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

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!