Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Schmutz Final Update

Hey! You may or may not know that my mini-lop rabbit, Schmutz broke two of his toes a couple of months back. If you are unaware of the situation, the first post is here, and the first week update is here. I was meant to do a bit more updates, but nothing really happened and he acted like normal. I have decided that this post will just round everything up and tell you a lot about what happened.
First off, he broke two metatarsals in his back foot. Our vet said if he had broken a third one, it would be a much different story for him and very difficult to fix. Our vet did have to take x-rays to confirm it was only two toes, and also to confirm how they were broken before he could decide whether it would be okay just to splint the foot, or if he would have to do surgery. Thankfully, Schmutz only needed the splint, but bear in mind he did have to be put under anesthetic to get the splint on.
After that, Schmutz had to take anti-inflammatory medication twice daily for three weeks. I will admit, at the start Schmutz was a terror to medicate, but as the days went on he realised that it was a delicious treat and would run towards the syringe to get the medication. If you are having trouble medicating a rabbit, my vet nurses advise was to wrap the rabbit up in a towel and put him on his back to get it in their mouth. We never had to revert to this method so am not too sure how well that would work, or if it would just stress the rabbit out more.
In the end, Schmutz had to have the splint on for six weeks, however because we were away in America and my mother couldn't get out to our vet, he had the splint on for a total of eight weeks. He never really got used to having the splint on. He learnt how to ignore it but never how to efficiently walk with it. Instead the splint was just dragged behind him, and often when he was laying down, it was at a weird angle to his body. Another thing that wasn't much of an issue but something to be aware of is that it did get dirty with poos. I would take out poos when I saw them, and would frequently put new straw into the bottom of his cage, but there was no way of stopping stray poos getting stuck on it. Our vet also worried about Schmutz actually ripping the splint off. He said that it is a common thing for rabbits to do, and we were both to surprised that Schmutz hardly even tried to take it off.
We didn't have to get the splint cut off in the end. The day before we returned home from America, my mum was trying to clean up the splint a little bit by pulling off the dried poos and Schmutz leaped away. Mum ended up with the splint in her hand and Schmutz was on the other side of the cage. My hypothesis was that his foot had lost so much muscle that it was much smaller and due to him rushing away it just slipped out. I am happy to say that the foot is fine and he is now using the foot fairly normally now. When he first ran around without the splint, he was still using the foot like it was in the splint. Over the past week he has slowly started using the foot more normally now and only occasionally reverts back to trying to use it like the splint. The foot is definitely a lot smaller than his other hind leg, the muscle loss is massive, but eight weeks of not using a foot that is bound to happen.
All in all, the two broken toes ended up costing us between $600 and $900. This is New Zealand Dollars and also we were at a specialist rabbit vet, so was very expensive. If he had worse breaks, he would have had to have surgery and we would be looking at a much larger vet bill, so we have to be happy with that price. Schmutz has become a lot more friendly over this period which is the plus side of this whole experience. If you have any more questions about our experience don't be scared to ask, I will try answer best I can. Thank you for reading.

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