May 29, 2008
With tremendous regret, I report that Patches has left us. Despite still having a tremendous will to live and fighting spirit, her condition deteriorated to the point that it was impossible for us to keep her clean and dry. She had begun to lose her appetite and her rear legs were becoming less and less functional. I did not want her to suffer from the pain and discomfort that was beginning to overcome her.
Thank you to everyone who knew, visited, loved her, and contributed to her care. She is most definitely one foster rabbit that I will never forget. I’m certain that her mischievous spirit is still inspiring the other fosters in our care!
Keith and Sue
|This is the story of Patches, a foster rabbit who came into the care of the Buckeye House Rabbit Society in April of 2004. Patches was a stray who had been spotted running around a Massillon-area construction site for several weeks. The workers were finally able to capture her and contact BHRS. She arrived at our foster home on April 24, 2004 in a deplorable state of health with the following ailments in need of urgent attention: fur mites, ear mites, numerous embedded ticks around her head and neck, a urine-soaked rear end, and intestinal tapeworms. Additionally, she had no fur on the bottoms of her feet (most likely from living in a wire-floored hutch), an eye injury that was healing but had left a large white scar, and very dirty and stained fur. She exhibited signs of head tilt and seemed to be very unstable whenever she tried to walk. Her rear limbs were very weak and she fell over whenever she attempted to take more than one hop at a time.
Patches was treated with Revolution for her mites and ticks, antibiotic ointment for her injured eye, and medication to kill her tapeworms. She was tested for Encephalitozoon cuniculi as a possible source of the head tilt and rear end instability, but the results were negative. Thorough examinations and x-rays have led her care-givers to determined that the head tilt was caused by the ear mite infestation (since cured), and her instability is the result of a past trauma that has left an untreatable muscular-skeletal or neurological injury. She will never be able to posture herself correctly in order to urinate without soiling the fur on her back legs and genital area. Because of this, she has suffered repeated urinary tract infections and bouts of urine scald. She must eat a very controlled diet since any moderately high-calcium foods cause her to produce sludgy urine that is almost solid.
Patches has been placed in sanctuary status because her various conditions require constant, specialized care that most adopters would find difficult to provide. Her posterior must be shaved, washed, and treated with protective ointment regularly and her housing requires twice-a-day cleaning and disinfecting. Occasionally we must administer subcutaneous fluid injections for week-long periods to flush the sludge from her bladder. She visits the veterinarian regularly to receive prescriptions for antibiotics and pain relief medication.
In spite of her afflictions, Patches is one of the most affectionate, attention-craving rabbits that we’ve ever cared for. She endures all of the washings, medicine dosings, and exams, and then immediately starts nudging for some bunny loving and pets. She will sit still for kisses and petting just as long as someone is willing to give them. And even though she usually loses her balance and flops onto her side, she still loves to run in short spurts and do binkies! Her first mission during her exercise times is to visit each of the other foster buns to say hello and rub noses. She is a very happy rabbit!
— Keith and Sue Zimmerman