"Well, it's a good thing we got those
Bunspace calendar contest entries in when we did,
that's all I can say..."
It's a long story, and it started this past Thursday.
I brought Mickey to the vet's on Thursday for his quarterly molar-filing. As always, they pop him on the scale beforehand. The scale reads 4.08 pounds.
He can't weigh 4.08 pounds, I tell them--he weighed 5 1/2 pounds the last time I brought him in and that was three months ago. The vet checks her records and then weighs him again. Sure enough, Mr. Mick has somehow lost 1 1/2 pounds in three months. (I thought I had combed a pound of hair off him the night before, but I really didn't think I HAD taken a pound of hair off him!)
All joking aside, both Dr. Shanahan and I were very concerned. She gave him a physical exam, but didn't feel anything out of the ordinary. It was agreed that, on top of the tooth work, full x-rays and blood work would be taken and that she would go over him again while he was sedated--just in case something was being tucked away undetected. (I went through that with Mickey's predecessor, Karnage--the tumor invading his intestines was hidden under his ribcage and not detected until he was sedated and his muscles relaxed.) The hope was that the teeth were the cause of the problem and that once they were filed, he would put the weight back on, but we couldn't assume that.
Teeth were done, and we went home to await test results. All seemed to be well; Mick's usual tooth-related issues (crusty eyes, moist nose, minor sneezing) had cleared up on the spot as always and he was his usual self...until last night (Friday).
Mick had been perfectly fine during the day--he tackled me for shredded carrots and chowed the romaine lettuce I gave him. The only odd thing was that he was suddenly lounging in his litterbox instead of on his throne. I didn't think much of it, just wrote it off to the fresh hay I'd put in, which was softer than what had been in there--maybe he was feeling like munching on some hay now that his teeth were fixed.
But he didn't budge from the litterbox once he went in there.
When the time came to let him out for exercise, he finally hopped out of the litterbox and went into the dining room. I thought ok, all is good--until he parked himself under one of the dining room chairs, settled down...and didn't budge.
No running around. No begging for pets and kisses. No nothing.
He wasn't hunched, not hiding, just lounging--but it wasn't right. I finally picked him up, checked him over, gave him a short tummy massage and then put him back in his cage. He hopped right back into his litterbox and settled down again.
No begging for treats, no interest in any food--I even waved a pinch of shredded carrots in his face. Nothing.
When the world's biggest treat-fiend isn't wanting treats, it's not good.
I took him out of his cage again, took him into the living room, snuggled him, gave him a couple of syringes of water, massaged his tummy again. He tooth-purred a few times, but there was some light grinding here and there as well, which didn't make me feel any better. Finally, I gave him another syringe of water, put him back in his cage so I could get a couple hours sleep on the couch, then checked him again about 8am this morning (Saturday).
Nothing eaten. No poops in the litterbox, and despite the water I syringed into him, no pee either.
Called the vet on the spot; they had me bring him in.
Dr. Shanahan wasn't in, but fortunately all the vets there are rabbit-savvy to varying degrees. Dr. Leahey informed me that the x-rays that had been taken on Thursday didn't show anything, and they were still waiting for the bloodwork results from the lab. He weighed Mick again, took his temperature (98.4, a bit low for a bun), then started feeling along Mick's jaw.
Suddenly, he looked at me. "Did you notice this lump before?"
Lump?! What lump?!
I put my hands where he indicated; there on Mick's left jawline was a dime-sized lump. I hadn't noticed it before, not even with all the petting he got last night.
Fortunately, the lump was in the jaw muscle and not in the jawbone itself. Dr. Leahey and I pretty much agreed that it needed to be dealt with on the spot, so Mickey got sedated again and the lump was opened up, revealing lots of ick.
Hello, abscess. Goodbye, weekend plans.
Right now, Mick has a good-sized hole in his cheek about a half-inch in diameter, give or take. My job is to administer banana-flavored Baytril once a day and keep that hole clean and ick-free. To put it in a hopefully not-gross way, it's been like trying to wipe a toothpaste tube clean, but the toothpaste keeps oozing out here and there. Fortunately, the dried veggie treats that I ordered from BinkyBunny.com chose the perfect time to show up, so His Majesty the Impatient Patient has had nommy stuff to keep him entertained. He's sitting next to me as I type this, in his spare litterbox with his flannel sheet over him to keep him from getting too chilled by the AC. He's had dried veggie treats and a bit of romaine, and more syringes of water. He's been spending all evening trying to clean himself after each time I've flushed his wound with wound wash saline. Poor bunneh--he's not going to be posing for any pics for a while, that's for sure.
I'm just glad we got in to the vet when we did, as they are closed both Sunday and Monday because of the holiday. I have been living on caffeine and frayed nerves for three days now as is--I would have been a basket case if I had chosen to wait until after the holiday. We see Dr. Shanahan on Tuesday for follow-up, so hopefully things will be looking better by then.