Last Sunday, literally minutes after I posted my blog, I began to peel a banana. Bunny families know the mayhem that ensues at first snap of the peel (does the long part have a name? Is it a stem?). Well, Tater Tot didn’t come running– Usually he zooms in when I so much as glance in the direction of a banana. I held my breath and prayed he was just in such a deep sleep in his Sunday afternoon spot that he didn’t smell the nanner. I approached. I wafted the fruit. I broke off a little piece, while Peanut was bopping up and down in his crate, anxiously awaiting his sweet treat. I stuck the piece under Tater’s nose. No go. Uh oh.
I dropped everything that my typical “lockdown but rarely sit down Sunday” entails. If he’s not taking a treat, something is definitely and seriously wrong, or about to be. Our emergency kit is at the ready (and thankfully not used often). I began to lay out the supplies, sent a text to M., my rescue director and mentor, and contacted Dr. M., our beautiful and beautifully dedicated veterinarian. I cannot stress enough the value of having a truly rabbit-savvy vet, especially one open 7 days/week and who takes emergencies 24 hours/day. I snapped into Nurse Mommy mode the best I could. Tater’s temperature was 100.7—not horrible but low enough to be a sign of something wrong. He was refusing every treat or green we tried to tempt him with. I gave him a dose of gas drops and a dose of pain reliever, as directed by M. and Dr. M.
Bunny daddy and I brought the Tot into our room, a room he never goes in, to tempt his bunny instincts to explore. As we suspected some GI issues brewing, we wanted to keep him moving as much as possible. He wanted none of that! He just wanted to lie down. We alternated between poking him to move and giving him tummy rubs. Our darling little boy. 45 minutes later, his temperature was 101.2 but still no desire for food, treats or activity. There was one medicine that we didn’t have in our emergency kit (but we do now!) so our options were to drive the 40ish minutes to the vets’ office to pick up the meds, then 40ish minutes back home and hope that they were the right ones for whatever was brewing… or just pop the little one into his travel carrier and take him to see Dr. M. We went with option two… car rides can often help loosen up anything in the little tummy that could be causing issues.
As suspected, Dr. M. felt a tummy full of gas! She gave Tater Tot two more meds and sent us home with a supply of meds and instructions. After a few days of meds 3 times/day and thankfully only one day of force feeding, the little potato is all better. And he’s still with us today, bunstructing everything in sight because:
-we are attentive rabbit owners. We know his habits and knew quickly that something wasn’t right.
-we took immediate action.
-we have an emergency kit on hand at all times.
-we know how to use the items in our emergency kit. If you own a rabbit and don’t know how to take temperature, get lessons!
-we contacted our support team (experienced rescue director and rabbit-savvy vet) right away.
And yes, sometimes, even these measures are not enough and our little beloveds have to cross the Rainbow Bridge. It’s all a part of our experience in this dimension. But being as prepared, in both knowledge and execution, as possible helped keep our Tater Tot with us. My darling boy. And all this on the eve of his 5th birthday. I’d write more now, but he’s surely destroying something in the living room and I must attend to that! Much love.