Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sick Bunny

Hubby only had energy to lay on the sofa on Saturday. He had been running a high fever due to a stomach problem and had no energy.

I let Buddy Rabbit out to get his hour of play time and sun, but he also seemed lethargic. He lay in the sun and didn’t make an effort to move much at all. He didn’t poop or pee, but I didn’t think much about it because it was later than his normal outdoor time. I assumed he used his litter box before going outside.

When he came in, he went right to Hubby’s side and lay on the floor beside him.

I figured that Buddy sensed that Hubby felt bad. After Hubby’s last surgery, Buddy never left his side. I guessed this was the same.

I lay on the floor beside Buddy to rub his head. My hand slid down his back, toward his shoulder blades. I was surprised that I could feel his bones of his shoulders as pronounced as I could.

Over the previous few days, I noticed that he was leaving a lot of his food, but he had always been a finicky eater. He still begged for treats, so I thought things were OK.

I looked more closely. The movement of his nose was more pronounced; more deliberate in each breath. I told Hubby that I thought Buddy was sick.

Buddy had a scheduled doctor visit on Monday; routine teeth trim. I figured he could wait until then.

Sunday, Buddy seemed the same, but Hubby’s fever broke during the night. Two strong antibiotics had done the trick for him. He was able to sit up and move around more. He was weak, but better. I rented a movie which occupied some of Hubby’s time.

During the day, I stayed by both Buddy & Hubby; Buddy getting head rubs which seemed to comfort him. I didn’t see any change in him and I quietly worried.

Monday morning, Buddy didn’t even eat treats. The time arrived to carry him to his vet appointment.

Normally, he fights getting into his pet carrier, but today was different. He didn’t have any fight left in him. We put him in the carrier without any bunny protests.

At the vet’s office, she asked how he was doing. She said his breathing didn’t look right. I gave her the list of symptoms. She was alarmed by his weight; a full pound lost.

She anesthetized him and x-rayed his little body. The x-rays showed what appeared to be a lump on his lungs pressing against heart & lungs. There was only a tiny pocket for air to flow.

She took a syringe and drained his lungs. They were full of fluid. That helped greatly with his breathing. She repeated the x-ray and the new x-rays showed a larger capacity for air.

I talked to the vet about possible treatment. She spent hours with Buddy and me.

We are going to take Buddy to get an ultra-sound on Wednesday. There is a vet oncologist in the area and we will be talking to him very soon. Our primary Vet suggested that radiation therapy might extend Buddy’s life by a year. It wouldn’t get rid of the tumor, but would shrink it.

My question for the oncologist is “What will be his quality of life?” If his final year is going to be pain and suffering, I don’t want to be selfish and keep him alive just for us humans. Both of his human dads love him too much for that.

Writing that last paragraph is causing the tears to flow again and I’m having trouble seeing the monitor to type this.

This is a tough decision that we have to make. It’s one I never wanted to make.

Sunday, April 7, 2013