Saturday, January 12, 2013

When a Rabbit is Ill

No one other than another rabbit person can completely understand the stress you go through when you see your rabbit is sick. Add to that the anguish of being away from home when a crisis erupts, and that is a recipe for a total nervous breakdown. I didn't break down this week when I was in Massachusetts because I was and am very fortunate to have a professional sitter who knows rabbits so well that my vet gave her very high marks. Cinnamon is well on the road to recovery now thanks to her actions and care and I am deeply grateful.   I am very well aware how lucky I am--most people with rabbits have to rely on people only vaguely familiar with rabbits at best.  Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits can be tricky to figure out, especially when they are sick. As prey animals, they do a great job of concealing their pain. It is an instinctive behavior and even if they sense you will help them, they just can't and don't wish the world to know how vulnerable they are. Unless you're a rabbit person, you have no idea about this and if you don't know a rabbit's normal behavior, it will be difficult determining whether or not a rabbit is sick. Of course, the cessation of eating and defecating is always a good clue. But sometimes their discomfort starts before that happens and timing is everything when determining if a rabbit is ill. So unless all your friends are rabbit people and understand these things, how do you go away and feel okay leaving them? Things can go wrong even with healthy rabbits. 
   One other point I wish to make in this rather disorganized meandering blog entry--anyone who ever claims to my face that a rabbit is a cheap pet will get an earful and a face full of the vet bills I have paid last year and this year.  Rabbits are not inexpensive, so parents need to think twice before taking on this animal for a family pet. Research the costs BEFORE you adopt the animal, please!!! I have never understand why people will spend months researching a car before making the investment but take so little time to research what it will take and cost to care for another living sentient being.

The Hoppy Vegan

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