Pretty Miss

Okay bunny people… I need a pep talk or a kick in the butt or something, please.

Missy… she’s 7 years old now… youngish for a bunny, but she’s been sick for so long. For at least 3 years I’ve been trying to manage this respiratory infection she has – Pseudomonas – if you care to read about how impossible it is to get rid of. I did the antibiotics (oral and injectable) but saw little long-term benefit. I tried nebulizing her with little result. So I settled for managing it with long-term Baytril. The last six months or so it’s not been managed well at all. The discharge from her nose and eyes is constant; to the point that I can’t keep up with it and most of the fur from one side of her face is always in the middle of falling off and regrowing. Not comfortable or pleasant-looking.

The last two months or so she’s not been grooming herself at all. Her face is so tender that I almost don’t dare touch it. I have to clean her ears for her. She’s not able to manage a litter box anymore so I moved her into a hay-filled cage. A desperate act, that, for me. Things just keep getting worse… her bottom is a mess, despite what I can do in that regard. A full in-the-sink-bath (another desperate act) didn’t help. She’s almost lost use of her back legs and can’t get out of her own way. Very sad.

But… she still loves her hay and salads. And perks up to be petted and fussed over. I’m just feeling like I’m not taking care of her properly, like she’s beyond getting better and will only continue to get worse. Until it’s just all sadness and being uncomfortable, you know?

I don’t know that I have it in me to put her to sleep, but it’s so hard to watch this happening and feel like there isn’t anything I or my vet can do. I think I know what I need to do; I just don’t quite have the courage yet.

13 thoughts on “Pretty Miss”

  1. A horrible predicament :
    Love her to death and then let her go! A suffering bunn is not a good thing.

    We had our big flemish girl, Marnie, and she got where she could not move around well and use a litter box and needed constant cleaning and it obviously was not happy for her or us. It was very hard, but the best in the long run, we still think. It was a huge relief to know she was no longer struggling and suffereing.

    But, it is you and your conscience! Good luck.

  2. Oh, dear. There’s no easy answer for your situation. I’m assuming you’ve had a second or third vet examine her? If another reputable exotics vet agrees that there is nothing new to be tried, I’d see if the regular vet thinks it’s time. It sounds like it is, but you probably know her best.

  3. When my first bunny died, I cried for days and days. It is the total unconditional love they give you that is so hard to let go of. I love my bunnies so much for that. Your love and care is obvious. Trust that you will know when it is time …

  4. We were in this same predicament with our 2nd bun, Elliott. We were nebulizing him in a small pet carrier with the holes all taped over with syran wrap. He had cataracts as well and couldn’t see. How did we know that? If we moved something into his normal route around the house he would bump into it. We eventually put him to sleep when it seemed to us that his quality of life wasn’t worth it for him. I guess what I’m saying is only you really know if it’s time to put him to sleep. Although, don’t feel guilty and beat yourself up over it if you feel in your heart that that is the right thing.

  5. I went through this with my big Bandit. In the end she stopped eating and we both knew it was time. However before this time some things that helped improve QOL were: acupuncture (eased back pain amazingly and and helped mobility, could help with immunity); Vitamin C; MSM; I gave her some Chinese herbs that helped pnuemonia; I made a sort of sling carrier suspended over a laundry basket so she didn’t have to have her legs scrunched up all the time; I would often sort of diaper her by putting a soft towel under her and changing that, kept her a little cleaner a little longer. My heart goes out to you, I know how it is!

  6. Missy is already telling you what to do. I think you will find the courage to allow her to go while she still has some dignity rather than waiting for her life to be all sadness and discomfort.

    For those of us who have lost pets, this is a horrid decision and our thoughts are with you no matter what the decision may be.

  7. Laura, oh, my. Tough, I know. You’ll know when it’s time. When you do everything you can and the vet has run out of options… You must be exhausted.


  8. Oh, dear. My Bunnyman had a different illness (an untreatable cancer), but it was as heartbreaking a decision. We kept him until it seemed the quality of his life was just too terrible for him, then took him to the vet, and I held him while they put him to sleep. I cried buckets and then went out and adopted my current two. So sad, all of it, and enough to make you think sometimes of not risking your heart again.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for your ideas and support. I’ve made up my mind today, more or less, because she’s not eating very well now.

    She was at this point three years ago and after a couple very expensive weeks at the vet, she turned around. I brought her home then thinking that she wouldn’t see the end of that summer. It’s been a rough three years, but I’m glad for the time and love I’ve invested, glad we got a couple extra years.

    With so many bunnies in and out of here over the years – and each one lost seeming like more of a heeartbreak – I’m afraid I’ve become too callous about it to protect myself. That’s why I asked for input from those of you here – to help myself see that it’s the right time for her.

    Thanks again.

  10. oh, dear. Reading backwards is not getting any better. But I’ve never been an advocate of extreme measures with bunnies or kitties or dogs. Quality of life has a different meaning for these fur creatures and you’ve no unfinished business here.
    She has a cute, round little face- maybe you took these in better days?- but she does look as tho she loves her hay.

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