A Very Bunny Existence

Life with a husband and 3 bunnies.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I was really hoping to bring Crispin home today.  Junie was definitely not quite herself last night and we all missed Crispin.  I got an email from our wonderful vet (who stopped by today on his day off to check in on Crispin) early this afternoon:

“I checked on Crispin and he remains really bright and alert but his fecal output still remains small in size and number. I would have no problem sending him home tonight with you both if you feel comfortable giving him oral medications and assist feeding him. That way, if he’s at home, hopefully his GI tract will start moving a little faster…

But if you think medicating him twice daily will be next to impossible for right now, we have no problem keeping him too…. sometimes it takes a few days for them to really get back on their feet.”

I called them and told them I would head over after school let out to pick up our sweet bun!  They had a whole write up done for me on everything that had happened for Crispin since Tuesday night plus a description of his meds and how to administer them.  He has four liquid meds to take plus critical care food.  It’s basically crushed up pellets that you add water to to make a paste.  Delicious!!

Mm’mm!!

So far he hasn’t touched the stuff, but he is eating hay which is good.  If he doesn’t eat this stuff, I guess I’ll go ahead and give him some regular pellets.  He has to be hungry, poor bunny!  He seemed like he really wanted Junie’s salad, but I’d think pellets are gentler on the tummy than greens.

More updates to come!

******UPDATE:  Video here.********

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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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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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Nibbles and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

…yes, I teach primary age students.  Why do you ask?
[Everyone should read this book if you haven’t…just sayin’.]

 

Anyway, the bunnies had a very bad day.  Nibbles has had the worst day.  It started pleasantly enough, but soon, they were stuffed into carriers, loaded into the car, and driven to…

 

the vet.

 

Just to get their nails clipped.  But still.  The torture…TOR-CHAAAAA!!!!

Anyway.

Upon returning home, the bunnies were set free in their homes and Matt went off to work.  When he returned that afternoon, he found our apartment had been invaded by a maintenance crew.  Their loud knocking, banging, and fixing had clearly disturbed the bunnies.  I received this little snippet of their afternoon from Matt in an email:

“Maintenance guys are outside fixing the outside of the living room windows and they are inside taking care of a crack in the ceiling right now.  Needless to say, the bunnies have had a rather rough day so far.  I had let them out when I got home, but I had to heard them back inside when they came around to do the ceiling.  Junie had been hiding in the tunnel.  Poor thing–when I slid her out of the tunnel she bolted for the door of the cage.  Problem was that I’d closed it behind Crisipin already.  Fortunately I had only put 1 clip on it, so she crashed right through the door and hid in the back corner.  Poor buns.”

When I got home, petting and snuggles abounded and all seemed well.  At least it was for Crispin and Junie.  But, oh Nibbles.  He had more coming…

Nibbles started shedding a couple weeks ago and it’s gotten really bad.  Sometimes bunnies have a light shed and other times it’s very heavy.  Nibbles is in the middle of a HEAVY shed.  So we’ve been having frequent tub dates so I can brush him clean of all the loose fur.  After his tough day, I thought we would be okay to skip a night.  But as I was petting him and mounds of hair was coming off every which way, I knew we had to have our little date.  I dragged him into the tub and started combing.  Poor boy.  His coat looks awful!

Once I returned him to his house, he THUMPED at me to demand his traditional after-grooming treat.  He had already had several treats earlier in the day for the other injustices that had befallen him, but I couldn’t say no.  I gave him a small papaya tablet, which he gladly took.  He must not have been too angry because shortly after that he licked my pants.

On the up side (for me, not really for Nibbles), he has been much more willing to be picked up the last two nights.  Usually I have to chase him around his pen, cover his eyes with my hand (which he tries to buck off), and generally wear him down before he’ll give me a brief chance to grab him.  Yesterday and today, though, I just had to cover his eyes and he let me pick him up with no running and chasing!  A very pleasing development!  Let’s hope this continues.

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A Surprise Vet Visit

This morning when I (finally) woke up (around 9:50 a.m.) I spent some time petting the bunnies.  Nibbles and Junie were their regular selves, but Crispin kept making these odd noises.  It sound like a congested honking noise.  He was also sneezing quite a bit and had some discharge from his nose. I took a quick video and you can hear some of it (turn up your sound).  Listen especially at the beginning (0:01-0:08 seconds) and toward the end (around 0:25)  for that soft congested sound:

We’ve never had a sick bunny before, so I didn’t know if all this was something to really be worried about or not.  I called the vet and Dr. Crum recommended coming in so that in case there was a problem, it could be taken care of now and not later when it’s potentially worse.  I quickly packed up Crispin and headed out.

They were able to see him very quickly and within 30 minutes, Dr. Crum had some results for me.  They took a nose culture and he said Crispin does have quite a bit of gunk up there.  The culture will be sent out for analysis and we should get the official results in about a week.  He gave us some antibiotics for now and if the culture reveals something specific, we can medicate for that next.  Crispin was not too happy about having strange objects stuffed up his nose and didn’t want to take the meds, but Dr. Crum got some down his throat.

When we got home, Crispin flicked his feet at me a couple times (quite emphatically), but he seems okay now.  Hopefully our antibiotics will take care of his cold and we won’t have to do anything more!

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A Trip to the Torturarium

This morning started out quite normally for the buns.  They got breakfast, they ran around, they pooped.  Then, around 9:40 a.m., they were stuffed into horrid boxes and driven around for 45 minutes before they arrived at…

the torturarium.

Also known as the vet.  We decided to take them for a yearly check up and ask the vet some questions.  All of them had heartbeats around/over 200.  So, it’s not like they were scared or anything.  The vet was so awesome, though.  Dr. Crum checked their eyes, ears, heartbeat, lungs, feet/nails, tummies, teeth, and weight.  Upon checking Nibbles’ tummy, he exclaimed, “Wow, you’ve got a lot of poops in there!”  Junie’s tummy got a similar response with, “Those are some big Cocoa Puffs you’ve got in there.”  Overall, everything looks a-okay on everybody.  Crispin was the only bun with some slightly curved teeth, which isn’t a problem now, but may mean he’ll have to have his teeth sanded down in the future.  Here are their weight stats:

Nibbles:  4.14 lbs.

Crispin:  3.15 lbs.

Junie:  3.04 lbs.

Not too shabby.  On the way home, Nibbles was breathing so loud and fast that we could hear his little nose making squeaking noises.  It was pretty pathetic.  When we let them out at home I gave them each a baby carrot to make up for the ordeal.  Crispin eagerly took his, but Nibbles initially turned up his nose at it.  Junie never touched hers, so I eventually gave her some dried papaya cubes that she gladly took.  Once Nibbles had calmed down a bit more, I tried again and he ate his carrot somewhat suspiciously.  We were given many disapproving looks throughout the rest of the afternoon:

“Why, human, why??”

“I disapprove of your antics, human.”

“Stay away, evil caretaker!”

Unfortunately, this week isn’t going to be too kind to the bunnies.  On Friday, we’re going out of town and the buns are coming along.  A 4+ hour drive, smaller-than-usual quarters for the weekend, and a return drive won’t be too fun for them.  But they’ll survive.  We’ll give them extra treats to make up for the injustices in their world.

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