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Date Posted: 01:55:13 10/02/07 Tue
Subject: New owner of rescued rabbit
I rescued a lionhead dwarf that I renamed Pixie, who's about 6 months old and was living in some serious neglect that boarded on abuse. While I had no plans to keep her and have spoken to area church groups and elementary schools looking for a new owner, I also have no plans to give her to anybody without knowing she'll have a good home.
I have 2 16yr old cats and an Aussie mix dog, so she's shut off in a spare room and I have some questions.
First, I've made her a tunnel out of cardboard, given her newspaper, tree branches w/o bark, small towels, a small dog tug rope, grass mats and small soft balls so she'll have things to chew, dig at, and push around when she's out of the cage. In her cage is her food, water, plenty of timothy hay, a branch thru the bars and small ball. Is there anything else I should be giving her?
Second, I litter box trained her in a day and while I can't let her free roam my entire apartment, the spare room is as rabbit-proofed as I can make it. I was letting her out around 5AM for a few hours, then again as the sun was going down. When I took her, she was very wild due to lack of attention and any affection, plus being caged with a guinea pig a large part of the time. When I'm in there with her, I clap my hands and say NO if she starts chewing or digging at the wrong things. Besides spending a few hours a day just sitting in there with her and brushing her before allowing her out of the cage, is there anything else I can do or should be doing to get her used to human contact again?
Third, she made a nest in her cardboard tunnel and the past few day, has put herself there and except for going to the cage for food or to the litter box, stays there until dusk. Should I be forcing her back into the cage or allowing her to remain in her burrow?
Fourth, I've never heated or cooled the room she's in since it hasn't been used except for storage. My concern is winter because I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Will I need to heat the room for her health or will her fur keep her warm enough?
And last, every day she's getting plenty of fresh water, timothy hay, a whole carrot, fresh mustard greens and leaf lettuce, with a small piece of fruit every other day. Except for a trip to the vet, is there anything else I need to be doing for her?
Thanks for any help or advice you can give.
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