Saturday, May 2, 2015

JT was the best bunny

I don't blog anymore. But I had to write something about my most special bunny. JT died last Saturday, he had thymoma.

Two months ago I took JT to my regular vet because he was breathing hard. The vet took x-ray's and an ultrasound. JT was diagnosed with thymoma. We did not do a biopsy, but had 2 exotic veterinarians look at the x-rays, and they said the same thing, thymoma. It's a large cancerous mass that sits in the chest. There is nothing that can be done to cure it. But there are treatments that can prolong life. One of those things is radiation. Something I decided, for many reasons, not to do. The other, is to treat with prednisone. Which I did. Rabbits can live up to two years on prednisone. Unfortunately this was not the case for JT.

My exotic vet told me to put him on metacam. I was dissatisfied with this and I immediately started talking to other bunny owners, reading information online, got as much information as I could to determine the course of action. I started prednisone, along with zeniquin and hepato support. I crushed the pills with a pill crusher and mixed it with applesauce and gave it via syringe. This worked great because I could not pick him up (it put pressure on his chest which made his breathing worse). We did blood work and x-ray's 2 weeks after starting the meds and everything looked good. About 2 weeks after that he started getting worse. I was not able to take him to the vet again for blood work and x-rays because it was difficult for him to breathe, and the stress would have just made it worse. I bumped up his prednisone dose, which helped, but not for much longer.

JT started to lose weight, despite the increased feedings. He stopped peeing in the litter box. His last week he was getting worse and started chocking on his food. Not every time, sometimes he would be fine, other times he could barely eat. He was hardly drinking water, barely eating hay, and obviously uncomfortable (tilting his head up to breathe). One night was really bad and I was afraid he would choke to death on his food, or his airway would be cut off, so I made the horrible decision to let him go the next day.

It was a rainy Saturday morning when my vet opened her office just to help us. I kept telling him how much I loved him and to go find his brother Buddy, and our cat Tiki (that died 3 weeks before). I brought his body home so Meadow could spend some time with him. She groomed him for a while and thumped a few hours later. I think she took it better than I did.

Days after I found out JT was sick I moved him and Meadow to the dining room. The dining room has much more light, more space for me to sit, and I was able to keep an eye on him when I was doing other things. I sat with JT every night for about an hour (longer on weekends), always petting him, sometimes Meadow joined us. One night he flopped against my leg, it was precious. I knew he wouldn't make it to his 6th birthday in September. So I made April 21st his 6th birthday. It was easier for me to think that he was 6, and most rabbits make it to 7-8, so he did pretty good.

JT was the most wonderful rabbit we ever had. So friendly, so full of life. He loved to be petted, he loved toys and really loved tree twigs. He loved to flop and shredding phone books. When he knew food was coming he would stand on his hind legs and open and close his mouth (something the husband called "chompers"). When JT and Meadow got a 2 story condo JT would always run up to the 2nd level when food was coming, don't know why, but he always did it, we told him to "go to the bistro" and he did. When JT and Meadow were done with breakfast or dinner, they both went to the litter box and ate hay, they were breaking bread. Unlike many rabbits, JT has only known one home, it makes me happy to know he has only known peace and love.

It's devastating to see one so full of life and energy deteriorate so quickly. To me, it's different when they are old, and their bodies and spirits give up. JT's spirit and will to live never gave up. If more people had a pet rabbit like JT, more people would be bunny people. Love you to the moon and back JT. Meadow, mommy and daddy miss you so much.

As hard as the last 2 months were, I'm glad I had that time to say goodbye. I know we all don't have that chance. We didn't have that with Jasper. So every moment was cherished, and JT was spoiled every minute.

JT's 6th birthday. 4-21-15

 2015
 2015

 Taken within days of the thymoma diagnosis (JT on the left).

 2015

Bonding Meadow and JT a few years ago.


2010

 JT flop. (Don't know date.)

Meadow and babies.  2009


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gerald is gone

Gerald's health had been slowly failing.  He had pasteurella, arthritis, kidney disease, and who knows what else.  In the last 2 months he ate less and less, a sign that kidney disease was turning into kidney failure. I was taking him in for fluids twice a week, and increased his metacam.
 
During that time I had made plans to visit my parents in Florida, something I couldn't change at the last minute so I decided to take Gerald to Special Bunny for boarding. I knew he would get great care there, including receiving daily fluids (much needed for kidney disease).

When I came back from Florida we went to pick up Gerald at Special Bunny, at that time we all decided that he should stay there. I just could not give him the medical care he needed. Unfortunately he eventually stopped eating and we made the decision to help him find Clint, and Gerald was put down the evening of November 8th. 

After Clint died Gerald became a much more friendly bunny. He would run to us when we came in his room (he always ran from us, even when he was out in the rabbitat).  He enjoyed being petted and seemed to enjoy our company. Gerald and I had a routine at night: I sat on the floor and pulled out the plastic tub with all the bunny treats and meds. He would always come over to me, no matter how he felt, and he received his cheerios, oats, metacam and pumpkin seeds (the oats and seeds were given only his last few months to help him keep weight on, just to get him to eat anything).

Gerald was a curmudgeon. We felt he was an old bun when we first got him. When all 4 Reno Rabbits arrived here, he was the last to come out of the carrier. He was always the most shy of all the buns. When living outside he did have a good time running around and digging in the dirt.

Gerald 2006
Gerald and Clint 2007
 
 
Gerald 2008
 
Gerald 2009, he loved digging
Clint and Gerald 2011

 
When Clint was sick with head tilt Gerald was always by his side
 
 
I rarely saw Gerald with his head down like this 2012
 
 
Gerald and his stuffed bunny friend 2013
 
 
Last time we saw Gerald
 
 
I hope the boys have found each other again. We will miss you our sweet blue eyed bun.
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gerald

Well, Gerald has been making it without Clint. The first few weeks were hard, for both of us. I hated seeing Gerald alone. A week after Clint's death I got online and found a black and white stuffed bunny on Ebay and purchased it. When the bunny arrived I gave it to Gerald right away. The minute Gerald saw the bunny he came running out of his cardboard box to greet him. Gerald has been by his side ever since. Gerald grooms him and always lays with him. Once in a while I move the bunny around.

A few weeks after that Gerald's appetite changed. He stopped eating his pellets (well, he ate some on occasion). I knew the change was from the kidney disease. I talked to a few bunny people for advice, so I'm doing what I can to keep him comfortable. He also has arthritis which has gotten worse. He is unable to sit on his back legs to clean his face.

Gerald had an x-ray done, months ago (at the moment I can't remember why). But the x-ray confirmed that Gerald is 10 years or older.




Friday, July 26, 2013

Clint is gone

On Friday, July 19th, I took Clint to the vet and the vet helped him to the bridge. The vet was wonderful and I was with Clint the entire time.

Clint just continued to get worse. Last Wednesday I noticed he was dragging his right front paw. By the evening he was dragging the right front and rear left. I spoke with the vet. She thought since he was still taking syringe feedings to keep going since we just started the new meds, but it was possible that the infection had gone to his brain. By Friday morning he was not able to swallow and was not able to move around (but could only hold himself up). We knew he was miserable and there was nothing else we could do for him.
 
We miss Clint so much, and it hurts us to see Gerald alone now. Gerald is having a hard time too.  We sit with him, but he doesn't want our company (he never has). Now he gets extra tree twigs and timothy cubes. I purchased a jingle ball for him and some stuffed toys. Gerald has had Clint by his side for 7 years, it will be a tough adjustment and we will do what ever we can for him.
 
Four Reno Rabbits is now 3. Clint had a wonderful life here and I'm always so glad we got to care for him after his rotten start in life. Clint was the only rabbit that didn't like Strawberries, and I recently discovered that he loved peaches. The shelter that rescued him originally named him Dumbo, because of his one bad ear. I named him Clint, after Clint Black. Some think he was named after Clint Eastwood, that would have been fitting too, he was one tough bun. After years of outdoor life in the Rabbitat, I'm glad we moved both the boys into the house, we got to know them better and they became less afraid of us.
 
Clint, during his first few months here in 2006

 
 (I didn't know he didn't like strawberries....)
 
 
 Gerald & Clint 2007

 
Clint 2008
 
 
 Gerald and Clint loved the chair 2008
 
 
Enjoying fresh grass and clover 2009
 
 Gerald and Clint. Brought inside when Clint became very ill 2012
 
 
Clint enjoying the sun in the office April 2013
 

 
Clint's last time outside July 2013
 
 Love you sweet boy.
 
 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Update on Clint and Gerald

Clint had recovered from his gut blockage. But then in June I could tell there was something wrong with both boys and we went to the vet, both were diagnosed with ear infections. They were placed on meds and seemed to be on the road to recovery. Then Clint's head started tilting again and his eating decreased. At the same time I noticed Gerald's eyes and nose were runny. So off we went to the vet again, last week.

Gerald received meds for pasteurella and Clint for another ear infection. Actually, we don't know if Clint's ear infection is leftover from last month, or new. After a week of meds he is slowly getting worse. I have been syringe feeding  him. I spoke with the vet today and we are going to try different meds. Right now Clint is hardly eating and he has lost a lot of weight.

During the vet visit in June I asked the vet to do a blood draw on Gerald (I was concerned about his long term use of metacam for his arthritis) results came back and he has kidney disease. If you have any experience with this I would welcome your stories and advice.

Here are the boys at the vet office:

 The boys back in June:


All bunnies are well, including Bambi and Cinnamon:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clint is not well

I noticed Clint's eating habits slowly change over the course of a week. He is still very active, and eating, just very little. So I took him to a rabbit savvy vet on Saturday and she said he has a blockage in his gut. In or near his stomach actually.  Started metocloprammide and metacam Saturday night. After Clint's xray, the vet agreed with my guess on Clint's age, between 7 and 9 years.

It is now Monday and I have not seen any improvement, but also not worse. A friend came over today to do sub q fluids, I really hope that makes a difference.

What Clint eats depends on the day. Sometimes it's grass and dandelions. Others it's kale and celery. I just never know.



Clint and Gerald love living in the office and are free roam 24/7. They are good buns.

video

I haven't had any luck helping buns with blockages, so please send Clint your good thoughts.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Time to go outside

Since I have some extra time, Dora and Hazel got to go outside (separately) for a bit yesterday. Great weather. They are also both shedding tons right now, so it was a great time to get gobs, and gobs, and gobs of fur off of them.

Dora:
 
 Hazel:

 
 
I am still visiting Special Bunny.
 
A young Flemish Giant, she has already been adopted, along with her sibling. *Those ears!
 
 

Calvin! Do you guys remember Calvin? He was our first foster (along with his mom and brothers). He is a permanent resident. It's so nice to see him and give him treats.