Friday, November 19, 2004

12 November 2004

About a week ago I thought that Gus (who is our only bunny outside), was sick. He wasn't eating his dinner and so thought he may have been having a bit of a stasis episode, even though he was still looking lively. After a few days, I came to the conclusion that he wasn't sick, but just bored and lonely! After all, he'd been outside by himself for nearly one year (how time flies - he wasn't supposed to be out there that long!). So I bought him inside to the laundry and he perked up right away. He was a bit scared and shy at first but I could tell he was happier and started eating his dinner again. It turned out to be an interesting research project as when he was outside, even though he was safe and had lots of room to run, he wasn't getting any attention or affection like the other bunnies who are indoors. I think I'd spend about 5 minutes a day with him if he was lucky whereas the rest get our attention constantly. I introduced Gus to Monty a couple of times while Gus was in an enclosure and Monty was running free and it was hysterical!! They look like they'll be a pretty good match but I have to wait until Monty is a bit healthier before she gets to meet Gus in the flesh.

Little Monty, who is our latest arrival, has developed "snuffles". This is an infection also known as Pasteurella which makes the poor little thing sneeze and her breathing has also been affected. As bunnies breathe through their noses, it makes life very difficult for them if they develop this virus. I took her to the vet last Wednesday and had her checked over and it turns out she has also been affected by mites, probably due to the stress of snuffles. You can tell if they have mites by a patch of skin where the fur has fallen out and there are little tiny scabs on the skin (usually on the neck behind the ears). Mites are usually present on rabbits anyway but under stressful conditions, they can cause hair loss and itchy skin. If the condition is serious, injections from your vet can help. In Monty's case, the hair is already growing back and it hasn't been itchy so I guess she's on the mend with them. The snuffles problem is fairly serious though and she's been put on a course of Bactrim for 10 days (she can't go on Baytril as she's too young and it can affect the growing plates apparently). So I'm trying to administer this horrible sticky stuff by syringe twice a day at the moment which is both stressful to me & to Monty!! Peanut had the same problem when he came to live with us earlier in the year but he loves fruit and I used to syringe his Baytril into a piece of apple or strawberry and he'd eat it in seconds. Monty is a bit picky with food and doesn't rush to eat anything so I have to do the "bunny burrito" thing and squirt her medicine into her mouth while she's all wrapped up with nowhere to go!