A Very Bunny Existence

Life with a husband and 3 bunnies.

More Vet Visits for Crispin…and a Hospital Stay

After our adventure two Saturdays ago with Crispin’s runny nose, I had hoped we wouldn’t need to go to the vet for quite some time.  Unfortunately, we were right back at the bunnies’ favorite place last night.

 

When I got home around 5:15, all seemed fine with the buns.  I did notice that either Crispin or Junie had left three “presents” in their play area.  Two of them were smaller than their usual droppings.  Small poops are a concern for rabbits, but since it was just two I didn’t think much of it.  It was unusual for them to leave anything like that in their play area, though.  Crispin let me pet him a bit, then he hopped back into their cage.  It was still a little early for them to be fully awake and active yet.

 

I relaxed for a bit, Matt took off for a meeting on campus, and I fixed dinner for myself.  I saw Crispin sitting in his litter bin with this sort of glossy-eyed/glazed over look.  Usually if he’s in the litter bin, he’s eating from their hay box that’s above it.  But he was just sitting there, sort of hunched over.  After I finished eating, I made up the bunny salads for their dinners.  Once I start rustling lettuce bags and start washing things, the bunnies start to go crazy.  They know dinner is on the way!  Junie was her usual hyper self, running around, jumping, standing up on her back feet to see if I was coming out from the kitchen yet.  Crispin looked completely unaware of all of this and was still in the litter bin.

 

When I brought their food bowls, Junie immediately began chowing down.  Crispin still hadn’t budged.  I reached the bowl into the cage and put it right in front of him.  He lurched forward like I had startled him, sniffed the salad briefly, then continued to sit.  I have NEVER seen that bunny refuse food before.  Now I was a little more concerned.  I fixed up his medicine (mixed with the baby food he loves) and held that in front of him.  No response at all.  Then I noticed many more tiny poops around their cage.  I knew something was wrong.  After thinking for a minute, I called the vet’s office.  At this point, it was 6:45 p.m. and they were closing at 8:00.  After describing Crispin’s behavior over the phone, they asked us to come in as soon as possible.

 

I grabbed the carrier and tried to get Crispin out of his litter box (he was sitting just out of my reach).  After about 10 minutes of coaxing and prodding he reluctantly hopped out and I got both him and Junie into the carrier.  Bonded bunnies can get more stressed if they are without their companion, so I thought she should come, too.  It took about 40 minutes to get to the vet’s office (Matt was able to meet me there).  They took both bunnies to the back and told us Crispin would get an examination as soon as one of the vets was free.  It took a little while, but around 8:20 p.m., the vet had looked at Crispin and told us he probably had GI stasis (basically his digestive system had started to shut down).  This can be serious if left untreated and can easily kill a bunny.  [You can read more about it here.]

 

Their suggestion was to hospitalize him overnight with a treatment plan including a variety of oral medicines, feeding assistance, and subcutaneous fluids.  We agreed, signed the paperwork, and said goodbye to our pathetic-looking little bunny.  Junie had to come home with us since the cage they had (while adequately sized for a sick bunny) would be too small for Junie to run around like she usually does.

 

A few minutes after 9:00, we loaded Junie back in the car and drove home.  When I let her out into the play area, she flicked her feet at me (a sign of displeasure in bunnies) and also sprayed urine all over my arms.  I looked in the carrier and she had peed everywhere.  Her ENTIRE back end was soaked.  Poor little bunny!  I took her to the tub and cleaned her up before putting her back at home.

 

Late the next morning I got this email from the vet:

“Good morning!
Just left you a voicemail….  Crispin is eating some hay this morning and abdomen feels much less tense.  We remain bright, alert, and responsive and appears happy so far!  We will continue supportive care and keep each other updated!
Have a great day!!!”

Good news!  He also sent us this picture:

This evening, he sent us this:

“Crispin has continued to remain bright throughout the day.  His fecal production is still subpar so I think it’s best to keep him overnight and re-evaluate in the AM.  I am off tomorrow but Dr. Crum has been briefed about Crispin’s recent happenings…  I will stop in early afternoon (~3pm)  to check on him and we can make a judgement call then unless Dr. Crum feels like he can go home earlier.
If he does go home tomorrow, I’d like to keep him on the assist feeds and an assortment of oral medications which we will go over with you at discharge….

If you have any questions feel free to email me back!  Hope all is well!  He’s a great little bunny…”

 

So happy to hear that!!  We are really hoping he can come home tomorrow and be cozy at home.

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In an unrelated note, here is an example of the hazards of bunny ownership (my new forearm tattoo, courtesy of an over-excited Nibbles):

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