This morning I had to take one of our pet rabbits (one of three) to be euthanized. Cadbury was no doubt the bitchiest of all of our bunnies, but we went through a lot together, so I was smitten with the old bat despite her faults (e.g. grunting and trying to smack the shit out of you when you feed her food).
A little over two weeks ago, Pete and I noticed Cadbury wasn’t eating as much food as usual. I took her to the vet and after a few xrays, they told me she had gastrointestinal status, which is the worst news for a bunny owner. This is definitely TMI, but basically it slows down intestinal movement until the critter can’t eat or drink anymore since everything is lodged up with…well, poop.
She went from five pounds to under three pounds during this time, so the hardest part was having to syringe-feed her food, water, and antibiotics every 12 hours in an attempt to treat her back to health. Pete was a huge help when we were told to try needle injections (ack) to help get things moving again.
At this point you must think I’m totally a crazy pet fanatic. Watching her turn pale this morning (it still astounds me that bunnies can turn pale) was all I needed this morning to take her to the vet to make sure she wasn’t suffering during her final hours. Although it was awkward when the nurse at the vet had her pre-teen daughter with her for “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” (which was totally yesterday!). Trying not to turn into a blubbery mess in front of an 11-year-old when the vet is starting to cry-talk while talking about the process of euthanasia is not an easy feat. I totally blubbered three tissues worth of tears, but I assured the pre-teen girl that I would not ugly cry in front of her.
In less morose ramblings, we wouldn’t have our bunny Applesauce without Cadbury. When I adopted Cadbury from the PSPCA, the shelter told me she was a male rabbit. I didn’t see any male bits, so I took her to a vet (that apparently wasn’t well-versed in exotic pet knowledge), and they confirmed that she was male. I questioned her manhood a bit during that car ride home, but I figured vets are paid to be smarter than me.
A few weeks later, I woke up in the early hours to the sight of five moving turds on my kitchen floor. Or what I thought were Betty White poops (lord knows she was always pooping inside then since I had recently adopted her from the shelter). Turns out they were baby bunnies, which confirmed that my intuition was correct. Cadbury did, in fact, have a vagina.
Unfortunately she was the worst. mom. ever. and tried to kill the babies, which is also not uncommon for traumatized rabbits that have been bunny-raped at the shelter. She quickly succeeded in injuring one of the five, and the little guy/girl ended up passing away soon after. I was at work during this time and didn’t realize rabbits could become aggressive with their kits due to nerves, so when I came home I put the four remaining babies in their own box and nursed them individually with her from then on. It was an incredibly stressful situation, and my new vet was telling me not to expect the kit to survive since I was handling them so much (not recommended). Luckily, all four grew up to be completely adorable little fluff balls and I ended up keeping the runt of the litter (Applesauce) and finding the rest of them homes.
Cadbury had a lot of health issues over the past year and successfully defeated the onset of head tilt (don’t Google that, I repeat, do not Google that) since she was a pro at taking injectable antibiotics. She also had this neurological thing where her eye wouldn’t close for like a week, but she survived that as well, which is why I thought this would just be another medical condition to add to her growing list.
Alas, it was not, but she lived to be at least 7-years-old (I don’t know how old she was when I adopted her) and she had an enjoyable life filled with lots of veggie treats and hump-filled evenings with her stuffed candy corn toy. I’ll miss you Cadbury, you were the sweetest, most bitchiest bunny ever.