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Darwin and Emma

Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Skunks, Squirrels, Bats, genets, civets etc.

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BlueBaby1023
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Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:15 am

I haven't really posted that much about my rabbits (Charles) Darwin and Emma (Wedgewood), only mentioned them in passing. I've had both of them for two years, and they will be about 5 years old in October.

This is Darwin, he is some sort of Mini Rex mix:

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He came into a shelter I was volunteering at as a stray, and he had a horribly broken foot at some point in his past. I adopted him almost immediately, and have spent quite a lot of effort trying to get him more normal. He did not hop when he first came in, due to his foot healing crooked, which threw off his whole balance. Instead, he did a weird walk that I have never seen before. By the time that I could afford X-Rays to see just what kind of damage was done, his back had degraded even farther due to the strain he was putting on it. Since then (over a year ago), he's been receiving Adequan and physical therapy stretches, which has not only restored his hopping, but now he can sit up both assisted and on his own without support.

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That may not seem like much to anyone who has a normal functioning rabbit, but it was quite a milestone for a rabbit that could barely move, let alone sit up and stretch. Unfortunately, because of his foot, he has to be housed on rubber floor mats covered with fleece. This is complicated by the fact that his cagemate, Emma, loves to chew. :lol:

You can see in the last picture some not so eaten fleece, but Emma virtually destroyed my favorite fleece for them, which was this set. Because really, what's cuter than lime green with happy monkeys?

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Emma, on the other hand, is some sort of Holland Lop mix. My vet seems to think she has English Spot in her.

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She came from a rabbit specific rescue just south of Eugene, and she was also a stray. She came in pretty aggressive, and still really hates it when I have to get her out of the cage. However, when she has free roam in my room, she will come over and nudge you, chew on your pants, etc. She's a very spirited bunny.

I believe part of her attitude comes from the fact that she, too, is injured. At my yearly vet check for her, my vet found a section of her back that produced a very pronounced "ouch" response. As a result, she, too, is on Adequan permenantly.

Some bunny yoga.

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They have a fairly sizeable cage, it's about 2.5ftx2.5ftx6ft, with my guinea pigs on top of their cage. Since this picture, I've added a lot of toys. I had just taken this picture after cleaning the cage, so nothing had been put back in really! :lol:

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The reason why I thought of posting this thread was because last night I came home to find a very squinty Darwin. I got him out of his cage only to find a tiny bit of hay poking out of his lower lid. I rolled his eyelid back a bit, and eventually got out a bit of hay that was almost 2 inches long. Poor guy. Since I have no idea how long it was in there, I took him to my vet this morning and, as I figured, he has a pretty large but superficial corneal ulceration.

The dangers of eating hay!

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You can see that his eye is pretty red. He's on some pain meds and some antibiotics. Hopefully it will heal nicely, because the vet, despite not being an exotic vet (he's my cat's vet, the exotic vet that works at the same hospital wasn't working today), did an excellent job debriding the edges to lay flat which should speed healing. He's going back to my exotic vet on Monday after a few days of meds, so hopefully it will be nothing but good news!
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Ash
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby Ash » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Wow! I love seeing such a dedicated owner, especially when it comes to keeping the species most people don't seem to care much about--like rabbits, reptiles, rats, etc. I'm amazed that you've put so much time and energy into making sure your bunnies are healthy and happy.

Darwin is cute! I really like him. Is he albino? I can't tell from the picture what color his eyes are. But he is just adorable. And poor little guy, not being able to hop... I'm happy he's making a lot more progress now.

Emma kind of reminds me of a lop-eared bunny my family had when I was a kid. Oreo was a free-roamer and was so patient with me and my three other sisters. But she was colored a lot like Emma.

I can't imagine having a piece of hay stuck up in your eyelid. That must have been painful... I'm glad the vet was able to fix things up so well. Fingers crossed he makes a speedy recovery.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. They look very happy and well-taken care of. Keep us updated on Darwin.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:31 pm

You know, the funny thing is, I never really liked rabbits until Darwin came into the shelter I was working at. :lol: But yea, most of my friends here call me a little loony for spending how much money I have over a rabbit. Then again, most of them were raised on farms that raised rabbits for food, so it's understandable. I definitely baby him, though; my boyfriend teases me that he is my child. :lol: He has the best personality I've ever seen in a rabbit. Outgoing, loving, and sweet.

He isn't albino; he actually isn't even white. It's sort of hard to tell, but he's got a dusting of cinnamon brown color on his fur and he has brown eyes. The weird thing is, when I first adopted him he was super white but now he's got brown on him.

Emma is the exact opposite of tolerant. She thumps, charges at me, etc. when I have to pick her up out of her cage. On the floor, if you move towards her she will run away. But, she loves Darwin and Darwin loves her, so they're kinda a package deal. :lol:

I can't really either. I've gotten a fuzz on my contact before, and that is painful enough let alone the razor edges of hay. :( Thank you for the support! He should be fine but I will update you guys on Monday when my exotic vet takes a peak at his eye.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:47 pm

Darwin's corneal ulceration is healing, but slowly. The exotic vet was a little concerned, just because it's still about 3mmx4mm, but that's about 1/3rd the size of the original ulcer before the other vet did the debridment.

She was glad that I brought him in right away, rabbits apparently have very poor vascularization in their eyes, which means they don't heal well. If it isn't cleared up by next Monday, he's going to need a different antibiotic. :icon-frown:

The good news is that it isn't going systemic, it was still just a superficial ulceration. So he has that on his side.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby Ash » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:53 pm

I'm happy to hear he is doing well. Fingers crossed he'll make a full recovery! Interesting about the eyes--I didn't know that about rabbits.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sun May 04, 2014 11:16 pm

Thanks for the positive thoughts, Ash!

He has his next eye check tomorrow, and I know it's not going to be all good news because I can still see a bit of white haze where the corneal ulcer is. We'll see if it's smaller or not tomorrow. In the meantime, both the pigs and bunnies got one of their favorite treats: watermelon rinds!

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Excuse the cage mess, I'm waiting until midweek to clean when my boyfriend is here to assist in lifting and all that jazz. :lol:
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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Ash
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby Ash » Mon May 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Cute. :) The guinea pig is like, "dis is mine," haha. What are your guinea pigs like? We had an elderly one when I was younger that loved to just sit in one spot--she didn't do anything but eat and sleep, heehee. But she was a neat little animal.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Mon May 05, 2014 3:37 pm

Well, Darwin's ulcer has shrunk some more, but is still clearly visable. It's about 2x2mm now, so definitely getting smaller. My vet thinks he may be fighting this until well after I move to Florida, so we shall see! She's giving him another two weeks on his current antibiotic and we'll take it from there. It still has not progressed past the surface, so that's really good news.

My pigs are very skittish, they were from a hoarding situation that the local shelter took in. They came in with 38 other pigs, including pregnant moms. All told, about 50 pigs after the moms popped. They were about 2 weeks old, and I did not take them home until they were about 6 weeks old because the shelter would not adopt them out until then. So, a combo of bad breeding and not having a lot of people interaction from a young age has left them very skittish. They like head scratches and will come beg for treats, but hate being held and being out of their cage. They are fun to watch though! :lol: The pigs definitely like to claim food, and they are definitely "pigs"!
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Mon May 19, 2014 5:08 pm

Still not much improvement from two weeks ago. :icon-frown: It's getting just a tiny bit smaller. The vet thinks I may be fighting this all the way to Florida. Sigh.

In other news, a neon mustache from the fluorescent dye they stain his eye with. :lol:

Image
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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BlueBaby1023
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Location: Florida

Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:13 pm

Darwin's eye finally healed! After another month of visits to a new vet here in Florida, the vet decided to debrid the eye again to see if that would speed healing on the small patch that just would not shrink, and it did! He is finally off of all antibiotics and is much happier now that we aren't poking his eye three times a day. :lol:

No more vet visits! (For now...)
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4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:14 pm

I've got some sad news to share with you all... Darwin started losing weight after going off of the antibiotics for his eye, and I thought I'd just try and bulk him back up with some oats, but he doesn't seem to be gaining any weight despite eating and drinking just fine.

After taking him to the vet today, he weighs about 200 grams less than what he used to the entire time I've owned him, which is about 1.5kg. The vet suggested adding alfalfa to his diet to get his weight back up, but the root of his weight loss is more serious.

Without any tests, it's impossible to know what's wrong but it's either early renal failure or cancer. :icon-frown:

It's sort of useless to test him at this point. Either of those is bad news for rabbits because there aren't really any treatment options for them. Exotic medicine is so new, so there's not a whole lot to be done other than putting bandages on the symptoms that show up.

Unfortunately, there's no way to know whether we have just weeks, months, or even another year with Darwin. He's had a good two years with me, I just hope we have more good time to come. :cry:
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:39 pm

If it's renal phosphorus binders extend lifespan.
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Juska
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby Juska » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:32 pm

Your Darwin is like the bunny version of my rat Dracula. He was a light cinnamon-colored rex with red eyes. Dracula crossed the Rainbow Bridge almost two years ago, now. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago.

I'm sorry to hear about the grim diagnosis. Hopefully you can make him as comfortable as possible and see what the future holds.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:06 pm

TG: I'll have to ask about those if he is in renal failure. It's much harder to draw off of a rabbit than a cat or a dog, so the vet didn't want to stress him out to test some blood. He was leaning towards cancer, but said it could be either without further testing.

Juska: It never does. The few animals I have lost all passed 4 (my rats in high school), 6 (my family dog), and 10 years ago (my family's cat). It's strange to think it's been that long for any of them.

He seems to be comfortable for now, and he actually gained about an ounce and a half today, probably from the alfalfa hay we got him last night. 2lbs 14.5 ounces is not that bad for his size, but I hope I can get him back up to where he was at 3lb 5-6 ounces.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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BlueBaby1023
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:32 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Darwin and Emma

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:20 pm

I have some very sad news to share with you all. I noticed Darwin was having a lot of drool and trouble eating this morning so I took him into the vet. It, unfortunately, was cancer. It had taken over almost all of his lower jaw and was very vascular so it was likely already metastasized elsewhere..

So, with a sad decision, I euthanized him. He was my baby boy, but I can't imagine he was comfortable at all, so I thought it was the kindest thing to do. I held him while he passed.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys

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