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Know the Dangers of
The little black bunny came to us late on July 29th, a Thursday night. She had been abandoned in the Saratoga, NY area and had been outside for several weeks during the hot summer before finally being captured by Anthony. After an initial examination by Meg, it was clear she needed immediate vet care. Meg came over with the bunny and supplies, and set up her temporary abode - a spacious x-pen with a hiding box and litter pans. We watched her daintily nibble at some greens and explore around. You could see that she was quite swollen and sore from the parasites but still showed off her affectionate personality right away. What a beautiful little girl she was, shiny black fur, large dark eyes, dainty feet and a generous dewlap. The little bunny still needed a name. ‘Dahlia Bea’ came to mind, very feminine and delicate. And so Dahlia’s journey with us began.
The next morning was an early vet visit and the diagnosis was confirmed, four cuterebra were removed from her and she was released to us. This was unfortunately the first of many vet visits for her. She couldn’t be transported to the foster home in this condition. Dahlia would have to stay with us for the time being. Over the next few days more cuterebra were discovered and each time she was taken back to a vet for medical attention and removal. We followed the medicine regime several times a day for the next few days. Throughout the daily poking and prodding by us, Dahlia was so easy to handle and willingly took her medications, never a grunt or nip from her. Thinking about her sweet temperament, we began to realize that we would truly miss her when we took her to her foster home. We wondered what kind of family would adopt her and where? Would we ever hear about her full recovery from all this? We’d become quite attached to her as if she was our own in a matter of days. What if we adopted her? But we weren’t prepared to have two bunnies as the discussion went. Finally, after several days with continuing issues and serious concerns about a failed removal over Dahlia’s eye, Davida got an appointment at Cornell Animal Hospital and we took Dahlia on the long drive to have a more intensive exam done on her.
As we spent the day at Cornell and the surrounding area while Dahlia was being well cared for, more and more we knew we were head over heels for the little Dahlia. Cornell was great and took care of the failed removal and her other wounds. The prognosis was good, but she would have to go back for a follow-up visit in a week. That evening before we got to Cathy’s house, the fostering home, we knew that Dahlia would be coming home with us. As we talked with Davida and Cathy, Dahlia, after being released from her carrier, bounced around the couch she was on and playfully arranged a small towel several times that was next to her. We didn’t want to leave her, but circumstances had us away for family vacation at the time she was to go back to the vet the next week for her follow-up visit. She was to stay there for two weeks, and we would pick her up the Monday after we got back from vacation. What a perfect plan. We couldn’t wait to get back home and do some bunny shopping the very next day. Everything we/she needed was purchased or ordered up on line and would be waiting for us when we got back from vacation. Little did we know that that was the last time we would see our darling little girl.
Her follow-up visit and surgery on Monday, August 9th, went well, but Dahlia passed away very unexpectedly late that night. Heartbreakingly, it’s not known exactly why it happened, but it did. It didn’t seem fair that after all the time, effort and love put into giving her a second chance at life that she didn’t get to enjoy it longer. We didn’t get to give her the love that she deserved in her forever home. We’ll never get to snuggle our sweet, beautiful little Dahlia again, but we can take comfort in knowing that the last couple weeks of her life were filled with people that truly cared for her and were intent on helping her heal and erase the horrors she had been exposed to. If not for the House Rabbit Society volunteers and resources, she wouldn’t have had any chance at all. One thing is for certain though, for the short time she was with us, Dahlia Bea may have been a tiny, four pound bundle of fur, but she left a giant hole in all our hearts and lives. We love and miss you, our little ‘DB’!
Stories like Dahlia's are just one of many reasons why we will not adopt to people housing rabbits outdoors.
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