tennessee Franklin (pretty much on the outskirts of Nashville) Little House Animal Hospital - Dr. Kunkel. Gosh I love my vet.. she is just wonderful with bunnies. Ginger is my easily spooked little girl, and Dr. Kunkel sat on the floor with Ginger in her lap (so she couldn’t jump down from the exam table) and talked softly to/petted her, and Ginger actually yawned and stretched out. I’ve never seen anything like it, she’s like the Bun Whisperer or something.
Then in Washington we have Kirkland, Eastside Avian and Exotic 13603 100th Avenue NE Kirkland, Washington 98034 +1-888-821-6165. Both Dr. Johnson-Delaney and Dr. Kamaka are awesome and very knowledgeable in rabbits

And in Belgium it is Dr. Inge Thas, Heerweg-Zuid 9 9052 Zwijnaarde (Ghent) Belgium mobile phone : +32-477-296545 phone : +32-9-2728558
website :

More from the great folk at

USA, New York, New York (Manhattan, Dr. Rebecca Campbell.
Symphony Vet Center
Upper West Side- 698 Amsterdam Ave. b/w 93 and 94th. (212) 866 8000

USA, Virginia,Salem,Companion Pet Care Clinic Dr. Christine Ferris

USA, Vermont,Bethel Country Animal Hospital-Dr. Lynne Martin 1533 VT RTE 107 Bethel, VT 05032 802-234-5999 Fax: 234-5325.

us, maine , scarborough
pine point animal hospital , dr. ann barksdale while it doesn’t ask for this–pine point is not an emergency clinic. there are two in the area, and i recommend one much more highly than the other (as i have been to both): maine veterinary referral center. super nice. kept my rabbit alive (although not able to fully diagnose) until i could get to dr ann. they aren’t really well equipped for rabbits, but in an emergency, you take what you can get.

and more:
New York, USA
USA Symphony Vet Center
Upper West Side- 698 Amsterdam Ave. b/w 93 and 94th. (212) 866 8000. Dr. Deborah Levinson is also great!
We just moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and are trying to decide if we should find a new vet there, or subject the buns to a longish car ride just so we can keep seeing her!
New York Amherst (between Buffalo and Niagara Falls) Dr. Adamcak at All Creatures Animal Hospital

Connecticut, USA

Bethel Veterinary Hospital
I don’t remember her name, but my mom takes our bunny here and there’s a vet there who has rabbits.

Illinois Skokie Chicago Exotics 847-329-8709 Dr Grabowski also Dr Horton

USA California Monrovia
Dr. Domotor’s Animal House – Dr. Sari Kanfer. She works with two rabbit rescues in the area and said that 90-95% of her patients are rabbits (and she owns multiple rabbits herself). While I was there, all the other patients I saw (who were also there to see her either before or after us) were all rabbits. Godewyn’s neuter went so easily with them and his recovery was lightning-fast!

Another California from ravelry California Bay Area (Hayward) Chabot Veterinary Clinic - Dr. Carolynn Harvey

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bunny Vets

Bunny vets are hard to find. I've posted our favorite vet, Dr. Hess at Bond Animal Hospital location is White Plains, New York, in the past and House Rabbit Society has a list of bun vets.

However, I have asked my Ravelry bunny folk you need to be a member to sign on, to share their vets and here is the first. From the Ravelry posts it sounds like these are amazing bunny people. Crestwood in Kentucky

Anyone who reads this and would like to share a great bun vet, please email and I will do my best to create a link. It would be great to find super bunny vets in all 50 states!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Long Time

It's been a long since posting here, finally some challenges and distractions have moved on, not to mention I finally found my sign in information so I expect to post more often.

This time of the year we humans often wish to treat our house buns with extra greens, some gathered from the yard, field or local produce stand. To avoid any errors, I'd like to share this great link with you.

Toxic Plants

I learned about this site from my colleagues the bunny people who post on Ravelry
and when I refresh my upload pictures skills, I share some fiber work where the bunny has contributed much to the creative process; not only does her fur fill in the missed stitches and holes of knitted socks but great handfuls of molt decorate some woven rugs and wall hangings.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bunnys for the 50+ Crowd

Sent this post to a colleague in the blogosphere but it kept getting rejected, so I took that as a sign it belongs here...

Why House Rabbits are Great Companions for the 50+ Crowd

Rabbits Are Excellent Companions!

People, especially those 50 years old and more, who share their homes with the various domestic breed of House Rabbitgss quickly discover the value and potential of these charming animals as dear friends, cherished companions and beings who encourage and reinforce our intellectual and social engagement.

There are many reasons why you might consider sharing your home with a rabbit. First, rabbits are extremely intelligent. They quickly catch onto household routines and interact well with humans, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and birds. They respond to their names and to other human language. Once a rabbit settles into his or her new home, they’ll come running for a pet, a kiss, or a treat. Most House Rabbits savor being stroked, brushed, and talked to, and some rabbits even enjoy being held. Each domestic breed (or mix) like dogs and other and other domesticated species have unique traits. For example the New Zealand enjoys and seeks handling and affection while the Rex is more aloof and a good companion for those of us who respect independence and intelligence.

Rabbits are clean and do not need bathing. They groom themselves thoroughly and constantly, instinctively wanting to keep themselves immaculate and scent-free. Though even litterbox-trained rabbits may drop a pellet here or there on occasion, rabbit poop does not have an offensive smell, and it sweeps up easily. Recycled newspaper makes an environmentally friendly and inexpensive litter. Add a layer of timothy hay and you have a human/rabbi win-win solution to bunny excrement. Not to mention great fodder for comost! Some buns enjoy privilege of sleeping in the beds of their humans due to their extreme cleanliness!

Finally, rabbits are entertaining, keeping their humans amused with bunny dances (also known as binkies), sprints through rooms and hallways, purposeful 'flops' onto the floor for a nap or to signal happiness, and long, luxurious stretches and yawns upon awakening. Rabbits enjoy playing with toys that they can toss, roll, and flip, and they immerse themselves in time-consuming projects such as carving doors and windows into cardboard boxes. Bonded pairs of rabbits interact constantly with each other as they cuddle side by side or indulge in games of chase and tag.

Since rabbits do best in a quiet home with no small children, perhaps you might investigate why so many others have chosen to adopt shelter rabbits as companions. There are also social connections for house rabbit folk, including blogs like that keep you stay connected, and remind you that the most important part of responsible bunny companionship is finding a bunny experienced vet.

I’d encourage anyone interested to adopt through House Rabbit Society or local rescue group and HRS has wonderful articles available for the first time and experienced bunny human!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bunny Molt

Bunny molt and shedding is often a concern of new and seasoned domestic rabbit families.
Lately our Rex has been in a major shed. We were surprised. Her last shed/molt was back in February which was in synch with the molt of our dear Clover who passed on at the end of February.

I learned from posts on, that great fiber site, that a number of other rabbit families were experiencing May molt.

What we've learned includes: 1- get the 'furminator' recommended by our bunny vet Dr. Hess (see previous entries) and 2- if all else fails coincide the regular bunny check up with molt and ask the bunny vet to shave if necessary.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rabbit Rescue

We've had our first hand experience with bunny rescue and adoption. Last week a neighbor found a bun, a baby, most likely an Easter dump- in a parking garage. Since she knew I already lived with a bun she thought we'd take the new bun.

Of course. But getting our bun and dog to accept a new bun, as well as the challenge finding good bunny/dog sitters for necessary out of town trips was a challenge. In addition this new bun was quite stressed and frail.

So the good news is a new forever home was found in no time. Educating the human who'd be a newbie bunny companion reminded me to post a few pointers here.

1. Patience- a bun needs time, and quite time to get comfortable in new surroundings.
2. Practice your 'bunny voice', a quiet, deep tone just reassuring bunny he/she is safe is a good thing for the first few days (as of course quiet radio).
3. Be prepared! Have food, housing and the name and contact of a good 'bunny' vet before you bring the bunny home.
4. Use the House Rabbit Society pages to read and learn all about bun behavior, feeding, health etc.
4. Use the internet to find online communities of bunny folk to talk with. For example, has a bunny rabbit lovers group and has several groups NYC bunny group, Etherbun etc.