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BrusterSeptember 2011 - Buns Go Back to School!

In This Issue
New Products to Make Life Easier!
Bunny EMT Skills: How to Help a Choking Rabbit
New Fun Items to Help Us Spread the Word
Gallery of Beautiful Buns
Online Fun

Note: We had a difficulty with our mailing list. We had to recreate it. I did my best to include all subtractions requested, but apologize if I missed anyone!

CarrotNew Products to Make Life Easier
by Amy Young-Leith

Cabinet Condo - Base Unit (48in Bunny Abodes) After many requests and much design adieu, we have released a great new condo feature: The Cabinet Condo level. Whether you want to raise your buns up for easier access, or your rabbits enjoy the high life and like to look around, or you need every bit of storage space you can get, this option will make almost everyone happy!

You can purchase it along with a new Single Level Bunny Abode, or Double Level Bunny Abode; or you can purchase it to use with your existing Single Level Bunny Abode or Double Level Bunny Abode. (We do NOT recommend using this item with a Triple Level Bunny Abode, for the same reason we don't make a Quadruple Level Bunny Abode... because it's too tall for most people to reach or even see into!)

Some assembly is required, but it's an easy process, and comes with very clear step by step instructions.

You'll find this and more on our New Products Page. Take a look and see what's new this month! There are some awesome items that I'll be talking about more in blog posts and on Facebook!

CarrotBunny EMT Skills: How to Help a Choking Rabbit
by Amy Young-Leith
Paper party!

This bun is not choking. But he is getting into mischief, and he's adorable, and I thought it might lighten up an otherwise intense subject. Wook and the cute wittle bunnie!

While all our our bunnies are certainly dainty little creatures with impeccable social habits and would never snarf their food like heathens (I can't hardly type that without bursting into laughter), rabbits can indeed choke. Items being consumed can block the trachea, causing a potentially life threatening situation.

This is rare, however it does occur, and knowing how to help may mean the difference between life and death.

Did you know that bunnies don't have a gag reflex, or the ability to vomit? It's true! Bunnies can cough, so a partially obstructed airway is probably something the bun can deal with themselves through coughing, shaking of the head, etc. But if the bun becomes distressed or cannot breathe, the airway may be completely blocked.

A rabbit with a blocked airway may exhibit a variety of behaviors; first they may shake their heads or walk backwards trying to "back up"; they may stretch up with their nose high in the air, mouth agape, trying to get oxygen. Their eyes may bulge. While this may distress you, it's important to remain calm, know what to do and to act fast.

By employing the same concept as the Heimlich Maneuver in humans, you can assist the rabbit by forcing air out the trachea and hopefully dislodging the offending item blocking the airway.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Hold the rabbit firmly, providing ample support for head and neck. With their nose pointing downward, firmly and gently apply pressure upwards against the diaphragm. Make a smooth movement that starts mid abdomen and sweeps upward toward their ribcage. This will apply pressure against the lungs, and by using the force of that air trying to get out, dislodge the item in the trachea. Having the buns's head pointed down will help it not fall right back into place again.
  • In a dire emergency, more force may be necessary. This method is more difficult, and you must be very careful to firmly remain hold of the rabbit (for obvious reasons). It also may not be possible on a larger, heavier animal.
    • Place the bun, face down, between your forearms. Use your forearms to immobilize the bun's head, neck and spine so they do not move.
    • Raise the bun in the air and, nose pointed down, swing your arms gently down (remain in control AND in firm grasp of the bun, obviously). Doing this pushes the bun's internal organs up, against the lungs, and will push air out of the lungs to dislodge the item in the trachea.
    • You may have to do this more than one time, but stop immediately once the bun begins to breathe.

After any serious choking incident, get to the veterinarian right away. Additional items may have been fully aspirated (drawn into the lungs) and this, along with damage to the trachea caused by the lodged item, can result in pneumonia or infection.

Carrot New Fun Items to Help Us Spread the Word
by Scot Leith

For 17 years now Petwerks has relied on a variety of marketing initiatives, but there's ONE which has always out shown the rest: word of mouth. From the days when Amy and I ran Petwerks in our college apartment and were thrilled to get ONE order a week (you gotta start somewhere!), our growth was due to these simple things: our excellent customer service that backs well-built products and the willingness of our satisfied customers to share their experiences with others. A personal recommendation is the ORIGINAL form of social media, and we are thankful to all those who support us.

To facilitate spreading the word about Petwerks, we offer "Promo Packs" that organizations can use at events, in adoption packets, and at adoption centers to direct people to us for the best bunny homes around, and a wide selection of all the items you need to care for your house rabbit. They contain an assortment of business cards, glossy color tri fold brochures, post cards, and spiffy schwag items like magnets. Every year or so we set a modest budget and choose a new schwag item. This year the choice was Post It Note pads and a high quality pen. They are cute, and they are functional! Bonus!

Please contact me at scot@leithpetwerks.com to ask for a free Promo Pack for your organization. We do require some information about your organization and how the items will be used. We are sorry that we cannot offer these packs to individuals for individual use, but we will be using these nifty items in the give-a-ways we do, such as the monthly winner in the Gallery of Beautiful Buns!

Help us maintain our small, family run local business by not asking for these items unless they are to be used in the manner for which they are intended. We thank you!

And if you have a way that we can help you (mention in social marketing, Facebook add, link, etc. drop Amy a line at amy@leithpetwerks.com). If it's appropriate, we'll do it. And we appreciate likes, links and all that good stuff in your online media as well.

Carrot Gallery of Beautiful Buns
by Amy Young-Leith

SPECIAL NOTE: We are having a contest theme for October: Buns on their Backs! Send us your photo of your bunny lounging back, whether it's being tranced in your lap or loafing against a wall on their backs. I'll be doing an article about the behavior that being on their backs illicits in buns in that issue as well. Send us your photo of a bun on their back and you could be a winner of a gift basket!

The Bunny Named... Taco?
Yes, Taco. Here's how it happened, according to Dennis.

His name is Taco. Here's how he got his name. We got 2 bunnies (black male and white female), both about 3 months old. Two days later, the female died and the male stopped eating. The vet couldn't find anything wrong. He was just grieving for his soul mate. We fed Oxbow Critical Care powder and water mixture through a syringe every 4 hours for about 7 days. Wrapping him in towel to control him during the feedings was like making a taco. Hence, his name. There was quite a celebration when Taco started to eat the piece of timothy hay we were using to play with him. That was 5 years ago. He has never been caged, runs free in the RV that we live/travel in, and enjoys watching TV from "his" end of the couch.

Thank you for providing us the Oxbow Timothy Hay that keeps Taco so healthy.

Thank YOU, Dennis, for sharing Taco with us. There's a gift basket for you in the mail soon!

Susan's adorable kids Themla and Louise are at it again, this time allowing themselves to be adored by the video camera lens. A friend claims videos of bunnies eating is soothing and relaxing. I just think the little bunny lips are adorable! Simply click the image to play the video!

Carrot Online Fun
by Amy Young-Leith

Rabbit Hopping
A rabbit jumps over a hurdle at an obstacle course the 5th Open Rabbit Sport Tournament on. Eighty rabbits competed in light-weight, middle-weight and jumping-for-points categories at the tournament.

Image from the UK Mirror

Rabbit Hopping is a form of bunny-based agility training and competition, is gaining popularity in both the UK and here in the States. (Obviously, some buns have the right personality for it, and some don't. And some... can learn!)

Blogs to Get Your Bun Fix
Stuck at work and need a glimpse of a cute little bunny butt to brighten your day? Try these links.


Thank you for being a member of BunFun. BunFun is produced for Leith Petwerks Inc. by Amy Young-Leith, wife of Leith Petwerks Inc. owner/operator Scot Leith, bunny mom, Chapter Co-Manager of Indiana House Rabbit Society and VP of Leith Petwerks Inc.

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Leith Petwerks Inc.
(800) 956-3576 • info@leithpetwerks.com • www.petwerks.com