Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wayne got sick again

Our little Wayne got sick again. Same problem as last time. We suspected GI stasis right away. He stopped eating and stopped pooping.
This time we couldnt take him to the vet because they no longer accept rabbits since that vet left the hospital. So we had to do it ourselves.

It was quite bad this time. We found him after being gone for the day huddled in a cardboard play box siting in his urine. I thought he would die that night.

Its been two very long weeks since that night and I can say he is doing a lot better.

So, what happened?

Well, hubby was doing basement renos, noise and changes in environment. Then I took him to work on Thursday so he wouldn't hear too much noise from the construction. Friday he seemed off, but still somewhat chipper. He was shedding and sometimes rabbits can get a bit on the quiet side during that time.
We had gone to a family reunion the Saturday and that night when we came back, well, Wayne wasn't ok. He was sitting in his own urine and had not pooped in two days.

We began immediately feeding him critical care, keeping him warm and massaging his belly and feeding him water though a syringe.

I read as much as I could about his condition. Ironically all information said to bring him to the vet. This was not an option. I could not take him on an hour ride to the nearest vet that did 'casual' rabbit care. I didnt think he would survive.

All signs pointed to GI stasis again. No poops, he was not interested in food...but he was peeing a lot. And I mean a lot.
I didnt think he would make it through the night and I wept as I tucked him in for his rest.

I searched for info on kidney stones and found out he may have urine sludge from too much calcium in his diet. We do give the bunnies Kale...and that ironically has the most calcium. So we cut that out immediately. Our water is also high in minerals, so I got bottled for him.

It took days of 3-4 hour feedings, for him to get some energy back. We knew he was not himself still because he could barely protest the critical care.
I started having to mix in some apple pure because I could imagine how much he likely hated the taste.

He slowly started eating on his own on the 3rd day, but still very very little. And it was carrot tops, only carrot tops, like the last time. At least it was a sign he was getting better.

His stomach started making awful gurgling noises so we kept massaging his belly, which he didnt mind at all.  He slowly started to drink on his own too.

The poops that he finally passed were very very hard and some had mucus on them....graphic pictures will be posted with a warning further down.

My notes. Its great to refer back to especially when you are running on 3 hours of sleep.

He still wasn't himself but took comfort hiding in his fort with this beloved stuffed animals.

More of my notes. I kept sending updates to my hubby who was at work. We took turns staying home with him. Lucky for us both of our jobs were flexible for working from home.

He hung out with me during the day. I think he really enjoyed watching the squirrels outside. I did everything to lift his spirits.

He started to pee a bit better, less sludgy and with less effort.
He barely had the strength to hop but found his way into the litter box. It was of course too small for him and his aim shot the pee right out. But I didnt care, it was pee and it didnt seem to hurt him when he went.

He had a bit more energy and started to change positions to where he slept. This is him under a table.

I kept offering carrot tops and slowly he started eating more and more. 

He loves his little stuffed husky puppy. I knew he was getting better when he started grooming him.

He was eating more and more, which was a fantastic sign. Poops on the other hand were still small and not Wayne size.

He slept beside us at night. I think he really enjoyed the warmth plus this way we could keep a very close eye on him.

He tuckered down right next to my snoogle.

He really enjoyed snuggling in and resting with us. Definitely not a Wayne thing to do.

Dandelion leaves became his new favourite snack.

He started getting more energy and protesting the feedings, all great signs. 
He also had more poops which were larger in size. All signs were pointing to a rabbit that was getting better.

He still enjoyed sleeping on our bed during the day right in the middle of my snoogle. 

He had a lot more energy :3

His poops were getting a lot better and bigger and more frequent. He began to play, shake his head and tear up newspapers. All great signs.

We stopped force feeding him because he was eating more on his own and it also helped his moral not to be force fed.

Right now two weeks after it happened, he is doing a lot better. Still not 100% but I say very close. He now wants to play at night rather than sit between us and rest. His stomach is no longer making awful noises and there is no more mucus in his poops. 

He is eating on his own and has now permanently moved his headquarters into our room. 
Its a lot nicer to have everyone on the same floor. Plus I can keep a very close eye on him.

Is is not out of the woods yet but he has come a long way and has been a real trooper.

What have I learned in all of this?
  • Rabbits need patience, a safe place and lots of love (I already knew this before but it just reaffirmed it)
  • Never give up on a bunny. They have a lot of fight in them. 
  • Sometimes taking a sick rabbit to the vet is not in his best interests. 
    • We could have taken him but that would have done no good, especially taking into consideration what happened during our last visit. Sometimes pushing antibiotics down a poor animals throat is not in his best interests. Yes this was a HUGE gamble, but I feared he would die on the way to the vet or during his stay there.
  • Mending takes time. Lots of time. 
  • Providing a safe and comforting place for a rabbit to heal is as critical as giving him the care he needs
  • Grooming shows you care about the bun. I honestly think bunnies can get depressed, and no there is not a lot of literature out there about this. Yes, there are topics about grief and loss but not about depression stemming from other causes.
Im so glad he is better, but I know that he is easily susceptible to environmental changes and he needs a lot more attention. 

Last words of advice; you know your bun and trust your instincts. When you suspect something is wrong, don't ignore it.

If you dont want to see them stop scrolling NOW...







These were his initial poops in the middle of the night when he first started pooping. Notice how small they are. 

These were a bit better but we needed to have him continually poop.

This was the disgusting mucus poop that came out of him. It smelled off. The poop stuck together by a string of thick mucus.  

His pee was off as well. Some of it was chalky.

The remainder of poop he passed was sticky and would coat his bum. We had to pick it off.

More mucus poop. 

He finally started to poop more solid balls. This was a sign he was getting better. 

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