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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna "Unfinished"

 Glenna the Good


Glenna "Unfinished"

The other day in looking at Miss Glenna Bun, sitting in a ray of sunlight streaming in through the window, it occurred to me, as light glowed around her spiky ears, that she looked like a painting left unfinished. Many of the old masters, and even contemporary ones, would purposely leave a work unfinished. Mary Cassatt did that once or twice and it was thought to show the rest of the painting had a depth and dimension which critics were expected to quickly dismiss. So the unfinished part of the painting was the artist's way of saying to the short-sighted critic who would be long forgotten while the master painter's works would live on and gather appreciation over the decades and centuries, 'well, do you prefer blank canvas? then be appeased.' But really the unfinished part of the painting forced the viewer to appreciate the richness of those parts of the canvas graced with pigment by way of the stark contrast between blank and painted canvas.

So that is what I thought of suddenly, one afternoon as the sunlight filled her little ragged ears like glass cups which had been shattered on the rims - she was "unfinished" and those unfinished parts of her, the ears, made me appreciate the rest of her all that much more. And so when I snapped this little photo of her in a similar light, her lips stained bright pink with carrot juice, making her look like one of the women Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec might have painted (oh my!), I couldn't help but render it with a quick digital colored pencil. Her sweet little expression is still clear though. And that part is complete.

Soaking Up the Love - or is it just begging for another Barley Biscuit?

She likes to lie next to me while I work on my laptop and have me stroke her ears. They have some fur growing on them. I have this intense compunction to sprinkle them with gold glitter and paste a few rhinestones on them. Maybe for Halloween! Stay tuned!


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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thumper S. Thompson - The Rabbit Bill of Rights!


Rabbit's Bill of Rights - A Bright Eyes Sanctuary adaptation (with permission) of The Parrot's Bill of Rights as drafted by my dear friend, Stewart Metz, M.D.

Preamble...Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace.
- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Article the first...GET TO KNOW ABOUT RABBITS BEFORE YOU BRING ME HOME. I am a domesticated pet like a dog or cat but I still have wild instincts because I am a prey animal. I still have the spirit of the woodlands in me but my body has been shaped by your preferences for my appearance & I can no longer survive in the wild on my own. I have special needs which you may find hard to fill. Please don’t learn these too late for my well-being. And please don’t acquire one of my cousins from the pet store--it will contribute to the number of us in government animal shelters where we are the third most abandoned animal after cats and dogs. Only a small number of us leave those places alive. So adopt, & please don’t buy while shelter pets die.

Article the second...GIVE ME THE LARGEST HOME POSSIBLE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. My ancestors were built to run & leap for joy in the fields & grassy woodlands & to burrow into the Earth & build a cozy home, even an underground city, called a warren, where there is a fairly stable temperature no matter the season. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the very least, give me enough room to dart back & forth a good length or so in my very own condo/apartment with a solid floor - no wire that will break my toes and cause other injuries! I also need a hidey box where I can get away from it all when I choose & different levels to perch on & survey my indoor home. And, I need toys for my amusement & wood to chew. Otherwise, I might confuse your home with the forest and its trees.

Article the third...GIVE ME A NUTRITIOUS DIET. I need my diet to be 90% indigestible fiber better known as grass hay. I need racehorse quality hay too because my wild cousins can run just as fast as a racehorse & like horses, our tummies are kept humming by always having this fiber passing through it. I should only have about 5% grass hay-based pellets (i.e., timothy-based pellets, not alfalfa!) & the remaining 5% should be a wide variety of fresh & nutritious vegetables, but not too high in calcium or sugar as my tummy can get upset & I can die from an upset tummy. I should never eat high fat foods like bird seed or peanuts or starchy carbohydrates unless I am trying to gain weight after an illness. As a prey animal with a heightened flight response, my cardiovascular system can only handle a heart-healthy diet. Take time to learn what my needs and preferences are.

Article the fourth...LET ME HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE. I am a gregarious colonizing animal, but I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to interact with you as well as my siblings. My wild brethren mate for life, & I am happiest with a little mate but only if we are both altered & liberated from our hormonal urges. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every day - no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling creature. I am sentient. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you & count on your predictability in looking after me – every day.

Article the fifth...LET ME BE CLEAN. I may like to drop one of my “pellets” in a corner sometimes but I need meticulous cleanliness to be healthy.  I can easily be litter-box trained, better than a cat, & that is also where my hay should be kept. My litter box is like a couch to me, it should be comfy & full of safe bedding (no softwood shavings!). I will use one little corner of it to deposit my pellets & pee in. I am very clean & bathe and groom myself every day. It is not gross that I like to lie in my litter box. I should have one just for lounging & one for eating & “output” which I do simultaneously as part of my flight response readiness. If you do not keep my box with proper litter & change it at least once a week or make it big enough for me to feel safe there, I may become ill if my box, or food & water is not always sanitary.

Article the sixth...I NEED MY OWN DOCTOR. You may not understand my physiology & therefore you may not recognize it early on when I get sick. And, it may be too late when you do, because I hide my illnesses. (Remember what I said about my being a prey animal of the woodlands, where I have a thousand enemies.) And I need an exotic vet - a specialist. (No HMOs for me please.) My health care costs can be just as high or higher than dog’s or cat’s. If you can’t afford this, perhaps you shouldn’t have taken me home.

Article the seventh...PLEASE DON’T PUNISH ME. Just as I don’t always understand your peculiarities, you may not understand mine. I don’t TRY to get into trouble - remember, a house is not the woods. If I do screw up, don’t yell at me and never hit me. I have sensitive ears & I will never trust you again if you strike me. Hands are sometimes scary things to us. (Why in the world would you not be digitigrade like us?) Even more importantly, we don’t learn by punishment. We are gentle creatures who only strike back to protect ourselves; we learn through patience and love.

Article the eighth...SPEAK MY “LANGUAGE” I know you get upset with me when I knock over my food bowl, throw food, chew on furniture, or nip you to warn you you’re being too rough with me, are invading my privacy, am in a bad mood, or have to go to my litter box. I don’t do these things to annoy you. I am probably trying to tell you something (perhaps that I am hurting, lonely, or sad). Learn to speak MY (body) language & NEVER PICK ME UP BY THE SCRUFF. Visit The Language of Lagomorphs and learn my fascinating, subtle, and unique language.

Article the ninth...SEE ME AS AN INDIVIDUAL. I am a unique & feeling being. No two of us are alike. Please don’t be disappointed in me if my behavior is not exactly what you expected or I am not snuggly wuggly like your friend’s rabbit. But if you pay close attention to me (and I always empathize with you, whether you know), I will show you a unique being who will give you so much more than snuggling & playing. Give me a chance to show you who I am; I think you’ll find the effort worth it. And remember, I am not an ornament. I do not enhance ANY living room decor. And I am not a holiday symbol - if you use me as such, I might nip at your up-turned nose!

Article the tenth...SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME. Above all, please remember that you are my Special Person. I put all my trust and faith in you. We rabbits are used to being monogamous. (No bar-hopping for us!) So please don’t go away for long periods or give me away - that would be a sadness from which I may never recover. Changes are very difficult for us, we like things to stay where we put them & we are creatures of habit. If that seems to be asking a lot, remember, you could have learned about my needs before bringing me home. Even having a baby or taking a new job isn’t a fair reason - you made a commitment to me FIRST. I may live to a ripe old age, maybe even 15 years! but I can’t provide for myself. Remember I’m in a cage amongst people who are not of my blood.

Article the eleventh...YOUR RIGHTS. You have lots of rights, but I can only assure one. And that is, if you treat me the way I described above, I will reward you with unwavering love, humor, knowledge, beauty, dedication, & a sense of wonder & awe you haven’t felt since you were a child. When you took me home, you became my Chief Rabbit, indeed, my entire Universe - for life. I would hang the moon & stars for you if I could. We are one in Heart and Soul.

Download a printer-friendly copy of The Rabbit's Bill of Rights to print - note: it is formatted for legal sized paper, naturally.

 -Thumper S. Thompson

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fundraisers: Glenna to be at Bark! in Olney, MD April 25th!

 Glenna the Good

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Come meet the famous Glenna at Bark!; Pawsitive Petfood in Olney, Maryland on Sunday April 25th. We'll also have adoptable rabbits Patches, Dario, and Hazel there at that store at the same time. And at the Clarksville Bark! store, we'll have Twyla, Tucker, and Teddy!

Come meet all these wonderful rabbits and Bark! is donating 10% of sales from both locations that day to Bright Eyes Sanctuary! Bark! carries Oxbow products and other super premium rabbit foods and care products as well as super premium cat and dog food. They also have lots of top of the line animal care products and are a Conscious Corner company.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Earless Glenna Eating Normally! Loses More Teeth & BES Budget

 Glenna the Good
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Here is the update on our now famous Miss Glenna. Yes, Glenna has become somewhat of a celebrity. And rightfully so, she is the POSTER CHILD for why rabbits should be house pets. Love your rabbit? Don't want their ears to look like this? Then let them in the house and let them stretch out on the hearth and luxuriate in life!

Glenna was rejected by other rescues and more. From the moment I first heard about her, it was like she had the grim reaper hot on her trail wanting to swing his scythe in her direction. First she was rejected for her molar issues as they are expensive and will continue to be for a little while longer, and we have a lot of rabbits here with molar issues. It's one of the expensive aspects of caring properly for a pet, vet bills.

Then Glenna was given a poor prognosis for her TMJ disorder; she couldn't open her mouth. How could she eat? She did lose weight, it was hard for me to tell what was happening, it was gradual. And she refused any kind of assist feeding, just spitting out her Critical Care. So I put it in a bowl for her, a low, shallow bowl, so she wouldn't have to hold her sore little jaw too high to eat, and she fed herself and soon regained all the weight that had been lost and more! She just wanted things done her way, so I let her take part in her care and she did her job.

Right this minute, Glenna is down the hallway eating pellets like nothing has happened. Her post-surgical recheck from having her incisors removed went well. Her totally wonderful exotics vet needed to do a molar trim, however, and her molars on one side of her mouth were loose and some diseased, some growing in strange ways. So they were removed (see photo); three of them. I was told all of them on that side will come out as they are ready. The molars on the other side are fine, looking good! That's all she needs, she could do fine even if she had no teeth at all because, as I have learned during this entire ordeal, rabbits have prehensile LIPS and can use them to pick up their food!

So this is wonderful news! I'm still going to assist feed Glenna every day until she tells me to stop it. And I'm sure she is still healing and needs some pain meds and her acupuncture appointments will continue for a while. But for the most part, the main hurdle has been cleared and Glenna is eating hay and pellets for the first time in probably FIVE MONTHS! So what caused this TMJ disorder? Well we think it was her horribly misaligned incisors, which were removed, and probably those molars too. The point is that Glenna is now looking at a potential FULL RECOVERY from this over the next month or so. No more assist feeding. Just molar trims for the loose ones until they're able to be pulled. They can't pull a healthy tooth so until they're loose enough, they can't come out.

How is Glenna handling all this? Well she is doing great! She's happy! She drinks a lot because she likes to pee a lot so she can make the other bunnies smell her (some of them drive me nuts with this behavior, uses lots of Carefresh, you know?), she is smiling. Yes I can tell when she's smiling. She just looks all smug and happy and relaxed and spoiled. So this little earless waif is now a princess with an albino tiara and vassals everywhere she looks. And that's fine because we love Glenna! She is one of the most incredible critters we've known. And we've known a lot.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna Would Like to Fang All of You!

 Glenna the Good


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They're they are! Those are Glenna's incisors! They're out and they're not causing her trouble anymore fangs to all of you!

Well everyone, Glenna is home from the hospital and she is glad to be! I picked her up today. Before I went to pick her up, I swung by Nancy Schroer's house who donated $700 worth of supplies (Oxbow hay, Oxbow pellets, Carefresh litter, Oxbow treats) to Bright Eyes Sanctuary! Thank you Nancy!!! How can we thank you? Not good enough, I'm sure but Glenna 'fangs' you too!

Then leaving there, I headed over to SEAVS but went the wrong direction on 66 and ended up driving around the Pentagon about five or six times. My GPS is horrible, and Arlington is definitely the acid test of any GPS (I miss my Tom Tom!) but finally got onto 66 in the right direction and picked up little Glenna. And they gave me her incisors which is what you see pictured above. Most of them are roots and normally hidden under the gum, it's amazing how such little things can cause so much trouble for a little sweetheart like Glenna. I have quite a collection of rabbit teeth now that have been pulled from buns over the years. Thinking of a rabbit tooth necklace, hmmm. Kinda weird, yea, but when something so small causes so much work, you don't just want to toss it in the trash.

Glenna was really stressed, she doesn't like being away from home. She didn't know what was going on. She didn't accept very much assist feeding in the hospital, it turns out. So we headed right over for her acupuncture appointment and she got all that stress right out of her thanks to the excellent and wonderful Cynthia Clarke who dearly loves Glenna almost as much as Glenna loves Cynthia. Sometimes I wonder if Glenna just wants to be adopted by Cynthia or if Cynthia wants to adopt Glenna, they are so bonded. I have to carefully consider everything Glenna wants.

So our little gal then came home, a long, long ride and I fixed her up nice and cozy in her little spot. She started drinking lots of water right away. She has to make the place smell like Glenna and let everyone know she's back! Some rabbits will drink a lot so they can make their presence known with the smell of their urine which only rabbits can really smell. We use Carefresh (and LOTS of it) and it has the best odor control of any litter. But the rabbits can smell each other even though we can't. And it makes awesome compost. We are re-landscaping our yard with it. It fills in muddy quagmires made by the snow very well.

She ate quite a bit of her slop, too, after coming home and resting up. She just looks so happy to be home. As soon as Cynthia had started giving her some energy healing, Glenna calmed down and felt much better. And then she got a little acupuncture. Glenna is moving her mouth a lot but she's not really ready for anything like hay yet. But she will be soon! We've got to take baby steps. Glenna is still on pain meds and anti-biotics and must go back in for a recheck in not too long. She is still sore and will be for a little while longer. Then she'll be able to start experimenting with moving her jaw some more.

We'll keep you posted on everything going on with Glenna! I'm pretty pooped right now though with such a long day and hauling stuff out to the shed. So we'll fill you in more later.

Oh by the way, the typo in the description of that carved rabbit? It says it is the 'essence of lupine motion' - uh, hello, lupine is a wolf! It should say lapine.

Thank you all again who helped out Glenna with contributions and thank you to everyone who sent her well wishes. She is basking in them now that she is back in her domain.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Update on Glenna's Incisor Removal Surgery

 Glenna the Good
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Obviously these aren't pictures of Glenna. But I don't have any photos of her today since she's in the hospital. So I thought I'd post these just for to have at least some type of visual. This is a little carved rabbit figure in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which you shouldn't miss! Awesome, spectacular place! But do you see the typo in the description of this piece? It's quite silly, I've been meaning to write to point it out to them but gee, wonder why I haven't had any time to do that? If you don't catch it, I'll tell you tomorrow.

So as for Glenna! Glenna sailed through her surgery yesterday without any complications. The good doctor would like to keep her in the hospital until possibly Saturday so he can flush the cavities where her incisors once were. Since she does not eat normal food because of her TMJ disorder, which prevents her from opening her mouth and can only lick up Critical Care slurry (with lots of baby carrot food mixed in), it is a concern that these cavities might get filled with this food and cause infection. So the doctor would like to keep her as long as he can while the cavities heal and close up so that he can flush them every day. I have the option of attempting this at home should they be unable to get her to eat, but I think she will cooperate and eat. However, she may refuse to eat and demand to come home where I am her humble handmaiden and know just how to appease her.

I gave the staff instructions for preparing Glenna's "slop" mix just as she likes it; Critical Care with extra water but not too much, finely blended, and then 3.5 oz carrot baby food added in and garnished with a sprinkling of crushed Oxbow freeze-dried banana treat. Glenna is quite particular and demanding on every point. If there is not enough of the baby food in it, she will only lick up a little of it, if any. It must be pretty much baby food with some Critical Care added in, and those yummy bananas crushed to a fine powder on top. She also is particular about having anyone watch her eat and will stop until they afford her the privacy she requires. And yes, those are carrot juice stains on her lips in the photo above. And by the way, did you know that rabbits have prehensile lips? So she should be able to live off of this slop mix she loves so much even if she never regains jaw movement, but I'm guessing that with a few more acupunture treatments from her excellent acupuncturist, Cynthia Clarke (who has donated 99% of her treatments), she'll get back to chewing hay in not too long.

Historically, she has refused assist feeding, or "syringe" feeding from anyone. She just swishes the slurry around in her mouth sucking off the carrot juice and then spits it out. Everyone thinks she is such a sweet rabbit, loves to be petted, but in reality, she loves to have you pay homage to her by constantly petting her. If she could wear a ring, she would have everyone kiss it and say 'oh my liege!' but she must settle for constant head pets like a little dog who imagines herself queen of the known universe.

Glenna is quite unlike any other rabbit we've ever met here and we've met hundreds and hundreds! She is truly a unique character and she does appreciate very much everyone who helped her get this surgery she needs. Her lower incisors had badly overgrown in only a week or so since being Dremeled! They had to come out right away.

I told the vet I want those incisors for my rabbit tooth collection I've been building up over the years so I can make a rabbit tooth necklace. Yea it will be ugly as all but completely unique. Never know when it might come in handy.

Thanks again to everyone for their incredibly generous help and care and concern for this special little rabbit. She's in the best possible hands down there at Stahl's Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS). And special thanks to all the staff at SEAVS for being so patient while I mother henned over every detail of Glenna's itinerary.

This morning's report was that she *has accepted* assist feeding from the techs at SEAVS! This is really amazing considering her disdain for such in the past. So she'll be able to maintain her weight at least for today. She has only taken in about 30cc total though since the surgery.

She did not try to eat on her own at all. The doctor feels she is very painful today although she is doped up on narcotics and NSAIDs and should control the pain, the place of pain being the mouth is probably why she doesn't want to lick up any of her slop. But she is accepting assist feeding so this tells us that she does want the help.

So she is going to stay another day and hopefully feel a little better tomorrow and get more interested in feeding herself and they will try to get a little more food in her as time passes. Normally in a day, she'd eat 180cc of her special slop mix.

But the doctor feels she will feel a whole lot better by tomorrow pain-wise and start to perk up. At this time, the plan is for me to pick her up in another few days and take her straight to her acupuncture appointment (which is on the way home) unless she will not take in enough food and needs to come home to her domain sooner rather than later. I hope that she can stay there though and get those cavities flushed daily as she needs.

I did tell them that she does not like to be watched while she's eating so they will cover her cage with a towel for privacy. Can you imagine an empress being expected to eat in front of vassals? I was so careless in not telling them about this requirement - I try my best but it is hard to meet the demands of one of many royal charges around here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Please Help Glenna Get Her Incisors Removed!

 Glenna the Good
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8:09PM FRIDAY 3/12/10-WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL FOR GLENNA'S SURGERY. But if you are still able to donate, we have outstanding vet bills
for Oliver, the former lab rabbit (who we also need to order Adequan for), and Galadriel, an elderly dwarf who is part of a dwarf trio, and we are almost out of hay. So we need to purchase enough more local hay to last us until later summer. And Glenna's ongoing care (molar trims) are always a concern - so even though we've reached our goal for Glenna's surgery, please consider donating toward our work! Thank you so much from all of the twitching noses of Bright Eyes Sanctuary! To go to our main site, click on the Running Bun logo above and you can view our foster rabbits and donate from the Help page there as well or just click on the ChipIn thermometer below. Thank you!

Here it is, the fundraising thermometer for our special little Earless Glenna's incisor removal. The approximate cost is $500. That is an estimate from the vet, however, we are pretty sure there will be extra anesthesia involved due to the complications from Glenna's existing TMJ disorder - she can't open her mouth! One person has already donated $100 toward her surgery but we're hoping that just covers any extra expense from the aforementioned complication.

Glenna is such a little trooper. To sum up her story quickly for anyone not familiar with it: Glenna was a stray and a Good Samaritan tried to capture her for several months. Finally, the Good Samaritan was able to apprehend her in August 2009. The Good Samaritan also happened to be a vet tech and took her to work where they discovered she had fly strike or "warbles." That means flies had laid eggs under her skin and this is a fatal condition if not treated.

Then that vet hospital tried to bathe her because she had an odd stench to her which it took a while to identify. She was also covered in urine stains from other rabbits - and being a white rabbit, this was quite noticeable. These stains were also the cause of the stench, we have rescued buns soaked in urine before but none had been quite so saturated as was little Glenna. When the vet tech bathed her, her ears "washed right off" as the vet tech put it. Apparently, Glenna had been a stray since at least the previous winter as this was evidence of frostbitten tissue.

That was when the Good Samaritan called us and told us she could not afford to care for Glenna since she also appeared to have not only molar malocclusion but also incisor malocclusion. That means her molars would need regular trimming, which can be costly because it has to be done under anesthesia, and her front teeth would also need this although that is not very costly as it doesn't require anesthesia. So we took Glenna in, had her "warbles" removed, spayed her so she wouldn't get uterine cancer, and took her for regular molar trims.

Glenna did very well and soon took over the household as the "main event," befriending dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, and especially humans. She was very happy. But then her incisor malocclusion began causing more problems for her, eventually leading to her current TMJ disorder - which is practically unheard of in rabbits - and got to the point where she could not even open her mouth and she lost a whole pound out of her four pounds.

One very young vet she saw recommended a nasogastric feeding tube, which in our opinion, is not an acceptable option. She also recommended euthanasia since she was unable to open Glenna's mouth to trim her molars and said that Glenna was virtually "starving to death." So we took her for a second opinion at our region's most experienced exotics vet (Dr. Scott Stahl of SEAVS in Fairfax, VA, who had a very different opinion!) and started her with weekly acupuncture appointments with Cynthia Clarke of Hands on Health in Rockville, MD. She also started being fed a shallow bowlful of Oxbow's Critical Care mixed with baby carrot food and phytonutrients (Dr. Schulze's Superfood Plus) two to three times a day which she helps herself to by slurping it up with no assist feeding required. She has since DOUBLED her weight and is working on a chin and a butt dewlap! She has a tremendous will to live. But she still cannot open her mouth!

However, and this is a big however, she no longer requires any pain medication every day or at all thanks to the acupuncture! AND not only that but her molars are getting better and only need trimming every two or three months instead of every month! This is thanks to the phytonutrients I added to her Critical Care which I've used in the past to help other small mammals of Bright Eyes Sanctuary overcome the malnutrition and/or malabsorption which originally caused this conditiion. And the molar issue will continue to resolve with continued nutritional therapy.

So here, finally, is the matter before us. I have to come to strongly believe, after doing a couple of Glenna's incisor trims myself (after instruction from the vet) with a Dremel and a tongue depressor, that her incisors are so badly maloccluded, with the upper ones growing inward and to the left and the lower ones growing up and to the right and left, causing her to always have to hold her lower jaw as far to the right as she can, that with all of these incisors removed and a few more acupuncture treatments, her TMJ disorder WILL RESOLVE. The wise doctor has recommended their removal regardless since rabbits who have these diseased teeth are at risk for having them abscess anyway. And this vet has performed this procedure many times.

Then Glenna would be able to resume the normal activities of eating hay and a little pellets and fresh veggies. I have been worrying about her getting a fur blockage with not being able to eat any hay although Critical Care is finely ground hay, it doesn't provide the same mechanism in the intestinal tract to bind and pass the fur through the system as regular hay which she would normally grind with her molars.

So please help and contribute toward this one last surgery for her so she, as a young bunny of only about two years or so, can thrive and live a long, happy life here at Bright Eyes Sanctuary and also serve as the Poster Girl for why rabbits should live in the house and not in the backyard hutch!

Thank you for your consideration. And please be aware that Bright Eyes Sanctuary, Inc. is a fully approved IRS nonprofit, all volunteer, animal-welfare charity and your donation is 100% tax deductible! Every penny will go toward Glenna's surgery and/or continued care, i.e., future molar trims, cost of Critical Care. You will receive a tax donation receipt for your donation - and a big warm, fuzzy feeling that you have helped the saddest little stray bunny story ever heard have a very happy ending! Just click on the fundraising thermometer above and you will be directed to make a secure PayPal donation to Bright Eyes Sanctuary for Glenna's incisor removal. Thank you!!!! And stay tuned here to Running Bun to hear about how Glenna is doing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna Gets her Jaw Moving at Acupuncture

 Glenna the Good
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Here is little Glenna at a recent acupuncture appointment right after she's had a needle removed from her left jaw. First let me quickly say that's her breakfast she's got all over her face. The Critical Care is very hard to clean off and dries as hard as cement. And as soon as I clean it off, she gets more on! She puts her whole face down into the bowl of slop and so it gets all over her face.

So we just left her breakfast on her face and hopped down there. You'll see in the video that she is moving her lower jaw (mandible) around pretty good, she can do it! But she still has this TMJ disorder thing because, I'm pretty sure, her upper and lower incisors are just so horribly misaligned that it's caused her jaw to freeze shut. We don't even run her down to the vet for incisor trims anymore, the vet instructed me how to do it at home with a Dremel and special cutting wheel! (don't try this unless your vet has told you how to do it and which wheel to use!)

So what to do? Well, I'm almost certain that if we have both the upper and lower incisors completely removed, and which the wise doc has advised anyway since they have the potential to abscess, that her TMJ disorder will resolve after a few more acupuncture treatments.

The catch is, of course, money. It will cost a little over $500 to have both the upper and lower incisors removed. Dr. Stahl has done this many times and I have total confidence in him, he's the best of the best. As my dad would say, he's a wagon wheel (been through it all). And then Glenna would have a chance at a normal life eating normal food - hay, veggies, etc.

That's not to say she isn't doing great. She eats her Critical Care mixed with carrot baby food heartily and has actually doubled her weight since the recent drama where one vet recommended she get a nasogastric feeding tube or be euthanized as she was basically 'starving to death.' Now she's doubled her weight and is working on a dewlap, on both ends! (yea they can get butt dewlaps, it's pretty cute)

So now that I have the estimate, it's time to post a fundraising thermometer for Glenna's incisor removal! I'll probably do that tomorrow. I just wanted to post this video first to show everyone how close we are to getting her jaw back to normal! It is exciting to me. Glenna is inspiring to me and she is a great bunny as are all the bunnies and other animals of Bright Eyes Sanctuary! But Glenna, well, she's my hero.

And once again, I want to extend deep appreciation and gratitude to the kindly Cynthia Clarke of Hands on Health in Rockville, Maryland, for so lovingly attending Glenna and providing such expert animal acupuncture. Cynthia truly loves Glenna and Glenna loves Cynthia! Glenna is so happy to see Cynthia every time she goes to her appointment that she will not know what to do when she doesn't need acupuncture anymore!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna's Molar Trim - Good News!

 Glenna the Good
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Here is a photo of little Glenna, or "Glens," as I call her a lot, sitting in her acupuncture appointment. We go back tomorrow morning for another, her third treatment. She is just doing so wonderful with all the help she's getting!

Glenna went back to Dr. Scott Stahl of SEAVS at their beautiful new hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, yesterday for a second molar trim with him since the previous vet was unable to open her mouth for several trims prior to that. He said her mouth was a little easier to open this time and this is no doubt thanks to her acupuncture treatments with the wonderful Cynthia Clarke of Hands on Health in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Stahl was really excited because Glenna has gained a whole pound in the last month!

So much for that vet who said she was starving to death! And that's not all the good news either, little Glenna's molars weren't as bad as last time either! She cna now go from having her molars trimmed every 3-4 weeks to every 6-8 weeks! This is fantastic! This is quite frankly amazing considering that Glenna can't chew and hasn't eaten any hay (or pellets) in the last month. All that she is eating (or can eat since she can't open her mouth to chew), is Oxbow's Critical Care (her favorite flavor is Anise - she doesn't like the Apple/Banana). Glenna would not allow herself to be assist fed with a syringe. She would just swish the Critical Care (CC) around in her mouth and then spit it out. So, to tempt her, I put in a can of Gerber organic baby carrot food and voila! she slurps it out of a shallow cat food bowl without any coersion whatsoever.

In addition to this, the phytonutrients I've added to this little 'slop mix' are definitely the reason her molars are not as overgrown. It has been my experience with some of these little small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits, whose teeth grow all the time, that some of them don't absorb nutrients correctly and their body channels all the nutrients to their teeth causing the teeth to grow faster than the little animal can file them down through mastication or chewing of the food. This is entirely my own theory but it is based on some pretty incredible anecdotal evidence. On March 16, I will commemorate a very special guinea pig who taught me about this.

Why might these animals' bodies do that? Channel all nutrients to their teeth? Well, possibly when they were babies, they were the runt of the litter and didn't get enough colostrum which sets their digestive tract on the right path for life. I've used bovine colostrum to help heal sick animals (especially cats) and reset their immune system and they never got their yearly sniffles again. Or maybe these little animals' bodies didn't get the right balance of nutrients before they were even born because their mother was malnourished and they are born with their nutrient distribution all out of whack from the start. The phytonutrients, given consistently, I believe, helps their bodies to reprogram and distribute nutrients in a normal manner instead of in a triage manner. What the heck are these phytonutrients? Well, in Glenna's case, I am talking about Dr. Schulze's Superfood which comes in a powder form. It is spirulina blue-green algae, chlorella algae, alfalfa grass, barley grass, wheat grass, purple dulse seaweed, beet root, spinach leaf, rose hips, orange and lemon peels and non-active Saccharomyces cervisiae nutritional yeast.

Glenna's little tummy is absorbing these nutrients very well. Considering that she is ingesting a huge amount of Critical Care every day and 2 little boxes of Gerber carrots, plus the superfood, many buns would have very messy poop! But she has great looking poop. However, she does have a green moustache most of the time. It's hard to keep her little face and feet clean.

So I'll write more about that superfood later. Her incisors are still a problem and those are growing too fast still. Eventually, Dr. Stahl might remove them. But for now, we're just glad to be on an even keel. The only thing threatening Glenna at the moment is the possibility of becoming obese. She might get a really big butt dewlap.

She also is not needing meloxicam every day! She only needs it 2-3 times a week and that is a direct result of her acupuncture treatments too. Well, have to hit they hay because we have an early appointment with Cynthia in the morning. Stay tuned for the ongoing saga of Earless Glenna!

So little Glenna's molars are getting better. If she were any other bunny, the doctor

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna Gets Acupuncture!

 Glenna the Good
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Here is our darling rabbit heroine, Glenna, in her carrier after she has just finished her first acupuncture treatment on Wednesday, January 13 with the wonderful and gracious Cynthia Clarke at Hands on Health in Rockville, Maryland. Cynthia holds a Maryland Certification in Animal Acupuncture. She was wonderful with the little Miss Glenna and it was also wonderful for Glenna to have a positive experience associated with a trip in the car. I must say that I am astounded at how relaxed Glenna seems since her appointment. She had seemed to not be eating quite as much but since the appointment, she is back to heartily eating her Critical Care recipe which includes phytonutrients (Dr. Schulze's superfood in this case), crushed Oxbow Barley Biscuits, and Organic Gerber carrot food. And so she continues to put weight back on after her initial weight loss.
Glenna will go back again next week for another appointment and she will go in as necessary for as long as she needs. Cynthia gave Bright Eyes Sanctuary a generous rescue discount for her services and who could meet Glenna and not have their heart go out to her? Glenna, of course, soaks it up. I softly mentioned to the acupuncturist that Glenna appears to love to be petted and will sit in your lap for an hour or more soaking up the pets, but this is really a type of alpha behavior. Just like a little dog who sits in your lap and wants you to have your hand on top of his head all the time, this is perceived by the little dog as you kaotaoing to him.

Glenna is the same way and I realized this rather quickly upon first meeting her. I would have her, a small dog who behaves the same way, and a big cat who is the same way as well, all sitting on the bed with me while watching TV and each one wanted my hand on their head the whole time. That's fine except I only have two hands.

I have to say though that Glenna is the first rabbit I've met who acts like this. Usually, alpha rabbits don't demand pets this way but she does. She probably thinks she's a dog.

Anyway, back to the acupuncture, I am really excited about this for Glenna and she has a molar trim scheduled for the Monday after her next acupuncture appointment and I am anxious to hear what the vet will have to say about things at that point. Keep your fingers crossed for little Glenna!

Sanctuary Rabbits: OK Glenna Fans, Get Your Fix!

 Glenna the Good

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Glenna had to stay in her cage for the last half of Harry and Trinity's bonding because her hopping around made Harry jealous and nervous and he acted like she was a ghost or something. Glenna has gotten that kind of reaction from a few other buns who look at her ears and are freaked out by them. Poor Glenna. Here she is stretching out in her favorite spot on the bed. I don't worry about the little pills left behind, the dog eats them before I even get a chance to lie down. Dogs love rabbit poop.

Doesn't she look comfy wumfy? I get sleepy just looking at her. She loves to snuggle too. Me and DH will be watching some TV and she just has to be in the middle and snuggle. Then along come the dog and the cat who are jealous and want in on the snuggle action and then we have quite a menagerie!

Glenna is the funniest, most animated rabbit I've ever met. The other day, DH gave me a cookie with confectioner's sugar on it, and darned if Glenna wasn't in my face in a flash with ready to lick the sugar right off my lips! She is such a chow hound! She's a love hound too, she just loves to be loved and she loves everyone and they love her.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sanctuary Rabbits: Glenna Goes to SEAVS' New Location!

 Glenna the Good
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Here are a few photos of the beautiful new hospital at SEAVS (Stahl's Exotic Animal Veterinary Services) new location in Fairfax, Virginia. It is just beautiful! Bamboo accents and a faux bamboo floor present a calm, soothing atmosphere. Earthy green and brown tones adorn the walls as do gorgeous primitive artwork from exotic locales.

Little Earless Glenna and I trekked down to SEAVS (Stahl's Exotic Animal Veterinary Services) new location in Fairfax, VA week before last so Glenna could get an exam and evaluation by Dr. Scott Stahl. Dr. Stahl is one of the top exotic vets in the mid-Atlantic and I have ended up going to him for help with some really tough cases dating back to 1997 when he was at Pender or that part of Pender now referred to as Eastern Exotics (which earned that name by virtue of the fact that he was the chief vet).

Glenna suddenly lost a lot of weight and I assumed it was because it was time for a molar trim, but it was more serious. Glenna went in to a different vet at first for a routine molar trim and came out, for the second time, with no molars trimmed and a report that they were unsuccessful in opening her mouth for the trim, apparently her jaw was frozen shut. Some recommendations were made to me which did not sound good to me and I took her to Stahl instead. He was able to open her mouth enough for a trim and Glenna was much relieved. He also palpated her entire jaw and said she has no tooth root abscesses. The pending diagnosis is an attack of e. cuniculi on the bone - or a type of osteomyelitis (bone infection) in the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.

Glenna's jaw joint is badly inflamed and she has trouble eating hay and pellets. In humans who have TMJ disorder, chewing can become painful and eventually the TMJ ceases to work and the person cannot open their mouth. At that point, the human can have the jaw joint flushed or more invasive surgery. So far, it appears Glenna is having a similar problem with her TMJ. This is most likely due to the fact that her upper and lower jaw are so misaligned. She has been chewing with a crooked mouth for a long time.

I attempted to start assist feeding Glenna with Oxbow Critical Care, the high nutrient formula exotic vets give to their clients to encourage a bunny (or other herbivore) to eat when they're not eating well or not eating at all. I used a 60cc syringe to feed her the Critical Care but she would just swish it around in her mouth and spit it out. I had to come up with some additional ideas to tempt her to eat. So I put some Gerber Organic baby food, carrots, in the Critical Care.

It worked but still she didn't want to be assist fed so I just put the Critical Care (CC) in a shallow bowl, a cat food bowl, for her. I wanted the bowl to be shallow so she didn't have to strain her neck and it would be easy for her. This idea worked and soon she started eating four bowlfuls a day of CC. This is a lot of CC! But that's all she's eating. However, I did catch her eating one leaf of hay this morning. We ran out of the carrot baby food and she wasn't interested in the bowlful of CC. When I spied her chewing on the hay, she froze. She didn't want me to think she's eating hay ok. I might stop giving her CC if that were the case.

So whether she can open her mouth or not at this point doesn't matter anymore. All she wants is CC and the carrot baby food. That's fine, she can eat CC for the rest of her life if she insists, but it is expensive! It will cost about $25 a week just for the Critical Care! And she gets it all over herself too so I have to pluck the dried clumps of CC off her chin and paws.

She's pretty happy though and with her metacam every day, her discomfort is reduced and so is the inflammation in her jaw. She is on two antibiotics, chloramphenicol and Bicillin (PenG) injections to combat what might be an e. cuniculi attack. Dr. Stahl took some blood and sent off for an e. cuniculi titer but the results aren't back yet. Earlier bloodwork she'd had looked pretty good and not indicative of a bacterial infection.

So stay tuned for more on Earless Glenna. If her e.c. titer is positive, then she will go on Panacur for 28 days which has been shown to be effective in combating this insidious blood parasite. E. cuniculi strikes many, many rabbits and can cause various kinds of paralysis but most often hind limb paralysis as well as other neuromuscular symptoms. Perhaps the most insidious attack of all results in head tilt. But head tilt is not untreatable. We've had bunnies get that and make complete recoveries so that you could never tell they had head tilt.

If Glenna's jaw paralysis is not caused by e. cuniculi but rather just plain old muscle tension from such a maligned joint, then eating the Critical Care should have given her TMJ a good rest. But we are also going to look into acupuncture for her as this was suggested by one bunny guru I consulted with as a possible source of relief. So was massage but I want to wait and make sure the cause is not infectious first because massage may help spread the infection within the body, and we don't want to risk that until she gets on the e.c. treatment first.

Stay tuned! I'll tell you one thing folks, Glenna loves life and she has a tremendous will to live. She has already been to hell and back and we're not giving up on her. This little gal is the poster child for why rabbits should live in the house! Frostbitten ears, warbles (fly strike), parasites and predators are all reasons to keep your bunnies in the house!

Glenna sure is glad to be here in this house! And we'll keep her happy and comfortable as long as we can and we won't listen to anybody who doesn't know her as well as we do. Glenna wants to live!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Buno: The Running Bun Interview


The Life of the Wild Rabbit

Most people do not realize the difference between a rabbit and a hare. Contrary to what you might think, the cottontails in your backyard are not rabbits. There are no American rabbits except for the highly endangered pygmy rabbit of the Pacific Northwest. Cottontails, or hares, are born fully furred and with eyes open. They are on their own after only about 10 days. They live a somewhat isolated life sleeping in a different shallow grass nest every night and foraging alone for food. Many people think that baby cottontails they find in one of these shallow nests have been abandoned but they have not. The mother only needs to tend to them for a short while each day.

An Eastern cottontail nibbles Appalachian flora.
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Rabbits Dance to Flamenco Guitar 

Rabbits, on the other hand, are native only to European hillsides, specifically the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal. The word rabbit in Latin is Hispania, which translates then to Spain, because the Phoenicians found so many rabbits on the hillsides there about 3,000 years ago that they named the land they found after the rabbits who inhabited it.

The little pet bunnies who many people keep as house pets today, and who are the third most popular companion animal after cats and dogs in this country, are descendants of these wild European rabbits.

This is not a rabbit. This is an Eastern Cottontail hare.
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Warren Peace 

In their natural habitat, they live in large groups ranging from less than a dozen individuals to sometimes hundreds of individuals. These groups are called warrens and they dig deep into the ground of hillsides carving out vast, complex burrows similar to prairie dog cities.

In these underground tunnels, wild rabbits enjoy a fairly consistent temperature of about 65 degrees year round. Each rabbit's personal burrow is maintained for life and they also mate for life. Rabbits are very selective about their mates and males will box with each other to claim their mate. Rabbits remain loyal to their mates over many breeding seasons.

Got Milk? 

When a rabbit gives birth to babies, or kits, in their underground, the mother only nurses them once a day. This is illustrates how very rich is the mother rabbit's milk. The kits are born without any fur and eyes closed. Their eyes do not open for about 10 days. The kits are dependent on their mother for several months after birth. They may be able to hop around and find food on their own at about age 2 months, but they still have many things to learn from their mother. In wild warrens, it has been observed that rabbits maintain family ties over generations.

The natural diet of the rabbit is grass and leaves. Grass is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, which helps explain why some animals who eat only grass can grow so large like cows and bison. Rabbits need to eat mostly grass to derive nutrition from their diet but they also must have a reliable source of fiber. Leaves provide fiber in their diet as well as twigs and branches that rabbits love to chew.

Another hare. Only the pygmy rabbit is native to the U.S.
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The rabbit's intestinal tract is a finely tuned machine that must always be in motion. Rabbits must eat all day long and always have something in their intestinal tract or their body temperature drops and they go into shock. Rabbits will build little nests of grass and leaves inside their burrow so they always have some food nearby in case of times of danger when they cannot go topside above ground.

Rabbits are crepuscular creatures, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk and this is when they venture forth from their burrow to forage for food. In winter, they might get snowed in their burrows but they can usually subsist by chewing on and ingesting tree roots, buried twigs and so forth. Their burrows are often found centered underneath a massive tree on top of a hill whose root system can withstand some nibbling. Rabbits have also made a few important archeological discoveries in rural areas of England where large warrens have unearthed ruins of ancient castles and mansions long thought to have been myths.

The wild cottontail of North America is a hare and not a rabbit.
The two cannot interbreed.

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Input, Output and Input Again! 

Eating all the time naturally means they also have a lot of output and these little pill-like droppings can be found outside the burrows and a few inside. Since it is so difficult to extract nutrition from a diet of grass and leaves, the rabbit's digestive tract has an extension at the end of it called a cecum. In the cecum, a few droppings are fermented over a period of several days during which bacteria and yeast breakdown the fibers of the grass and leaves and release nutrients. These special droppings are a critical part of the rabbit's diet. Rich in nutrients, they are called cecals. The rabbit daily, usually in the hours before dawn, ingests these cecals.

It was discovered in the early part of the twentieth century that the rabbit performs an important ecological function in the countryside where they live. Without the wild rabbit constantly trimming the grass and taking up leaves, vegetation grows out of control and allows other animals to thrive who might be considered undesirable. The wild rabbit not only keeps the countryside looking pruned and bucolic by eating their natural diet of grass and leaves but also by providing bright eyes and bushy tails bouncing through the brush.

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