Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

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Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby fishi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:45 am

Hey All,

Just wanted to see if anyone has had a similar experience as the one I am going through.

We have female (unspayed) netherland dwarf, about 1.5 years old. Recently we noticed a change in her poop (hard and small) and a loss of appetite for food/water. More concerningly i noted some blood coming from her stool/urine. I did some research and was thinking it was GI stasis. After doing some xrays and describing the symptoms, the vet said there is a good chance she has an infection in her uterus (leading to uterine cancer). The choices were either perform an emergency spay (which is risky as she is not eating/drinking and rabbits are not all that resilient) to remove the uterus, and this is assuming that she survives the anethesia, or send her home with medication/pain killers and hope it resolves itself (which if it doesn't, could spread im guessing).

I opted to take her home with the meds and see what happens. Id do the surgery in a heartbeat, although it seems risky that they might not even get to that assuming she doesnt make it past the anesthtia. She would obviously need time to recover which is better alternative than to lose her. Alternatively, if the meds dont work, and we continue to feed her, there is a chance that whatever is inside could spread. im stuck in between a hard place and hard place..

I wanted to see if anyone else has gone through this situation or has any other thoughts. there arent any right decisions, just tough ones i guess. Thanks for reading..
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby Bindi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:05 am

Has the vet given you any idea of a cut off point, ie "if it hasn't resolved itself in x number of days, we need to spay her"?

Of course, to add to your problems, if the antibiotics don't clear it up, she's only going to get weaker for the anaesthetic. So I guess the big goal alongside everything is to keep her strength up, even if that means syringing her baby food. At the moment, diet can, within reason obviously, go out of the window while you are encouraging her to eat. It is more important that she eats than that she eats her regular diet.

You might want to consider spaying her anyway when she is better... as you've found out, female rabbits do tend to get reproductive problems. It is often a bi-product of them having to be super-super-fertile for the first couple of years of their lives, because of short lifespan in the wild.

Good luck to you both. Fingers crossed she gets better.
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby fishi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:51 am

Thanks for your response..

He hasnt really given a cut off date, he did say that something needs to be done sooner rather than later, but with the meds he did give us some critical care food supplement...we are feeding her via syringe and giving her water as well..i've given her some play time and she is moving on her own and likes being chased..shes probably lethargic more from the meds than anything..

spaying her when she gets better is understood, getting to that point would be great..lol

Hopefully it works out!
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby Bindi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:12 am

I don't envy your position. My rabbit Bandit had a uterine condition but we weren't aware of it when she went in to be spayed. It went from routine to major quite quickly and she was ok, but she was eating and so on prior to going in. Unfortunately part of having companion animals is the time when you have to decide between two courses of action where either one may pay off or not, and I've certainly been there before. If only we had psychic vision.

I guess if I were in that position, I'd weigh up a few things... the cost of the spay option (of course I'd love to say money doesn't matter, but I know how much Bandit's spay would have cost if the vet hadn't kindly given me a discount for not expecting a major incident and it wasn't cheap!) and how well I thought my rabbit was... When I asked my vets about spaying, they said they had only lost a couple of rabbits under anaesthetic but those rabbits were in pretty bad shape. I think if my rabbit had only just started being ill and was still broadly healthy rather than being thin and sickly for some time or looking particularly weak, I'd risk it, but that's just me. Then I'd go home and have an anxiety attack until she came out of theatre.
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby jennyc1013 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:38 am

Difficult decision. The problem if she goes in to theatre alreadypoorly, and not eating and drinking, is that she'll not have the strength to recover. If she has got a tumour, then a couple of weeks to get her better could make no difference at all. I really can't see it making a huge difference, but you'd have to go with what the vet said on that. Also, as you don't know she actually has a tumour... Glad I'm not in your situation, but that doesn't help you!
I'd probably do what you're doing - get her as strong as possible before the surgery and then go for it. May be useful to work out a cut-off date with your vet so you have something to aim for.
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby fishi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:08 am

Hey guys,

Just thought id give you an update..tough decision, but we opted for the emergency spay..

Got the call a few hours later that she had made it (yay!), and did pretty well..they kept her for 3 days after for observation. They said she was alert and eating a little hay..we took her home..she was still not eating hay/pellets or drinking, but otherwise was reasonably normal. We took her back to get a follow up to see why she wasnt eating they tried to get her off critical care and make her hungry..the vet gave us some gastric motility drugs. As of today she will eat kale/spinach and a little cilantro, and will nibble on pieces of apple and a little banana. With her meds we give her water and a bit of critical care, and she will eat hay only if its stuck in her face...She passes small shiny pancake like poos, and pees ocassionally..we try to give her exercise and have removed any traces of cardboard (she loves eating cardboard ironically) from her area..

The pathology results came back and asside from it being slight enlarged than usual, there are no traces of infection/cancer...Essentially it looks like we are back where we started, but she is without her uterus..and oddly enough she is the same weight as she was when all this drama began!..

the saga continues...
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby Bindi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:35 am

Glad to hear there was nothing obviously wrong with the uterus after all (although I bet that cost you a lot to find out!) I guess if there was something unusual about the uterus (you said it was slightly enlarged) then possibly that could have led to uterine alterations later down the line, so it could still have been a health issue at some point.

Glad to hear she hasn't lost weight. When Bandit was spayed, she lost about half her body weight :cry:

I did hear recently that when rabbits aren't really eating, the most common thing they will pick at are herbs... although they most commonly eat herbs that they are already used to.

I hope she picks up soon :)
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby fishi » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:24 am

Hey all, its funny..just under a month ago i had a tough decision of choosing an emergency spay..that decision was a piece of cake compared to what we faced on Saturday..

After several weeks of putting our rabbit through various meds and force feedings, she became very lethargic on thursday.,we took her back to the vet and it turns out she had "fatty liver"..her liver and kidney's were in bad shape, and things were deterioating quickly..our options were to perform aggressive therapy with IV fluids..but even with that, it was a long shot to reverse the damage that had been done, or the vet suggested we put her down as she was unsure if she would survive the night..i found it tough differentiating what was good for me vs. what was good for her..i wanted to say bye in my own way..we took her back and tried to feed her, but she wouldnt swallow..we checked up on her throughout the night, and she made it through the morning..but we decided that although we werent sure if she was in pain, she was defintely uncomfortable..so we put her down that morning..

its ironic..she was only a year and a half, but she made a big impact on our lives...as i write this i miss her dearly..but you can only control what you do, and whats going to happen is going to happen....thanks for reading
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby BrunosMama » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:18 pm

So sorry for your loss. You had some hard decisions to make. :( Be well.
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby Bindi » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:17 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that :( I had to have my dearest Bandit put to sleep, it is such an awful decision :(
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Re: Emergency Spays...to do or not to do....

Postby jennyc1013 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:48 am

So sorry to hear that. It is never an easy decision to make.
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