Rehabilitating a cottontail

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Aldamar

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Hi all, first time poster. I'm taking care of a very handsome eastern cottontail right now, about three to four months old. After meeting my cat, the poor guy was wounded badly with two skin tears, and two small deep wounds on either side of his head.

We treated these quickly with betadine solution, diluted from ten down to 2.5%, and had great success. In fact, it's about two weeks later and they are almost healed - keeping the hair out was a pain, and I did a lot of careful trimming and gently tugged some fur out with tweezers. One of the tears was on his back, and when it gave me trouble I used a 'calcium alginate with silver' wound dressing for a day - cleared all infection up very quickly.

However, we missed a small puncture on his right fore leg until we saw the vet. It abscessed badly, and although we drained it, disinfected and irrigated twice daily with saline, it wasn't good enough. So when the vet gave me the choice of putting him down or amputation, I took the latter. That said, he is stable, made it through surgery, eats, drinks, and sometimes falls over while trying to periscope. What I wanted to ask everyone is whether they have any post op experience caring for an amputee like this little trooper, any advice tips etc.

Primary diet is Timothy hay, with a blueberry treat once in a while. He's on Orbafloxacin as an antibiotic, and metacam for anti inflammatory and pain.

Cheers all, thanks for taking time to read.

- Al
 

Aldamar

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Small update - my little friend has come through the whole day pretty well. I held him a few times today for close to an hour a piece to keep him of his feet so they don't get sore, still eating, drinking and sending it all out the other end.

Looking underneath him where his stitching is, I can see it looks like the stitches come out passed his bandage, which is a little surprising. I'm wondering if maybe the bandage moved a little on him.

Anyway, I'm going to have him looked at when the vet opens Monday (paranoia), until then any good recommendations on what to put on there to keep it clean? Betadine? Ointment? Heck, if someone recommends it I'd find a silver wound gel (he has lots of that under the bandage already).

He's running out of skin, so I really want to avoid further infections.

Thanks for any ideas.

- Al
 

Hazel-Mom

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Nice of you to care for that little cottontail! We had a Western Cottontail ourselves :). Hazel lived with us for 8 and a half years.

Sorry, I can't help you with the medical care. I hope your vet has a good solution for you. If you want though, I can talk to you about Hazel's diet.

I hope all goes well at his vet appointment, and that he pulls through!
 

Aldamar

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Yes, he's a wild one he is. Honestly though, minus the obvious physical characteristics you would never know. He is very friendly to me and my family, and hasn't gotten stressed at all from any company. He just hates the sound of creaking doors, but people don't freak him out at all.

This will be less rehab and more adoption at this point - he can't ever be released in his new condition. However, he can certainly live a nice full happy life still.

Off topic - I bet your company is a lot more organized than mine! I've been on a solo mission for months now to get trackable inventory setup while revamping our shipping and renegotiating vendor rates. I consider my singular talents a sort of excellent job security :)
 

MyBabyHasPaws

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LOL that's awesome. Me and Quickbooks have been fighting lately. Just upgraded to to inventory module and setting up the counts in there is a PAIN! I'm doing cycle counts every week. This has got to end!

Do you have any pix of your new cottontail? :)
 

Aldamar

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:biggrin: I have pictures and YouTube uploads. How do I upload a picture here? I'll find my link for one of his videos and post it too.

Not quick books pos? I have experience with the version nine multi store inventory module and it isn't bad, but has some definite drawbacks.
 

Aldamar

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In preemptive self defense, by the way, he is only in the small aquarium short term. Once he heals up we will be investing in a nice indoor cage and getting him litter trained.

Recommendations for a good indoor hutch?
 

MyBabyHasPaws

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OHHH HE IS SOOOO CUTE!!!!!! Looks like he's working that amputation wonderfully! You're awesome for rehabing him!! :)

I second the NIC cage suggestion. You can make him a luxury condo for super cheap.

I bought 3 packs of Neat Idea Cubes (NIC) and I still have extra!
 

Bunnylova4eva

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He is soooo adorable and you've done such a fantastic job rehabbing him! I've rehabbed little cottontails and it is such a joy and so rewarding. Congrats on his progress and I'll keep him in my prayers healing up~
 

Hazel-Mom

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Hi Aldamar, sorry it took me so long to reply. I don't come here very often anymore.
We fed Hazel, our cottontail, a diet of mainly fresh greens, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We offered hay, but she was not keen on it. She prefered fresh greens and grass. I did however dry my own herbs for her, so she did have some dry foods, as well as dried willow branches and leaves, birch branches and leaves, and grape vines and leaves. She also got some pellets every day as a treat.

Our domestics had and have basically the same diet, except that they do eat a variety of grass hays too. I listed everything I fed her in an old post here somewhere... I'll see whether I can find you the link.

Hilde
 

Aldamar

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Well, Canolli is still alive and mostly well. He had his bandages removed last Tuesday. He was super happy about it, but then started chewing at his sutures so we had to cover him in a sock jacket. Hated the sock jacket, and finally back into bandages Thursday.

Sutures out Tuesday, and all he has to do now is win the struggle against infection from his incision. Depending on how things look, I'm thinking of suggesting daily dressing changes to the vet - his telfa pad moves over time under his coban wrap, and I feel like that means his wound area isn't getting the full effect of his ointment and bandaging.

Anyway, he is very active. I have started him on bene bac as a supplement preventatively since he has been on antibiotics for over a month, and he still loves cherries. I'll post a new video link soon.

- Al
 

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