Bunnified News, Commentary, Social Criticism, Bunzo Journalism

RUNNING BUN MAGAZINE - All things "bunnified," news from the rabbit multiverse, deep down in the Earth, where it's still warm.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna - Stick & Carrot Game

 Glenna the Good
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Ok so I decided to give little Miss Glenna Bun an extra large carrot to celebrate having her last dose of medicine tonight. Yay! 10 days of yucky antibiotics without any complaint! So I started to stick it through the bars on the top of her cage and it didn't go all the way through and started swing back and forth like a pendulum. She tried to catch it and I laughed and took some photos while she made me think of Bugs Bunny and the proverbial stick and carrot routine. Except in this game, the stick was also the carrot.

It didn't seem fair to keep laughing while she tried to solve the problem. She made a number of good attempts to remove the carrot and then gave up. So she decided to just try and eat it while it hung there. That's when I decided the game was over and let her have her reward. She did give me a reproachful look for just a split second but at the same time she couldn't help but be excited at the size of this evening's carrot. Enjoy silly pictures above. After today, she will have the go ahead to get out of the cage and stretch her legs and do some exploring, at last!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sanctuary Rabbits: Earless Glenna Update

 Glenna the Good
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Just a little update on Miss Glenna Bun. She is doing very, very well. She is still being confined per the doctor's orders and she has just about had enough of it. Every evening, she demands her carrots (now that she knows what they are) but she knows she's going to get medicines first so she motions her head to the 2 syringes on my desk and looks at me. She wants her meds so she can get her veggies!

I've brought her up on the bed several times now to watch some TV and she doesn't seem comfortable. I think she is still apprehensive about the little dog and big cat who are often up here too but whom are 100% totally bunny trustworthy. She is slowing getting that into her head. She must have been pretty scared of dogs in the past though as a result of some experience with them.

When Glenna Bun first came in, I was told she'd been sprayed by a skunk 'or something.' No one who smelled her seemed sure what it was. Neither was I when I smelled her after the 'surgery' smell wore off. But I knew I'd smelled it before sometime. Well I remembered now. She has just been absolutely soaked to the bone in rabbit urine. She smells just like the 11 rabbits I helped animal control in nearby West Virginia confiscate from a backyard breeder four years ago this summer. They were sitting in milk crates in 104 degree heat in the July sun sitting in 5 or 6 inches of their own waste and urine. They had been drinking dew although a few had chewed up water 'bowls' (which were really just the bottoms of gallon milk jugs cut off) and they all smelled so bad it was unthinkable. And when I got them all home, I had to give each one a hot bath with lots of hand soap. Yet still they reeked for months afterward until their first shed. Glenna also has the telltale signs: urine stained fur all over her. It is impossible to remove urine stains from a rabbit's fur; you just have to wait until they shed.

Glenna smells like that even though she's had two descenting baths. When the a rabbit has been so completely doused over and over for long periods of time, that is what they smell like. She also came in with a spot on her nose that has the distinctive mark of a rabbit bite. She'd been bitten pretty badly on the nose but came away without serious (i.e., abscess) injury. It's unclear whether the abscess she had removed from her back was from flystrike (warbles) or the bite of another rabbit. It is in the right place for a rabbit who is being bitten by another one who is humping them. And she shows evidence also of having had a litter (or two or three or more) in the form of long teats.

She is a very patient lady though and obviously feels safe as she naps all the way over on her side. When she wakes, she looks at me hopefully as if to say 'pellets now?' but she only gets about a tablespoon of pellets per day. That's because of her double whammy malocclusion - incisor and molar - so she needs to eat mostly hay so her bite can correct itself.

Her ears are turning white at the tips and I don't know what that means, it may just be fur growing in or something else. I'll talk to the vet about it on Monday. It might mean further necrosis but usually that's black although this may be the first stage. I did take some macro photos of her ears so I could study their structure while I prepared to flush the ear's of old lady Beatrix who has an ear infection. One of those photos is at the bottom of this page so if you dare, scroll all the way down and you'll see it. I didn't put it right under this post because it may be upsetting to some people.

A number of people have asked me about her ears wondering how this happened to her. Most people's first reaction was 'did a dog attack her?' and that answer is no - a rabbit attacked her! Rabbits are like that when unaltered. What happened to Glenna is that her ears were frostbitten. Considering that it's August and she has only just come inside where rabbits should live, she has been a little hobo for a long, long time. Or it may have very well happened before she even escaped the place where she used to live - they probably kept their rabbits outdoors, that's pretty much a given. Or this would not have happened. And it's why we never condone this heinous practice. If you do a Google search for 'frostbitten ears' you will find images of lots of animals whose ears look just like poor Glenna's.

In other news, I have an excellent application on Mrs. Bojangles and am looking forward to her happy ending.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sanctuary Rabbits: Earless Glenna Settles Into the Good Life

 Glenna the Good
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Little Earless Glenna, former hobo rabbit, read the hobo signs at the door here correctly: "This is the place, kind old lady, fresh water and a safe campsite." As I type this, she is drinking chilled filtered water from a sparkling white water crock and sampling a few of the pellets served here. She has already enjoyed quite a bit of the yummy hay we offer our sanctuary guests and she has tossed her cups a few times. And for breakfast, she'll sample some baby lettuces from Sam's Club.

Thank you all so much to each and every one of you who so generously donated your well wishes and funds towards little Glenna's surgery. She came through the surgery very well, as performed by Dr. Lisa Carr of VCA North Rockville (soon to be of VRA - Veterinary Referral Associates - Gaithersburg). She was spayed and had her abscess removed which was uncomplicated and she had her incisors and molars trimmed.

I am still kind of in awe of the outpouring of response to the plight of this little gal. And she is sweet. She has been exploring her cage and standing up on her haunches to try and touch the top of it with her nose but can't quite reach. Then she seems to kind of lose her balance and sits back down. She's stretching and acting for all the world like a carefree bunny, not one who has been running the streets since winter.

She still has a slight odor to her which I can't quite recognize but I've smelled it before. It will come to me and I'll post about it when I figure it out. I also can't quite place whether it is organic or not.

She just stretched again, she seems to enjoy doing that, and she yawns a bit too. Right now, she's setup in a temporary cage next to my bed so I can keep close observation on her. She is on quite a few medications for the next two weeks or so as well.

It is hard to look at her ears, especially from a bird's eye point of view. It's not often you look down at a rabbit and can see the entire inside of their ear. They seem so vulnerable. I've thought about making her a little Tam O' Shanter to keep them warm. Or maybe I'll get her some of those gag bunny ears people buy for their dogs around Easter, at least she could look a bit more bunny-ish that way.

She certainly enjoys attention and having her head stroked. Tomorrow, we are both going to take it easy. It's been a long, long day. Left the house at 8:45am and didn't get back until 7:30pm, all on bunny business. Four new rabbits in today: Glenna and three males including one 6 year old mini-lop named Bebop who is hopefully intended for Beatrix (also 6 year old mini-lop). Bebop is exceptionally charming and handsome. Look for photos of him soon. One of the other new guys is Quasar who looks just like Starshine (now Chloe) and one little otter Netherland dwarf guy as yet unnamed.

Well it took me from the time I got home until just an hour ago to get everyone settled in for the evening and I still have to give Glenna and Beatrix their meds before hitting the hay (not the edible stuff, just figure of speech, not going to waste good hay sleeping on it, the rabbits here do plenty of that!)

Thank you again all you wonderful rabbit people who extended your caring and pocketbook to such a wonderful little gal in need. We've got a bit of a ways to go before she's 100%, I mean this gal has a lot of healing to do but she is well on her way and it's all thanks to you!

Bless your hearts each and every one!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lend Me Your Ears: Earless Rabbit Glenna Needs Your Help

 Glenna the Good
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We first posted about poor little Glenna bunny the other day. She was a stray found by a Good Samaritan with dental issues, two incidences of flystrike (warbles - flies burrow into the rabbit's flesh and lay their eggs, the maggots are then born and cause great pain and infection in the rabbit's body. If untreated, it is fatal), smelling like a skunk (presumably, odor has yet to be identified), and ears that just "peeled off" when given a bath by the first vet she saw.

Then she came into Bright Eyes Sanctuary care with a foster mom who is also an exotics vet tech. The foster mom says that Glenna is very sweet, loves to be held, is sociable with other rabbits and just loves people. As you can see from her photos (above), she has only stubbs for ears.

Glenna is going to be spayed, have her molar trims, have her abscess removed, and anything else that may come up during surgery. Then she will no doubt be on medicine for quite a while and require multiple rechecks with the vet.

The estimate on her surgery is about $300 with our rescue discount but that did not include the spay (we'll find out more tomorrow) and it did not include anything else that might come up - like if the abscess has spread fingers throughout her body and would cost more because it would take longer surgery time to remove it. So we're pretty sure it will be $450 all told.

So far, as of this writing, we have received $70 in donations for Glenna's care, we need to raise $380 more AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Thank you Ann, Gerry, and Kristen! You can see our fundraising thermometer above and if you click on it and make a donation using PayPal, it will automatically go up. Her surgery is tomorrow! We don't know if she's going to spend a night or two in the hospital yet or not. But we need to raise these funds to cover her surgery! Please help! Tell all the bunny lovers you know so we can take the very best care of this wonderful, loving rabbit.

We appreciate it! We are a nonprofit, fully approved IRS 501c3 all volunteer, charitable animal rescue. Your donations are tax deductible.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Muck Digger of the Running Buns: Satisfaction


Rabbit Treats: Wild Carrots -
Cheap Eats! Yummy for Your Bunny!

Freshly pulled wild carrots!
All content and images © Running Bun Magazine. Use without permission prohibited.

All the adopters I've known, hundreds of them now, I try to impress with the fact that healthful treats versus junk food treats are very important and can be the road to health for your companion house rabbit or the road to rabbit illness.

Healthy treats for companion house rabbits are so important. The retail pet stores like Petco and PetsMart are in business to sell you things whether or not they are healthy for your animals. Arguably, there is debate about what is health and what is not for all animals including us humans. And there is as much debate on how best to raise and care for animals including us humans.

But most people agree that no matter what animal you're talking about, be it humans or companion house rabbits, refined sugar treats and candies are not good for you. They are yummy and we love them but one has only to look around and see the obvious detrimental health effects it has on those who imbibe them. Obesity among humans is a good example, our society is hedonistic and our candy industry has the kind of variety you only find elsewhere when you're talking about things like the diversity of life!

Similarly for our companion animals, in this case, specifically rabbits, we rabbit rescuers often see obesity as a major issue for the rabbits we adopt out. Obese rabbits are more susceptible to a variety of health problems ranging from intestinal issues to cancer. Your pet rabbit should never have treats that have refined sugar in them. Those yogurt drop things they sell at the pet store? They are complete and total junk and horrible for your pet rabbit's health. Sure your bunny will beg you for them! I beg my husband to bring home Chocolate Chip and Cookie Dough ice cream for me when he calls me from the grocery store. Sadly, he complies and I find myself also calling him to say not to bring home any ice cream as often!

I always tell adopters that the best treat for their little pet rabbit is healthy, natural treats. Ingredients to watch out for are sulfites used as preservatives which you may find in dehydrated or dried fruit. These are not good for anybody and sadly, even the online bunny shops are now putting this in their rabbit treats. Artificial sweeteners are equally as bad. You may find some papaya tables which contain sorbitol, an artificial sweetener, and I don't know about you but I cannot eat or chew anything with sorbitol in it as it makes me very ill.

So please, only small amounts of natural fruit treats for your pet bunny. A slice or two of banana a day will buy your way to the very warmest parts of your bunny's heart. Strawberries are also cherished but be warned that you should only buy ORGANIC strawberries as according to Consumer Reports, strawberries are one of the foods containing the most pesticides and rabbits are more prone to pesticide poisoning (and resulting cancers) as are children because of their small size and the amount of these toxins that build up residually in their fat tissue.

Carrots are a wonderful treat. I recently had a wonderful pair of adopters ask me if it was normal for their adopted bunny's poop to be orange. It turns out they were feeding their little rabbits several huge carrots a day. This is very fattening because of the high sugar content of carrots. That is fine though, in moderation. Hopping while intoxicated on carrot sugar is life threatening to your pet rabbit. So chop the carrot up into slices and feed moderately. For a 5 pound bunny, I would recommend about 5 or 6 slices of carrot a day or 2 or 3 baby carrots. They do prefer the normal sized carrots though. Baby carrots have a different texture and do you like them? Neither do I. So your bunny probably won't like them either. Also keep in mind that carrots are a root vegetable and as such contain pesticides in the pulp so you can't wash it off. So buying ORGANIC carrots is the way to go again. Fortunately, organic carrots are not that much more expensive than non-organic.

This time of year though, there is a wonderful alternative to store bought carrots. Look around and wild carrots are everywhere you see. I purposely let the wild carrots grow to about 4 feet high in my yard, wherever they pop up so that the carrot root in the ground can grow as big as possible.

Wild carrots you say? Never heard of them? Well carrots were domesticated from the weed Queen Anne's Lace. That's right! That prolific weed you see just about everywhere right now has a little carrot growing in the ground underneath of it! Granted that wild carrots are pretty small compared to the behemoth vegetables in your supermarket. That's why I like to let the Queen Anne's Lace grow as tall as it can (much to my neighbor's chagrin) before I or my husband go out and pull out the aromatic weed.

Queen Anne's Lace

Here are some photos of the Queen Anne's Lace (bottom photo above, white flower) plant which surely you recognize. You will surely recognize the carrot top leaf (see first photo above) which you are no doubt used to seeing in the grocery store. The Queen Anne's Lace is that lovely white flower that is a bunch of little flowers forming a circular disc-shaped bloom. Let it grow tall and then you'll have some wonderful wild carrots to pull out of the ground at the end of summer!

Be sure that you know where you harvest your wild carrots from have not been sprayed with pesticides. Don't pick them along the highway. It's dangerous for you to be out there and they are covered in exhaust fumes from cars. Pick them in a meadow in the woods in parks or let them grow in a weedy patch of your yard. After you pull the root (the carrot part) out of the ground, smell it. It's not orange but it smells just like carrots because it is a carrot!

Then wash the plant thoroughly to remove any bacteria, fungi, or bugs and scrub the dirt off the root under tap water. Chop the entire thing up (well don't chop up the flower, that's fun for them to do with their teeth) and serve the entire plant to your bunny and enjoy the happy faces you see!

Just pulled, Needs washing and scrubbing.
All content and images © Running Bun Magazine. Use without permission prohibited.

 -Thumper S. Thompson
All content and images © Running Bun Magazine. Use without permission prohibited.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Incoming: Earless Rabbit - Stray Needs Much Vet Care

 Glenna the Good
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Here are some photos of the incoming foster rabbit, as yet unnamed female. She has an abscess and had warbles or flystrike - that means maggots burrowing into the flesh to lay eggs. This condition is usually fatal if untreated. The person who found her worked at a vet and said when she was bathed that her ears "just peeled off."

Right now the theory is that she has been a stray since this past winter and suffered frostbite to the ears. But this theory is not hitting home with me. Frostbite usually attacks the extremities, yes, but only the tips. We've taken in stray rabbits in the past who had frostbite but only on the toes. So we'll see what the exotics vet says about this next week when she goes in. This rabbit needs multiple surgeries before she can go up for adoption. Her foster mom, an exotics vet tech, reports that she is using the litter box and seems nice and friendly and calm and no doubt is very happy to be inside and be cared for.

We'll update you more on this poor creature when we have more information. If you can donate towards her care and all the vet care she will need, please use the PayPal donate button on the left side of the screen. We appreciate it! We are a nonprofit, IRS 501c3 all volunteer, charitable animal rescue. Your donations are tax deductible.