Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back from the vet's

Just got home from the vet's and the news is all good. The vet checked Mickey over inside and out and took x-rays to be sure; there is no hair of any significant amount remaining inside him.

Needless to say, she and I were both thrilled at the results. The big goal now is to get him to eat more hay to keep his system moving normally, but we may not see much action there until after his quarterly tooth grinding at the end of Sept.

As for Mr. Mick, he is currently sitting next to me, stuffing himself silly with dandelion leaves. Either all that tummy prodding certainly stirred up his appetite, or he's figured out that if he wants to avoid a trip to the vet's, he'd better eat. ;)

Thanks so much to everyone for all the well-wishes; it helped more than you could imagine. Hugs to each and every one of you--and a few licks from Mickey, too. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In other news...

This little sweetie arrived for me in the mail today, a gift from my friend Laura:

Isn't he precious?

Laura said she thought he was a handsome mahogany version of Mickey. I have to agree, especially because Mickey does pose like that when he's getting his nose stroked (and for Mick, getting his nose stroked is better than even treats--shocking, I know, but it's true).

Look at the detail on this little bun: the artist even etched pawprints on him!

Just too cool, that's all I can say.

Speaking of Mr. Mick, he is doing well; finished all of his meds as of yesterday. We have a follow-up appointment with the vet tomorrow afternoon. At the moment, he is sitting next to me, being loafy-bun in his big litterbox. This has become our afternoon routine now;  while I am on the computer, he sits next to me getting lots of petting, food and the occasional syringe of water or papaya in pineapple juice. That way, I can make sure he's getting enough fluids inside him while still getting things done and he gets all the attention he wants and his afternoon shows on TV (Current faves: the Little League World Series on ESPN, CSI reruns on SpikeTVand Top Chef marathons on Bravo). Later in the evening, he'll get his usual run for exercise (or what passes for exercise in the world of the world's laziest bunneh) and I get the glamourous job of bunny-poop inspector.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things are looking up

Good news to report: had our follow-up visit with the vet this afternoon and the vet says he is definitely doing much better. She didn't even need to take x-rays, she said she could tell by feeling his belly that he was improving; it was much smaller and there was more poop in his colon. She also liked the quality of the poop he was putting out. She said to finish his course of meds and come back next week for a follow-up unless anything changes for the worse.

Needless to say, I'm relieved. I knew we were pretty much out of the woods considering how much food he's been inhaling, but it's good to know that everything's moving inside him and not sitting there and becoming obstructed.

Now comes the hard part, though; getting His Majesty to accept that he's not going to be getting so many treats anymore. Somebunny is going to be SERIOUSLY grumpy when that sinks in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thought you'd like to see how the patient is doing

I'm not sure if it's the dandelion-and-kale diet, the cisapride or both, but somebunny put out more poop last night than I've seen since Friday. He says he is available for petting and snuggles during hospital visiting hours, and please bring some dandelion greens. ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back from the vet's

There is good news and slightly disturbing news, but overall good news.

The good: X-rays show the blockage is smaller and has moved a little, so it isn't an obstruction. There is also poop in the colon, which means things are being processed and are moving, they're just moving slower than they should. We have been given cisapride to help get things moving and Mickey's vet wants me to add a little mineral oil to his food to help move everything as well. I'm not keen on mineral oil as a laxative for anyone, but as long as it's a very small amount, it shouldn't cause problems.

The slightly disturbing: Mickey has lost almost an entire pound. The last time I took him to the vet before all this started was in July; he weighed a little over 6 1/2 lbs. Today, he weighed in at 5 lbs., 13 oz.  You would never know it to look at him or hold him, but it still bothers me.

When we got home, I got the patient settled in his cage and went to the grocery store to get him his favorite veggies: dandelion greens and kale. The dandelion greens will definitely help get things moving, since they tend to have a laxative effect, and I can rub a little mineral oil on the kale to get it in him without using too much. We'll be back to the vet on Wednesday for follow-up; she wants to see him every 2-3 days until we know for sure he's out of danger.

As for the patient, he's currently trying to stuff as much kale inside himself as possible, after tossing one of his jingle toys around to let me know he was ready to eat. I think he's enjoying his "hospitalization" a little too much. ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Impatient Patient

Well, we went to the vet's this morning, and according to the x-rays, Mickey has what looks like a pretty good-sized hairball clogging up his system. The plan of action right now is Laxatone, Benebac and lots of fluids (mainly pineapple juice and water) with a return visit on Monday for repeat x-rays. The vet recommended continuing with the baby food fruit and veggies via syringe as well in the hopes of pushing all that hair out and keeping him well-hydrated.

The patient is eating, although still not as much as normal, and is as fiesty as ever. He tends to put up some resistance to the syringe going into his mouth, but takes the meds/liquids/food well enough (although he is currently a bit sticky due to fighting the Laxatone a little). He does enjoy the regular tummy massage (LOTS of toothpurrs when I do that) and the perk of getting to watch the big TV in the living room while sitting in either his large litterbox or his "hospital bed" (a cardboard box lined with an old flannel sheet) while receiving his massage. He's been sitting next to me at the computer since we got home because it's easier to have him out than to keep bringing him in and out of his cage, but I just put him back in his cage so he can get some rest and have some parsley.

The patient in his "hospital bed"

The biggest concern right now is if we can't move that hairball out; if it remains too long inside him, it can cause ulcerations in his stomach. Hopefully between meds, massage, fluids, and exercise, we can get it to pass without incident.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update #2 (w/more poop talk)

Thanks much to everyone for all the support and suggestions.

The patient is eating better today than yesterday, but still not quite what he usually does, so tonight was more tummy massage and some syringed pineapple juice and baby food. He doesn't appear to be in pain or discomfort; no tooth-grinding, posture is relaxed, he was even flopped and napping at one point. The tummy massage is definitely helping things along, he tends to eat more afterwards. He ate some more parsley, but turned up his nose at the dish of papaya in pineapple juice I put in his cage. I used to give that to him every day as a hairball preventative, and it worked great until one day he flat-out refused to eat it and that was it. I just put some romaine in his greens dish and he went to town on that, and I'll be letting him out for more exercise soon to help keep things moving.

My vet's office is open until noon tomorrow, so that may be an option depending on what he's doing for poop tonight and in the morning. What he's been pooping has been small, dry and hard; it's possible that's just because he's not getting as much fiber as he normally does, but I'm still a little concerned that there could be more blockage in there than expected. One more night will give me a better idea.


WARNING: The following update includes some discussion of rabbit waste products--we're talking serious bunny poop talk, people. We recommend not reading it on a sensitive stomach or while eating.

After posting about Mickey's digestive woes last night and getting the patient back into his cage, I checked the litterbox and found a three-inch-long string of shiny gelatinous brown beads all strung together with hair; a poop chain. If it had been any longer, I might have had a poop bracelet.

As for the patient, he promptly attacked any and all food waiting for him in his cage and began to chow down. This morning, he was busy flinging his greens dish around and trashing his cage, so I would say that he's feeling better. His cage litterbox wasn't showing a lot of poop, though, so I'll be checking it again later after he's been fed again.

Called the vet, but decided an actual visit wasn't necessary for now. She agreed with my diagnosis of hair blockage, and said to keep doing what I'm doing and bring him in if anything changes.

Plan of action for the weekend is to keep putting stuff in him and make sure stuff is coming out. There will also be extra grooming involved to get as much loose fur off of him as possible so it's not getting inside him.

A (hopefully minor) crisis at hand

Needed to feed Mickey via syringe tonight, and the vet is getting a call in the morning.

I always feed him twice a day; because I am a night person, this ends up being mid-afternoon and late at night. Normally, when I sit down beside his cage, he is a major spazbunny; pulling at the cage door, practically climbing into my lap and trying to get into his treats before I can put them into his pellet dish.

This afternoon when I went to feed him, he refused to eat. He didn't even come over to the door of his cage to try to get a treat. He would make a few steps in my direction, then turn around, walk back to where he was sitting before and settle down again. Even his favorite Cheerios were snubbed.

When a treat-mad bun isn't mad about his treats, it's bad.

He'd definitely eaten what he'd been given the night before, so I didn't completely panic. I put his food in his cage as always and went out for an appointment. I figured it was very possible that he would start eating while I was gone--and if not, I'd take him out and give him a look-over.

When I got home, I saw that he still hadn't eaten and he hadn't budged from where he'd been before, so I took him out of the cage and checked him over. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, so I sat down with him on the couch and gave him a tummy massage to see if perhaps that would get things moving and inspire him to eat. He perched on my shoulder as always, didn't give any signs of being in pain or discomfort. When I put him back in his cage a couple of hours later, he went right back to the same spot and settled down again. I tried tempting him with food again; nothing.

By that time, it was too late to call the vet, so I made a run to the store to get what I would need to syringe-feed him. Once I got home, I took him out of his cage, put him in a cardboard box lined with a flannel sheet and began getting liquids in him. He is not a big water-drinker, he tends to get his water from the veggies he eats, so since he wasn't eating, I knew he was probably getting dehydrated as well. He drank water and pineapple juice, then I started giving him baby food bananas. I dissolved pellets in pineapple juice and water, added applesauce and some of the baby food bananas, mixed that up and got some of that into him via syringe and spoon.

I brought Mickey in his box into the living room, and he sat and watched TV while I syringed stuff into him at regular intervals. After a couple of hours, I moved him into his large litterbox, which was filled with clean hay. I put some parsley in there with him as well. He tossed the hay around a bit, but also began nibbling on the parsley. He began to fight the syringe a bit, so I began giving him the pellet puree with my fingers while still giving him water by syringe.

I brought him into the dining room a short time ago and set him down to see if he would run around a bit. He immediately zipped into the living room, which is off-limits to him, so I'm guessing he's feeling a bit better. At the moment, he's lounging under my dining room table, and once I've posted this, I'm going to get him moving around a little more to see if the activity will stimulate his system. He's pooped a little, but I don't know if he's peed at all, and it's important that he's doing all of the "Big 4" (eating, drinking, peeing, pooping).

As to what brought this on, my guess is that he got too much fur into his system licking himself after I bathed his butt yesterday. He's been shedding like mad because of the hot weather and the time of year; even thought I'm grooming him regularly, he's still got a ton of fur coming off of him, and I'm thinking more than usual is ending up inside him. Hopefully, he'll pass whatever's causing him trouble tonight, although it probably won't spare us a trip to the vet's.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let's go to the videos

It's a little sad when it takes a video to remind you that you need to clean the rabbit's cage...or in my case, two:

Saw Mickey napping and looking ever so cute, so I tiptoed back to my desk and got my Flip-cam:

As you can see, I got some serious snub for accidentally waking him up, so of course I had to sit down and open the cage door for some intensive petting. Fortunately, His Majesty was in a forgiving mood, as you can see here:

Thoughts as I'm reviewing the footage:

"Oh, these will make a great post."

"Oh, ****--his cage is a total mess!"

So while the videos are uploading, I'm cleaning Mickey's cage. While I'm cleaning Mickey's cage, he's in his carrier being a total spazbunny because this is NOT what he was expecting. Even a couple of treats did not extinguish his wrath. I finally tossed one of his new toss-toys in with him so he could vent on that and finished cleaning the cage.

I thought I was done, but then I made the mistake of checking the first video one more time:

"Oh, ****--is that **** on his butt again?!"

The boy peeks in and offers his two cents: "Yeah, I saw some **** on his butt earlier, you'd better take care of it."


So after the cage got cleaned, the bunny butt got cleaned--and it's a good thing, because the bunny butt was in a worse state than the cage.

Needless to say, though, I won't be getting too many licks for the rest of the night. Somebunny is not at all happy with me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Busy bunny outdoor weekend

It was absolutely beautiful here this weekend, which is a good thing because we had much entertaining to do. We had family over on Friday and friends over on Saturday. The weather was so nice that I was able to break out Mickey's exercise pen for the first time in a couple of months. I didn't have time to get it set up on Friday, but Saturday, I was able to set it up and get him in there a half-hour before company came.

Excuse the herky-jerkyness; I'm still getting used to the new Flip-cam.

He was the big hit of the picnic; everyone was asking questions and going over to his pen from time to time to pet his nose through the bars. He took it all in stride; bopped around and nibbled on clover here and there, then stretched out and lounged and watched all the people for a bit. When it got dark, I brought him back in so the bugs wouldn't get him; my guests were amazed that he would hop right into his carrier the minute I put it at the pen entrance.

I didn't bother taking the pen down until today so that I could bring Mickey out again for a bit this afternoon. It was clouding up and rain was in the forecast for later in the evening, but he got a couple more hours in there while I sat nearby and caught up on some reading, then I brought him back in and packed up the pen. It's supposed to get hot and humid again this week, so I was glad to get him some outdoors time, because I don't know when I'll get the chance to do it again.