Two weeks ago I noticed that our much loved pet rabbit, Snuggles, appeared to have lost his appetite. Having done lots of research about rabbits when we first brought Snuggles home, I immediately knew that this was a bad thing.
Rabbits are very good at hiding illnesses which means it can be quite hard to spot when they are unwell. Thankfully, I know our little Snuggles very well, and one thing I know for sure about him is that he loves his food.
Every morning Snuggles has his breakfast brought to him, and this consists mainly of romaine lettuce, coriander and parsley. As a treat I’ll often give him a small slice of banana too, and he devours all this straight away.
Around 2pm, I give him a small handful of greens, and then again in the evening he has another small handful. I should add that Snuggles also has constant access to fresh hay all day.
However last week when I wen to give Snuggles his evening greens, I noticed that he hadn’t eaten his greens from the afternoon which is most unlike him. I tried to tempt him to eat with some banana, but he was having none of it.
The following morning I let him outside in his run for some fresh air and he appeared to be ok as he ran laps around the run and played with his toys.
A few days later after returning home from work, I went outside to check on him and immediately I knew that he needed to see a vet. Although he had been eating small quantities of dill, he still didn’t have his full appetite back, and more worryingly, I noticed that Snuggles that was ‘stumbling’. When I say stumbling, it actually looked like he was going to collapse.
I ran the vet and drove straight there. The vet asked lots of questions and said that it could be neurological, or it could be his teeth bothering him. She also mentioned E Cuniculi which is a tiny parasite that can live inside a rabbit’s body and is a significant cause of disease. The vet mentioned possible paralysis of his back legs, but also said that he could just be weak due to his loss of appetite which could cause him to stumble and be unsteady on his feet. The vet gave me some critical care which is a recovery food to be given every 2-3 hours, in addition to pain medication and ranitidine, and then she booked me in for another appointment the following day.
Poor Snuggles really disliked the medication and critical care, but he took it like a trooper. The following day, I took him to the vet again, and saw a different vet. I mentioned Snuggles ears and asked if it could be an ear infection as my sister suggested this. The vet checked his left ear and although a little waxy it appeared ok. She then checked his right ear and again it was quite waxy, but Snuggles really wasn’t happy with having his right ear examined and he kept trying to scratch it. As such the vet gave me some antibiotics in case it was an ear injection and then booked me in to see her again in two days time.
By now, the cost of the two appointments and the medication had mounted up to almost £150. Thankfully we have pet insurance, and minus an excess of £50, we’d get the majority of what we’d paid out back.
On the plus side, I could make the most of having some lovely cuddles with Snuggles.
It’s funny how pets can become part of a family, and it’s taken me by surprise just how much love we all have for him. He’s such a character. He can be grumpy, yet he’s also affectionate and funny! We really couldn’t be without him.