Frankenstein’s Rabbit

18 Feb

We were going to get our rabbit Broccles a girlfriend for Christmas, but instead we had his eye removed. Broccles has a talent for suddenly needing the vet during national holidays, and the money set aside for his new companion had to be diverted – and some.

Helping with the Christmas wrapping

Helping with the Christmas wrapping

His blind eye had been  shrinking, and in December his eyelid folded under itself and started scraping against his eyeball. This led to an infection. The vet knew that Bunty feels horrified about eyeball removal and the sewing-together of eyelids, so he suggested eyelid surgery instead. Broccles’s eye has led to so many vet visits, though, that Bunty and I finally felt he would suffer less if it were removed.

I made a point of booking Alasdair the Rabbit Hypnotist. All the surgeons at Broadley’s vet hospital are of the highest calibre, but my faith in Alasdair borders on the religious. As far as I’m concerned, he is a superhero of the rabbit world and I feel safest leaving our bundles of fur in his hands.

Alasdair called us after lunch to say the operation had been a success, even though the shrunken state of the eyeball had complicated it. He called again when Broccles came round, reassured us that the bunny was fine, and warned us that his face might look a bit shocking. We collected Broccles once the post-op team was satisfied that he was safe to come home. His good eye was much wider than usual, and as as soon as we got back, he made a beeline for his Safe Place on the hearthstone.

He looked a bit Frankenrabbit, but we thought Alasdair had done a fine job. Don’t you?

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”

I was given oral painkillers for Broccles – a disappointment, as he has a pathological terror of things shoved in his mouth. I’m always offered oral meds for him. I suspect this is because most pet owners are scared of giving injections and have no idea how much easier they are. Alasdair  suggested wetting Broccles’s teeth with a drop at a time, and letting him lick it off – it was honey flavoured, and tasty to rabbits. I loved this idea.

Unfortunately, Broccles wasn’t hungry after his ordeal, and he let the stuff drip onto the floor. He dug at the tiles in the way he does when he wants to be left alone, thankyouverymuch. I decided to have a go at hypnotising him into taking the medicine. Alasdair had once explained his method to me, and some of you readers have posted extra tips. I knelt down and lay Broccles on his back in my lap. His feet were braced against my tummy and his head and neck were secure in my hand. I murmured soothingly and stroked his forehead until he relaxed and went floppy. I slowly squirted the medicine into his mouth, and he drank it down calmly. Amazing! Thanks to everyone who helped me to master this new skill.

A mere 36 hours later, Broccles was eating everything in sight, dancing around the cats, and showing no signs of pain. He demanded to be let outside, so against the advice of his nurse, I opened the door. He enjoyed himself following Bunty around the winter vegetable beds. Then he seemed to lose his bearings. He got stuck in this tree for half an hour, until I came and guided him back into the house.

Call the fire brigade!

For the next few days, he kept losing his way and bumping into things, and he needed encouragement to follow his usual routes around the place. He seemed much blinder than before his eye removal, even though several vets had assured us that his blind eye was completely blind. I had often had the peculiar feeling that he was looking through it, but this should not have been possible. When vets examined the eye with ophthalmoscopes, there was no sign of the retina at all. No retina means no vision.

Broccles spent January relearning his way around. He has taken to following walls for guidance, and whenever he comes to a corner or doorway, he turns his head this way and that to examine the full layout with his single eye. He has been getting faster and more adept at this. He has come on, I may say, in leaps and bounds.

His fur grew back rapidly, and it’s now difficult to notice that he has an eye missing. He is as handsome as ever, and in fine fettle for meeting a new girl.

Eye, me hearties!

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16 Responses to “Frankenstein’s Rabbit”

  1. mandala56 February 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    What a sweetheart! I’m glad he’s adjusting well.

  2. Brianda Domecq February 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Sooo happy for Broccles and wish him the best with the future damsel. b

  3. dewimorgan February 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Yay! :D

  4. murfomurf February 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Dear little [?] Broccles. He lived all that visual adaptation stuff we did in psychology all that time ago! He certainly looks perfectly OK with his fur grown back! Mwa!

    • Snailquake February 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      Yep, he’s a little one for a lop. :-)

  5. christinasr February 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Oh that one picture is just scary! But he looks so handsome again – he’s just such an amazing creature (like all rabbits). I’m sure he will live to get a lady friend :-)

    • Snailquake February 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      Rabbits are really something, for sure.

      • Anonymous February 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

        Yikes, I meant love to get a lady friend…!

        • Snailquake February 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

          Hahaha! “Live” was quite appropriate for him, though. He has crazy bad luck and yet survives everything life throws at him.

  6. Jon Kover February 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Good for Broccles relearning his way around, and good for him growing his fur back so handsomely! And good luck to him in the love dept! And good to read your teatime posts again. It seems they were not so getting here lately, and I wondered about you all.

    • Snailquake February 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      Thank you! I hope to be a bit more regular with the posts now…

  7. LaVagabonde February 24, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Broccles is such a trooper.

    Good to see that you are back!

  8. Heavenly Homes and Gardens February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Ahh bless him, what a sweetie – he really is adorable. I hope this continue to get easier and easier for him xx

    • Snailquake February 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      Thank you! And by the way, what a charming blog you’ve got. I didn’t think a theme like “homes and gardens” would grab me, but yours is lovely and quirky.

  9. The Smile Scavenger March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Aww <3 I'm glad he's going to be okay.

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