Sunday, 4 August 2013

When A Small, Furry Creature Gets Sick

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

This is the way two healthy bunnies should be, munching their breakfast. However, if a rabbit becomes lethargic and stops eating for very long, the outcome can become very serious and sometimes fatal.
Their digestive systems are delicate and they need to be eating much of the day to keep everything working well.
When Lily went off her food last Thursday evening, I thought she must be suffering from the heatwave as we have no air conditioning in Britain. I opened all the doors but obviously couldn't leave windows or doors open when we went to bed and I wasn't sure how safe it would be to leave a portable fan running all night unattended.
The next day, she seemed worse, so I made a quick decision to take her to the vet because they aren't open from Saturday lunchtime till the following Monday. The large after hours emergency practice is in a different area so that I wouldn't have been able to get her there.
I set off with my animal carrier to my local vet and considered myself very fortunate that I erred on the side of caution and nipped things in the bud. She needed four injections and the bill was fairly hefty. 
Within 24 hours she seemed back to her normal self.
I was quite pleased with my quick thinking.

On Saturday evening, I noticed Ash was very off colour and he appeared to be completely disinterested in food or drink. He sat hunched up with his eyes half shut and his fur looking very unkempt....the picture of abject misery. His ears were trembling uncontrollably.
My son and a friend who I can count on, who both have cars were away on holiday. In fact most people who would normally help me were on holiday. I thought there might be someone at Church who might take the poor animal to the emergency vet. There was nothing for it but to leave the bunny until the next day. 
I had a very sleepless night. I expect most of you will be groaning with boredom and impatience if you have got this far, but I am very attached to these two furry creatures who are part of my extended family.

I got up at five am and crept down to see the state of the patient and noticed that he had moved and was using his tray.
Relieved to see he obviously wasn't dying, I managed to get two hours sleep.
Needless to say, Ash did recover by himself and he ate some breakfast when I offered it to him later on. By then, I could have throttled him because of all the worry that he'd caused.

Now the point of this account is...... that many people I spoke to said they wouldn't pay for expensive treatment for a rabbit. They would take their dog or cat to a vet, but anything small and furry must take its chance without treatment. I was fortunate that Ash recovered without  any injections but it could have got really bad by the time I got him to the vet and then might have been too difficult to treat as rabbits illnesses have to be caught early. As the rabbits live indoors, anything wrong with them is noticed earlier than a rabbit left in a hutch outside so that was an added bonus.

Surely, if one takes on an animal as a pet, no matter how small, then it is one's responsibility to get it treated if it gets sick. Otherwise maybe that animal should not have been taken on in the first place.
What do others think?



15 comments:

Brian Miller said...

see i differ...pets are a part of the family and if they need something, i am all for it...i am glad your little friends are ok...smiles.

Jackie said...

I am so glad that both of your furry babies are feeling better. I agree with Brian. They are part of the family and if they need something, I would get it for them too.
Great big hugs to you for taking such sweet care of your babies.
I'm relieved to know that Ash got better on his own. I imagine that you did spend a sleepless night.
Love to you, Maggie....
Jackie

Celia said...

Hope your bunnies are better. Your pet is your pet no matter what kind. I'd take them in too. We freeze water in 1/2 and whole gallon plastic water or milk bottles and put them with the lids on into the cages with my grand-girl's bunnies. If you can get several you can rotate them and keep a fresh supply, the heat is hard on those buns. the girls bunnies leaned their back on the bottles.

Suburbia said...

You are right, we have a responsibility to look after them whatever. I spent hundreds on my bunnies over the years!

So glad yours are better

x

Rose said...

I'm so glad both Ash and Lily are okay! As I was reading this, I was so worried that the outcome was going to be a sad one. You're so right--if someone takes an animal into their home, then it's their responsibility to take care of them no matter what.

Perhaps the heat was hard on them. I've left fans on all night unattended--not the problem a space heater might be.

Expat mum said...

They're lucky to have such a good "mum".

Irene said...

If you have taken the responsibility over an animal, it means that you take proper care of it and that includes making sure it stays healthy and taking it to the vet when it looks like it is not. That is the only conclusion I can draw. How inhumane it would be to let an animal suffer and die.

I am glad there was a happy ending for both your rabbits, Maggie.

Retired English Teacher said...

Pets are pets. I don't think it matters what kind they are.

Munir said...

Bunnies getting sick sounds like cuteness itself is hurting. I hope that they are one hundred percent better.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I'm a little more pragmatic about pets of any sort, including dogs and cats. When I have them, I take good care of them and get their shots. I'd certainly treat them if they were injured or sick. But I wouldn't pour a lot of money into a pet. Maybe its because I spent part of my growing up years on a farm, but I make a pretty clear distinction between pets and people.

Hilary said...

If it's even remotely affordable, I believe that we have a responsibility to look after our pets in the best way that we can. Who is to say that a bunny.. a rodent.. a reptile has less value than a cat or dog? If we genuinely love our pets (and most of us do), then they are worth what it takes to keep them well.

I'm so glad that Lily and Ash are okay now. You much be very relieved.

Ayak said...

Well you probably know how I feel Maggie. It goes without saying that in my opinion it doesn't matter what kind of pet you have, if they need treatment you get it. And like me, I suspect you don't give the cost another thought.

RNSANE said...

I do think you have a responsibility to try to keep your pet healthy as much as possible. Early intervention seems most important to avoid excessive vet bills and to keep the animal from getting really sick. These pets become family members whom you grow to love and, while I'm sure I couldn't spend thousands of dollars on pet intervention, I'd try my best to help, within my means.

Akelamalu said...

Any pet is part of the family as far as I'm concerned so a sick pet means a visit to the Vet. Glad to hear your bunnies are OK now.

Sandi McBride said...

Maggie, our rabbit Silver was 15 years old when we lost him and he had Vet trips a few...my older son who's rabbit he was, was heartbroken when he passed while he was away at college...I believe the story of Silver is in my book but maybe I need to "retail" the story of Silver and Digby, the Old English Sheepdog...so glad that both are well...go googling for The Incredible Doctor Pol that airs on NatGeo...it is my guilty pleasure. He is an amazing Vet
hugs to you and your furbabies
Sandi