Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My snowball isn't eating

Spent an hour at the veterinarian's office today (<---the reason I didn't return to our convo as I said I would Genelle). Snowball, our rabbit, hasn't been eating the last few days so I needed to get him checked out. I'd called the vet just before leaving to pick the kiddie up from school. The one in our town didn't have any openings until next week cuz they only have one vet that works on rabbits, so they referred me to another office. Called them and they told me to bring him in at 4 pm.

Here's a picture of the little bugger. Well, he's not really little, he's 6 & a half pounds, and about the size of your average cat. But you can see how he got his name. When he was a baby, he was so small that when he sat like this he literally looked like a snowball, just with pink eyes, floppy ears and a tail.

The vet said he stopped eating for one of two reasons...A) his teeth have become overgrown or B) he has a blockage in his digestive system. I really hoped it would be A, but unfortunately his teeth were fine and they felt a mass in his intestines. He was also very gassy (& people think dog farts are smelly...whew!).

So the vet tells me the treatment options and comes back with an estimate of how much it will cost...$300...sticker shock moment. I'd gotten a rabbit cuz I figured caged animals were low maintenance, guess I should have done my homework. Anyway, I tell the vet there's no way I can afford that so we agree to take off the xray she wanted to do to see if he'd eaten something he shouldn't have. We watch him the whole time he's running around the house, so there's no chance there's a foreign object in him.

That brought the bill down to $145. Still high, but I can manage it. We're treating him with antibiotics and a medicine to lubricate his intestines so hopefully whatever's blocking the way will come out. He's been eating the hay we put in the bottom of his cage and drinking his water, so at least he's getting some nutrients. Luckily the vet said that the mass wasn't completely solid, so I'm really hoping it'll just get flushed out of his system. It's probably a hairball, which are common in rabbits. But unlike cats, rabbits can't vomit, so it just makes its way thru the digestive system.

But I'm worried about what happens if it doesn't come out. They said they'd need to operate to get the mass out. There's no way I can afford that, but I wouldn't want to put him to sleep cuz he's only 2 years old. I wouldn't want him to starve to death either, which would be the end result if the treatment doesn't work and he doesn't get operated on.

Having a pet in need of medical attention is hard to deal with. We certainly consider him a part of the family, but his value doesn't compare with a human life so it's hard to decide how much money I'm willing to pay to get him healthy. Guess for now I'll just keep my fingers crossed that the treatment he's now on works.

8 Comments:

Blogger Joel said...

....

When I had buns, I went through the same when they were sick. You're not alone. Keep us posted.

4:22 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger the depressed nurse said...

What a pretty bunny! A couple of years ago my older kids each had a rabbit, they were mean little suckers too! :)

Hope it gets well soon.

How are you feeling these days? :)

8:45 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger ECLIPSE said...

He's beautiful!

Maybe there's something on the internet about the best way to help clear the obstuction in bunny's belly.

Hope he's better.

11:04 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger borderline savvy said...

Sid,
Call your local humane society and see if there are any free or low cost vets in your area. Also, some humane societies have vets that work with them. I know that an intestinal blockage in humans can be deadly, so I would think that is a possibility with Snowball. There's really no time to waste, my friend. There are bound to be resources. I Googled "free veterinary" and got a number of free sources listed. Try that.

Hope you are doing ok. I'm so busy I can hardly spit.

Hugs,
Suzanne

8:37 PM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Dawn said...

oh no!!!! poor snowball :(

i hope snowball is back to normal soon, without the need for surgery. im keeping my fingers crossed for you.

8:43 PM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Cinthia said...

Your bunny is so cute. I love rabbits; I used to have a black one. I'm so sad your Snowball isn't eating. I really hope she feels better soon.

10:34 PM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Polar Bear said...

aww.... he's so cute. I've had rabbits when I was a kid, and had a couple when I lived in Wellington. I love rabbits, even though they are considered pests here and I heard that they were hunting rabbits and serving them up on the grill for Easter this weekend!!

Sorry about Snowball. Hope it will flush out of his system....

2:12 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Raven said...

My beautiful old girl balck lab has gone through several surgeries. It can be quite expensive. So I understand where you are coming from. We don't have children so it is easier for us to handle the expense of the pet. Hope everything works out for your lil white fluffball!
~R

12:04 AM, April 16, 2006  

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