Alfie arrived with us towards the end of Oct ’16; ever since the sudden and unexpected loss of Wee Willie Winkie to Lymphoma, I’d been quietly keeping an eye out for a potential new hus-bun for Loo-loo.
We’d been contacted after his owner’s circumstances changed and with that she could no longer keep him due to her new landlord’s no pets rule. So off we hopped on a wee bunny date to see if Loo-loo and he would get along ok and form a bond. Thankfully their meeting went well and Alfie came home to live with us.
With Alfie being an older chap (approx 5yrs) and was last seen by a vet during his annual vaccinations in Feb, he was booked in for a routine health check to ensure all is ok. It is always advisable to have a routine health check (recommended 6 monthly) carried out on our rabbits, and of course, have insurance in place should any issues be found. Thankfully for Alfie he came to us already insured and his cover was easily transferred over to my name.
Unfortunately Alfie was found to have dental spikes forming on his teeth and a such was immediately hospitalised for treatment. In the days leading up to his appointment I was having concerns in regards to his appetite, more so as he was ‘new’ to me I wasn’t too familiar with his normal routines etc.. however, I did the day previous to his appointment, syringe fed him a little as I felt his food intake was indeed very small, even for him. It was hoped this would prevent any tummy upsets developing. However, prior to his dental being carried out he did develop some bloat and that had to be treated / stabilised for around 3/4 days before the Vets were happy to proceed with his dental burr under anesthetic.
Within a couple of days from his dental burr, Alfie was back home and feeling much better, soon to show me his cheeky wee character. He is ever so sweet, loving and quite naughty too! He will happily sit for however long he wishes, snuggled in on your lap, giving you lots of kisses, before doing a wee piddle on you and hopping away! He is also quite happy to give you a grumpy nip when cleaning out his area too! Gotta love a bunny with attitude! ❤
He and Loo-loo are still happily bonding, there’s been no real issues, whilst they do groom each other from time to time they’re just not quite there yet. Madam Loo-loo, as is normal with the ‘dominate’ one, does from time to time give him a wee nip should he not ‘hop to it’ and groom her the moment she demands. There’s also been a wee bit of chasing here and there, which is quickly stopped in its tracks so as not to develop into an issue.
Sadly though, Alfie’s dental troubles have again become an issue and since his previous dental burr on 4th Nov, he had to be readmitted to the Vet clinic on Sunday 25th Nov as his appetite lessened again and he just wasn’t himself at all. My initial fears that perhaps the bond with Loo-loo was causing him some level of stress were soon to be unfounded.
He has since underwent a CT Scan as the Vets were rightly concerned upon discovering during an oral examination that a new dental spike had formed; so soon (less than 4 weeks) after his previous dental procedure. It has been found that his teeth are not in a very good condition, with a few of his rear molars being very overgrown and deformed.
On 1st Dec ’16, Alfie underwent a more aggressive dental burr with the Vet trimming back his problematic molars as far as possible, almost to the gum-line in the hope that any regrowth will limit both the angle and length at which they grow back.
We can only hope this more drastic action gives him a better chance of a hoppy ever after life and reduces his dental problems and need for – too many – repeated procures in the future. Sadly, when dental disease arises in rabbits, it can never be fully cured but only managed, therefore he will need regular checks and undoubtedly, several more dental burrs in the future. We have also been advised that our insurance may not cover any prolonged/repeated burrs, so this in itself is a worry as our finances are as always extremely limited and veterinary fees, expensive.
We can but only do our best and are happy that we have been able to give him this chance thanks to the expertise, care and compassion of the staff at the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School’s, Rabbit Clinic. In the long term we have got to consider his overall welfare, happiness and recovery before, during and after this, and any future treatments he will require. However, he has (as I write) just underwent his second, more aggressive dental burr, and is recovering well, whilst happily being fussed over by the nurses and staff.
We will of course closely monitor him once he returns home, and once he’s fully recovered, slowly re-introduce him and Loo-loo in the hope that they will eventually form a strong, happy bond.
The rest as they say is up to Alfie.
We keep in regular contact with Alfie’s previous owner as he is very much loved and missed.