For the most part, the rabbits have been low maintenance pets; just give them rabbit food and water, and some fresh greens now and then, and they're happy.
But early this week I noticed something wrong with Cocoa, Starflower's rabbit. Its right eye was bulging out and the eyelid was red. A little pinkeye, I thought, maybe it will go away and I can avoid a $45 vet visit. But today when the eye was still red and bulging I decided maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to give the vet a call. Come in for a $45 visit and get the $5 eye drops or whatever.
The first obstacle to that plan was finding a vet who worked with rabbits. One would think, in a rural area like this, vets would come out in the middle of the night to treat an eggbound chicken. Nope. My first call was to the local vet ten miles away, who has spayed and neutered a few of our canine and feline companions and euthanized one. I set up an appointment with the assistant, but she called back about half an hour with the news: "Dr. Vet does not see rabbits." Okay. Maybe she will not see any of our other pets in the future, even those that are her preferred species.
Next I called a clinic in the next nearest town, twenty miles away. "Do you see rabbits?" I asked. "No. You could try Cloquet." 45 miles away. So I called. "Do you see rabbits?" "Yes we do! But...we can't get you in till Monday. Two of our vets are on vacation. But the Moose Lake clinic does take rabbits."
"I already tried them, and they said no."
"Did you call Arrowhead Lane clinic?"
"Oh, call the OTHER one!" Little did I know the small town of Moose Lake, MN supports two vet clinics. I called the other one, asked if they saw rabbits, and the receptionist said she'd ask the doctor. She came back and said "Yes, but he says he's no expert on them, he'll probably be reading the book while he examines it. We can get you in at 4."
"Good enough", I said. At least he was willing to give it a try. Conjunctivitis isn't that hard to diagnose, I thought.
So we arrived at 4, and the vet was actually at the front desk waiting for us. A younger guy, and obviously enthusiastic and eager to help us. We went into the exam room. They ruled out glaucoma, did some X rays (cha-CHING!) to rule out a tumor, then he came with the news:
"It appears her eye may have been pushed out of its socket." Ugh. Poor bunny. POOR BUNNY! But bunnies are great at hiding things like that. They try to go on with life as usual.
But there is hope. He consulted with a friend in Wales who apparently is a rabbit expert, and he can put the bunny under anesthesia (cha-CHING!) and attempt to poke the eye back in. Ouch. But what are the alternatives? Surgery to remove the eye, euthanasia, or nothing. I can't do anything but the best for Starflower's pet bunny. Sigh.
So I'll be bringing Cocoa in at 7:30 AM for eye-poking surgery. Please pray that all goes well! And thank God it's The Hermit's payday Monday.