Monday, May 01, 2017

Goodbye, Pikachu

When we got up this morning, Pikachu was still huddled in the back of his travel cage.  He looked miserable, not like our bright, inquisitive little bunny.  Now that the vet's office where we got him neutered was open, we decided to get an appointment there after all.  I could tell something was wrong with his hind legs, because he had a hard time keeping them under him.  They just kind of splayed out.  I was worried that if he had dislocated a leg joint or something, he would really be in a lot of pain, and waiting until Wednesday just wasn't a good option.  And if his back was broken, well, waiting until Wednesday seemed cruel as well.  So Caleb and I took him at 12:45.
Poor little guy was terrified.  He peed a ton as we lifted him out of the carrier to weight him, and when we set him on the floor so the vet could observe him dragging his hind legs along.  I knew that was a bad sign from my reading--he couldn't pee by himself, only as a reflex when being lifted, so nerve damage was likely.  The vet looked sad and said from his movement, things didn't look good.  He recommended x-rays so we could know exactly what we were dealing with, which was what we wanted as well.
We waited as the tech set up the x-ray and the anesthesia.  If you look closely, in the picture you can see how he had scraped off the fur around his eye while his head was trapped.  Later, when he was sedated and we could really look at his eye, we could see a big corneal laceration as well.  Poor, scared little bunny.
When the vet called us in to look at the x-ray, we could tell by his tone that things weren't good.  Pikachu had broken the vertebrae right between the tops of the pelvic bones.  Instead of being separated, they were crushed into each other.  The vet had tested his reactions by pinching between the toes of his hind legs.  There should have been a kicking reflex, but there was nothing, so that confirmed nerve damage.  At that point, we knew what we had to do.  Since he was already sedated, it made sense to go ahead and put him to sleep at that point.  We called home to deliver the bad news to everyone there.  
While the tech set that up, we just petted Pikachu and talked to him.  Finally he was relaxed and not in pain.  It would have been cruel to allow him to wake up, back into fear and pain, just to avoid him dying on Grace's birthday.  Still--it's hard being the adult and making these decisions.  Gah--what a sad, weird set of circumstances.  

So now we're cleaning out the rabbit cage again.  I told the kids I didn't know if we could do another bunny for awhile.  These delicate creatures are emotionally tough.    The kids are all hoping for a dog next.  Maybe after Verity is potty-trained . . .

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