You are what you eat

All is calm here.  Everybun seems well.  Jeremy seems much improved.  Having plateaud and wavered for a while, he is now starting to gain weight at a nice, soothing rate.  He was 550g when he first started to show signs of being unwell, I’m sure he dropped during his illness although I didn’t weigh him, and then he hovered around 550g again before very slowly making his way up to 600g.  As you can see from the photo, this morning he is just over 630g.  Forgive me if I’m repeating myself in this post, I lose track a little of what I’ve said and not said already.

I think the thing that has made the sudden difference is that he has started eating pellets again.  It’s funny how the body seems to know what it needs and makes a bee line for that, and how you just completely go off other stuff.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced that in our lives during times of ill health or stress.  I remember when I had a kidney infection a few years ago, I went completely off alcohol and craved fruit teas.  For about 2 weeks I drank loads and loads of fruit teas and really enjoyed them.  And then as suddenly as the craving started, it stopped. I suspect (in fact I know) that those teas are still sat in my cupboard now, untouched since that time and probably well beyond their ‘best before’ date.

As I fed everybun one time a few weeks ago, I suddenly wondered if feeding hawthorn is really the wrong thing to do for a bunny with RHD.  Hawthorn is one of those natural products which has (in some parts of the plant at least) pretty potent properties, mostly around blood thinning and heart health.  Given that RHD is a disorder affecting blood and haemorrhaging, I suddenly thought whoops…probably shouldn’t have given that.  But then I noticed that he wasn’t eating it anyway.  I started to watch what he was choosing – wild geranium – mainly herb robert but the cranesbill too – and cleavers.  Having asked some people in the know, it seems that both these plants have astringent properties and, as I found in one info source, geranium is useful for ‘internal bleeding’.  Now, whether there is anything in this, or whether I’m reading stuff into it in the same way that my horoscope probably says some stuff that I could relate to, I’m not sure.

In any case, I think it’s interesting to note that his tastes definitely did change, and he was particularly picky about what he was eating.  He has also developed a particular penchant for certain bits of Burgess Mountain Meadow Herbs. I don’t know which bits it is that he picks out, but he goes digging around in the bowl and selecting bits which seem of particular interest to him.  In all the time that he’s been unwell, he has completely gone off pellets.  He is still eating well, getting lots of fibre and has nice fibrous poos, but he just didn’t want to touch pellets.  All his siblings tuck into the SS junior with great gusto, and indeed he did too when he was very young.  But all of a sudden he didn’t want them. Until a few days ago, when he suddenly started picking at them again. And then overnight a good portion of a bowl has disappeared, and he is 30g heavier.

I think I take this as a good sign that his body is starting to return to normal and his eating habits and fancies are returning to normal.  I was told this morning about an article in last week’s Veterinary Record by the APHA which said that RHD2 had not yet been confirmed in the UK in rabbits less than 8 weeks old.  Well, here he is.  Lily was just over 6 weeks old when she died and hers was a confirmed case, so it definitely is out there and it definitely is affecting youngsters – although interestingly just two out of the litter of seven.  The other five showed absolutely no signs of ill health at all.  Whether they ‘had’ it but just didn’t develop signs of illness, or whether it was on its way to them and they got vaccinated in the nick of time, I don’t know.  Maybe later I’ll write some musings on how it seems to be affecting the wild rabbit population locally.  But for now it’s time for tea and breakfast. Thank you for reading.  You are still reading aren’t you.  Hello?  Is there anyone there?

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One thought on “You are what you eat

  1. Den says:

    Hi I’m Den from the RU forum. I found your blog via a link on Rainbow Rabbits fb page. This has been heartbreaking reading however also fascinating, especially this about eating habits. My only comparison is when both mine are in full moult they both wolf down hay as if it’s going to be rationed.

    Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea rabbits could recover from this virus.

    I wish you all well, especially Jeremy.

    Like

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