(RIP) Rex is very, very sick (CLOSED)

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m.e.

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I think he's dying :(

I found him this morning when I came home from work (I work third shift). He's laying next to his food dish, still mostly full of last night's pellets. His breathing is somewhat labored, though he doesn't appear to be stressed. His whole body is chilled. In less than twelve hours, he's gone from an eating, drinking, pooping, happy rabbit, to this - he looks as though he's sunk in on himself. Occasionally, he'll dip his head into his water dish to drink, but that's it.

I'm not sure what to do. My gut tells me that this could really, truly be the end. He hasn't been a 100% healthy rabbit for over nine months. I'm debating whether or not a trip to the vet would be a good idea, or would make things worse (he does NOT handle car rides well).

Advice, and prayers, are always appreciated.


(I did just get some Simethicone into him, on the off chance that this is a gas attack. We'll see...)
 

SOOOSKA

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Oh gosh I'll say a prayer for him. Can you keep him warm and maybe walk with him giving him Tummy Rubbies in case it is a gas attack.

Hopefully one of the Infirmary Mods will come on soon to help you.

Susan:pray:
 

m.e.

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Almost two-hours later, and the Simethicone doesn't seem to be having an effect. He does have an appetite, but he's too tired, weak and unsteady to eat. He seems to be fighting the urge to sleep :? I've also given him some Nutri-Cal, and put a space heater in my room to bring the temperature up a bit.
 

SOOOSKA

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Can you give him another dose of Simethicone I always give mine 3 doses, 1 every hour for 3 hours.

I hope he gets better really soon.

Susan:(
 

Maureen Las

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Sooska is right about giving him another dose of simethicone and keeping him warm

Iwould go ahead try to get an appt for this afternoon and then if he comes out of this you can cancel.
I don't know his history
 

m.e.

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I did give him another dose of Simethicone, about a half-hour ago (just after SOOSKA posted - thank you!). Still no change. His tummy isn't bloated, or uncomfortable.

I haven't called the vet. I'm not trying to be intentionally obtuse, it's just that in my extensive experience with this practice and sick rabbits, they're not going to give much advice over the phone. He's not dehydrated (I checked), he still has an appetite (though is too weak to eat much), and he's being kept warm. I feel strongly that the 40 minute trip to the vet and intensive interventions would make Rex worse, not better.

I had four pets die between last September and October. They all looked like this :( Unsteady, unfocused, fatigued, decreased temperature, appeared 'sunken' (as though they've suddenly lost a lot of weight). And we never did rule out an underlying condition as the source of Rex's issues.

He was having a hard time holding himself up, so I tried moving his bed closer and placing him on that. Instead he rallied briefly and hopped a couple feet to sit in the corner of the room, underneath a box. The floor is linoleum there, and his front feet are splayed out, but I don't want to try to move him again if it's going to upset him. I'm going to try to give him some more water, if he'll take it.
 

m.e.

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angieluv wrote:
I don't know his history

His history is that he started losing weight, and losing fur, this past January. A very high fat/high calorie diet has kept the weight on, mostly, and his fur grew back. He was tested extensively and he doesn't have anything wrong with his skin, and we did do a blood panel, which came back with slightly elevated white blood cell and liver counts. However, those numbers were still within range of 'normal'. That was back in April. I felt then, as I feel now, that Rex's problems were systemic. But I chose not to pursue any invasive testing for underlying conditions because I also felt that it in terms of his quality of life, it would do more harm to Rex than good.

Believe me, this isn't a money issue, or anything like that. Bringing Rex to the vet is like handling a wild animal - in other words, completely miserable and potentially far too stressful when he's already weakened. Compassion leads me to make him comfortable, rather than terrified.



I tried moving him to his bed again, because it's softer, and warmer, and right next to where he's laying on the floor. I left the room for a moment, and when I came back, he was laying on the floor in the corner again. So I guess I won't try to move him anymore. He didn't want to take water from the eye dropper, but I did move his water dish to within easy reach. He's not moving much, aside from picking his head up every once in awhile.
 

Maureen Las

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It sounds like you feel that he is a very sick rabbit and opt to let him go peacefully at home rather than terrified at the vet. I know that you are very experienced.
:pray:
 

m.e.

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Thanks, Angie :hug:

I'm just taking things hour by hour. I haven't completely ruled out the vet, but unless he's in distress, I'm going to leave things alone. He peed where he was lying in the corner, so I moved him to his bed (for a third time), and this time he hobbled over to his Cottontail Cottage, where he is now lying. At least there it's a bit softer.

2:18pm: Just got him to eat 1/4 grape, which is something. It took him a long time just to chew it though. He's so weak :(


 

Pet_Bunny

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Iam sorry to hear Rex is not feeling good. :(

Only you know what is best for him, and to make him as comfortable as possible.

Is there anything else you could hydrate Rex if he does not drink any water? Maybe some warmweak tea sweeten with some honey to encourage him to drink.

Another possibility, he is feeling poorly is an upset stomach, which causes him not to eat. As Sooska suggested simethicone, but there is something else that breeders use to save their rabbits when they don't eat. It is Pepto-Bismol.
 

m.e.

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He is eating some. I mixed up some Critical Care with water and a little baby food, and he ate a good tablespoon or two of that. Like I said, his appetite is somewhat there, but he's just so weak :sigh:

It's tough to find the balance of Rex's needs, my knowledge of rabbits, and my intuition as a bunny mommy. Right now, all of the above together are telling me: He's well into old age and has been increasingly frail since January, and animals can do a very good job of masking illness until the very end. Rex needs as much care and comfort as I can provide him at home, treating him with what I can offer, without failing to recognize that he is an animal and he lives in the moment. Unless he is suffering, the kindest thing to do is to spare him unnecessary stress and terror, and to allow him to pass on in the security of his own environment.

I just fed Rex some more Critical Care, and he managed to eat two bites, then just rested his face in the food :? He tried to stand up, but fell over.
So...yeah. This kinda sucks.
 

Haley

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I really dont have much advice to add, but Im sending lots of prayers. Rex has always been one of my favorite RO bunnies. I was in love with him from the day I saw his beautiful andregal face in your avatar. Hes such a special boy.

The only thing I can think of is that I would keep giving simethicone just in case. Ive had days where I thought a bun was on death's door but it was just really bad gas (even times when their belly didnt feel any different). I would keep with that and fluids and see how he does.

Sending lots of prayers and love for sweet Rex. Give him a kiss from me.

Haley


 

Pipp

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Poor M.E., and poor Rex Harrison. :(

If his breathing is shallow and he's acting tired, my guess is that he needs oxygen and rest. It may be a heart issue. I do believe bunnies can have mild heart attacks and recover with oxygen.

Its certainly worth a try. There may also be heart meds out there to help if that is indeed the case, but I'm honestly not sure if there will be an issue re: the heart and body being able to handle the stress. That's a vet question.

Here's hoping your sweet old man will give you another year or three of joy.


sas :pray:
 

m.e.

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Thanks, Pipp. I did have the thought re: his heart. I mean, Peanut had the exact same symptoms (tired, labored breathing, too weak to eat), and that was largely due to a heart condition that cropped right toward the end of her life. Of course, the vet said that heart conditions aren't really something they can treat, just manage. I suppose if his condition stayed the same and I thought he was safely stable, then I would definitely consider a trip to the vet.

I'm just praying, whatever this is, no matter if he'll recover or not, that he doesn't have any pain :pray:
 
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