I seem to recall that was the title of a Pet Shop Boys album, back in the day.  It’s also the title of this post because it is a bit introspective.  If you’re not interested in reading a bit of self-therapy, then I suggest you move along now 🙂

I had an epiphany today about why I’m struggling so much with RHD2 – apart from the obvious that it causes disease, suffering and death to the wonderful lagomorphs, of course.  It’s because everything is so uncertain.  RHD2 and all the issues surrounding it are shrouded in words like sometimes, probably, possibly, some, partial, variable, maybe, unknown.

As is often the case, the epiphany was completely unrelated to the issue at hand.  I had been having a conversation with a friend about an oncology referral for her cat from our vet.  I wanted to know where she had been referred.  My friend reported back that it was at a certain place, and when she’d asked, the vet said ‘I can try elsewhere if you prefer’ and my friend said ‘no it’s ok, Alison is just nosey’.  This may of course be true, but apart from the response giving me a bit of a giggle, it made me reflect on why this is the case. And that’s where I had an epiphany.

It’s because I’m a forward planner.  Heck, it’s what I do for a job.  For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs, I’m firmly in the J camp.  I don’t cope well with uncertainty.  I don’t do spontaneity. I don’t like to make decisions without feeling fully armed with the facts.  I deal with these things much better if I know in advance what is likely to happen, what the options are, who they involve (I have trust issues, especially where my animals are concerned), what the likely outcomes will be.  There seem to be so many unknowns with RHD2.

How many will get it? What’s the mortality rate? What are the symptoms? Will a sick rabbit survive? How long will it take a sick rabbit to recover? Will a rabbit who has had RHD2 have ongoing organ damage? Will they be immune in future? For how long? Does this depend on whether their mum had it and gave them antibodies in milk? Does their ability to generate the reaction from the vaccine depend on whether mum’s milk contained antibodies? How do we know? How long does an affected rabbit shed the virus for? What about if they’re subsequently vaccinated, does that change things? How do I know for sure whether the rest of the litter has been affected? How do we know? Will their nobivac-myxo have taken proper effect? When should I get mum neutered? When should I get the boys neutered? How long do I have to stay closed? Can I rehome to homes where there aren’t any other rabbits? How long before I attempt to bond one of these rabbits with another? How long will any virus stay in the environment? Will it just keep going round and round as the wild population ebbs and flows? How will I know when it’s clear?  When can I have people round to visit again?  That’s 14 rows of questions just off the top of my head, and I’m sure I have many more.  There might be some answers, but I suspect that uncertainty rules the roost with regards to lots of them.  And that’s what I don’t cope well with.



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