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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 9031
Experience:  13 years with dogs, cats, exotic, wildlife and zoo animals, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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My rabbit has started to grunt and box me when I try to pet

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My rabbit has started to grunt and box me when I try to pet her, she's normally quite relaxed and likes being fused over but she just want to be left alone. Can you advice please

Thank you for your question, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.

I have a strong suspicion this is a hormonal behavior, is Poppy spayed?

Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No poppy is not spayed, I am in the process of getting this done though, I've been discussing this with the vet.
Thanks for the information. I strongly suspect this is your primary problem. Unlike other mammals female rabbits are often a slave to their hormones. The minor signs are grunting, thumping or being aloof when family members are around. Some rabbits will even change so much that they start chasing and attacking family members. Based on her age and the fact that rabbits don't cycle in the winter, it is very likely her spring estrogen surge is occurring and spaying her will take care of this behavior. There is very little training that can alter this behavior until the hormones are removed.

I hope this helps, if not please feel free to ask more questions.
Dr. Dan
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have been researching this behaviour and read that she could possibly be in pain is this possible and should I take her to the vets to get a physical examination as I wouldn't like to think she's hurting in any way
Generally not one of the classic signs of rabbit pain in addition to grunting is tooth grinding. If you hear grinding of her teeth when she's not eating then take her in immediately as she's in pain, otherwise likely this is just the hormones talking.

Dr. Dan
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