Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tough Day. Goodbye Bubba bunny

Well, yesterday was a tough day. Our Bubba bunny died after fighting (probably) bladder stones for a couple of days. We tried everything we knew how and talked to the vet, but outside of surgery there was nothing that could be done. Bladder stones are like a death sentence for rabbits unless someone wants to spend a bunch of money for surgery. Then you run into the problem of finding a vet who can operate on a rabbit. Our rabbits are for meat production. They are not pets even though we love our breeders and care for them a great deal. Surgery is just not an option for a 12 dollar rabbit. That is one of the sad facts of homesteading and farming. Bubba started to not feel well a couple days ago and wouldn't eat his grain. I did wet his greens and he ate those along with a small piece of apple and a small piece of pear. He was still urinating and pooping so we thought he just had a little upset stomach. He ate some raspberry and plantain leaves which are good for upset tummies. That evening he still wouldn't eat his grains, but was still using the bathroom. The next morning I talked to my vet on the phone and we determined it was not bloat, because his stools were normal and his belly was still soft instead of hard. Then Bubba stopped eating his greens and stopped drinking water. Another call to the vet, and it was suspected that he had urinary calculi. We talked about his food that he had eaten. We don't feed alfalfa pellets because we don't want to overload our bunnies with too much calcium. Calcium leads to urinary calculi (bladder stones). However, one thing that I had not thought about (and should have) was the amount of calcium in the greens that he ate daily. Dandelion, plantain, honeysuckle (higher in calcium than alfalfa), radish tops, etc. all are really high in calcium. When Bubba stopped drinking I began giving him eyedropperfuls of water in his mouth and he would swallow, but still no improvement. By this time Bubba was staying in the house with us (mostly in my lap)and I was doing what I could. Yesterday evening Bubba started having seizures and had not urinated most of the day. I already knew that it was coming because he had been pretty zoned out all day. Even the dogs, came to sniff him as if they were saying goodbye and he didn't flinch a muscle. He had several seizures in a row and died in my arms. We buried him out near where the pony is buried so he wouldn't get lonely (I know sounds stupid). My toddler took it hard as she loved her Bubba bunny and doesn't really understand. I feel like an idiot because I didn't think and can't help thinking that if I had paid more attention to what I was feeding him this might not have happened. Death is a fact of life on a farm, but it isn't something that you ever get used to. It is especially hard when there is always that nagging question of whether or not this might have been prevented. I started grasses in pots a couple of weeks ago for the rabbits and they are just about tall enough to start cutting for their fresh greens. We did get one litter sired by Bubba bunny. We were planning on keeping a doe, but now I think we will keep one of his sons also. So now we are down to Baby our mama bunny and their 6 little babies. It will be tough scrubbing his cage today. I'm sorry Bubba and we will all miss you.

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