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sunny098

My rabbit gave me a total scare the other day!

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No idea where I can rant my frustration and stress so here it is.

My rabbit, Berg, sure gave me a scare the other day. He refused to eat and refused his treat. So I got him out and kept Googling, and most of the rabbit problems seems to be stomach problems which he doesn't seem to have because rabbits with that will be hunched up (but he is fully laid out) and stomach would feel hard as it would fill up with liquid or gas, but his stomach is as soft as it usually is. 

But to be safe, my mom and I force fed him some baby's Tylenol (calculated for his weight instead of a baby). He seemed to somewhat likes it and licked it up, probably sweet. After I tried to offer him a bit of apple but he took 1-2 bites out of it reluctantly and spat it out. Then mom mashed it up for him and gave it to him. While reluctant at first, he slowly licked it up slowly with a break in between. That's when I remembered he chewed through an electrical cable 2 days ago. His mouth probably swollen up and the Tylenol slowly decreased the swelling and pain. So after the apple, I put him back in, and he slowly ate some solid food like dragged in 2-3 pieces of his hay in his box, ate it, and then this afternoon he ate the leaves on the carrot tops but left the bottoms and stems (so probably too hard for him to chew). I also bought him some of that mushy sick rabbit food you combine with water. He had some of that but didn't seem to enjoy it. So this went on for another day and he seemed better now. He was able to eat some carrot, and had the energy to run and hide from me when medication time came (and kicked me pretty hard one time). ? Now he's back to his old self, being picky about what he wants to eat, and turning around and showing me his butt when he gets something he doesn't want. We had a dandelion that started to flower outside, my mom brought it in for him, and he did that (he prefers the freshly grown leaves that is probably tastier). Only after we both left did I peek in and saw him munching it down. 

Well, lesson for me is I thought I blocked him off from the cables with the Costco boxes but he found a small hole and got through, so no more unsupervised playtime for him, no matter how sure I am that I blocked his way off from all hazards (and I left a ton of boxes in the way, that rabbit outsmarted me ?). I also hope Berg learned his lesson also. He seems to have. He didn't even go near the cables the last few times I let him out and play. 

PS: Probably didn't help that coincidentally he went through a major shedding cycle during this time. That scared me too. I thought he was really sick, but now it seems it was just a coincidence because after brushing him, I found a new shorter coat underneath. Also he's been eating whatever I give him this past 2 days that he's well. I guess he's super hungry after the whole ordeal. 

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I have shared this helpful trick with a couple of others for their cats and dogs, I see no reason why it wouldn't work for your Berg - put some hot sauce on a rag and coat all of the cables from end to end. He might try to go after a cord one or two more times, but he won't get very far. You might want to apply another layer of hot sauce weekly until he understands that cables burn.

I am glad that he is better and that there wasn't anything seriously wrong!

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I wonder what it is about cables... I mean animals aren't daft, well... not when it comes to food at least! Though what we class as daft behaviour is just animals not comprehending how to deal with a human element, isn't it. Things like mirrors and so on. Un-natural things. Also doing stuff like wrapping their leash around a pole and not understanding that they need to reverse to get free rather than standing there straining at it forever, that kind of thing.

SO, maybe the cable chewing is nothing to do with food?  I think I was making a bit of a silly assumption there, a piece of plastic isn't going to smell edible, so I guess they chew them because it's there and easy placement for them? Especially animals like rabbits that NEED to chew to wear their teeth down. Much easier than trying to knaw on a chair leg or something, vertical stuff isn't the right shape for them.

I've read about the hot sauce trick too. I'm sure some people think it's cruel, but I don't see it as being any different to plants that taste bitter to stop animals from eating them. That sriracha's just that cable vine's sap. :ph34r:

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The hot sauce works and I believe they smell it first and won't even try to bite it. My kittens were biting cables when they were teething so I used my wasabi on them. They didn't even go near them after applying it.

I think animals will bite stuff that isn't food when their teeth are hurting them, just like with infants. Hurt not being the correct word especially for rodents but at least they keep getting an urge to bite stuff. That or the fact that a cable is like a string. String = tail = prey or in case of rodents string = root. My hamsters keep biting the cagebars. I'm sure it makes perfect sense for them and it's just weird for us. In nature the 'bad' things that they shouldn't bite on will taste horrible or sting them so everything we humans put in their reach is fair game.

But I'm glad your rabbit is feeling better. Bitting an electrical wire that bad that he got burned is horrible!

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The hot sauce trick works 99% of the time, but beware that final 1%.    Friend had a dog that turned out to like hot sauce, chewed a bunch of things before switched to a bitter wipe (vinegar?   I don't recall) and dabbed a bit of hot sauce on the dog toys.

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28 minutes ago, mairead123 said:

Sometimes my cat won't eat his food unless I stand beside him and watch him.

and as I'm reading this my brain is jumping ahead and auto-completing with "Sometimes my cat won't eat his food unless I... put hot sauce on it"

facepalm.gif

11 minutes ago, Rayd1978 said:

The hot sauce trick works 99% of the time, but beware that final 1%.    Friend had a dog that turned out to like hot sauce,

I suppose seeing if they like it or not beforehand would do the trick. English mustard might be a good alternative.

@Duma did the wasabi do the trick permanently, even after the smell had worn off?

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Yup. The wasabi did the trick permanently but I'm not sure if that's just because they finished teething or not. They do go near the cables again but they don't bite them anymore. Other strings, that didn't get the wasabi treatment (like the ones from the curtains) are still being used as toys so maybe it really was the spicy smell.

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I give my rabbit stuff to chew on like cardboard flyers, Amazon boxes, and the Costco boxes in his pen, so he definitely has stuff to grind his teeth down (and he does do that, he had so much fun ripping up the political fliers before the midterms in the US came ?). Also, I'm not sure what it is with the lamp cables, he always goes for that particular cable, never any other ones around the room. ? I might try the wasabi thing though, that sounds like a good idea. I had most of the cable covered with covers I got from IKEA but a small section got dragged out over time for some reason, I should really fix that.

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I'm glad your bunny is feeling better! Having a pet who is sick is the worst thing in the entire world imo.

@charelan I completely agree! I wish they could inform us what's wrong. Mouse since last night hasn't been doing so well. Our temperatures have dropped down to -40C as of yesterday and of course being a dog she has to go outside for potty breaks. She has her parka that we've been putting on her every time she goes outside since the cold snap started. Her belly is bare with 0 hair on it right now and she can't grow any hair that she loses because of her medical condition. We try to keep her as warm as possible when she goes out in the cold. Last night she was breathing heavier than normal and we thought she was in pain so I gave her the pain medicine we have for her which smells horrible and probably tastes just as bad. Overnight she continued breathing this way and whined a bit. We figure she may have caught a chill from being out in the cold and it was cold in our house for a while yesterday. After laying by the heat ven for a while she seems to be back to normal mostly. Still breathing heavy, but not as heavy as she was before. Things would be so much easier for us and her if she could simply tell us what's wrong instead of us worrying and playing the guessing game.

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