Saturday, July 29, 2006

My tummy hurts!

Peeper the stray bunny had her spay yesterday. She's feeling much better today and has started eating a little, but is spending most of her time flopped on her side in the litterbox like you see here. She's dug most all of the litter out (and onto the floor, thank you) and pushed the hay up to the opposite end so that she's got a clear spot to flop. She's peeping at me a lot and lunging whenever I put my hands in her cage - poor cranky thing!

I used a new vet this time because my regular vet would have charged a huge amout for the spay (nearly $500.00!!) and this vet spays/neuters for the rescue I adopt from, so I felt I could trust her. Everything went okay, but I think the vet was a little startled with just how stressed out Peeper was by any handling. She quickly checked to see if she was a boy or a girl, listened to her heart, palpated her to check for babies after I told her about Peeper's nesting behavior, and then put her back into the carrier and whisked her away. I returned a few hours later to pick her up, after an hour of frantic unanswered phone calls, to discover that the animal hospital had lost power in the thunderstorm.

Some people might wonder why they should spay/neuter a bunny who lives alone - Peeper is a perfect example. Her hormonal behavior probably would have continued, making her a less than enjoyable pet. The reproductive urge is very strong in rabbits (you know their reputation!) and her nesting, circling, and mounting, plus her cage aggression would have gone on forever. There is also a very high likelihood of uterine cancer in unspayed females. There is a risk to any surgery with a creature as sensitive as a rabbit, but the benefits outweigh the risks associated with the surgery.

So Peeper will be cranky for a few days, but I'll spoil her until she feels better. Then we can go about getting to know one another, without the threat of babies in our future. Thank goodness! Over the next month, as the hormones leave her system, I can expect her to calm down and learn to be a loving house-bunny. Welcome home, Peeper!

11 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

I'm glad things went well.
Does that vet give post op pain relief freely? I changed vets because my old one wouldn't give my cats pain relief after spaying! I can't imagine how that feels.

LauraHinNJ said...

Aren't you astute, Susan!

No, she doesn't. I asked for it and was told, "She won't need it."

What?

With rabbits, this seems to be the normal response from vets. The million dollar vet I usually go to keeps girls overnight on heavy pain meds. I worry with my bunnies on all those meds that they won't eat at all because they're so zonked out and that makes other problems.

I have pain meds here left over from other bunnies that I could have given her (nearly did), but today she seems okay.

I wonder why they don't give them more freely.

Michelle Lewis said...

Welllllllllllll - I have had a C-Section and let me tell you, I think pain meds are a must. What can it hurt to give her a little for the next day or so? Really. Better to give when not really needed than to let her be uncomfortable. I can't imagine having surgery and not being sore. Sorry Laura, I am not questioning your judgement, I know you are a fantastic bunny mom. $500 for a spay???? Are you kidding me? Seriously?

I know the vet you speak of has a highly regarded rep - but I always wonder about the overnight thing with animals as sensitive as rabbits. I have read that vets even compensate for elevated levels of certain things because they are aware that stress is such a factor for bunnies. Seems to me "there's no place like home" if you can manage their care. JMPO.

Anyway, I am so glad she is doing well, and that things went smoothly. Give Peepers a nose rub for me. Such a pretty bunny.

LauraHinNJ said...

Michelle: Thanks. I have metacam, but I'm not sure I could get any in her! She is like a little tiger! Maybe I'll try just .10 or so in a quick syringe.

The main reason (other than the $$) that I decided against my regular vet is that he keeps them overnight. I don't think she would have done well. I think he charges so much because he is just SO busy that he really doesn't have time to do spays/neuters. So he charges a lot to keep people from going to him. I see now that he is at least offering a discount if you adopt through HRS, but still.

The vet I've used in the past (with Missy, Freckles, Peanut, and Mr. Bean) charges $50.00 for boys and $60.00 for girls - can you imagine? How can another vet across town justify $500.00? That is a low-cost *farm-animal* type clinic - very no frills - never even met the vet face-to-face, just dropped off and picked up. Kind of unsettling.

Thought I'd try this other vet and see if things were any different. At least I met the vet this time!

Lynne said...

I am so happy that Peeper came through her spay OK. She really is a beautiful girl. My daughter fell in love with our mini-lop "Buddy" at a local farm and garden store. He was on sale because he was a grown "Easter Bunny leftover". He came home here unneutered and full of hormones. For whatever reason, he took a special shine to me and really didn't want anyone else near me- especially my husband Art. Buddy would run flat out toward Art, jump straight up and flip around, and spray nice hot urine- with amazing accuracy!!!! Buddy was neutered ASAP and has grown to be a wonderul pet and everone (even Art!) is crazy about him.

Feel better Peeper-
from Buddy and us

robin andrea said...

You are so good to adopt that stray bunny and have her spayed. Once she heals and her hormones have regulated, she'll probably calm right down and adore you! Wishing you both well.

silverlight said...

Poor Peeper. I hope she heals without complications. Bunnies are so sensitive.
and, I hope she settles in ok. That was so cruel of someone to just throw her away like that. Bet it was a 'lover's' quarrel.

LauraHinNJ said...

Lynne: thanks for sharing your Buddy story - he sounds like a sweetie! Bet your DH didn't think so when he got sprayed! I had a little dwarf bunny that did that to the girls in their cage next door to him before he was fixed - funny!

Orlando Bun said...

Please give Peeps some bananas from us! We're glad to hear she is doing well.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks Orlando Bun - she's not looking quite as cranky today!

stixandstonz said...

My bun was spay yesterday and this morning was in pain and would not eat. she had not eaten since yesterday. i called my vet and she gave me 3 days worth ofmetacam-oral 10 mi. i gave that to her but she would not touch food, water, greens, her fav treats, and even alfalfa hay. she would not touch it so i took her in at 3 pm and she got another pain injection, and i am feeding her critical care and just just the first dose down her. she is sitting here growling at me which is nothing new. she is an independent little snuggle bug and sh ehas quite an attitude. she is a dwarf holland lop.