My sweet Jojo is gone.
I stopped home from work at lunch on Friday, which is very unusual, but I needed to medicate the sniffly bun Vegas and get my bike for an after-work ride on a beautiful day. But Joey was hunched in the corner behind the litterbox, and that’s not good. He tried to eat when I gave him something tantalizing but gave up immediately. He also had some yellowish drool under his chin. So, off to the vet for a dropoff, where we learned through exam and xrays that he had a lot of pus in his right ear and the whole bulla on that side was opaque–meaning massive ear infection. We still didn’t have a reason for the excessive saliva but sent the infection out for culture and planned to start antibiotics as soon as possible and adjust them if culture results indicated another medicine.
Fortunately with fluids and super pain meds he perked up and was eating well and still pooping, two key indicators of bunny emergency, but the day was already long and I wanted him to see the vet again in the morning, so he spent the night at the clinic. Dr. Z said he kept eating overnight and while pretty quiet in the cage, when she let him hop around her office he explored and did well. But then he developed a head tilt (not odd with ear infection, but he tilted the wrong way), had a fever, and stuck his left rear leg out at an odd angle.
I took him home on Saturday morning and he never did eat or stand up again. I gave him his meds from the compounding pharmacy and figured he should start to do better in 24 hours if the abx were right. But he just got weaker and could only drag himself around a bit. Mostly he sat very still.
I took this picture intending to ask for advice online as to the odd angles he displayed, and why he tilted the wrong way, but it turned out to be my last picture of him. He splayed more as the day went on, perhaps just to prop himself.
After I got back from more errands to get meds for dizziness and a potential tilt-causing nervous system parasite, I put his bonded pal Arliss in his pen for a few hours and he watched her. I believe having a bunny friend is important for quality of life, and at times of illness can be a boost to healing. Joey didn’t heal, but he did try to drag himself over to her right before he passed. I was with him, about to try to serve some liquified food, and just trying to help him get his legs under him was enough to send him away.
Arliss stomped her feet when I put her back in her cage.
They’d only been bonded about six months, although I had adopted him a long time ago to be her friend after her first pal died and she mourned such that she refused to eat. In the meantime Joey was bonded with sweet Annabelle, also no longer with us. I am happy that Arliss and Joey and Annabelle, who had all lost previous companions, were able to live with another bunny again, and now I’m working to find Arliss yet another friend. She’s still a bit of a black widow though!
Joey was very sweet, and just a month shy of his seventh birthday. We know pretty much his entire history, rather unusual in rescue. I checked the organization database and found out he was bunny #2 (we’re on #442 now!) and here is his original plea for adoption:
Joey and his 4 siblings were an unintended litter surrendered to a shelter. Their time ran out the minute their paws hit the door!
Joey is the littlest guy in the group, somewhat reserved and very friendly. Joey is a pretty nosey guy, he always wants to see what everybunny (and his foster mom) are up to.
Joey is an incredibly, incredibly sweet little guy that actively seeks out cuddle sessions. Joey is a rare bunny, he likes to be cradled like a baby by his foster mom while getting head rubs.
Can you provide Joey a forever home where he is wanted and will be cherished?
There are even baby pictures at the link.
I’m glad he lived a happy life even if it was a bit short and we’re sad around the bunny room right now. I’m hoping necropsy will teach me a little more that will help another bunny in the future. Meanwhile, I’m already fostering Waldo, another middle-aged bunny who lost a mate, and perhaps he and Arliss can be friends. He stomped his feet right back at her so it seems promising.
ETA: Necropsy didn’t really find anything else. Best guess is e.c. or (I think more likely) septic from the ear infection.