Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bunny care: Ethel shows us new bunny illnesses

Ethel is about 6-1/2 now. She had a bout of stasis years ago and been beautiful since.
Until now.

Recently, she was not behaving as her usual chipper morning self and so we rushed to our rabbit-savvy vet(s). She wasn't eating and my first fear is stasis or hairball or something like that.

Well, another reason bunnies might stop eating is their teeth. Bunny teeth grow continually and this is why they need to keep busy and chewing safe things. Hopefully, not your phone charger cords.

Ethel's never had teeth problems before but she did this time. So a brief procedure is done under anesthesia to fix them into the right shape so that they don't hurt the bunny anymore. She started eating again almost immediately.

When our bunnies have to stay at the vet,
we visit them every day.
Ethel hates to be in a car or away from home.
Here, Ethel snuggles under Dr. Mrsbunnymom's
arm/elbow and calms down for a while.
Ethel will sit on her lap like this,
with her head tucked under and
getting her tushy scratched
while Dr. Mrsbunnymom is at the home computer
(Ethel stays for a half hour or so).

Here it is from the other side.
You can see that one hand scratches the tushy and
leaves the other hand free for the computer mouse.

Fortunately, that resolved itself reasonably quickly. She never had teeth problems before but now that she has, protocol is to have her checked at least every 6 months. Or, of course, if she is not behaving as her usual perky self.

So then Ethel decided to show us what a messed up bunny eye can look like.
Ethel's sore eye

Soooo... back to the vet.
Some fluid and wash was put in her eye and
examined under black light.
Fortunately, Ethel's cornea was not scratched.
(Only thought to get a picture when it was almost over,
so not the best shot here, but you get the idea.)

Now we are putting medicine in her eye twice a day. After I saw the doctor do it, I said that I wished I had filmed it so that I would know exactly what to do. She reenacted the application of the medicine for me, in this video (so no more medicine was actually re-applied here).

Wish I had videoed it the first time so you could see the actual medicine. The vet laid a line on the top of the white of Ethel's eye perfectly and made it look so much easier than it is. At least, compared to when I did it. Maybe it has something to do with girls learning to apply make-up or something. Then again, could be, I am just that uncoordinated.

If you are a RRRR (Regular Rabbit Ramblings Reader), you know that we take all bonded bunnies to the vet, even if only one needs care. This is to maintain the bond and so one doesn't come home smelling funny (like a "stranger", like the vet's office). So while Ethel is getting her first dose of eye medicine, Bunya starts sneezing.

Take a look at Bunya and he's got a runny nose. So they both needed to be there anyway and Bunya has his own (different) meds.

But they love each other and we love them, so we want everyone healthy. If you are somebunny's human, it's a cost of doing business. You might want to consider health insurance for your bunnies; we enrolled Bunya and Ethel a short while ago (and probably should have done it years sooner).

Thanks to Drs. Mike & Karolyn Akins and Dr. Julia Hill of All Creatures Animal Hospital for helping us take care of our bunnies. We are lucky to have a practice close by with 3 exotics vets and a very caring staff, who tolerate a crazy bunny person (but the doctor said I was the "good crazy", I swear).


  1. Life is never dull with bunnies in your life,hope the are feeling better now,xx Rachel and Speedy

    1. Thanks, Speedy (and Rachel), our most loyal reader and commentor!

  2. My Nutmeg is almost 9 and several years ago developed an ulcer on her cornea. She is most likely blind in that eye, as it did heal itself- but she does have problems with her nasolacrimal duct and can't reabsorb her tears. So she has a squinty, weepy eye that I check on daily. No treatment is available for the issue, but I do keep a close watch.

    1. I'm sure Nutmeg appreciates the loving care. Amazing how attached we become.

  3. Oh, my gosh! I didn't get to check my email, yesterday, so when I opened this one, only to find a sweet Ethel unwell, Lola's bunny-daddy saw immediately that something was wrong. I simply said, "Ethel's sick." His face fell, too. You and your bunny family have become very dear our family, even though we've never met. It was so good to read on, and see that both buns are on their way to wellness again, and with 'simple' fixes.
    Lola is at least 5yrs old, now (we rescued her in 2011, and she was already grown) and we are learning much from your blog. Thank you so much for keeping it so real - fun, and not so fun, alike.

    1. A very lovely note. Thank you so much for your support and concern. And for reading Rabbit Ramblings.

  4. So glad to hear Ethel didn't have a major illness. When you mentioned it and didn't talk about her again, I was afraid that it was so serious that you couldn't bring yourself to talk about it. Give both bunnies nose rubs and hope they get well quick.

  5. "You might want to consider health insurance for your bunnies; we enrolled Bunya and Ethel a short while ago"

    Whoa, whoa, whoa -- where'd you find bunsurance?? I've got a youngbun who seems to think that idiopathic gut stasis is a recreational activity, and one best enjoyed at the emergency vet's. She's killin' me, Smalls! >.<

    1. I believe this used to be called VPI and was acquired by Nationwide. They do not give quotes for exotics online (only cats and dogs); you have to call them. Our quote was $114/year/bunny. You can pay $11.50 per month but paying annually is like a 21% discount. You can cancel and get a pro rata refund. There is a short period before coverage is effective and it does not cover pre-existing conditions (they don't want you to call in the middle of some illness to get coverage).