Published last week and then retracted
Louie was found as a stray near Louisville with five other Dutch rabbits, and someone caught them and took them to a shelter. We think he is the daddy of the bunch, since he arrived via a dog transport to our rescue yesterday with four young lookalike bunnies. One member of the group had already been adopted from the shelter.
This nasty lump on his foot burst open yesterday and bled all over; I was halfway to the emergency vet before it stopped. I dropped him off at my vet this morning (after finding another lump), who has determined these are tumors and he’s been licking at the one on his foot for awhile. Multiple fast-growing tumors, including one in an area that would likely require amputation to treat, plus some sneezing to top it off means our resource-strapped rescue has decided to euthanize. Treating a bunny with these issues is difficult and expensive, and then he’s not particularly adoptable to the average person looking for a healthy rabbit.
This may be the hardest call I’ve been part of, because Louie has been acting relatively ok other than worrying that thing on his foot. Normally we wouldn’t pull a rabbit in his condition from a shelter (and in fact, most shelters would have euthanized him when he came in the door), but he showed up on the transport and we were obviously better qualified to assess his wound than the place he came from, who apparently didn’t notice the issue or at least didn’t tell us about it. He had a warm place to stay with me last night and a full belly. If we conserve those funds, we can rescue several other rabbits…but it’s still a crummy choice to have to make.
Some days I wonder if karma will come back to get me. I feel like I have saved so many lives but signing this euthansia authorization feels like I’m setting back the score a little. Is it better to wait until QOL suffers more? You can’t leave a condition like that untreated, but the treatment isn’t easy either.
Head vs. heart, logic vs. compassion, data vs. Dutch bunny.
Shortly after faxing the euthanasia form, the vet called and wondered if we could work something out. While we still can’t afford to help him much, she is donating some services and we’re funding some basic care and we’ll see if he can be helped. Louie lived an extra week so far and now will have his tumors removed and assessed. It’s funny how things work themselves out, at least for a little while. She says he’s a nice older bunny and content hanging out at the clinic.