Little Ms Maissie was an unwanted bunny leftover from a litter at a mere 16 weeks old. Even with all that adorable fluff, as a REW (Red Eyed White) these beautiful rabbits suffer a lot of ‘discrimination’ and people largely avoid or overlook them; it is also not unheard of for people to find red eyed bunnies to be ‘freaks’ and as such, will not buy, or even adopt, rabbits or other animals who have these characteristics. Why I truly do not know!?
She arrived housed in a very small, wholly unsuitable indoor rabbit cage, which are still sadly, sold quite freely by retailers as suitable homes for Rabbits.
She was really quite small and totally bewildered but otherwise (as far as I could tell) had no obvious health issues. During her Vet health check and vaccination appointment she was found to be very underweight and had several old bite marks on her back, perhaps from being mounted by a former litter mate? As is not usual, her diet consisted largely of commercial foods (pellets) so it was no surprise to hear that she had some minor dental spurring. Thankfully this sorted itself out over time once the correct diet consisting mainly of hay was provided for her.
Maissie was (and still is) very sweet, loving, inquisitive and trusting, in addition to being quite bold and cheeky little girl who was not scared to give her new bun-mum the odd naughty playful nip as we slowly got to know each other and formed a strong bond.
It took some time for her to put on sufficient weight before she could undergo her neuter operation and during this time, she worryingly had what was thankfully, a phantom pregnancy. It was quite possible that even at her young age and the evidence of those old bite marks on her back that she may have conceived as we did not know how long ago she was in contact with other rabbits; thankfully nothing ever materialised in the nest that she had built and soon we were able to book her in for the procedure.
She quickly recovered and was soon back to her mischievous little ways.
However, what I was soon to find is that all that beautiful long fur was going to prove quite a problem to her health and overall welfare. As a REW her sight is not as good as ‘normal’ rabbits, hindered further by her long fluffy mane, so we decided to give her a wee hair-do to help her out so she could have an unrestricted view of her world.
We’re not entirely sure her exact breed – a Lionhead cross of some description – I suspect Angora, although one Vet nurse thought perhaps Cashmere, but regardless of her good looks and gorgeous fluff, the very nature of her ‘breed’ is in truth extremely dangerous to her health.
Without fail during the past two years she has been in and out of the Vet up to 4 times per year, often rushed in as an emergency admission, as she frequently suffers from fur blockages in her tummy; her fur is so fine it constantly comes away and no amount of grooming, specifically during moult, helps lessen these instances. So after discussions with our Vets, it was decided that a preventative measure, she now has her lush fur trimmed back in the hope that her short coat lessens the risk to her health. Doesn’t she look adorable?
As our girl is quite the feisty wee thing, she usually hops off to see the bunderful nurses at The Dick Vet as she will never stay still long enough for me to do a proper job at home. However, I’ve recently discovered that simply by taking her out to the garden she sits without fuss on my knee whilst I give her a once over with the clippers, followed by a good going over with a furminator, then grooming comb and finally a brush; another benefit to the garden grooming parlour is that the breeze helps remove excess hair as it simply blows away and doesn’t linger on her coat or surroundings. And you also help nature as the birds will often gladly gather up the fur trimmings to line their nests too!
Maissie is happily bonded with Munchkin another of our rescued sanctuary Buns, these two are very much in love and quite ‘vocal’ in their daily activities, hopping and humming wherever they go and always getting up to some sort of adorable mischief!