This post is written by Bibi Farber, because Sandra is still a little groggy from surgery.
On May 2, 2012, I was snuggling and playing with Sandra in the morning and was feeling her little body with both hands as I always do, a gentle massage but also to feel for ticks or anything unusual.
My hands went over her face and stroked the side of her neck. There was a lump the size of a chick pea in her lower left jaw. It was rather hard. She had been eating and running around normally, so at first I was calm and we just kept snuggling. I talked to her and told her it would be alright, whatever it was. I knew she was not in real pain, but this WAS a lump.
After about 15 minutes I fell apart completely and started sobbing. As usual, Sandra comforted ME instead of the other way around. She stayed close to me on the bed, and let herself be touched and held and stroked even in the midst of this downpour of tears and crying. She is so brave and compassionate always, that little rabbit.
Most veterinary centers had no rabbit specialist there with any open time to see her, let alone take action. It’s not like dogs and cats, where any vet on the staff can see them. Rabbits are “exotics”. After much calling around, The Hurley Veterinary Hospital did have a qualified rabbit vet in, and would you believe: he had a surgery cancelled and was happy to see her right away.
This is a common thing with rabbits. A bit of hay or food gets into the gum area and causes an infection that swells up and must be drained or often as in Sandra’s case, surgically removed.
Surgery took place only hours after the discovery of the lump. I was disoriented and distraught all day, and quite concerned about the general anesthesia because even conservative estimates claim there is a failure rate of 20% in these small bunnies. She only weighs 3 lbs and the idea of surgery on her little mouth…
But she pulled through! I was shocked to see her after surgery, because it looks so severe. A total stranger in the vet’s office had to calm me down and console me, she looked so beaten up and I fell apart.
But she IS fine! No more bad bumps in Sandra’s mouth! If you would like to join me, I take comfort in visualizing her completely healed, her bouncy super spirited self! Just send her a little love in the form of a nice thought about her!
She is a strong, tough little girl with lots of moxie who went it all alone in the wild for who knows how long before took her in.
I await her return home tonight, and can’t wait to stroke her and tell her I love her in both bunny ears, and that everyone sees her being a happy and healed bunny who has a wonderful life to look forward to!
The vet said she is doing fine, not messing up the wound and using her mouth already for some hay! And it wasn’t the size of a chick pea, it was the size of a small egg.
So send her some happy thoughts! She’ll write more when she is back up and hopping!