Ms. Arliss isn’t doing so well.

She had three surgeries in December, including having incisors removed and then two for this abscess thing that came up. I dropped her off again today (she’s been to the vet eight times), but this is the first time the vet was concerned that she wasn’t bouncing back. In other words, she’s not being her usual cranky, bitchy self.

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I have been flushing the marsupialized areas every night, and the original location is healing very well. But now the big new one under her throat is getting worse and the options are CT scan to determine if there’s general infection in the jaw bone, which would lead to either a major surgery in the area to remove lymph nodes and whatever else might be contributing the pus, or just palliative care if it’s too extensive to treat. Or I could choose one of those paths without the diagnostic benefit of the CT scan: expensive but might save her an unnecessary fourth surgery if we consider that route. Repeated anesthetic experiences aren’t exactly easy on a geriatric body. Arliss’ ten cranky years have been very special and I don’t want to see her lose that zest for boxing and biting me (the biting part is easy to handle now that she doesn’t have teeth!). She’s outlived two bunny mates and I fear I’m not a good substitute. I try to make medical decisions consistent with quality of life, prognosis, and diagnosis as best as you can have one, which the CT scan should provide. She’s lost 20% of her weight and we’re at a crossroads. The constant care does allow me to spend a lot of time with her, though, and that’s important for me to feel as confident as I can in the medical decisions as well as for the closure that will have to come eventually. I’m just not ready to lose my little snot yet.

Arliss in healthier, more vertical times

Some special buns have passed on very recently, too, all some of my favorite fosters.

Jolene‘s recent illness was an aggressive lymphoma. I named her after the Dolly Parton song. She had been adopted and returned twice and didn’t deserve to be shuffled around so much, but I’m kind of glad she was with us at the end.

Duncan’s mom (I knew him as Digit) let me know he passed today. He was about ten and recently dealt with stroke and cancer. Digie was the first bun selected for our Petco adoption program years ago and he flunked out for a health issue, which meant he got to stay with me for a long time before he found a great home. He was a really cool guy and the one who taught me how to give sub-q fluids and that parsley was healing magic.

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Honey and Felix were my very first foster rabbits many years ago. Ms. Honey had outlived her friend and was almost 13 when she left us this weekend. I remember when they got in my kitchen cabinets one time and were hanging out in the dish rack.

Life is sweeter when you make it more comfortable for another creature, especially those someone else threw out first.

6 thoughts on “Elderbuns

  1. Amy –
    So sorry to hear about Arliss 🙁
    I have a very happy, very spoiled, very ornary Rufus (nee Dobie) sitting next to me. I don’t know what happened him before but I am know that every day I get to give him a great life now. Your buns (and fosters) are so lucky to have you taking care of them for the time they are here.

  2. Pingback: Amy’s Gripping Commentary » Pack, purge, panic

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