View Full Version : Worried sick

21-08-2013, 08:24 PM
My usual vet went on maternity leave & isn't coming back.
I temporarily transferred to one of her colleagues. I thought OK for the basics.
This is my list:
"Benjie is obese" on the basis of weight gain of 200Gm & no examination at all. His spine is easily palpable, ribs palpable beneath a thin layer of subcut tissue, no dewlap. He's very large boned at the rear end, huge back feet, mixed breed with probably a lot of Beveran in him judging by his huge curved ears.
A different vet - seen because his deformed nail was too long told me he needed jaw a XR (He's a pasteurella bunny) When I asked what the point was as his teeth hadn't needed much attention, she said "If there's tooth root elongation we'll extract the tooth:shock::shock::shock::shock:" I nearly fainted on the spot -don't see that one again!

Now we've stasis issues. It's so simple he's a stress bun anyway. Foxes have returned to the garden, doing a territorial poop directly under the open bedroom window & attacking the guineapigs next door.
Vet told me Benjie had a high temp 39.4 I asked if it could be a recent journey in a very hot car "Far too high for that". She couldn't find a focus of infection. Tested for dehydration by skin tenting - ignored his dry mouth when she looked at his teeth, didn't check his ears. then told me off for not feeding him properly. She thre a packet of burgess excel herbs at me "that's proper rabbit food"

Med's given1 off infection of metacam & ABx . Zantac to gove orally at home, no metaclop in the dispensary,& I had to ask specifically for Septrin because it had been proven to be highly effective for his type of snuffles.
I came home & sobbed my heart out. He's already had the infection spread throughout his bloodstream with 2 abscesses at the same time. Obviously I thought it was happening again.
So she rounded on me for not feeding him properly threw a pack of Burgess Excel herbs at me "that's proper rabbit food" There were dried coltsoot flowers & some bits! I'd never give dried compositae flowers on the disc it's hard as stone & could break a tooth. That cost me £70.:shock:

The cause of stasis -fox hasn't gone away, it's kinda up & down. I got a new vet today -seeing her on fri.
I feel totally crushed & it's all been totally unnecessary.
Why are vets so unreasonable?

21-08-2013, 08:34 PM
Poor little Benjie and poor you.

Are there any other vets nearby that anyone from here can recommend. You certainly need someone who knows their stuff with him. You're brilliant with your knowledge but when you know more than the vet you need to find a better one. One that works with you. My specialist always says it's a team effort to get Doughnut well.

I really hope your new vet is a lot better. I've cried a lot over vets not knowing what's wrong and telling me she is OK when I knew she wasn't.

Once you find one you can trust and knows their stuff it's such a relief.

Lots of love and luck. You can always pm me if you want a rant or shoulder to cry on. xx

21-08-2013, 08:38 PM
Oh Judy I am so sorry you had such a rubbish time. As suggested are there other vets in the area? If not maybe an ok one who is willing to listen and take on suggestions/ideas/learn?

21-08-2013, 09:22 PM
Thank you so much both of you.
Yes, I know what it's like from before with Thumper C Payne. 2 vets came so close to killing him with their arrogance, but I had that wonderful 3 years with Marie.
I don't expect ever to have that relationship again. She has outstanding clinical judgement - truely gifted combined with a very deep understanding of rabbits. It was an amazing 3 years where I did the nursing & food provision, Thumper showed us what he needed & we both listened to him.

I'll never forget one morning when he needed a dental & was booked in a midday. He went up to his food & threw it out of the bowl = "I can't eat it although I'm hungry". I said "OK little fella just hang on, we're seeing Marie soon, she'll sort it out for you."

Yes, I've checked with my old vets round the corner. They have a rabbit specialist now. I may have to run around to branch surgeries a bit. I just have to confirm what access is like.
Of course once I get talking rabbits I can't stop. I was telling the receptionist about how they chose what they need & medicate themselves from wild plants & she seemed spell bound with lots of "OH wow's" The big question is whether the vet will listen & knows her stuff. Will she team with me as I do the nursing care, & come up with the goodies when needed?

Benjie's just produced a nice pile of poops for me. :D I'm letting him do some "self service" eating from forage boxes under the bed.:lol: I guess he feels safer in his under the bed "burrow". :lol: He actually feels safer still if I'm on top of the bed.:lol: Munching starts as soon as I hit the pillow!

I'm so so fingers crossed this vet will be OK. We'll be seeing her on Fri for introductions. I also hope Benjie keeps going 'till then.

21-08-2013, 09:31 PM
I'm so sorry. We moved practices three times whn my rabbit savvy vet left. I've just moved house but will not leave my existing vets as I know how hard it is to find a good one. I hope you manage to find one that works for you soon.

Ref the fox have you tried a fox watch. Fingers crossed its working well for us at the mo.

21-08-2013, 09:32 PM
Well that is sounding more positive already. Hopefully this vet is good and you will have marie back very soon.

Please keep me posted. X

21-08-2013, 09:33 PM
Did Marie not mentor anyone before she went?

Barn Yard Bunnies
21-08-2013, 09:50 PM
Really hope on Friday the vets is so much better. Fingers and toes crossed.

21-08-2013, 10:16 PM
Oh I'm so sorry you had to go through that today :( I've been thinking a lot lately about the worrying number of vets that haven't a clue about rabbits :( there should be a campaign for all vet students to receive a proper grounding in rabbit medicine and surgery. I just can't understand why they are taught so little!
I go hope you find a vet who will work with you x

21-08-2013, 10:29 PM
Im so sorry to hear Benji is not doing well....I didnt realise he was struggling so. :-( I also wondered if Marie mentored anyone before she left? How frustrating...Im holding thumbs for you this new vet is brilliant...I really pray they are!
He sounds like he adores his underbed burrow! lol! Bless him! :love:

21-08-2013, 11:41 PM
Thank you so much everyone. I don't know how to do multiple quotes

Did Marie not mentor anyone before she went?

Yes, she was lovely & advised I go to Amy at this practice. I had Thumper then. When we went to introduce ourselves, Thumper was much more relaxed. I put my face near him wondering in my mind whether it was OK for him. It's the only time he ever turned to me & gave me a whisker kiss apart from our morning greeting. It was as if he was saying "I love you for bringing me here".
Amy was fantastic with Thumper to the end & also getting Benjie through that really difficult 1st. year.

I wouldn't have wanted to be in Amy's shoes one bit. A prepubertal rabbit, riddled with pasteurella, yet seemingly holding his own against it remarkably well. With an infection which can't ever be eradicated they way she used ABx would be the key to the rest of his life. I could trust her. When she "went for it" last Christmas it was "all guns blazing" - no 1/2 measures. I'd been pegging away at loosening everything up & we've had a remarkable respite. He's not even on bisolvon now.
But Amy doesn't want to return to work after the baby & I haven't found anyone else I can trust there.

I was actually very shocked literally. Benjie's 3rd. eyelids were across the eye to the pupil while he was on the table. He'd suddenly changed from as I'd described "He's not a sick rabbit he's in stasis" to looking moribund from sheer stress. When she said "If he's not picked up in the next 3 hours we'll bring him in" I stayed quiet, but thought "he's so stressed out here, that'd kill him. Over my dead body does he go in - he could have subcut fluids & proper drug treatment, then sent home for a start". (If I'm going to be very sharp tongued I'm one of those people who "put a zip on it".)

I'm sorry it was all so upsetting I'm actually having "flashbacks" of that consultation":shock: Goodness knows What Benjie's having. :cry:

Captain Helen
22-08-2013, 12:06 AM
That's not good :( I don't think any vet knows even a tenth of what you do about rabbit nutrition. Or has your intuition. I hope you can find a vet that you can work with. Glad he's feeling safer now in his bed burrow with you nearby. :love: Sending lots of vibes for Benji and hugs for you xx

22-08-2013, 06:59 AM
Having previously dealt with very obnoxious and arrogant Vets I totally empathise Judy. I know how highly you valued Marie and once we experience what a good Rabbit Vet is like anything less becomes even harder to tolerate. I do hope that Benji's problems become more manageable for him soon xx

Inimical Me
22-08-2013, 02:32 PM
It is so difficult to find a vet you can trust.

My vet is good and very highly thought of on here, but I do feel like he thinks Iím daft most of the time. The other one I sawÖ well I canít pinpoint why I didnít like him but when he admitted Fidget I was in tears thinking I hadnít done the right thing, and Iím not one to talk about intuition and all that stuff but I just knew. She didnít come to any harm with him, but ultimately the diagnosis came from the usual (highly thought of) vet without him doing any further examinations, just looking at what the previous vet had done (the fact he couldnít put two and two together makes me feel slightly vindicated in my original judgment).

I can understand vetsí mindset to a degree. Most pet owners probably donít know that much about their chosen animal, and I know myself at work it is easy to get into the mindset that the majority of your customers won't know what they're talking about. But, if you listen for five minutes you can make an educated assessment about whether or not your patient (or your patient's owner) ability to understand their pets' needs. It adds insult to injury to be spoken to like you're silly and be charged for the privilege. All whilst being no further forward with treatment.

22-08-2013, 02:35 PM
Lots more vibes for you and Benjie. Thank god he has you. xx

22-08-2013, 06:15 PM
Benjie is doing well thank you.
I couldn't "express " his full symptoms in the general distress. Thank goodness I didn't. I knew his symtpoms weren't dental. It's a well known pitfall because it llooks so dental.
He was obviously very interested in food & would have a go at a nibble then drop it. On the other hand he was still drinking!
I'd watched him chewing from above when he slowed down a bit. The side to side jaw movement was excellent.
This is totally different fromThumper who had poor side to side movement before a dental & markedly improved movement afterwards.
Strangely this is what buns do with caecal issues. By pure chance the zantac did the trick with a huge unformed caecal coming out in a couple of hours then back to normal relatively quickly. He's fluctuating a bit with stress, but holding his own.

Yes, Inimical me I also worked with the public. I can see that pet owners are different, & often less observant in the details of changes. It was so much easier for me because patients were describing what they felt in their own bodies.
That listening aspect, now despised, was the whole key for me. I'd be listening to what they said, at the same time trying to decide which bodily system wasn't working, & in the top of my mind starting to formulate a list of possibilities. I found some people didn't realise the importance of some "minor symptoms" or were too anxious to do so, so I'd ask further questions carefully & open mindedly. The questions are designed to "Home in further". It's up to me not to metaphorically get them in a 1/2 Nelson of psychological pressure "you do get black pooh don't you?" :lol: In fact I found patients to be remarkably accurate. I was usually the one who didn't pick up on the significance of something apparently relatively minor. I was gifted with the ability to remember the exact words spoken in a clinical context (not social) for several months, so if things weren't progressing as they should, I could go back to that 1st time, before the issue had been clouded by us medics!:lol:
One of my 1st vets said - "The key to small mammals is getting a good history." It's the key to good medicine too!

I didn't find an intelligence problem with 99.99 % of people. Obviously they couldn't be expected to have the background understanding of how the body works or the vast range of illnesses with similar symptoms. Also we shroud everything with jargon which facilitates rapid communication between professionals. I always considered that it was up to me to translate the jargon into clear basic English!

There were people with chronic ongoing illness, where there were no solutions for them. I always felt that these people knew more about their own illness than I did. Yet I still had an important place. I had to be 101% sure that there weren't signs of a different, treatable illness in amongst the symptoms of their ongoing illness.

I'm actually very understanding of the clinical problems vets encounter, so similar to ours. I'm just old. I own up to making all the attitude mistakes myself :oops: I call it growing up professionally/abandoning a certain professional arrogance. Yet this is the fundamantal reason for by far the majority of mistakes, & sometimes the "patient" can pay a high price!

I look at this vet. qualified in 1999. Maybe that consultation was a "bad hair day" we all have them. Maybe there's a problem because she's threatened that I'm medically qualified? I go to extreme lengths to define my role as strictly "patient carer" - provide a good history, know my rabbits idiosynchracies, examination, diagnosis & treatment over to them, but I expect it to "make sense". Sure I've got stethoscopes somewhere & an auroscope but never use them on my buns. I can hear bowel sounds adequately, by putting an ear to their flank & never comment about them. I simply recognise that I don't have the skills or knowledge required. I respect vets so highly for their vast range of knowledge & skills.

What I see so clearly here, is an attitude problem. She's coming to the wrong conclusions too fast, & ignoring information she doesn't want to hear. Maybe she's threatened by me & has a need to put me down at every opportunity. There's no basis to be threatened. Maybe she's fed up of my frequent attendance, although I've hardly been there since the snuffles has cleared. Until she amends whatever attitude issues she has, she'll make the same mistake & rabbits will suffer.

The other vet who advised XR etc. That was definitely not in Benjie's interests & moreover put him at high risk of very serious complications indeed. Very fortunately I did have knowledge there!
I always wonder "why?". I don't actually know the motivation, that would only become clearer if I saw a repeating pattern. I was really frightened because I saw a potential. That course of action, not in Benjie's interests could cost over £1000.
I encountered similar when I fell out with GWR. Miguel refused to do a dental for Thumper without an MRI scan =£1000. Certainly wouldn't help Thumper's management a jot. His fundamental issue was that his gut was so slow & absorbing nutrients so poorly he couldn't tolerate the slightest impediment to eating.
So what pressure is the company owning the practice putting on the vets to increase profits?
The vets are actually either employees of the company or subcontracted to work for them. Salary is fixed.

It happens a lot in private medicine certainly in the USA.
Why is vet rabbit care generally poorer than for other animals? Sadly I suspect the average vet doesn't see rabbits unless they're moribund. I weep. Rabbits are considered by most to be not worth the bother or cost. We RUers are the exception. Fees seem to be incredibly high to us, but I suspect lower than ops on dogs. Valuable animals eg horses, cattle, & BOP are the big money makers.
When dealing with a company, the overiding consideration is profit for shareholders.
The sheer greed disgusts me.

Another factor is that in times of economic austerity children have to come before pets. Insurance premiums or vet fees may be too high, maybe more pts & less treatment????, fewer clients, income goes down.

This is a very biased viewpoint folks. I have nothing like enough information to "diagnose" what is going wrong with the practice. Call it my preliminary thoughts - more evidence & repeating patterns needed.
That any of these factor might be sufficient to affect clinical judgement, & the manager refuses to acknowledge a problem, = I have to get out of there.