Rescuing Animals in the North East

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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dating for Bunnies

Well our grumpy bunny Treacle took ill on Saturday. I say took ill - she sat in the tube in the run all day and wouldn't eat. Now she's usually grumpy and will sit in a huff on her todd all day, and we thought it might have just been the noise from the planes on their way to the local airshow that she was unimpressed with. But a few hours later still the same. We decided to inspect her for clues as to why she was being even more anti-social than usual. Now Treacle for a porky bunny couldn't half shift when it came to trying to pick her up. I think the record "laps" of the run before she was grabbed was probably 3, with 10-12 being the norm. On Saturday however it was done in one foul swoop. We couldnt find anything wrong with her. No runny eyes or nose, heartbeat and breathing sounded fine. No cuts/bites/stings or snapped claws, no chipped teeth, no messy bum nothing. Then as she was allowing us to fuss her (which was not normally to the liking of such an independent diva of a bunny) I heard this clicking noise. Then she made it again, no-one had heard her do this before and i'm sure it sounded like teeth grinding, which I knew meant pain. So we booked her straight into the emergency vets.

8pm - Quiet bunny, stressed owner & bunny ambulance husband all arrive at vets.
The vet checked her over while we explained that she just "was not right". Teeth were fine, rabbit upto date with injections etc, spayed, temperature fine. But stomach felt lumpy. So poor Treacle had some fluids injected (since she wasn't drinking), some painkiller, an injection to stimulate her appetite and get her eating again, some laxative paste to try get things moving again. We were told to keep an eye on her, bring her in the house and try get her to eat/drink anything. We were sent away with some medicine to give her every 6 hours, some liquid recovery food, an assortment of syringes and advised to get her some pineapple juice to see if that would help get things moving again. £125 worth of treatment - thank goodness I had the sense to get out the pet insurance. We left the forms with the vets and my cashcard took the brunt of the damage.

10pm - Animal Hospital set up, nursing starts
The cage bed set up under the stairs for poorly bunny and her husbun is keeping them contained but seperated so we can see who's eating & drinking what and who's been to the toilet. Managed to syringe feed 5mls of pineapple juice and she even nibbled a couple of bits of celery which looked promising.

12pm - Two are better than 1
I'd been and collected hubby from the pub and he attempted syringe feeding too, to see if she was any more keen to eat when he's holding her. Well we managed a couple of mls of liquid food but most of it just dribbled down her chin as she wasn't too keen on swallowing it. To be honest I dont blame her for not drinking the liquid feed, it smelled like cuppa soup and looked like pondwater. She started to get really lethargic and shuffled in hubby's lap like she couldn't get comfy. He went to bed and I stopped up waiting for 3am medicine time to come round and try encourage her to eat.

1pm - Bunny tries where humans failed
Treacle still hadn't eaten much and was just lying down looking groggy. I let Thumper into her part of the enclosure to see if he could encourage her to eat (or just the presence of a greedy food-hoover might make her think if I dont eat now i'll not eat at all). He hopped round her in circles checking out the new enclosure, cleaned her face, scoffed her food then just kept out of her way. We think he knew what was going on as he was right next to her the whole time. Her breathing became really shallow so I went and woke up hubby and we rang the emergency vet who said to bring her straight down. As hubby stroked her she twitched a little so we knew she was still with us but only just, then I picked her up to go to the vet and she gave a little squeaky sigh and went all limp. We think now this is when she passed away.

1.30 - We arrive home without bunny
Hubby had a drink so he held a blanket-wrapped treacle as I drove as fast as I could (without breaking any traffic rules, it was early in the morning and I didn't want to get pulled over) eyes streaming. I asked hubby if we'd had any movement and he said he thought we'd lost her. I had to know for sure she had gone and wasn't passed out in pain, I had to check it wasn't contagious and Thumper was going to go the same way, I needed to know we'd done everything for her. We got to the vets and explained what had happened in the 5hours since we last were there. The vets were lovely and seemed ever so sorry to hear that we'd not managed to save her. It was definately GI stasis as Treacles belly was all swollen and gassy, she had definately and only just passed away and wouldn't have been in any pain as the earlier painkiller was a pretty hefty dose (to go with the pretty hefty bunny). Thumper was in no danger of catching it but we should keep an eye on him just in case. We left her with the vets as I couldn't face digging and burying her in the wee hours of the morning - what would the neighbours think. Plus I didn't want any chance of her being dug up by something else. Even though Thumper still hasn't sussed out how to dig. The whole house was up when we got home and were all equally as gutted.

Thumper's been a bit lonely and pitiful looking without his forever companion. He just looks so lost without his partner in crime. We're not used to seeing just 1 rabbit without the other in the background, they were always side by side or not far from each other. So we've contacted the rescue to arrang for another rabbit to come over for a meeting and see if they like each other and would make good companions. The bunny dating begins!

Strangely enough i've kind of been off my chocolate since this all happened. Although as soon as the first bunny date is over - i'm treating myself to a big bag of chocolate eclair sweets. nom nom nom