Thursday, April 26, 2012

A: Weekends and holidays when the vets are closed

Q: When do bunnehs always choose to get sick? 


Superbunmodel glamour shot.

Never fails, especially with Mr. Mick. I swear, he never comes down with anything requiring an unscheduled vet visit unless they're closed.

Case in point: this past Saturday. My best friend since 3rd grade made an unexpected visit, and since it was a lovely day (and my house was a mess), we spent the afternoon outside sitting at my picnic table and sipping flavored seltzer water. Mick spent the afternoon in his x-pen next to us, nibbling on grass and relaxing in the shade.

 "Somebody get me a carrotini."

Now, this was the second time he'd been out that week in the exact same spot and he'd nibbled the same grass and bopped about all the same, so I didn't think anything of it...until I went to let him out for his nightly run and he refused to budge. I figured perhaps he was tired from his afternoon outing, so I left the cage door open and went into the dining room, thinking he would come along eventually.

He didn't.

About an hour later I went over to the cage and looked in. He was all the way in the back of the cage in his loaf position, just as was when I'd opened the door; not hunched up, not showing any signs of pain, but not budging. Uh-oh...


I took him out, set him on the table and began checking him over. Tummy felt normal, his ears were a little on the cool side, he seemed a little lethargic but not to the point of concern. I syringed some water into him and gave him a full-bunny massage, which perked him up a little, but he hopped right back into his cage the minute I put him on the ground and went right back to the same spot and same position as before. I offered treats, oats and greens, none of which he took--a sure sign that he was not feeling well. I left it all in his cage and went to bed, hoping that this was just temporary and by morning, he'd be fine.

Unfortunately, Sunday morning came and nothing was touched. I brought him out again, syringed more water and some Critical Care into him, then wrapped him up in his flannel sheet to warm him up a bit before making him run around the house in the hopes of stimulating some appetite. He was not at all happy with me doing any of that; he kept trying to escape into all his tunnels and hidey-holes, but I had them blocked. After a brief run, I scooped him up and gave him a tummy massage again, then put him back in his cage and hit the yellow pages to see if I could find a 24-hour vet that knew how to treat rabbits. There was one a short drive from home; I called and was told that yes, the doctor has taken care of rabbits and they would page him immediately. I hung up and waited from the doctor to call me back...He never did.

In the meantime, my son reported that Mick had taken a single piece of oat from him, but nothing else. I took a look in Mick's litterbox and found a pile of about a dozen poops covered with loose cecum. I brought Mr. Mick out--he was in need of a butt bath. (First time I was ever happy to see a poopy butt in my life.) I cleaned him off, bunny-burritoed him up in a towel and gave him a snuggle and a tummy massage. On impulse, I got some of his oats and offered him a pinch; he snarfed it up like he hadn't eaten in a week. I gave him another pinch and then brought him back to the kitchen and gave him some Critical Care before putting him back in his cage.

That night, I brought him out again; he needed another butt bath, so again I cleaned him off then wrapped him up and brought him into the living room for a snuggle and massage. He was definitely feeling better; I got my face licked for over an hour and there was much tooth-purring to be heard. I set him down and made him run around a bit again; when I put him back in the cage this time, he was a happy, hungry bun again.

"Feeling much better, Mum! No need to see the vet, right?"

Monday morning, I called the vet. Even though Mickey was definitely back to normal, I wanted to be absolutely sure. Dr. Shanahan looked him over; his temperature was normal, but on the cool side (probably because of yet another butt-bath given before we left the house), his tummy sounds were good and his tummy felt fine. She gave me a mix of probiotics, vitamins and minerals in powder form for me to mix with water and give to him for the next few days, so three times a day His Majesty gets a couple of syringes of the bunneh equivalent of Powerade. It's definitely made an improvement; no more butt baths, poops are looking good, and Mick is definitely feeling and acting perkier.

Fetching himself a snack of dried carrot tops.

Om nom nom...

Taking a moment to pose for the fans.

I'm still a bit annoyed at the 24-hour vet who never called me back; it's the second time that a vet I've called in an emergency hasn't responded, but apparently I'm not alone in this. Dr. Shanahan said another client went through something similar; the client told her they'd called over a dozen vets and Valley Vet was the only place that had called her back--and they're not a 24-hour service. Go fig. 

I'm just glad it all went well this time. Now, if somebunny would stop waiting until the weekend to get sick...

"Feh, if you were the one getting a thermometer stuck up your butt,
you wouldn't be too eager to go there yourself. "

26 comments:

Paula said...

We just went through this ourselves. How is it possible that vets can take your money all week and then treat same pets like something accursed on the weekend? When my vet and I talked about this I asked what someone is to do if they break a leg or worse and she told me to put them in a carryall and keep them quiet until Monday. WTF!

Lorna Appleby said...

I have to agree with Mickey's opinion on where vets like to put cold things..

Now, Mr Mick, stop scaring your Mom. If you don't be the healthy, happy, silly, handsome bunny we all know you are.. why she might not let you go to the Olympics to eat yourself silly :)

..And I totally know what you mean about the poop. Every time Sage had cranky tummy syndrome I didn't care if she was pooping on me.. as long as she was pooping. :D

Lorna Appleby said...

Paula : I will say, I'm very lucky to have the vet I do. When I didn't have the money to get a bunny treated, he would skip as much of his fees as he could, let me give him an IOU and he offered to do home visits when I had to call the clinic emergency number after hours. (0300 or something horrible and he was willing to get out of bed to come look at a rabbit!)

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness I am so glad he is okay - so what do you think was the problem?

And we have a vet hospital where you can bring them in and then pay an arm and a leg.

Love, sandie

bunnits said...

I'm so glad he's recovered from him little ailment.

Seems like things like that always happen outside normal working hours. Hmm.

We have an emergency vet clinic, but it costs, as Chatty Crone said, an arm and a leg and that's just to walk in the door.

Karen M said...

That's always the way. As I remember from years past, the clinic in Nashua was $500 just to walk in the door....And people think bunnies are inexpensive pets!

So glad to hear that your handsome self is feeling better, Mr. Mick.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

My vet says that spring grass is richer than other times and should be limited,lest tummy upset occur, which seems to have been borne out by Mr. Mick. Our motto, no vets,not butt baths.....still relieved all truned out well.

speedyrabbit said...

Speedy's mum say's try fresh cut herbs like parsley and coriander as it stimulates bunny's appetites when they are off their food and helps to re-balance the digestive system,glad that Mr Mick is o.k I think for that little scare he needs a Speedy special..hmm what colour...hmm blue I think!

Michelle May said...

So glad he is ok. I think you did everything the emergency vet would have you do and it didn't cost you anything but some grey hair!
Snuggles to my nephew. No more grass for you Mr. Mick!

Hef's Mom said...

That's always the way! Little B had a fit one night shortly after she got spayed, hiding upstairs, shaking when we got near her all at 9pm on a Friday night! I called our emergency vet (who actually has people sitting in the office all night like an ER so they answer) and they said it wouldn't be caused by her medicines so we slept on it and in the morning she was her same old self. Sometimes they think we need a scare to love them more? I don't know!

Paula said...

When Keating came to live with us I contacted the emergency vet to see if they treated bunners and they said they did. Apparently the vets they have now don't. I have found a doctor in Mobile that will see him if I call between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM and that's over an hour away but it's a relief to know he's there.

The human said...

Oh jade you are such a good bunny mama. Mickey sure is lucky to have you! Glad he's on the mend

The human said...

... I didn't finish that last comment before the computer disagreed with my message! I was saying I'm glad Mickey is ok and you can get back to a well deserved drink in the sunshine!

Stay well friends!

Rabbits' Guy said...

I'm also feeling poorly and could use some of that treatment. CAn you hop over?

Good for Mickey for pulling out of it. Maybe the grass. Benji is acting out with much greens at all ...

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm so glad Mickey recovered so well, it's always so worrying when rabbits stop eating.

Christina said...

Mr. Mick I am relieved that you are feeling better.

You are so right, no vet when you need one is maddening and how lousy and unprofessional not to call you back.

speedyrabbit said...

Hi Mr Mick Hope you are feeling much better today(sunday by the way)I saw my mum knitting yesterday,she's doing a blue scarf and I heard mumbling something about hoping you like blue!

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Annette F Tait said...

goodness me! what an experience. We are so, so glad Mr Mick is back to best now :)

BinkiesandFlops said...

Oh goodness, it is so very scary when our buns aren't feeling well; and right away, we - their bunny parent - KNOW it, too! My bun Twinkle, had a similar incident a few months back. It took about a day and a 1/2 to get her back on track but once she was 'clear'? Wow, you should have heard her tummy growling!!! It was the happiest most relief inducing sound to MY ears.

So glad Mr Mick is doing a-ok now...
*hugs!* ; ) x

Lisa said...

Jeez. This hurts to read. So glad he's all better.

SixBunnies said...

Mr. Mick, glad you are better! I absolutely love your glamour shot! You are so handsome! Don't scare your Mamma! You need to mark off the Saturdays and Sundays on your marvelous Mick calendar there and make sure no more sick days happen on Saturdays and Sundays, ok? Vets are not readily available on those days!

bunnythreads said...

Bless You Mick - So many weird odd culprits from 1 odd minuscle piece of food too a sound cusing stress. I have had parsley washed & 1 teeny tiny piece hung on the tip of a leaf was bad gets past is enough to make bunny sick if it is spoiled & `your' bunny is sensitive to it. We grow fresh Basil & parsley BUT have to purchase from grocer somtimes..This year we even went so far as to give Chippy some 'clover' from the yard but he ate too many flower tops & had tummy trouble-so to each bunny his own tail..my Mini Rex..has sweet tooth..bad bunny!
He will tackle anyone with jelly beans or a box of candy :)

RoadBunner said...

So happy to hear you were able to nurse him back. Major boos to that emergency place that never called back. We're lucky to have a weekend/holiday/night clinic nearby which I've done some research and they do have bunny-savvy vets on staff. Hvaen't had to use it yet, thankfully, but at least it is there.

And LOL'ed at your Quaker Oats container story. Silly rabbits, right?

megan said...

Ahhhh so this is the Mr Mick that I've read so much about! Pleasure to meetcha handsome! Glad he's feeling better, Maddy just got over an epic war with fleas..darn carnivores passing their bugs around. I have scars to prove it haha. Mr Mick, no more scares ok? Hehe

Maddy&Megan