A first for the bunny


I’m not afraid to look stupid. I’m quite good at it really. And I’m especially not afraid to look stupid when it comes to the welfare of my pets. On numerous occasions, I have lugged one of my cats to the vet when they were acting weird, or looked like they were feeling ooky. And, on most occasions, I as assured that all it was nothing serious and sent home with some antibiotics and the advice to wait and watch. And most of the times, within a day or two, the cat would be fine.

When I had three cats, two of whom were elderly, I started to fear that the people at my vet’s office would think I had Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (Pet version) simply by how often I would be there. But, it has been quiet on the animal health scene. I’m grateful. My wallet is grateful.

Mr. Binkles, the bunny, is a very feisty little fellow. Normally, when I am in the living room, he makes sure I know he would like be out of his pen so he can romp freely. He picks up his pen and rattles it, and rattles it, and rattles it. He has learned that if he rattles it enough, he can eventually free himself from his pen. So, when I’m just hanging out, I usually just let him run free since he’ll make a big fuss and free himself anyway.

So, today being a very gloomy, gray, drizzly day I just hung out here. It wasn’t until a few hours ago it struck me that Mr. Binkles was being very, very quiet. I checked on him and he was hanging out in his box. He acknowledged my presence but didn’t come running over to see me. Odd. So, I let him be and tried again a little later. Again, he didn’t come to see me. I go into his pen to check on him, and he easily let me pick him up. Normally, he doesn’t like to be picked up and he’ll kick up a storm until he realizes that opposition is futile. I look on the floor and there is a nibbled upon sweet potato that the boyfriend had obviously fed him b/c I certainly wouldn’t.

So, with Mr. Binkles snuggled in my arm I googled poisonous plants/veggies for rabbits. Oh shit! Sweet potato. My vet was gone for the day, and I didn’t know any rabbit emergency vets, so I called the number for the animal poison control center listed on the site. There is a $50 fee for a phone consultation with a vet. Fine. Cheaper and easier than taking him to the emergency vet.

The nice vet had never heard of sweet potato being poisonous to rabbits, yet he saw that it was listed in the database published by his organization. So he searched and he searched and he could find no cases of sweet potato poisoning for a rabbit. And since Mr. Binkles only symptom is that he was acting listless, the vet surmised that maybe he had a tummy ache, and to, yes, watch and wait. And it didn’t take long after I was off the phone with the vet that Mr. Binkles was back to his old self.

Congratulations, Mr. Binkles, after your first unnecessary vet bill, you are officially one of the family.


6 responses »

  1. Bunnies are so less hardy than I would have thought. I mean, they run wild by the thousands and seem to be survivors out in the woods. Yet, our bunnies — Diamond in the Rough and Snowflake (and one named Spots before these two) — all died pretty young.

    But I’m glad Mr. Binkles is well. Who woulda thunk that of sweet potatoes??

  2. no kiddin… who woulda thought that about sweet potatoes and bunnies. Kinda like chocolate and dogs, huh. (in my best Homer Simpson voice) “mmmm…. chocolate.”

    Glad I’m not a dog. And glad to hear Mr Binkles has the toughness to get through what will now be known as The Sweet Potato Conspiracy.

    Happy New Year LB

    ~ jules

  3. Yes, bunnies do come with a set of very specific care instructions – lots of dos and don’ts. Unlike a cat where the basic instructions are: buy a bag or cans of food, a box to poop in, and enjoy! In fact, I have a friend of mine who refuses to acknowledge my bunny, or allow me to talk about my bunny b/c she does not want to hear about the possible heartbreaking demise of said bunny due to some slight mistep in bunny caretaking. (However, to minimize the risk, I have now posted the lists of bunny foods dos and don’ts on the fridge so that when the boyfriend is charged with feeding the bunny he has some guidance.)

  4. feeling ooky

    I love it. Yes, add my congrats to Mr. Binkles.

    I find the whole business of toxins for pets to be perplexing. Ferrinstance, we used to give our old doberman/german shepherd mix, Vinnie, plates with leftover pasta sauce before they went in the dishwasher. They of course had some onion and garlic in them.

    Now we’ve read that both onions and garlic are toxic for dogs.

    Who knew?

    Vinnie lived to be 18 years old — a very happy old guy doddering along (I miss him, still). I guess old Vin never got too much of them.

  5. I’m glad Mr. Binkles is ok. I’m the same way about my pets so I don’t really think of it as looking stupid. Just being cautious and caring.

    Happy 2008!

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