Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The last farewell


Thank you to all of you who have offered support and advice following the last post, and to all of you who've commented, emailed or chatted with us about the lighter side of rabbits prior to that.

I'm sorry to tell you that earlier this afternoon we had to put Jellybaby to sleep.

On Saturday she stopped eating and by the evening was showing signs of distress and pain.
On Sunday morning we took her in to the exotic animal vet, got meds and critical care food to keep her going. They're closed on Mondays so we had her booked in for 8 am this morning to have dental surgery to tackle the teeth (molars) that were curling back and growing into her gums.

At noon today the vet telephoned to say they'd taken xrays and that it was far worse than first suspected. It turns out she was born with a hereditary condition that caused her molars to grow badly; not only were the roots twisted but they were encroaching backwards so the upper roots were growing into her eye sockets and the lowers were growing down until they were nearly breeching the lower jaw. The xrays were horrifying. Even the xrays of other bad cases the vet showed us paled in comparison. I can't help but wonder how much pain she bore over how many months before it became intolerable.

Breeders are responsible for this development: it shows up almost exclusively in selectively in-bred rabbits. Nature has ways of preventing crippling, misery-inducing deformities like this. Rabbits forced to mate with their relatives do not.

Major surgery was an option, involving removing all her molars. Success was unlikely as they were so badly grown that they would have been nigh-on impossible to remove properly or entirely. Even complete success, however unlikely, would likely have been temporary as they can grow back in again - crooked as before. And if unsuccessful, she would continue to suffer as her teeth forced their way into her eyes. Each attempt would mean full sedation (always risky), the stress of the operation and the painful recovery.

The vet gave us the options and explained all in detail but would not advise us. That part was up to us. The course, though painful, seemed clear. Once we told the vet our decision we could tell she was relieved.

They brought Jellybaby out to be with us. We had a few minutes alone and I held her as they administered the injection.

She never deserved this.
She was 2 1/2 years old.

15 comments:

  1. Crying here for you and your wife and for Jellybaby. So shitty. So not fair. And I'd have done exactly as you did--anything else would have brought unimaginable pain to her. It makes me want to believe in the rainbow bridge. I'm so sorry.

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  2. blankly staring at this comment box wishing something magically would come out of these typing fingers to help your pain, i know it's not going to happen. i too share the tears and the sadness, so much so. will hold your precious jellybaby in my thoughts and prayers as well as you and nadine. i am so very very sorry you are going through this.

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  3. Thanks, Glenna. Hard day. Thanks for the support.

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  4. And thanks Alice. We'll be in touch.

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  5. So sorry to hear about Jellybelly. I just started reading your blog. I am also in tears. I have had a hard week, but nothing to losing a little loved one like you have. I know she was a blessing to you. You and your wife are in my thoughts.

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  6. What a crapstastic day :( I am so sorry for you and yours. A beautiful bunny with a happy soul.

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  7. Oh dear, I was so afraid this might happen. My heart goes out to you and your wife. Losing such a beautiful girl, especially so young, is a tragedy. You did the best thing for her; you ended her pain and suffering as quickly as you could and you were there for her all the way until the end. She was as blessed to have you as you were to have her. You are in thoughts and prayers, as is sweet Jellybaby.

    Much love,
    Jade and Mickey

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  8. This just breaks my heart. I have so enjoyed getting to know you and Jellybaby in the few weeks of this blog. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  9. oh I'm so sorry, Jellybaby was so beautiful.

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  10. Oh, gosh, we are so sorry...........she was so well loved.

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  11. Thanks for the support, guys. I'm sure you all either know or can imagine what the past day has been like. Thanks again. Jellybaby would have appreciated it in her own funny way.

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  12. i am so sorry to hear this. i had just fallen in love with jellybaby through potentiallynervous, and i was hoping for many more years of bunny goodness. you made the best decision possible in your situation, and she was so lucky to have you guys as guardians. i agree, this is a terrible, preventable disease. i just lost a chinchilla to malocclusion as well, after six months of meds and two surgeries. when i light a candle for my chin, i'll add another one for jellybaby. my deepest condolences.

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  13. Malcolm my heart just aches for your loss. What a horrible thing to happen to such a sweet one. I can relate all to well as I lost my little Chloe in June of last year due to molar issues. It was awful and I still miss her every single day. She too was very young. My sincere sympathies are with you.
    shell

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  14. Malcolm, I just heard. Big ((HUGS)) to you and Nadine. A really shitty thing to go through. You did the right thing but it sucks that it had to happen. Poor Jellybaby.
    TTYS, Natalie

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  15. I am sooo sorry for your loss - I lost my little Willow because of the same issues and not a day goes by that I dont think of her and miss her - Willow was only a year old so I know how you feel - our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family - Ines and Sam

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