Monday, July 25, 2011

Icky Stuff, Round 2

Sorry, no pictures for this one--I'm just too tired. I will take some new ones of Mick and post them later, so you can see how good he looks (well...except for one spot).

I had planned to make an appointment today to have Mick's vet check out the spot where his abscess had been. It was mainly healed up, but there was a lump remaining; possibly some scar tissue, but still something I didn't like on him. I figured it was better to be safe than sorry, and even if it was just scar tissue, they might be able to smooth the spot out without much trouble.

It's a good thing I had already planned on doing it, though. Last night, Mick came up to me for petting while I was on the computer. I reached down...and felt something gooey on his cheek.


I scooped him up and brought him out to the kitchen to check him out. Sure enough, his cheek was coated with ick--his abscess had returned, and this time it had ruptured.

His Majesty did not take too kindly to being poked and prodded again; I had to wrap him up burrito-style in order to clean out the area as best as possible and clean his fur. I cleaned out all the places where he might decide to lay down and flop  (to prevent further infection), then put him back in his cage.

First thing this morning, I called his vet's office and they had me bring him in. Dr. Shanahan looked the area over and felt the lump, which is much smaller now, but still big enough to concern both of us. She said that there was a part of the lump that appeared to be sreading downwards like a root and had me feel the area to show me what she meant. She recommended putting him on Baytril again for two weeks to see if that would shrink the lump; if not, then surgery would most likely be necessary to see what is going on in there and to hopefully smooth out the area. I agreed to that plan of action, and so we came home with Baytril, more Critical Care and an appointment in two weeks' time (sooner if things get worse instead of better)

Other than this, Mickey looks great. He's gained three ounces of weight back, but he looks heavier. His fur is looking good and his eyes are big and bright. His bunnitude is as fiesty as ever for sure. The only mar to all this perfection is the wound on his cheek (which was reshaved to keep it clean and make it easier to see), but even that isn't that easy to spot because of all the surrounding fur. He was not at all happy to be taken to the vet's first thing in the morning, and even less happy when I left him in his carrier while I gave his cage a thorough cleaning before putting him back inside, but a dose of Baytril, a dried apple slice and a fresh bowl of pellets and oats have placated him somewhat.

As for me, I am in dire need of some coffee so I can be functional enough to get some errands done this afternoon before I crash and nap on my couch. I will update more later.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three Years In A Row!

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words?
Well, this is the face that will sell
a thousand calendars."

He did it again.

For the third year in a row, Mr. Mick has been chosen to appear in the annual Bunspace calendar--proceeds from sales of which go to the House Rabbit Society.

Needless to say, we are quite thrilled and honored; his pic (the one shown above) was one of 93 chosen out of 770 entries. His Majesty did make an attempt at being humble about it, but that lasted about five minutes before he demanded extra treats and a promise of a full-bun massage later this evening.

He's already gotten some extra spoiling already; last night, we went out to dinner with some friends of mine, Kayla and Ryan. They are also bunny slaves (to Freddie, a Holland Lop, and Luna, a Silver Marten) and are longtime fans of Mr. Mick, but had never gotten the chance to meet him in person until last night. His Majesty was quite gracious; he not only allowed both of them to pet him, but to hold him as well. Kayla was even granted an extra-long snuggle session; he perched on her shoulder and gave her kisses, much to her delight. Both went home with a souvenir gift of a fur sweater, compliments of Mr. Sheddy Bun.

In other news, I was the lucky winner of the Lavender Rabbit Studios June giveaway--and look at the lovely gift I got!

Her name is Miss Anastasia, and she is just gorgeous. She came with a lovely card, and a willow ring for Mr. Mick, but I was so excited, I never got a picture of them. I snapped a couple of quick pics and put her on immediately.

Here is a closeup--she comes with a copper chain that matches her copper fastenings and background perfectly. Thanks again to Donna for giving away such a gorgeous piece--and to Dot for picking my name!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Great news at the vet's

"I said NO PICTURES...dang paparazzi..."

Still no recent Mick pics just yet, but hopefully soon...

Follow-up visit #2 was this afternoon, and we have very good news.

First of all, Mr. Mick has gained two ounces since last week's visit! I have been giving him a tablespoon of Critical Care (apple-banana flavor) twice a day--I put it on a plate, then put his greens on top and he eats it all up. Tamsin from The Rabbit House suggested giving him a little porridge of rolled oats to help with the weight gain, but I decided to add a daily pinch of dry rolled oats to his pellets instead, and he loves it! Once he's back to a weight of 5 1/2 pounds, I'll stop the Critical Care and stick to just rolled oats to help him maintain the weight. He hasn't even noticed that he's not getting his usual treats, either; I do give him a bit of dried kale now and then, and he did get a dried apple slice the other night, but overall, he's been just as happy to get what he's been getting.

Dr. Shanahan checked out his wound and said it had scabbed up so I wouldn't need to keep washing it now. There is one area that looks like a small pouch-like spot that I pointed out to her; my concern being that it could be a place where infection could be hiding. She checked it out and said that it appeared to be fine, but to keep an eye on it just in case. Worst-case scenario, she would open it up from underneath (not in the same place) if it did need to be cleaned out. Right now, all I need to do is make sure Mickey doesn't scratch at it while it's healing up; a little bacitracin on the area to keep the scab soft should keep that from happening.

She also had results of the tests taken on the ick that was cleaned out of the abscess. When Dr. Leahey did the operation, he had asked if I wanted them to analyze the stuff to see what kind of infection we were looking at. It wasn't a cheap process, but I said yes because I wanted to know exactly what we were dealing with. The test results came back as pasturella, which is fairly common and, according to Dr. Shanahan, the Baytril should have cleared it up easily. I've heard some horror stories regarding pasturella infections, so I'm glad we seem to have caught it before things got worse.

The verdict: no need for more follow-up unless something happens, no more Baytril, keep up with the weight gain plan. The improvement in Mickey's condition has been amazing; you can see how much better he is--his eyes are bigger and brighter, he looks and feels more solid. Even his poops have gotten bigger and better--the Poop Inspector would be turning cartwheels of joy in the street (if she wasn't so out of shape, anyway ;) ).

Thanks much to everyone for all your love and support while we've been dealing with this. It has been greatly appreciated. I have a bunch of other stuff to fill you in on, but that will have to wait for another post. His Majesty's been fed, and now it's my turn. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Follow-up #1

"Not my good side at the moment, but it's getting better..."

First off, thanks so much to everyone for all the good wishes for Mick--so sorry we couldn't answer each and every one, but we did read them all and we love you all for them.

Mr. Mick went back to the vet's for his first follow-up visit this morning. His bloodwork results were finally in, and everything is good. His protein was a wee bit high and his potassium a wee bit low, but neither are cause for alarm. His vet was surprised at the discovery of the abscess; she said that she had checked his jawline before and during his tooth-filing (she was holding his head in that area as she worked on him) and she hadn't felt it at all, so it had to have formed rather quickly. That more or less supported my thoughts on it; he would have shown signs of something like that far sooner if it had been there before, and I would have felt it myself  if it had.

Dr. Shanahan checked his wound and said that it was healing nicely. I asked her if she would clip some of the fur around the area back a bit; some of it was matting because of ick and whatnot, and I didn't want the mats pulling and bothering him. She took care of that and also cleaned the wound for me, since there were two of us to keep him still and that way she could see where the problem areas were (there's two spots where pus is still showing). She said to keep an eye on those spots, but that it looked good overall.

I asked her what the best way was to get some weight back on him, as she had weighed him and he's dropped another ounce (to be expected with everything going on, but still not good). She recommended that I give him Critical Care as a diet supplement and gave me a pack to use. She wants to see him again next week to see how things are progressing.

Once we got home, I flushed out his wound again and gave him a couple of syringes of Critical Care and his Baytril before putting him back in his cage. My sister stopped by, so His Majesty got some extra love and attention and I got an assistant to help me keep him still so I could get all that done. He's a lot fiestier now that he's feeling better, so it's been a struggle to keep him still while I clean his wound. Even putting him in a bunny burrito doesn't help all that much--I would ask the boy to hold him still, but Mick gets twice as fidgety when the boy's around as is, so that wouldn't help matters.

That's pretty much how things stand at the moment--thanks again for all the love and support, and I'll be posting more updates as things go on. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Bit of an Abscession

"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.

Wait, what?!

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 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.