When I went to check the rabbits before going to sleep last night I found Sooty stretched out uncomfortably in the litter box. The first thing I thought was “uh oh”; the second was “bladder infection”.
She was shivering. She strained to urinate from time to time. Her position and facial expression was strained. She fidgeted in an attempt to get comfortable. She pressed her abdomen against the floor of the litter box.
Her ears were also cold, but that was to be expected in the run-up to winter in an unheated house.
At 2200hrs there was no access to the local vet. The choices open to me were an emergency after-hours vet or a bottle of a rabbit-friendly antibiotic (often used to treat bladder infections) which happened to be sitting in my fridge. I opted for the latter.
I got Sooty out of the cage and sat her in a newly-prepared litter box. She crouched. I tried to tempt her with a cranberry; no go. I felt her lower abdomen; she winced. She’d been eating in the afternoon, so she probably didn’t have GI stasis.
I measured out a dose appropriate to her weight and gave it to her, then covered her with a blanket and settled down to watch and wait.
(A tile floor is very hard, very cold and very uncomfortable, even after you’ve put down a mat of newspaper.)
Around midnight she got out of the litter box and piddled on the floor; I persuaded her to get back in. She was obviously still hurting but not as much as before. She accepted a cranberry.
At 0230 she was up and about: making a hell of a racket, scratching madly at the cage door, trying to rejoin the others inside. She’d left pellety presents in the litterbox. I rewarded her with another cranberry and let her go home.
This morning Sooty was back to her usual self and I gave her another dose of the antibiotic. The clinic is not open today, so she’ll be seeing the vet tomorrow.
Date photos taken: March 2009
Camera: Pentax K100D Super
Lens 1: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED
Ambient light only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.