I think it’s fair to say that things are hanging in the balance for Delilah right now. This morning she was extremely distressed, her head was pointing skywards as she tried to breathe. My poor vet was booked solid today but she knew I wouldn’t ask for Delilah to be admitted if I didn’t think it was necessary, so they did some shuffling and managed to find a space for her. So Delilah spent the day at the vets, being cleaned, given oxygen and hand fed. She was described by her carers as ‘feisty’ in spite of having a lot of difficulty breathing. Her nose has swollen a lot and it’s impeding her nostrils so she’s struggling to breathe. It’s so hard to know what to do for the best – on the one hand she’s struggling to breathe and it’s all taking so much effort…on the other hand she’s still eating well and, between long periods of resting, being reasonably active and alert.
After discussing with my vet, we (I?) decided to give her one more night and see how she is in the morning. We’ve upped her dose of anti-inflammatory as there’s nothing really left to lose, and see if that can bring down the swelling just enough to make her more comfortable. I said to my vet ‘am I doing the right thing by taking her home again?’ and I was a little uncomfortable with the length of the pause before she said ‘let’s how see she goes overnight’. I trust my vet 100% and I know she doesn’t recommend euthanasia lightly, so the fact that she’s now wavering makes me wonder whether I am doing the right thing. I don’t want to be doing this for me, so that I can be successful and not having failed, I want to be doing this so that Delilah has a chance of the life that she has never had.
Delilah came to me via one of my rescue contacts. She had been rescued from a house where she was living in a vivarium. No idea how old she was or how long she’d been there. What kind of life is that for a bunny 😦 It’s no wonder she’s always had a few respiratory issues, can you imagine how damp and musty it must have been in there. Shortly after arriving here, she unexpectedly popped out a litter of 7 babies. Lily, the little one who succumbed to the RHD2, was one of the litter. From the look and size of the little ones, daddy was probably an agouti nethie. Given where she was living, it does make me wonder if she was actually a breeding machine to produce babies to be fed to reptiles 😦
So anyway, I took a little video of her breathing earlier this evening and sent it to a few trusted friends who I know will be honest with me, and they’ve all reassured me that for now, they agree that she still has a chance and it’s ok to keep going. It’s so hard. I really don’t want her to suffer and her welfare has to come first. That balance and decision is so tricky when you’ve got a sick rabbit who is struggling to get her breath, but can equally still stuff her face with gusto when you waggle a bit of cow parsley in front of her face (as demonstrated in the nebuliser!) and move around the bedroom quite happily to find her favourite spot. I hope that by keeping her going I’m not causing or prolonging any suffering, and that we’ll turn a corner soon and have a good day where she can rest and breathe more easily.
For now, each day at a time, and we will review in the morning.