Poor little guy, he’s had some what I would call ‘close calls’ in his life. Stormy got his name because he was left outside of The Natural Science Center of Greensboro during a thunderstorm in a cage so small he could barely turn around. The Science Center had no place for him and a suggestion was made that included the words dinner and anaconda. Holly wasn’t having that and took him home.
When she and John moved to Maryland about two years later (maybe less), Stormy came to live with me. He’s been here now for about five or six years. To be honest I wasn’t thrilled to get a rabbit. I’d already had gerbils and guinea pigs for many years and just wasn’t interested in another ‘rat’. Tracey agreed to clean his cage if we took him and actually bought him a nice hutch. I provide food, treats and water for him daily.
Over the years I’ve come to enjoy his antics, especially when we started to let him to run around our home. His thumps indicate anything from I’m hungry to let me out to ha-ha, can’t catch me.
So last Sunday Tracey brought Stormy to me and told me to look at his eye. The problem was there was no eye, not really. Just this bulging sack of pus. I can not tell you how horrified I was. And afraid too, the car wiped out what little bit we had in savings when it broke down in July.
Some might say, so what? It’s just a rabbit. No. Just no. He’s not just anything. For one he’s a member of our family. He’s a funny little guy who makes me laugh on days when I need to. He thumped his way into my heart a long time ago. Even if that wasn’t the case I believe all life has value if only because it is a life and God created it. No matter the circumstances that should always be respected.
Sunday night I set about treating my little bunny and praying we could make it through to Monday when I could get him to the vet. The first thing I did was put the wrong freaking medicine in his eye. At 1 a.m. in the morning I realize I’m putting lubricant in his eye instead of the terramycin. Now the lubricant is for animals and harmless but that wasn’t the point. The point was getting antibiotic ointment in there to help with the obvious infection.
To say I was upset is putting it mildly. I soaked Stormy’s eye with a warm rag and put the correct medicine in there. Before I go any further let me clarify, this is antibiotic ointment specifically for eye injuries and for animals. I keep it around because of my cats. They occasionally will get into a spat and bat at one another. Every now and then they’ll scratch another cat in the eye causing an infection.
When I looked at Stormy’s eye I already knew what I had on hand was not going to do the trick. I can not begin to tell you how awful his eye looked. I wasn’t even sure if there was an eye left in there. What’s worse is I didn’t even notice it. I’d let him out of his rabbit hutch the last several days and not noticed a thing. Surely his eye didn’t get like that overnight? At this point I just don’t know. What I do know is I feel so damn guilty.
On Monday the vet tells me several things: there is still an eye but it’s close to rupturing, if it ruptures the eye will have to be removed, even if it doesn’t rupture but won’t heal it will have to be removed and even if none of the above happens he still has lost the sight in that eye. At most he will see some light and shadows. To top it off the other eye was showing signs of infection, too.
My heart sunk to my toes. The vet gives me eye drops and antibiotic pills with the hope that I could convince Stormy to eat the antibiotic mixed with other food or even pear juice. Say what?! I wasn’t having that. The vet assistant had a suggestion I leaped on, a pill popper.
No, not that kind of pill popper. I kinda thought the same thing. My only excuse was that I was dead tired because what came to mind was some aging hippy, well preserved from all that dope experimentation in the sixties (head band, fringe jacket and all), trying to teach me and the bunny how to swallow a pill. O.O Although I have to admit by then I was more than ready to mellow out. The pill popper the vet assist actually had in mind was a plastic wand similar to a syringe used for liquid meds except the one she gave me was for tablets.
At the end of the visit I had just over $100 left in the bank. I called back to get an estimate on what the eye surgery would cost because I didn’t think to ask while I was there. On Tuesday I found out the surgery would cost $550. Yikes! Holly and Tracey, my awesome daughters, stepped up to the plate and said they would help pay. I have been truly blessed. Really. Because…
Wednesday I took Stormy back to the vet. I had been up working 24/7 on his eyes. The vet was amazed. She couldn’t believe how good his eye looked. It still looked like a pus bag but it was not bulging out of his eye socket like it had been and the other eye was nearly healed. Well, yay. He still won’t have sight in that eye but he will get to keep it.
On the following Saturday the vet wasn’t hopeful we could avoid surgery. The ulcer had not healed much. We set an appointment on the following Friday for a check up and possible surgery. If the ulcer didn’t heal all the way surgery would be needed to scar the cornea, forcing it to heal.
Today is Friday. I took Stormy in to have his eye checked. Guess what? His eye is looking awesome. We have a ways to go in treatment but the eye really looks so much better. We may be able to skip any type of surgery altogether. Any prayers you care to say for the little bunny are appreciated.
So here’s Stormy now, the white in the center is the ulcer. It may look a bit gruesome but trust me when I say it looks fifty percent better. We go back next week for a progress check.