hypnosis for bunnies - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-26-2007, 10:07 AM
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Last year i had a very aggressive little dwarf lop rabbit called Bear, he would have your hand off when trying to feed him, never mind trying to care for him, grooming, cleaning out his hutch etc.



Anyway read about hypnosis for rabbits and gave it a go.



Holding them like a baby, kind of upside down in your arms with their heads right back but supported, you hold them close and tell them that they are good bunnies, calm bunnies, happy bunnies and talk to them to reassure them they are loved and no one will hurt them.



Now you should see him, hes lovely, comes for fuss, dosnt mind being picked up, hes like a new bunny rabbit.
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#2 Old 05-27-2007, 07:14 AM
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It said on a vetinary programme i was watching once that doing the above causes severe distress to rabbits & the reason they seem hypnotised is that they are literally scared stiff, so personally i would not reccomend doing this!
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#3 Old 05-27-2007, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bits View Post

It said on a vetinary programme i was watching once that doing the above causes severe distress to rabbits & the reason they seem hypnotised is that they are literally scared stiff, so personally i would not reccomend doing this!





REALLY! Well I hope Bear never felt stressed by this. I did mention it to the vet when i took him to get his jabs, she thought it was fine, looked at me like i was a bit strange though.



Bear has responded well to me working with him in this way, he its a really lovely rabbit now, comes to me for fuss and seems so much happier. Id hate to think i caused him any stress.
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#4 Old 05-27-2007, 02:11 PM
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I found this link that you may find interesting, it says that the trance like state that a rabbit goes into when held on its back is called 'Tonic Immobility' & they think it's rabbit pretending to be dead due to thinking it is in danger from a predator etc. - their response to fear. It also says it can be very stressful for them, it can also affect their blood pressure.

http://www.mnhouserabbit.org/care/trancing.html
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#5 Old 05-27-2007, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bits View Post

I found this link that you may find interesting, it says that the trance like state that a rabbit goes into when held on its back is called 'Tonic Immobility' & they think it's rabbit pretending to be dead due to thinking it is in danger from a predator etc. - their response to fear. It also says it can be very stressful for them, it can also affect their blood pressure.

http://www.mnhouserabbit.org/care/trancing.html



Thanks for sending that link.



I really hope i didnt cause any stress to Bear. Iv not done this with him for a long time now as i felt there was no longer any need to. As i say, when I first bought him home he was a very stressed out little thing, quite agressive not only to us but to the other rabbits i have too.



I never thought id ever get Bear to calm down. Now he actually comes to us and seems to like fuss, where before he would run and hide when anyone went near his hutch. I always thought the bunny hypnosis had worked on him, after reading that link though im not so sure now.



Id hate to think i caused him stress. Iv kept rabbits a good few years now and never used this method on any of the other rabbits, its only Bear that was ever a little difficult at settling in.
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#6 Old 05-28-2007, 02:32 PM
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It may have been his age, neutering might have helped.
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#7 Old 05-28-2007, 02:56 PM
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It may have been his age, neutering might have helped.





Well hes about a year old now, and is much more relaxed and seems quite happy.
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#8 Old 05-29-2007, 12:43 PM
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Could be though that he was asserting his dominance in an aggressive manner, and while the "hypnosis" may have been a bit "traumatizing", he is now the submissive bunny he should be and knows hos place in the group. I have to lay on top of my dog every once in a while to immobilize her and let her know who is boss. Doesn't hurt but reinforces that Mama is alpha, not her.
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#9 Old 05-30-2007, 08:57 AM
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the house rabbit society does recommend holding the rabbit on it's back--though not to the extreme mentioned (the 'hypnosis' aspect)--as a method of asserting dominance over the rabbit.



october j has been markedly more aggressive since december (he's now 10), and the behavoiral specialist recommended that we go ahead and do 'submissive holds' with him. it has worked.



i've also done acupuncture and sound healing work with him (with an alternative vet), as well as a lot of other holding-based therapies. he's calmed down a lot.



it is an interesting issue to deal with (oh, and October was nuetered many years ago, etc).
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#10 Old 05-30-2007, 12:21 PM
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I can't believe you got him to even do that. My bunnies are very tame but would not go for that at all.



Their backs break very easily and this just doesn't seem safe especially if they'd freak out kick, and you could drop them easily. I could see maybe holding them like the HRS suggests, but I wouldn't want your bunny to get hurt. It happened to one of mine and he died.



Also neutering a male will help. A lot!



I think the best way is to just be nice to them so they learn you are not a threat. Most bunnies act out when they are scared.
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#11 Old 05-30-2007, 01:54 PM
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I think the best way is to just be nice to them so they learn you are not a threat. Most bunnies act out when they are scared.



Not necessarily. As others have said, the bunny may just trying to assert dominance. They're sociable animals that have a "pecking order" within their groups. Each bunny fights the others occasionally to try and prove their place of dominance. Some do this very aggressively, while others are much more mellow and might not do it at all.



My sister's first bunny fought us constantly. He accepted that my sister was the alpha of the family, but he'd challenge her every few weeks just to see if she'd let him get away with it. She just bonked him on the nose, hard enough for him to know he was whipped without actually hurting him.



After he died, she got twin bunnies who were very mellow and didn't care about pecking order. They shared food with each, literally stealing leafy greens out of each other's mouths without ever getting into a fight (and that type of thing is exactly why they try to assert dominance over each other), and they never fought my sister for dominance.



As for putting the bunnies on their backs and "trancing" them, you can usually tell if it's stressful to them or not. If they struggle, breathe heavy, and you feel their heart beating faster, then it's stressful. Some of them just relax and take it in, seeming to actually enjoy it. And some of them just panic and never achieve that trance state.



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