My eleven year old rabbit has an abscess...

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My eleven year old rabbit has an abscess...

Postby tallicarules » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:43 am

Hello. I discovered an abscess under my bunny's right eye several days ago. Apparently it is due to a cracked tooth. My vet who is quite knowledgeable has presented several options. Because of my rabbit's advanced age,I am very confused as to how to proceed. Even though up until now he has enjoyed good health,it is obvious that he is getting tired. I simply don't know if he could survive the surgery or the anesthesia. If he were to make it through,I question how difficult the recovery would be on him. If I treat him strictly with anti-biotics,there is a very slim chance that he will ever recover. I want to do the very best thing for him but I don't want him to suffer in any way. I am truly broken hearted. Neither my husband or myself know what we should do. If you have any information or would consider expressing what you would do if presented with this scenario,I would be most appreciative. My vet will be calling me tomorrow and I must make a decision. Many thanks.
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Re: My eleven year old rabbit has an abscess...

Postby Bindi » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:50 am

That's a tough one...

I know money shouldn't play a part in these things in an ideal world, but if it were me I have to admit if I thought my rabbit wouldn't survive the operation, I probably wouldn't proceed with an operation that was a lot of money. When my Sealy was ill (which he was a lot) and it looked like he was faced with an expensive treatment (£400 or something...) I did weigh it all up and thought of having him put to sleep, but like a little fighter he actually survived without the treatment. I lost him in the end though.

If you think there is a chance he'll survive and be fine, and you are willing to spend the money on the operation, the anaesthesia will just put him into a deep sleep and if he doesn't wake again... well, that's a peaceful end at least. You could always ask the vets if you can be there when they anaesthetise him if that is important to you (I don't know if they'll agree, but they might).

I have a horrible feeling that if I were presented with the scenario you've described as I'm imagining it, that the operation and recovery would be too much or that antibiotics would be short term, I probably would let my baby go. I've only had one rabbit put to sleep, my dearest Bandit, and it's a decision that is just the worst thing. There's never a perfect moment... You either wonder "did I do it too early? Could it have worked out?" "Maybe we could have been together longer..." or you wait and then if it ends badly "why didn't I do it earlier?" And you then have to learn to live with the fact that you made that decision. I expect that if you didn't do the operation, you might then always wonder if he might have recovered. Such is the curse of uncertainty.

With the rabbits I've had... With Sealy I'd have let him decide. He had a sparkle in his eyes, bless his heart, and even when he was in discomfort I knew that he wanted to keep fighting so I fought with him. If this theoretical bunny had that spark... then I might take a chance on it. With Bandit though, I couldn't help her even though she was begging me to, and ending her life was the only thing I could do to take away her pain and distress.

I don't suppose I've helped much with this ramble... made myself cry though.

I hope things work out the 'best' way, whichever way that is.
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