Wascally Wabbit

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So those that know me well, and even those who don't thanks to Facebook, are aware that the light of my life is my rabbit, Snickers. A bit of background on how our family came to be -- I never had a pet before in my whole life. Growing up with five children in one family, there wasn't much room for anything else. For a while, I was living with my friend Molly before she moved away to attend Ph.D. school. However, when we still lived together, in August 2010, Molly was working with a girl who told her that she was moving away to go to college and had to find a new home for her five-month-old rabbit named Snickers. At this time, Snickers was (incorrectly) identified as a girl rabbit. Anyways, Molly asked me if I wanted to adopt Snicks and at first I wasn't sure -- we weren't home a lot, I didn't know about pet care, I didn't want a smelly house, but really, how can you say no to a bunny? From the first night Snickers came to live with us, I was smitten. I loved everything about his teeny tiny sweetie pants love bug self. There is a long story behind his gender (re)identification, odd behaviour he has displayed and our general life together, but suffice it to say -- I love baby Snicks more than I've ever loved another living thing pretty much. I love, love, love, love him. I could talk about him all day long. He is the love of my life and my bestest little bud. Frankly, I couldn't live without him.

Which is why, this past Monday night, when I got home from work to find Snicks laying around lethargically with his eyes  barely open, I panicked. From the minute I walked in the door, I just knew something was not right. At first I thought maybe I had just woken him up mid-nap, but when I returned home after my exercise class one hour later and he had not moved, I knew something was wrong. I tried to lure him up with a banana (his favorite treat), I tried annoying him into movement... I tried everything to no avail. That rabbit looked awful. I checked his ears, his eyes, his nose, his teeth, his arms and legs and gave him a full-body rub down for any bumps. Nothing. Snicks laid around, would sometimes walk a few inches just to lay down elsewhere, but wasn't moving much, eating or drinking. Because his regular vet's office was closed by this time, I called the local animal ER. After being on hold for 10 minutes then hung up on, I called back to discover that the doctor on call was a dog/cat veterinarian, not a small animal care doc. Basically she said that I could bring him in and she could "take a look and see what [she] could do." No thanks. Doodle hates car rides and I didn't really want to drag him there to have his blood taken to receive no information. So I did what I knew how to do, which was stay up with him all night watching him. I drug my blanket and pillow behind the chair with him and I petted him whilst we watched "The Birds." (It's an animal movie.) I stayed up with him all night just making sure he was still breathing. Finally, the next morning, he took a couple bites of banana and started moving around more. He also let me bottle feed him some water, and he was VERY thirsty. 

Never thought I'd be so excited to see Snicks eat a banana -- and poo -- in my entire life.
I gave him lots of water and some fresh greens and hay and hoped for the best. It was really nice to see him running around as usual. I felt okay leaving him to head to work since he was drinking and eating a bit and moving. I rushed home after work in enough time to take him to the vet before it closed if he was doing worse. Luckily he had eaten his greens and his hay and drank water. The biggest indicator there has been a problem is the look of his poo. Hate to say it. No further details, but I have been looking through his poo A LOT this week. I did some online research (medical degree courtesy of WebMD University) and discovered that I was pretty sure he had GI Stasis caused by a build up of hair in his intestine. (Rabbits clean themselves like cats but don't have the same throw up reflex to get a hairball out. There's a little fact for ya.) In doing my research I found a ton of REALLY HELPFUL comments and information:

THE SILENT KILLER, REALLY?!? Way to assist me in my panic.
Definitely the best story to recount to an overprotective mother such as myself.

"No one likes to be force-fed someone else's poop." Well, now that you put it that way, no, I do not think I would. Upon reading this I got out of bed immediately to inform Snicks I would not be doing this to him in case this was a common occurrence in the homes of rabbits he knows.

The best cure for that is hay, hydration, fresh food and lots of love and attention. So I have been totally curing Snicks with my overwhelming love of him! I talked to the vet tech yesterday and she confirmed my diagnosis and told me I was doing all the right things and the only extra thing to do would be feed him pineapple juice or chunks because the acid would help break up the hair.

Needless to say Snicks has no interest in pineapples or their juices and, believe it or not, is not really a fan of being force fed. So that's where we are right now. Me wading through his poo and force feeding him pineapple chunks. 

If you would have told me five years ago that at age 27 my life would consist of force feeding pineapple to a rabbit in order to get his bowels moving, I would have died of embarrassment for myself.


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