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Thread: When is it time to say goodbye? Advice please.

  1. #1

    Default When is it time to say goodbye? Advice please.

    Help please - I have a huge dilemma regarding my bun and would really appreciate any advice.

    My 7 year old female bun has spondylosis and has had reoccurring urine infections on and off for about a year (which is probably due to difficult posturing while using her litter tray). She is on tramadol and loxicom twice daily, which up until 4 weeks ago she was coping very well with. She had to go without the tramadol for 3 days because of a manufacturing problem at the suppliers. A few days later, I started seeing darker and thicker urine and then a small amount of blood; she also had the start of gut stasis. I took her straight to the vets and they put her on antibiotics and ranitidine for 2 weeks. She was very slow to pick up with her eating compared to previous infections, but she has been nibbling on hay and grass, but went off her nuggets and water completely. I have been giving her subcutaneous fluid which has helped her appetite, but she’s still not drinking. I repeated the urine test a couple of days ago, and although there was no sign of the infection, there was a high level of white blood cells and inflammation present. The vet has suggested putting her to sleep, but she’s still so lively running around outside, eating grass and washing her bonded partner. She seems to be doing all the things she would normally be doing (expect drinking), so I am finding it so difficult to know what to do for the best.

  2. #2
    Administrator KarenM's Avatar
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    So sorry you're facing this decision. Your post was in the moderated queue, so I just approved it and am giving it a little bump so members will see and hopefully share their experiences and thoughts.

  3. #3
    Forum Buddy MiniC's Avatar
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    So sorry to read this. I'm sorry, but I don't have much experience with making tough decisions like yours. Your vet knows best, maybe you can discuss it further with them?

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    If I were you, based on what you have said, I would want a second opinion. She doesn't sound to me as though she is ready to be put to sleep, although on a forum it is difficult to assess that.

    I think the fact that she is not drinking could be purely because you are giving her subcutaneous fluids, so she does not feel the need to drink. As you say she seems to be doing all the things that she would normally be doing apart from the drinking.

    What I am unsure about is the statement that there is no sign of infection, although she has got raised white blood cells and inflammation. How did the vet decide that there was no infection? I would have thought that there is a need now to try to treat whatever is causing the raised white cell count and the inflammation. Has your vet not suggested any medication for this?

    Is it possible you could ask for her to be referred to a specialist, or at least take her to a very rabbit savvy vet for another opinion?

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Welcome to RU. I agree with Omi - it doesn't sound like she is ready to say goodbye, all the signs are she is very much enjoying life. I have had vets recommend PTS for more than one bunny who has gone on to have many more happy years. I think you'll see the signs when the things she loves now don't interest her anymore. I'd want further exploration of those tests too.

    We have quite a lot of experience finding good bunny vets on here if you need a hand

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbandbubs View Post
    Help please - I have a huge dilemma regarding my bun and would really appreciate any advice.

    My 7 year old female bun has spondylosis and has had reoccurring urine infections on and off for about a year (which is probably due to difficult posturing while using her litter tray). She is on tramadol and loxicom twice daily, which up until 4 weeks ago she was coping very well with. She had to go without the tramadol for 3 days because of a manufacturing problem at the suppliers. A few days later, I started seeing darker and thicker urine and then a small amount of blood; she also had the start of gut stasis. I took her straight to the vets and they put her on antibiotics and ranitidine for 2 weeks. She was very slow to pick up with her eating compared to previous infections, but she has been nibbling on hay and grass, but went off her nuggets and water completely. I have been giving her subcutaneous fluid which has helped her appetite, but she’s still not drinking. I repeated the urine test a couple of days ago, and although there was no sign of the infection, there was a high level of white blood cells and inflammation present. The vet has suggested putting her to sleep, but she’s still so lively running around outside, eating grass and washing her bonded partner. She seems to be doing all the things she would normally be doing (expect drinking), so I am finding it so difficult to know what to do for the best.


    Hi there and welcome to the Forum

    What's the name of your little one?

    To me, it sounds like you need to see another vet to get a second opinion. If she's doing all the bunny like things, and enjoying life with her bonded partner, then i would really hesitate to PTS.

    Raised white blood cells can be due to several causes, and I think it might be best to get another vet's view on what could be the cause. I would want to know the cause of the blood in the urine too, and whether she is in pain from possible bladder sludge.

    I think if she's taking Loxicom and Tramadol, I would want her to be also given daily Ranitidine to protect her stomach lining from gastric ulceration.

    If you want to find another vet, start another thread here, on the Forum, in Rabbit Chat. You could put this in the title:

    Rabbit Savvy Vet needed in (your location) ... and members will give you their recommendations

    Alternatively you can search here for a recommended vet:

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/vet...ecommendations

    And the RWAF have their own suggestions for finding a good vet:

    http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk

    Please let us know what you feel is the right direction for you

  7. #7
    Mama Doe
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    i second everyones opinion too. You know your bun best and you really sound like you want to do the best thing for her. By getting a second opinion you may have more options. This must be a terrible time for you, so lots of good vibes sent for you and your fur baby. XXX

  8. #8

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    Hi All,

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions and thoughts. After stopping the subcut fluids she has now started to drink so that was a good call. Her tummy is still a bit rumbly now and then with gas but I'm keeping up with the Ranitidine 3 times a day at 0.8ml. She's eating hay and grass fine but still not quite her usual amount of nuggets but she appears to be comfortable. I take on board about getting a second opinion. My vet is zoology trained so I had hoped he would have suggested other treatments other than putting her to sleep. He did however, when my other bun was poorly with a genetic dental problem offer to put him down straight away so I think that just maybe his attitude? I'm moving home in four weeks time so that will be my next hurdle as she does get very stressed very quickly. However, this will mean a change in vet and maybe a different course of treatment?

    Anyway, thank you so much for all your help I really appreciate it. I'll keep you all in the loop.

    xx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbandbubs View Post
    Hi All,

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions and thoughts. After stopping the subcut fluids she has now started to drink so that was a good call. Her tummy is still a bit rumbly now and then with gas but I'm keeping up with the Ranitidine 3 times a day at 0.8ml. She's eating hay and grass fine but still not quite her usual amount of nuggets but she appears to be comfortable. I take on board about getting a second opinion. My vet is zoology trained so I had hoped he would have suggested other treatments other than putting her to sleep. He did however, when my other bun was poorly with a genetic dental problem offer to put him down straight away so I think that just maybe his attitude? I'm moving home in four weeks time so that will be my next hurdle as she does get very stressed very quickly. However, this will mean a change in vet and maybe a different course of treatment?

    Anyway, thank you so much for all your help I really appreciate it. I'll keep you all in the loop.

    xx

    Thank you for coming back. I'm glad you're open to the idea of perhaps exploring other possibilities.

    Yes, stress is hard on a rabbit - it's hard on us too. Bit of an upheaval. But as you say, new vet and new course of treatment, new ideas. Hopefully you can turn it into a positive experience for you all.

    Wishing you good luck

  10. #10

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    Hi,

    They said there was no sign of infection from the urine sample I took in, but the results were abnormal and show lots of white blood cells and inflammation. They think the cause of the bladder problems is due to pain caused by her osteoarthritis. She doesn't posture correctly while using the litter tray so the urine tracts back up into the bladder. She's had two weeks worth of depocillin, but the urine looks much the same to me in colour and thickness! She doesn't appear to be in any pain now; she would usually shake, and not sit or lay comfortably (she will kick and shake at the same time when she's in pain). I think the vet has guessed that she had an infection. She hasn't had any other investigations to find out why she has a problem with her bladder. Do you know of any tests that could be carried out?

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