Dec 31, 2014
I was still in the surgery at around 5 pm. The rabbit had suddenly stopped eating and the lady owner came as her vet must have closed shop on this last day of New Year. Enjoyment was in the air and so many shop owners close early.
This was a new owner who had given critical care to this anorexic rabbit as I noticed some wetness in his mouth. She did not want any injection and this is a mindset of some of the younger generation pet owners and vets as regards injections of rabbits and guinea pigs, thinking they will suffer death.
They would dictate the type of treatment and had researched the internet..
"I am a doctor," she said when I explained that the rabbit would recover faster from injection.
"You heard a squeak when I palpated the abdomen," I explained that the rabbit had a swollen stomach which was painful on palpation. "As a doctor, you would know that it is best not to give oral medication to an upset stomach whenever possible. The stomach would get further irritated."
She reluctantly agreed to the injections which were 0.1 ml of baytril and 0.1 ml of painkiller meloxicam added to 0.4 ml of saline and given subcutaneously via fine needles. There was no painful squeal from the rabbit on injection.
"I want some antibiotics," she said.
"Be patient," I said. "Tomorrow morning, New Year's Day, I will be working in the morning. Giveme a phone call if the rabbit has not started eating. Antibiotics may irritate the stomach and intestines now inflamed."
Now it is 10.30 am on New Year's Day and no news from her.
This is a strange case in the sense that she lives in Toa Payoh but had never come to Toa Payoh Vets. So proximity was not her concern. She liked the service of the other vet south of Toa Payoh. This rabbit has a habit of licking wall paint and biting things compared to the other two roaming ones. So, the stomach could be upset by chemicals from the paint.
"Strict monitoring of the rabbit outside the crate would prevent a 4th occurrence," I said.
I was at the pet shop to buy hamster food and had a chat with the operator. Her Primary 6 daughter had helped her in the shop. "I listened to what you said about having my children learn about the pet shop business," she told me. "So this 2nd daughter is here. The one in Seconday 1 will come another day."
"If you shield your 5 children from working in the shop, thinking that they better stay at home, you are bringing up your children to dislike the pet shop business and succeeding you later. You think you are protecting them from the smells and dirt of the pet shop animals. But this is a mistake. They will grow up self-centered and not assisting you at all, to keep their hands clean."