Above is a pet bunny who has come to live with us. We love her so much that we want to share information for those who may consider bringing a bunny into their life. First and foremost, buyers beware! Please do not purchase a bunny unless you know what you are taking on. Here is our bunny tale...
We purchased our bunny at Friendly Pets and she arrived happy and healthy to our home. Max was already very tame and liked interacting with humans. The one slight glitch was that we purchased her from the "boy bunny" bin, but when we got her to the vet to be neutered, learned Max was a girl. We also learned that the cost to neuter a bunny locally ranged from $500 (IV, bloodwork, monitoring, etc.) to $50, what we affectionately call the "just get it done" procedure. Max was spayed at Sheets Pet Clinic on Chimney Rock Court. The cost was approximately $70 to spay her. For female rabbits, it is "spay or expect spray." Female rabbits can be very messy when they are in heat.
Max was very healthy for five months, until she went to live in the apartment of one of our children. The transition must have stressed her out as she got an infestation of ear mites. If you "google image" ear mites in rabbits, you will see some pretty disgusting images. Fortunately, rabbit mites only stay on rabbits and are treatable. Unfortunately, many vets in Greensboro don't treat rabbits. After several calls, we found Veterinarian Dr. John Wehe, owner of Downtown Greensboro Animal Hospital. He has a lot of experience with rabbits and treated our Max. After the second topical application, Max appears to have her mite colony under control. So, for about $130 (appointment and medicine), she is on the mend. When you factor in initial cost of rabbit and set up, monthly food, litter, and hay, and vet bills, the first 6 months of owning a rabbit has cost us over $500.
Finally, from the above photo, you can see that Max loves, and expects, a lot of out of cage time. She is curious and does the happy-bunny-hop when she is exploring. However, Max loves to jump on things. Above, she is on top of a wood stove, devouring our aloe vera plants. She completely ate one and moved on to the next. She eats houseplants, roots and all. She loves fresh food. We grow mint and basil to share with her and keep carrots and cabbage for her. She also loves to chew electrical chords, leather shoes, and things that do not belong to her. We have rearranged our house to be rabbit friendly. Max is so sweet and comes when we call her and lets us hold and pet her. That affection is the result of a lot of time interacting with her. Usually, Max uses a litter pan. However, the last time she came home for a visit, she picked a new spot. It was very messy!
In conclusion, do not impulse-purchase a rabbit ever, especially not just for Easter. Be prepared to spend a lot of time and possibly several hundred dollars on your new pet. As with all pets, rabbits can bring so much to your life; however, they can also be too much for a busy family. A healthy rabbit can live for a decade. Think twice about that soft, cute rabbit. If you are really ready, enjoy!