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Monday, July 11, 2011

Goodbye Bugsy, We'll Miss You

We didn't make it to the Renegade Craft Fair in SanFrancisco yesterday because we had another rabbit emergency. Bugsy got sick suddenly overnight and by the afternoon was not able to breath through his nose, was not eating or drinking and was very quickly becoming dehydrated. Just the day before, he was chasing his brother, Squirrel, around the yard.

I rushed him to my mom, who works with a veterinarian, but because the ride was a little over an hour, he barely made the trip (there are no emergency vets open on Sunday that are any closer.) Unfortunately by the time we arrived, he was already on his way out. I buried him there at the ranch. Sadly, I came home to find that Miss Flossy had finally given birth, but the two babies were stillborn. I felt so sorry for her, I could tell from her behavior that she was depressed.

Lee and I decided that rabbits are really complicated little animals because by the time we notice symptoms in them, it's way too late (it seems that ailments hit them overnight, and once afflicted they go down so quickly,) and we don't live close enough to a vet to save them in time. We agreed that these will be our last Jersey Woolies. No more breeding, no more replacing them. Originally we wanted pet rabbits who could help us out with the garden compost and provide a little wool to practice spinning with, on top of being our pets, but I think a Pygora goat (which we were planning to get eventually anyway) would be much better for us in providing the same things, without the fragility of the bunnies. We are wimps and can't take losing those little sweet fluff balls because we get so attached to them. We might be willing to try some larger, less fragile rabbits like a Flemish Giant, but a little more research is going to be required before we even think about that.

I can't emphasize enough to people who think they might want a pet rabbit: please, do your homework and really determine if they are the right pet for you. They are not an easy pet to keep and are the third most euthanized pet at animal shelters.

2 comments:

  1. Aww. I am sorry for your loss. Bugsy was a cutie. I can only imagine how much work taking care of a rabbit must be. We had 2 finches, 3 cats and 2 puppies at one time. That was a bit crazy. One of our birds finally passed on so we let our other go back to the person we got her from who still has other birds and then lost one cat. We are down to two cats and two puppies now. Again, sorry for your loss. : (..

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  2. Aww, thank you Jan. Bugsy was the third rabbit we lost in the last couple of months, not including the three babies from our first batch who died after birth, and the two just recently. I'm not used to caring for such fragile animals. Their digestive systems are so delicate and their diets are a lot more complicated than I had initially imagined. When I was a kid, we just gave our rabbits pellets and carrots... back then, I guess there was little other information available for pet owners on the correct way to feed them. Now I've come across lists and lists of things that are bad or poisonous for them, and they chew on everything whether it's good for them or not!

    We've got a full house here and love all of our animals, we have 3 dogs, 9 cats (thanks to a stray mama and her babies joining us over Spring), 5 chickens, and now just 5 rabbits. Plus a hive of bees and a bin of worms. It does get crazy sometimes, and if one of us wasn't home most of the day to take care of everything, we wouldn't be able to pull it off. We just get so attached to every little animal who comes into our lives, it's really hard on us when they have to leave so soon.

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