Furbaby adventures; laceration surgery

Posted by on August 14, 2013 at 11:08 am.

Yesterday, Gracie (our lionhead rabbit) had her Health & Wellness exam. As you can see there are a few things different about her. A shaved mouth and stitches!

Lionheadd rabbit - laceration surgery_1

Sweet Gracie grooming herself

 

Rabbit Bonding

I’ve been keeping Oreo and Gracie separate until they bond. Females rabbits can be a bit challenging but it’s doable if you have patience. I have plenty of that. In the past, I’ve successfully bonded females. It’s not advised to put them in the room unsupervised. It could be like WWE in bunny land! What with the potential of kicking bunny feet, boxing front paws, fur flying, and who knows what else. You don’t want that!

With Oreo and Gracie, the initial introductions were done in a area neutral to both of them. Both were in small cages a few inches apart from each other. It gave them a chance to sniff each other. That was successful so I then moved the cages close together.  They were in touching distance. They sniffed and seemed fine. Since that worked well, I moved on to the next phase.

With Oreo and Gracie, occasionally I have let Gracie into Oreo’s room (supervised of course.) But only while Oreo is caged, so they can get used to each others scent. As you can see in the link, Oreo would come up and greet Gracie with a bunny sniff and then hop away.

 

Rabbit bonding gone wrong

Monday night when Gracie hopped up to Oreo’s cage to say hi, instead of sniffing her Oreo nicked her through the cage. Which left me wondering. How in the world did she manage to do that? The cage bars are small, so I’m guessing her nails on her front paws or her hind legs might have swiped her? The bleeding was minimal and Gracie was hopping around like normal (sporting a cut) after a bit of consolation from my daughter, Angel and me. Even though she looked fine. I still felt like such a bad fur mom!

Sighs…

I immediately called the vet and relayed what happened. I told them that although she was cut, she was still her inquisitive self, hopping around and eating. Since I had already scheduled an appointment for the following day, they told me they’d check her out then.

Lionheadd rabbit - laceration surgery_2

The black stitches really stand out on Gracie’s white fur. Trust me, it’s not as bad as it looks.

 

Upon arrival at the animal hospital Gracie’s vet (same as Oreo’s) had a chance to thoroughly check her. She recommended laceration surgery. I was expecting this, based on the lengthy research I’d done on Monday night. Gracie’s vet also said that I didn’t have to get the procedure; however, she strongly recommended it since it would ensure that it didn’t get infected and the stitches would help it heal correctly.  Of course I chose surgery!

We left Gracie at the vet. We returned home and waited for the call.  Those time drug by…  I was extremely worried, but tried not to show it since my daughter blamed herself. Of course I told her this wasn’t her fault. We both were concerned about Gracie and were hoping she was fine. Three hours later, we received the call that her surgery was successful! I must say we both were relieved to get that call.

Upon returning to the animal hospital, her vet gave me a lot of meds to give her during the recovery process. We also noticed that Gracie was now sporting a new look; fur shaved close near her mouth and she now had black stitches to help the cut heal properly. Even with the new appearance, we were thrilled to see that Gracie was fine. I must say, it was great to see our furbaby again. My daughter and I both gave her gentle hugs.

Lionheadd rabbit - laceration surgery_3

Gracie had just received her medication when I took this picture. As you can see, she really loves celery!

 

How much was the procedure? The surgery, with medication (and other services administered) totaled $236. Several years ago, I created a savings account just for my pets. You know, in case, an unexpected surgery happened. Besides yesterday, I’ve only had to use it one time. That was with Hanuman, my silver mitt ferret. He loved rubber and swallowed part of a rubber ball. I’m still trying to figure out how he managed to do that! That surgery was $168.

Gracie is back to normal

Despite the unexpected events, Gracie is doing fine. She still likes to be held, loves to lick us and loves hopping beside me while I read. My Hiya Hiya knitting needles fascinate her and she likes to nose them while I knit. It’s so cute!

This sweet bunny loves being around others. I have to thank “A” again for being such an awesome fur mom to this delightful bunny. Our biggest challenge will be slowing her down a bit so she can heal.

Oreo is fine

Oreo is doing fine also and I don’t blame her for this unexpected event. I blame myself. Oreo is our timid girl, but over the past few weeks she’s been coming out her shell. I do wonder what type of life she had before she came to live with us. She was one year and eight days old when we adopted her from the Humane Society of Harford County.

Oreo now lets me hold her. She does interact  with Mr. Bentley and Angel (without feeling threatened.)

The challenge will be bonding the two female rabbits; Oreo and Gracie. We’ll pick up bonding after Gracie has been spayed.  I’m not planning on scheduling Gracie’s surgery until October. Hormones, can be a factor in how well the bonding sessions go and once she’s spayed that should help tremendously!

What I would have done differently

Although they seemed to get along, I should have taken more time before allowing Gracie in Oreo’s room. Yes, Oreo was confined to her home/cage, but she’s marked that entire room! In her bunny mind, that room is hers!

I will say, even if they never like each other, they both still have a furever home with us. We love both of them and can’t think of our home without them.

 

Resources:

  1. Bonding: When the Going gets Rough
  2. Bonding Rabbits: A walk-through informational film
  3. Female Bonding: Lionheads Ariel & Miranda bonded!

 

 

6 Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    OMG! So sorry to hear! Don’t feel bad, tho! Years ago…we were interested in adopting a mixed breed to ‘friend’ our Sammy and Suzie and after about a week of very successful days “Sporty” bit our Sammy! Suzie then attacked “Sporty” – OMG! I was shaking for an hour! We immediately called the shelter and came to the conclusion she would best be fit with family who didn’t have other pets or small children! It was a shocker as we were doing everything by the book and things seemed PERFECT for well over a week! Thankfully – everyone was ‘ok’ and Sammy ‘only’ suffered 1 single tiny bite ‘hole’ in his paw – he didn’t even need stitches…it healed VERY quickly, too!

    We’ve been tossing around that idea with the Pet Fund. We did have one for over a year and I used it quite a bit. We are starting a new one now, actually, just in a different way! We pay a LOT in vet bills – but we are used to it, too!

    The lil furry friend sure is a ‘trooper’ and seems to be doing fine after the surgery! I hope that continues to be the case as she heals! I’m sure it will!

    Give her hugs for me!
    Jennifer recently posted..Boston Black-Eyed Peas Variation

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    Opal Reply:

    Thanks @Jennifer, logically I know it’s not my fault but still… you never want to see your loved ones or pets hurting. I found an amazing forum on the Binky Bunny site that focuses on bonding and that has made me feel so much better. What I experienced is common. I got off lucky since some of the bonding experiences have cost owners over $700.
    Opal recently posted..Furbaby adventures; laceration surgery

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    @Opal,
    I know it! That’s the worst thing in the world is to see them in pain! 🙁 Poor babies!
    Jennifer recently posted..Bunnies & Birds

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  • suituapui says:

    Poor thing! Glad to hear that they’re both fine now.
    suituapui recently posted..Welcome home…

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @suituapui, We’re relieved also. 🙂
    Opal recently posted..Furbaby Adventures: Lionhead rabbit; getting to know you…

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