Monday, January 10, 2011

Bunny Care - A regularly scheduled adventure: A Trip to the Vet

Well, nothing more fun than going to the vet. Your pets love it, right?

Step one is always: Round up up the bunnies. Bunya and Ethel are usually pretty easy in any case, but Lucy will run away. My wife tried a new way to get them in the carrier for this trip, a "Hansel and Gretel". She left a little trail of parsley to and into the carrier. They ate their way in - Lucy was first in. This will probably never work another time, but ingenious nonetheless.

It was only Bunya's actual annual check-up appointment but all three bunnies were to get a fecal matter test (to answer that age old question: Is their poop okay?). In case there is a problem, you want to know whose poop came back with the bad news. So, you have to identify whose poop is whose ... from all the little pellets in the litter box (or those that have been dropped hither and yon in the excitement of the moment).

Whose poop is that?!?
Not mine.
Nope. Not mine either.
It was here when I got here.
Yeah - that's the ticket. It was already here.

Without being a witness or devising some method to otherwise determine whose is whose, it's kind of like asking which factory worker made the M&Ms you're eating.

Maybe an eating analogy wasn't the best, but you get the idea.

Here was the scheme: Set up the little pen we had with some food, water and hay. Insert bunny and wait until the required lab specimen appears. Bag it and tag it. Then sweep the area clean and insert new bunny.

Normally, Poopzilla (name changed to protect privacy) has no problem spilling pellets like a broken Chiclet machine.
In here, nada.

Lucy just munched the food until I finally let her out. Ethel had a look like she was a condemned prisoner and did not understand why.

At least I figured out another use for the setup. When we are giving Lucy and Ethel time with the "baby" food, we had been restricting Bunya to the pen solo. For a change, the girls were in this little setup with their baby food and Bunya got to roam around.

And don't feel too bad for Bunya. He gets a treat while away from the baby food. Tonight, it was carrot tops. 

Carrots, we found out at HRS, are like donuts for bunnies. A portion size might be about the size of your pinky fingernail or you could end up with overweight, unhealthy bunnies. Restricting carrots from bunnies - who knew?!?

A quick aside: While I sit at the computer, I can not see the little pen. Interestingly, Bunya had gone to watch them; all of a sudden, he comes running around to me, sits down and begins to stare at me. Not moving.I checked the girls. They were done and all reunited to play.

He has done that to me before, but usually, just when he wants a treat. He has a very determined little look and does not give up. "Perseverance furthers."

Right: Bunya's patented stare-down started at an early age.

Anyway, since we couldn't get distinguishable poops, we took all 3 to the vet. Everyone got weighed. Bunya's about an ounce over 4 pounds, Lucy is just under 4-1/2 pounds and little Ethel is 3 ounces over 3 pounds, if we slip our thumb on the scale.

Bunya checks out okay. Yay. However, during the examination of Bunya's nether regions, my wife of the medical training starts asking myriad medical questions while the doctor is probing the area, answering all her questions, pushing parts aside to show her and explain what's where, etc, etc, etc (say it in a deep voice and it's a tip of the hat to the King of Siam).

Bunya's not too keen on the exam but the very capable nurse has a Vulcan neck grip on him worthy of Mr. Spock himself, and he is not going anywhere.

So, when the exam is over (Bunya hates the dental part most, I think), Bunya is set on the floor with the other bunnies. He starts giving Ethel "the eye"... we've seen it before and know exactly what he is going to do. Obviously, he found the extended medical discussion, uh, shall we say, "stimulating"?

At left: Not what it looks like!
In this case, Ethel was just trying the most direct path to the piece of cookie she had dropped.
Note that Lucy has strategically retreated to one of her favorite spots, under that chair.

Yes, they are all fixed. It's a show of dominance, who's "Top Bun" (tip of the hat to the movie). Ethel let him get away with that the first week they were together, but not so much since then. Bunya is trying to go at it and the Doctor pulls him away a few times.

It seemed like a good time to them put in separate clean cages and we went for a quick lunch, giving them a chance to poop in private. That done, I picked them up, brought them home and let them loose in their basement lower level. (See Bunny Habitat - Change in location) They were very happy to be home and all three started off by running into their pen and checking everything out. All was as they left it. And they got a new little Timothy hay tunnel to play with (couldn't resist - spotted it on the vet's shelf while waiting for them to be rounded up to go home).

It's all good.

What's your strategy for rounding up your pet to go to the vet?
Do you have any funny vet tales?

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