Saturday, October 29, 2011

I would have had better content for you... but -

A couple of weeks ago when Mr S. and I decided we wanted to replace Paisley with another velveteen lop, we didn't know how much of hassle this would be. We see them from time to time. We didn't think it would be a big deal. However breeders are actually quite fashionable when it comes to breeds. And this breed is not in fashion right now.

It's actually a little worse than that. A velveteen rabbit is a rabbit crossed from and English Lop and a Rex. You get something that looks like an English Lop without the ridiculous ears. It is a recognised breed, but not a registered breed. And with no prizes, no real traction in the breed. As I've found out, if you enter a breed and you fail, you have to wait three years to re-enter. If you happen to get accepted, you have to have two successive litters to make sure the breed stays true to the form.

So, what I'm saying is... it takes a shitload of time.

As we've found out, there might possibly be only a handful of breeders in California. And, it seems that the breed has really small litters. Making them even harder to find.

It took us all week, but we finally found a doe an hour north of L.A. We arrange to hook up. I was going to do L.A. in a day. Drive down and back.

Last night as we were getting in bed at 9, because it was going to be along day - the breeder texts us. The litter mate was sneezing and had discharge.

Now, the thing about rabbits is they have all sorts of bacteria inside them. Most can live very healthy lives with it. However, most of these bacteria and protozoa are ticking time bombs. Just waiting for the right trigger. And you never know what the trigger is going to be.

L.A. breeder knew her sneezing litter mate probably had pasteurella. Which is one of the more frustrating bacteria. It usually attacks the inner ear. Giving them head tilt. Or sometimes they will completely loose control and roll over and over and over. You can't do anything but put them down. Sometimes it can be managed with antibiotics - if you catch it really early. Still we haven't found those with it don't live extraordinarily long lives. If that is what the litter mate has, the other one is also quite likely infected.

So, now we are back on the hunt.

Why even bother with this breed you ask? It's one of the few breeds that have only one set of hairs. Most rabbits have regular hair, and guard hairs. These breeds shed like crazy. Since these are indoor bunnies, the reduced shedding is a huge deal. They also have a lot of funny quirks I'll probably explain later.


  1. "It usually attacks the inner ear. Giving them head tilt. Or sometimes they will completely loose control and roll over and over and over."

    You know, I probably know more about rabbits than I ever thought I would, all because of you. You make it interesting.

    Probably and especially because you're the one doing the work and worrying about them not me. )But I do worry about your rabbits that you write about.)


  2. Aw. That's sweet of you to say. I try to make it so people don't dread me talking about them. As they get older all their problems magnify.