Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wendi's Vet fiasco

Exactly 7 days ago I was so excited with anticipation of Wendi's babies being born. We purchased Wendi on the 1st of April 2011 and I am still amazed at how attached we have become to her being that we have only had her 20 days. A week ago I was excited for her babies, even then I didn't realize just how attached I had become but today it was put to the test. I guess I should explain:

We purchased Wendy during Cantons first Monday sales (which I still don't get why they call it first Mondays when it isn't even opened on Monday--we were there on a Thursday). I had gone hoping to find a Ruby Eyed White and was overjoyed when we not only found her but that she was already pregnant. The man I purchased her from ensured me that she was 15 days pregnant and that he had already felt the babies. I was so overcome with excitement that I forgot to ask him how old she was, obviously this wasn't my only mistake.

After we got home and got the new rabbits situated (we also purchased George and Faline during the same trip, we just purchased them from some one else) I rushed in and got the calendar and counted out till we could expect her to deliver and discovered that we expected Eve to deliver the same day. Having both rabbits deliver on the same day would actually be a big deal here, and we were super excited, counting down the days and making sure we would be around, it was as if we were waiting for a human baby to arrive.

One can imagine how terrified I became when on the Thursday before she was to deliver I walked out to feed her and found blood in her cage and red on her tail. Scared I searched her cage but couldn't find any babies at that point I ran inside and called a vet whose number I had found online. That vet was in the DFW area so she googled vets in our area and said the bunny would need to be seen, so after calling one vet, only to find he would be out till Tuesday I called another who said to just keep a close eye on her and that we shouldn't worry too much unless she stopped eating and acted depressed. After talking to the first vet I returned to the cage and found the semi formed dead fetus.

That began Wendi's stay in the bathroom. We have a good size 2 bedroom house but since the dogs come in and out there isn't many places that we can keep the dogs out of, except that bathroom, which is usually the cat's room but afraid Oreo (the cat) would cause Wendi undue stress his litter box was evicted from the bathroom out into the hall and the kitty door locked.

We kept a close eye on Wendi and she kept bleeding but still no
more babies. After watching her for a few days on Saturday we decided to take her back outside since that was the day she was due anyways. Saturday was a very busy day so when I got home late from Bunco I ran out with a flash light in excitement hoping to find babies, but neither mommas had delivered.

Sunday came and went and still no babies.
Monday, after giving it a lot of thought I finally admitted Eve was never pregnant, but was still concerned for Wendi--still no babies, and she was still bleeding--so I called a vet in Whitehouse and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday (the soonest morning appointment they had)

I had received a coupon for the Whitehouse vet and was kind of excited to meet and talk with him. We already have a regular vet for our dogs and cat but that vet didn't really do all that much with rabbits, so we thought it time to find a new one that could.

Wednesday morning (today) came, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous as I put Wendi in her cage and got her ready. the Vets office was quite a drive from our house and the appointment was at 1030 am so I had hoped it wouldn't take long--and luckily it didn't.

The vet confirmed that the bunny did have an unborn fetus in her that had to come out surgically. We asked a lot of questions about alternative methods and it simply came down to the point that it cost almost $500 for an emergency hysterectomy or $50 to put her down.
Now, had he said that Friday I probably would have just put her down because she hadn't been eating and it didn't appear she had been drinking and she was still bleeding, but between Friday and Wednesday it seemed she had begun to make improvements. Wednesday (today) morning her food dish was empty, her water bottle almost empty, and it appeared there was no new blood. Her spirits even seemed to be more cheerful so I figured she was on the mend as almost canceled the appointment but since I had the coupon and it wasn't going to cost me anything I decided I would go just to be on the safe side, so I went, but now I was faced with putting what appeared to be a healthy Rabbit to sleep or spending what we pay in rent to get her fixed.

one can imagine this wasn't an easy choice and one that I refused to make at a moments notice--so we put her back in the cage and came home. The vet was very nice and even mentioned that there was a vet in Tyler that had great prices (the vet we take our dogs to actually) and that we could give him a call and if he had questions he could call the vet in Whitehouse and he wouldn't mind helping him out. Well, the minute we got home we called his office. Today was his short day nor did he feel comfortable trying to put an IV in a rabbit (which would be required because she was in fact still pregnant even if the fetus was dead) but that if we hurried he could put her to sleep for us, rather than wanting her to suffer we rushed to the clinic so he could put her down before he had to leave.

Turns out, when I called the office, I forgot to mention that Wendi was not a little rabbit. Everyone was quite thrilled to see how big she was when we got her to the vet. We kept saying 'she is actually kind of small for being a Flemish Giant, she only weighs about 12 lbs, but they were still amazed at how big she was. So amazed that the one of the nurses popped in and said 'I am sure he can put an IV in a rabbit that size and then popped out at which point we heard her call to the doctor--you have to see this bunny, you can put an IV in it. It took our normal vet afew minutes to get in to see us (he was trying to leave and had a bunch of things hit at the last minute) but when he did he asked us a few questions, felt her abdomen and started to explain to us that he simply didn't have time to do the surgery today, I must note though that while he was doing this he was pulling out his cell phone, I didn't quite know what he was doing and it seemed kind of unprofessional to be making a call in the middle of rabbit exam but this is why you don't judge a story before you hear it to the end.

As we sat there in the room certain we would be leaving with a dead rabbit in a matter of minutes we hear the vet on his cell phone (which wasn't hard, he was only about 4 feet away from us) asking 'I have a rather good size rabbit here that needs to have surgery, do you have time to do it today?' then we heard 'blah blah blah' from the other person who he was talking to at which point he asked 'how much would you charge them.

Next thing we know we are on our way to Hawkins, dropping off Wendi and then rushing back to Tyler. On the way to Hawkins we called our Credit union and transfered every penny from every savings account we had into our checking (which trust me wasn't a lot) in hopes that we might have enough to cover the cost of the vet, luckily the rent check we wrote 5 days ago hadn't gone through so we had enough in the account to use the debit card.

Any donations would be appreciated and would go towards the additional costs of the surgery.

Now, after I have had to swollow my pride, I feel it important to note that at 3:54 PM we got a call, at first I was concerned cause I had just called them and they hadn't even started on the surgery so I doubted they were calling to say she was ready to go home--and I was right. They were in fact calling for a completely different reason. Upon removing the uterus they opened it up to discover one dead and decomposing fetus and 2 other babies, both of which were breathing so while one doctor was back still operating on momma they were calling to see just what we wanted done with the babies. When I told them that we wanted to keep them they informed me that momma might not produce milk and that we had to come immediately to pick up the babies because they were not equipped to care for them. After a couple of phone calls I hit the jackpot. A friend of mine was actually in her car on the way to my house--ok, not really my house, but the Walmart close to my house, and agreed to fore go Walmart and instead drive me to Hawkins.

We are now home. Momma is still pretty drugged so she is in the bathroom locked in a pet carrier. The vet warned not to put the babies with momma, luckily momma had already prepared for them and made a nest in the nest box we had provided for her. We weren't about to put the babies out in the next box, and were afraid that they would be easy prey sitting in the next box in the house, but I had just made a small cage which was the perfect size for them. I must note that while I was making said cage John asked me multiple times 'now what exactly do you plan on putting in that small cage' at the time I didn't know but I am glad I made it anyways. I took some of the fur and hay out of the nest box and have put it in the cage and stuck the towel the babies are wrapped in on top of it all. The small cage fits perfectly on the top shelf in our bathroom.

So, all in all we are feeling rather blessed, it isn't often that we go in to get a rabbit put to sleep and end up with 2 additional babies. Prayers were definitely answered today--unfortunately, because the babies were alive and well it cost us over $200 and now we are praying for another miracle. I do have faith that no matter what it will all work out one way or another, for now though I plan on focusing on the two little miracles that are tucked away in our bathroom. They are by far not out of the woods yet and still require a lot of care and prayers. We first pray that they can keep each other warm. 2nd we pray that momma will continue to produce enough milk to care for them. 3rd we pray that momma will eventually accept the babies (which could very well be the case once the anesthesia wears off). And 4th, we pray that all of them can continue to live healthy happy lives.

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