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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Healy has kidney failure... and he just lost his mate.
Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 2/20/2012 2:20 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline HealaMonster
20 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2012 3:47 AM

This has truly been a sad sad week. Healy (5) and Oakley (3) had been happily bonded for 8 months. They both seemed so healthy and active. We were shocked when Oakley died suddenly on Tuesday night with no symptoms beforehand. The only clue was that she seemed unable to breathe right before she passed. I'm waiting for the results of her necropsy.

The following day I brought Healy to the vet in case there was something mysterious that they could both have. Healy has always been a territorial pee-er, but since Oakley passed I have had him on the couch with me a lot to keep him company. In a one hour sitting he peed 3 times! I told the vet about this and we decided to do a blood test. It came back with high levels of Creatinine. So Healy has kidney disease. She said that I should wet his vegetables and offer a side dish of diluted fruit juice to get him to drink more. If he gets bad enough I will also give him SQ fluids under the skin. He was very stressed for the rest of the day after the vet. He would only eat banana and raisins.

As of yesterday he is still very reluctant to eat. I have been babying him a lot and spending all my time with him. It seems to help, I feel like he doesn't want be alone in the bun room. I can't blame him. It feels sad in there now. He has refused hay for 3 days now. I have gotten him to eat some carrot, bok choy, and cucumber. And he ate some pellets mixed with apple sauce. It takes a lot of patience to get him to eat, which is really unusual for him. He used to love food! Any food.

I'm trying to figure out if he is still stressed from the vet or if he is grieving the loss of his mate. He never seemed very attached to Oakley when they were together. They didn't groom eachother (they would ask, but I don't think either knew how), they didn't eat together much, but they cuddled every once in a while.

He has chosen a corner of the room and sits there fluffed all day unless I'm with him. I've been bringing him downstairs to watch tv and hang out with me and the cat every night for 2-3 hours. He seems to enjoy it.

So my issue is this: would he perk up with a new bunny? or would it be an additional stress on him and me?

It was not an easy bond with Healy and Oakley. Do buns that have lost a mate bond quicker during the mourning process? I've heard that buns can get severely depressed and should get a new mate right away. But it doesn't seem so cut and dry in this case. I have Healy's illness to worry about. He needs special care and who knows how long he can hold out. Maybe a year? Maybe more? Maybe less? I'm certainly hoping for more. But is it fare to bond him with another bun just so that the new bun has to go through this same thing?

I definitely don't feel emotionally ready to go pick up another rabbit from the shelter, but I could do it if it helps him. I don't know what to do. I just want Healy to be ok.

Healy and Oakley.

User is Offline Sarita
18885 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2012 4:22 AM
What a sweet picture. It sounds like a cumulative of issues that are causing him not to feel good.

If it were me, I would first see what I could do about the kidney failure and getting him to eat. The lack of wanting of eat could very well be due to the kidney failure. I've only dealt with kidney failure in the very last stages and my rabbit would not eat and seemed to sleep all day.

I don't think I would rush into another rabbit for him right now. I would be more interested in seeing how his illness progresses and keeping him comfortable and eating.

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
2787 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2012 7:36 AM
I'm very sorry about the loss of Oakley and the medical problem that Healy is having. I hope that he will start eating better and feeling better soon. I'm sure that all the time you are spending with him is helping.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11066 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2012 3:41 PM
I'm sorry to hear that Healy has an illness along with the grief you were expecting with the loss of Oakley.

I wouldn't rush out to get a new friend for him. Between you and the cat he likes, he is not lacking for company, and treating kidney disease can be a serious and prolonged situation for him. I would work on getting him treated and more comfortable, with a new routine established where the focus is all on him. I think an attempt to bond him is just more stress. He will not feel as normal and interested as long as he is chronically ill. I really hope the vet gets it under control and he makes a recovery. {{{{{{{{{{{{Hugs & Healing vibes}}}}}}}}}}}}
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8985 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2012 5:44 PM

I am so sorry, this must be extremely difficult dealing with the sudden loss of Oakley, and then this serious medical issue with Healy. Did the vet discuss long term prognosis? This is a link that you may find helpful --It can be a bit scary but it does discuss treatment and management of kidney disease in rabbits that may help with the quality of life.

I agree with the others that I would hold off for now. There is no guarantee that the next bunny would get along with Healy and you don't want to deal with adding stress until you see how the disease progresses.

As far as how rabbits mourn. It really varies from rabbit to rabbit. I have had rabbits that seemed to recover just fine without a huge deal, to a very depressed bunny like Jack was when he lost Rucy (didn't eat and wouldn't do anything), to Vivian who acted out by tearing up her bedding and becoming more aggressive. In the extreme cases of depression and aggression, it did help to give them attention and just be there for them. So I think you are doing the right things.

Hang in there. Hugs!

User is Offline HealaMonster
20 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2012 12:37 PM

Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice. I'm glad that you all seem to feel the same way about introducing a new bun. It is a relief to just worry about focusing on Healy. And thank you BB for the information. It is definitely a very scary disease. I think so far we are on top of things and have caught this in the early stages.

Thursday and Friday were rough, he didn't want anything to do with food or water. But I was persistant and he ate and drank a bit. Saturday was much better. He ate pellets mixed with carrot baby food, parsley, cucumber, and carrot! He has also been drinking more water when I mix in some apple juice. I havn't had any luck getting him to eat hay though. I'm considering buying one of those awful kaytee varieties with all the junk mixed in just so that he will start eating it again.

By today he is acting more like himself. He is moody and demanding banana (which he can smell from a mile away). Yesterday I brought in a sample of urine to the vet. She said that there were trace amounts of blood in it, so we should do a round of antibiotics. I picked up the baytril today. It's banana flavored so Healy is happy.

I plan to bring another urine sample for testing in a few weeks and we will weigh him again. We can then compare the results to yesterday's and see how the disease is progressing. He feels so thin and fragile now. And he really hated the blood test. The vet took it from his leg, which I didn't find out until after the fact. I thought vets knew to draw blood from their ears. Holding a rabbit's leg out must be terribly stressful for them and Healy was limping for the rest of the day. Next time they want blood I want to be present (I hate when they take your pet out of the room to do anything). I'm prepared to give SQ fluids if he needs them, but so far I think he is ok. I'm guessing that there will be good days and bad.

That article said that buns can live over a year with kidney disease. I wish I had more time with him, but I like the part that says "Always remember that whether your bunny is feeling well or not is the only real "test" result that matters."


User is Offline Sarita
18885 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2012 2:10 PM
My vet does it from that area as well, not the ears. Continued vibes to Healy. It's a terrible disease.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16164 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2012 2:20 AM
I'm sorry to hear about all the difficulties you've been having. I hope Healy is feeling much better soon.

My vet also took blood from the legs. She said it's very difficult to get enough from the ears.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Healy has kidney failure... and he just lost his mate.

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