Broccles injured his eye this morning. It was sealed up and swollen. We thought there may be a connection between this and his successful break-in of a sack of muesli earlier, but it was hard to tell. He allowed me to examine and wash the eye. It looked angry and sore, but Broccles didn’t seem to mind it and was hopping around as normal.
I phoned the vet’s emergency line for advice on treating it over the weekend. The woman on the other end was all doom and gloom. “It could be myxomatosis,” she declared ominously. “Don’t wait till Monday. Bring him in now.”
He has been vaccinated and is an indoor rabbit (at least so far), but the woman was not interested in being questioned. “You can leave it if you want,” she said. “It’s up to you.” And her tone said, “you’ll only have yourself to blame when he starts foaming at the mouth and rolling around on the floor.”
Not only is it Sunday, but we don’t have a working car. We took a taxi there and rang the buzzer. The door was answered by a woman who was all angles and severe expression. I smiled at her. She pursed her lips. The emergency staff are a completely new set of people: I had to register Broccles with them as a new patient. All the lights were off in the waiting room, so Bunty and I sat meekly in the shadows until we were summoned.
At least the consultation room was lit. We took the lid off Broccles’s carrier, and he looked perkily around the room, with both eyes open. He was very well-behaved and only flinched a little when the vet examined his eye. I fretted. I always feel nervous at the vet’s. I worry that my pets will be traumatised, so I get all traumatised on their behalf.
“Hmm,” said the vet. “It is very inflamed. It looks as though it’s been scratched. Look where the tissues are separating at the edge.” It looked gruesome. She took a cotton bud and started prodding around in it and scraping at a little black area that may have been a foreign body. I fretted about the scratchy dry cotton buds on his mucus membranes.
“Wouldn’t it be better to wet it?” I asked. She kept scraping.
“The cotton bud, I mean,” I said. It was like she hadn’t heard. She kept scraping and scraping. In my mind I was going, “bloody vet hurting my rabbit, she’s gonna make him jump across the room and no wonder, I’ll scrape her eye with the dry end of a cotton bud, oh yes, see how she likes that…”
Broccles made a sudden powerful lunge. I caught him in my jumper.
“I’ll just give him some local anaesthetic,” said the vet, and applied some. I recommenced my internal dialogue about blithering vets and who do they think they are and why couldn’t she have done that before getting all proddy… After a little wait, she had another look and realised the foreign body was actually part of his eye. She gave him an anti-inflammatory shot and we were sent home with antibiotics and instructions to bring him back in tomorrow for a check-up.
I’ve been wallowing in guilt ever since. Poor Broccles, having to go through all that! Broccles has no idea of the trauma I am experiencing on his part, and has been lapping up all the conciliatory pettings and tasty herbage he’s getting. I have even let him eat some of the living room door.