A warning before anyone scrolls to see the photos in this post: Some people might be disturbed by the content, but my checkbook can attest to a veterinarian's intervention into the matter.
On the morning following Gus's departure across the Rainbow Bridge, I scooped Victor von Bunn up from the floor to put him back into his house. That's when we found this.
Given the lively chance he'd led me on in the attempt to not be put back in to his cage, and his horse-like appetite and resulting Pez-dispenser-esque bottom, the apparent injury came as quite a shock. A all rabbit lovers know if a bunny is playing, eating, and pooping then things are a-ok.
However this was not fine. A call to the vet's got us an appointment first thing Monday morning. The we waited... not calmly except for Victor. He was quite non-pulsed.
We went to the vet expecting to find a corneal scratch. Instead we found an eyeball full of pus. IF we'd been able to get rid of the infection with medication he'd still be blind in that eye. I didn't want to have the stress of trying to fight an infection in what's supposed to be a closed-off place... and Victor didn't need that stress either.
So the vet and I agreed the best course of action was to remove the eye. He did so that afternoon because he was very concerned. Victor's appetite showed the first signs of declining that morning and we didn't want to be dealing with gut stasis on top of the infection.
As to how the eye became infected... a cat's claw, finding a splinter whilst poking his nose where it really shouldn't be (he thinks barriers are a puzzle game to be figured out and beaten), we'll really never know. But for bacteria to get into an eyeball a piercing jab is required.
After the surgery was over the vet called me himself. There were minor complications making this procedure even more challenging. Enucleating a rabbit is more difficult than a cat or a dog in general, but Victor's surgery was more so. The major issue was abnormal dilation of the blood vessels along the optic nerve and the accompanying artery. The vet explained there are only two reasons for that to happen: a nasty infection or cancer.
He wanted to take xrays while Victor was still groggy enough to hold still. I agreed and waited. I wasn't as worried about Victor's recovery at this point. He was waking up from anesthesia just fine. And the eye was out so either infection or cancer, he'd be more comfortable.
I was able to bring him home the following afternoon. Other than looking a bit like a lapine Harvey Dent, he was just fine. His appetite had come back and he was relaxed enough to give himself a bath. The surgical site was swollen and red, not surprising though. He's munching on fresh dandelion greens in the photo. While he was away, I moved his cage upstairs to make it easier to keep watch during the week.
The xrays didn't show any signs of metastasis, so we opted to not send the eye to histology. That cost would've sent the bill to over $1000... and we still need to pay Gus's last bill when we collect his ashes. The other reason we skipped the histology is our vet told us any cancer in such a young rabbit will be, "quick and devastating." Knowing ahead of time won't do a single thing for him.
So whether it be 12 weeks, 12 months, or 12 years, Victor is loved and cared for.
This morning he's looking quite well. The swelling and redness is gone. I think he'll make quite the dapper pirate once the fur grows back.
The worst part of the ordeal for me is the timing. The worst bit for him is getting medicine twice a day. He feels well enough to fight it, which is fine. That means he's getting better.
That's all for now. I'll hopefully get back to posting about fun and creative things next week. Fingers crossed for no more disasters!