How do I care for a disabled bunny?

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fannymanson

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Thank you to every one for you kind words of support. It has been a challenge, but one I am ultimately glad to accept. Through all the heartache of seeing my bunnies degeneration, there is love beyond measure that endears them to me. My new job starts tomorrow, and I am setting Bobby up right next to my desk so he will be within reach at all times. Keeping him dry and clean is one of my top priorities. Vanessa has been so generous in her support and I want to give her special recognition as it is very much appreciated!

A couple of weeks ago, Bobby had several seizures. At first, he would come out of them when I touched him or spoke to him, but then there was an episode while I was drying him that lasted over a minute. It was scary and I took him to the vet as soon as they could see us. I had blood tests and xrays done and I included the xrays in this post. The doctor prescribed gabapentin and SMZs for him and I am happy to say he hasn't had a seizure since he started his meds! I also bought him 2 new kinds of hay- orchard grass and alfalfa. Normally he just eats timothy, but the vet said he was loving these other hays in the exam room, so I figured I would get him what he likes.

I was having emotional troubles going through all of this. It is so hard to see your little bunny weakened and wondering whether they are suffering. I did find a photo online that showed the facial expression that a bunny would make if he was in pain. I included it below so all can see. Bobby doesn't show these expressions. He is happy as far as I can tell, loves attention and food, and I still take him outside for fresh air and sunshine which I believe are important to keep his spirits up. I also walk him on the sidewalk in his cart and he knows right where there is a lovely patch of clover and dandelion to nibble.

So overall, I guess my advice to anybody who is caring for a bunny that is disabled, is just be as strong as you can to support them. It isn't easy. Find support groups like this one or the one on Facebook and ask questions and see what works for other people and realize that the solutions that work today, may not work tomorrow. Best wishes to Blackie and all the other little bunnies out there with disabilities.

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lovelops

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I'm so glad to hear things are going well and Bobby is still loving life! Thanks so much for your kind words and I'm so glad you were able to get a job working from home so you can keep an eye on him during the day! :)

You have been doing such a great job with him and keep up the good work! I'm sure Bobby appreciates everything you have been doing. As soon as I get some funds will contribute to the Bobby fund!

Give him a nose rub for me!

Vanessa

Who would have thought Bobby would have outlived Lady!
 

chrisbb

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I'm so fortunate that I found this group. I have sad news - Blackie passed away on Tuesday, he seemed to rally that morning even running a little in the yard on his own (falling in between a few times). I don't know if he had a seizure or stroke when I wasn't with him but I found him on his side not responsive and he didn't recover. My heart is broken and Speedy has been nervous and skittish, I allowed her lots of time with him but she stayed at a distance. She spooks easily when I approach her. She was never a lap bunny and didn't like to be picked up just appreciated being brushed or stroked where she was sitting and then not for very long. I hope she will allow that in time again. I'm sad for her to be alone after 11 years with him. I hope that his passing is what was best for him no matter how much pain it causes me because I will miss him so much. I really got close to him while taking care of him, he relied on me completely. I hope Bobby continues to enjoy life and you are doing an amazing job keeping him comfortable and happy. I will continue to follow his progress.

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lovelops

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I'm so fortunate that I found this group. I have sad news - Blackie passed away on Tuesday, he seemed to rally that morning even running a little in the yard on his own (falling in between a few times). I don't know if he had a seizure or stroke when I wasn't with him but I found him on his side not responsive and he didn't recover. My heart is broken and Speedy has been nervous and skittish, I allowed her lots of time with him but she stayed at a distance. She spooks easily when I approach her. She was never a lap bunny and didn't like to be picked up just appreciated being brushed or stroked where she was sitting and then not for very long. I hope she will allow that in time again. I'm sad for her to be alone after 11 years with him. I hope that his passing is what was best for him no matter how much pain it causes me because I will miss him so much. I really got close to him while taking care of him, he relied on me completely. I hope Bobby continues to enjoy life and you are doing an amazing job keeping him comfortable and happy. I will continue to follow his progress.

I'm so sorry to hear of your Blackie passing. I'm sorry to hear that Speedy now has to deal with being alone after so many years together. :(

I've just had my Lady pass March 26th after only a year and 4 months together... so I understand where you are at.. I know it's tough but you
helped out Blackie so much... and Blackie knew that even if you weren't there when he finally went..

Hang in there and you are in my thoughts,
Vanessa
 

chrisbb

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Thank you so much, I really appreciate your reply. It has been really hard, we have lost several over the last 7 to 8 years and every time it feels like the pain is intense. I know it will pass. He was so good and happy.
 

fannymanson

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Chris, you have my condolences on the loss of Blackie. It's hard to accept the loss of a pet, especially one that you have been nursing through a medical issue. I know how heartbreaking it is when a pet passes away and I am sending you and Speedy much love and hugs.
 

fannymanson

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Sweet Bobby is still hanging in there and I now have a work at home job so I can keep an eye on him.

I am now expressing his bladder for him to help keep him dry and I think he has learned to "hold it" until I do. It is working very well, as he has no signs of urine scald at all. He still has abrasion where his knees touch and I keep a cotton ball tucked in there to try to buffer them.

He is still on gabapentin and my cost is $44 per ten day supply. His dose is .3ml, 2x per day, at 50mg/ml suspension and I have it shipped right to my home. I asked about getting a prescription for human gabapentin for him but the vet said that was not a good option because the formula is different and they also add a flavoring to the veterinary type.

He doesn't voluntarily eat any hay but alfalfa, but I buy orchard grass and timothy and use a cheap pair of scissors to cut it up. I take a small handful and cut it 1/2 inch to an inch into his bowl (over a shoebox because it is a bit messy), top it with a sprinkle of his pellets and then add about 2 spoonfuls of baby food and stir it all in. so it sticks together. He eats it quite well actually. I buy Gerber garden vegetable, squash, green beans, and pea baby food and it's working pretty well.

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fannymanson

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Another broken heart, Bobby passed away this morning. He enjoyed listening to the blues for the last 2 days and we tried to make the most of his time by going outside and enjoying a few treats. I sat under the tree in the backyard and held him as he took his last breath. He is at peace after a long struggle. Bless his soul.

Thank you to all the members of this forum who have been there through this journey. I appreciate all your kind words and wonderful advice as I never expected to have disabled rabbits and was completely unprepared. You have my sincerest appreciation.

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JBun

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I'm so very sorry about Bobby. You did a wonderful job for those boys, and provided them with a good life despite their difficulties.

Rest in peace little bun.
 

stevesmum

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My condolences, you did everything you could to provide him a comfortable life. He was a special rabbit and you are clearly a special person.
 

Beesandbuns

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As a breeder and a disabled rabbit owner (One blind to a genetic disorder, one possibly two who will have hearing problems) I've run into a little bit of a pickle. My sister's rhinelander had a litter several days ago, in that litter one baby was born with no ear holes, and another was born with only one. I told my sister and my mom, who couldn't bring themselves to cull the two little ones that I would take care of the one with both ears having a problem and try to find a home for the one with special needs (it was the does first litter, so we have no idea if it was genetic or enviornment caused). Now the mother has attacked the baby who has no ear holes. We're feeding it warmed up goats milk (last night it ate 1.3 ml, early this morning it ate .35 ml). I know it will need more feedings than what its mother would give it because rabbits milk is more dense but it seems to be fighting the neck wound (grooming itself, wiggling in the box, snuggling with us). Any advice for keeping it alive would be appreciated. I do have one doe I could use to foster it, but she's a first time mom and already has a litter of seven, plus the wound has scabbed over and I don't know if it is safe to try and get this doe to foster it.
 

lovelops

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I'm so sorry to hear about Bobby. I was hoping for you guys to have some more days together. You and Bobby are in my thoughts. You were a great bunny mom to both of them and never think any different.

Vanessa
 

Beesandbuns

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The baby seems to be doing well, still giving it goat's milk and planning on getting it some probiotics to mix in.
 

fannymanson

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Thank you Vanessa, I am trying to keep busy cleaning, and doing something Big Brown and Bobby would like. Today I am weeding and planting a bed of lettuce and spinach even though I wasn't going to do that this year.

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fannymanson

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I got Bobby's remains back from cremation. There isn't much ash really, maybe about a cup or so is all that's left of my sweet love. I still miss both of my boys and adjusting to life without them sucks. As hard as it was, I would do it all over again. On the day that I got Bobby's ashes back, I finally decided to throw away his baby food mushes that were in the refrigerator. I don't like to waste food, but with no sick bunny to care for, they were getting funky. I still have Bobby's medicine in the fridge. I imagine it will be July or August before I can let that go... The look on his sweet face as he went to the other side is one of my frequent thoughts these days, I never want to forget that look.
 

Milyvan

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I don't know how to help, but I do know that PLEASE ignore those who say "If you can't afford......" They generally have more money than love. I adopted my latest bun from just such a home. It was almost palatial ---black iron gates, driveway as long as a short road, all terra cotta-----with 4 small dogs running about that were more like mini-kegs on stubs and the 1 room was 4 ferrets, a terrified guinea pig and my now fur-friend hiding in another corner. Then I saw a couple of barrel-like cats walk by. I'm not saying they didn't care for their animals (although they did try to give me more) but in general, this is the image I get of people like this.

You love and care for your furfriends. I don't think they (nor anybody else) is supposed to ask for more. While I realize I'm not offering any solutions -sadly I wish I knew of some- I am saying I think your fuzzy companions understand you're doing your best and appreciate it. (Heck, I've heard of people having "pets" euthanized because they weren't an ideal breeder anymore.) Comparatively, your efforts are inspiring. Maybe some will be inspired.......
 

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