My Rabbit's sick

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Korto
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My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-04-17 10:01pm

Probably myxomotosis. I suspected, and the vet agreed from some pictures.
It's left me with a moral quandary.
The vet wants to kill her. Myxo is an almost certain death sentence, and a nasty one, too. The survival rate for normal myxo is (or was) <5%. However, it may not be normal myxo. There's a few less-lethal varieties around now, and one of them causes lumps on the rabbit's face and ears. To quote:
Another rare symptom (in a much less common strain) causes a lower grade chronic disease and lower rate of fatal outcomes. It can result in lumps developing around the ears and face that will resolve on their own. These lumps are named myxomas and the disease virus was named after this lesion.
http://www.rspcasa.org.au/myxomatosis/
She has lumps like this, they look like mosquito bites, and she's still reasonably active and eating. But this variant is described as rare (so it's unlikely she actually has it), and it doesn't say what the death rate is.

I mean, I could kill her, but this is the only life she has. There's no reincarnation, and she doesn't get to start a new game and try again. Or I could give her her chance at survival, but that could sentence her to needless suffering and a cruel death.

I'm inclined to give her her chance to pull through, we wouldn't countenance killing people if they had a diceroll shot, but I might just be being a coward, unwilling to make the hard choice and dressing it up in excuses.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-04-17 10:11pm

That link says if its going to be fatal, it would be fatal within two weeks. It seems like good reason to give her the chance if she doesn't seem like she's suffering, it's not going to be highly protracted either way and looks like a bad case will show additional symptoms. Assuming that no risk exists of contaminating other animals during that period at least.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-04-17 11:06pm

Absent more info, hold off on putting her down.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Alferd Packer » 2018-04-18 08:21am

Korto wrote:
2018-04-17 10:01pm
I mean, I could kill her, but this is the only life she has. There's no reincarnation, and she doesn't get to start a new game and try again. Or I could give her her chance at survival, but that could sentence her to needless suffering and a cruel death.

I'm inclined to give her her chance to pull through, we wouldn't countenance killing people if they had a diceroll shot, but I might just be being a coward, unwilling to make the hard choice and dressing it up in excuses.
Part of the contract of having a pet is having to make these end-of-life choices on your pet's behalf. You presumably know your rabbit better than anyone, so you will best be able to tell when she's in pain or when her quality of life is deteriorating. It is therefore your responsibility to determine when euthanizing her is the best call. Your actual feelings are irrelevant, and have no bearing on this decision (you will still feel them, of course, and it will hurt like hell, but they in no way excuse your duty as your pet's caregiver).

Since the stated fatality rate is 96% in the best case, you should prepare yourself for this outcome. Make arrangements with the vet that can be put into motion at a moment's notice (if there is a 24 hour emergency vet in your area, this will be the place to do so). If possible, arrange for payment in advance. Take time off work, if you can, to monitor your pet's behavior. When her symptoms worsen severely--and you, as caregiver, will know when they do--it'll be time to go. And yes, you will ugly-cry in front of complete strangers, and be an absolute wreck for weeks, if not months. But you will have fulfilled your part of the caregiver/pet contract, and that's the important thing.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-04-18 08:54am

The wife and I have talked it over, and we're going to give Lola (the rabbit) more time to see how this is playing out. If it's an acute form, she's pretty much dead rabbit hopping, but at the moment she's moving around the house and eating and it might be the chronic form, which has a better survival rate.

I'm also continuing google searches for more information. I've found a web site with colour pictures of different stages, and I'll have to check how Lola compares (it'll be funny if this is a complete misdiagnosis). It also has information on how to nurse a rabbit back to health, and suggests the point for admitting defeat as when the rabbit can no longer feed herself.
https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/articl ... yxomatosis
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-04-23 11:36am

Update:

Lola's doing reasonably well. One eye's been closed by a lump, but the other is still open. She still wants to be active, and is eating fine.

Two more rabbits have fallen sick. I noticed something odd about Blacky's eyes on Wednesday, but she did a runner into the yard and didn't slink back until Friday night, at which stage both eyes were swollen shut. She has classic myxo; she's still eating at the moment, but she's lethargic and her chances are bad. Since Lola and Blacky have very little to do with each other and were in separate hutches, not to mention the different presentation of the illness, I'm not sure that Blacky caught it off Lola. It may have been a parallel infection, there's more than one mosquito in the world, after all. Of course, where she got it's of only academic importance.

Anna was Lola's hutchmate, and is exibiting the same lumpy symptoms, so I'm pretty sure she caught it off Lola. There is suspicion that Anna may have been exposed to myxo before--she and her hutchmate at the time, Elsa(*), both got sick about the same time, and within 24 hours after that, Elsa was dead but Anna threw it off. A pet-shop guy felt it was probably myxomatosis; if so, it would have been the peracute version. If Anna has been exposed before, then she should have a good chance of throwing this off.
If.

I'm feeding them grass and fresh vegetables, in the thought that the pellet concentrate may put more strain upon their weakened constitutions, and it also means I don't have to worry so much about whether they're getting enough water (I've noticed they rarely drink when given fresh vegetables, but hit the water hard with the pellets, which isn't a surprise).

* Yeah. My daughter named the rabbits (except Blacky), and she was into Frozen at the time.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-04-24 11:11am

does keeping them alive risk any more rabbits?
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-04-26 09:48am

I separated them out, but maybe not well enough, or maybe not soon enough, because as I said two more fell sick. Bugsy remains unaffected at this point.

Lola died today. She was eating last night, died today. So that's a shame.
Found a site willing to put a percentage chance on surviving chronic myxomatosis, which is what I'm sure Anna and Lola got. Fifty percent. A coin toss, and Lola was just on the wrong side. Anna's bigger and stronger. Hopefully she'll be luckier.

As for Blackie, she has acute myxo, which has a really bad survival rate, but she's still eating tonight, and if she could talk I'm certain she would say "Give me my chance".
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-04-26 01:36pm

so 50% survival rate. Three rabbits with it, one without.
If you keep them alive theres a very high chance the final rabbit cathes it. too.

So: case 1, keep them alive, assume bugsy gets it too. 2/4 rabbits die. there's a one in eight all die and a one in eight only one dies. This assumes blackie has same 50% survival rate. this is not really a valid assumption.

case 2. increase chance of blackie dieing means you tend to 3/4 rabbits dieing on average, and probably 4/4 if she spreads the worse version to weakened rabbits.

case 3. kill the infected, assume bugsy dosen't get it. 3/4 rabbits die.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-04-26 06:10pm

He said he'd separated the rabbits now, right? So that ought to reduce the chances of rabbit number four catching it, if they haven't already.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-04-27 09:39am

Myxo is so contagious, I'd view the infected rabbits as little viral smoke machines pumping infection out into the environment. Like how with foot and mouth infected pigs, the 'safe distance' for another pig was measured in miles.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-05-12 09:58am

MaddOctOr was right. My quarantine failed. About a day or two after his post, I noticed swelling around the final rabbit's (Bugsy's) eyes, and she died last night.

I believe in the same situation, I would still try to nurse them through it and not have them put down while there still seemed some hope (particularly with the chronic form having apparently a 50% survival rate), but I urge anyone else trying this to remove any healthy rabbits completely from the premises. Sent them to friends or family, but get them the hell away from your property.

And keep them separate for the first week, too. Anna must have been infected before we even knew Lola (the first one with it) was sick.

If we get any more rabbits, it won't be until after Christmas, to give the disease time to clear.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-12 02:34pm

Korto wrote:
2018-05-12 09:58am
I urge anyone else trying this to remove any healthy rabbits completely from the premises. Sent them to friends or family, but get them the hell away from your property.
NO.

That's not how quarantine works, and for a reason.
By the time you realise symptoms, chances are that all others are already infected. By sending them away to other places, you spread the disease. (To their pets, or their neighbors', etc. There are many transmission vecor possible for the disease, like mosquitoes...) One rabbit in a non-contaminated area becomes a new hotspot, quickly. Read up on how Ireland and England got rid of 99% of nativve rabbit populations in the early 50's, if you don't believe me.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but as a professional animal caregiver, I can not agree to your recommendation.
The slim chance of one of your pets not dying does not measure up to the big chance of several other people's pets (or wild animals) getting sick and dying, as well.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by atg » 2018-05-12 11:29pm

Korto wrote:
2018-05-12 09:58am
MaddOctOr was right. My quarantine failed. About a day or two after his post, I noticed swelling around the final rabbit's (Bugsy's) eyes, and she died last night.
Lost two of my rabbits a couple years ago to Myxo. Part of how it gets spread it mossie bites, so unless you keep the uninfected rabbits indoors it's likely to spread. Even then there is no guarantee.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-05-14 05:39pm

I am sorry they died Korto
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by The_Saint » 2018-05-19 04:27am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-12 02:34pm
...
The slim chance of one of your pets not dying does not measure up to the big chance of several other people's pets (or wild animals) getting sick and dying, as well.
Nothing against Korto's pets but myxo killing off wild rabbits is kind of why we introduced it into Aus in the first place.
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Re: My Rabbit's sick

Post by Korto » 2018-05-21 09:09am

Yeah.

I feel my advice on shifting the rabbits away was probably more a mistake of forgetting that my situation may not be the same as other peoples. None of my family or friends (or anyone I know) have rabbits, and I'm in a semi-rural area so if myxo wasn't already here, the government would send chappies around to put it here, so sending the rabbits away shouldn't increase any danger that anyone would care. If there was a survey held of the people who cared, I think the majority would feel myxamotosis wasn't widespread or lethal enough, which would explain the release of calicivirus a couple of suburbs over some months ago to celebrate the start of the mosquito season.


Image
Here's the girls back before they started fighting. The big grey one up front is Anna, the small black one on her left is Blacky, and the small grey behind her is Bugsy. The brownish rabbit grooming herself is Lola.

Oh well.


I'm reconsidering the idea of miniature goats. While before I felt the yard was too small, that was thinking of them grazing. If I bring food in, then apparently they can be happy on 200 sq feet each, and I have about 10x that in usable yard. So space isn't a problem. Just the cost and getting food (although, semi-rural. They sell hay five minutes away. Five minutes walk if I'm willing to pay shop prices), and whatever vet care they may need. And the fact they're about 10x more expensive than a rabbit. On the bright side, they're not well known for coming down with fucking myxamotosis.

Won't be doing anything till the new year anyway, I reckon.
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