Pet of the Day

February 4, 2007

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Charlie, the Pet of the Day
Name: Charlie
Age: Seven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Netherland Dwarf rabbit
Home: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
   Charlie is not the world's prettiest bunny but he is the most beautiful, inside. I got Charlie from the SPCA back in 2001. He was so calm and so affectionate, I couldn't wait to take him home. He had to be neutered as per SPCA rules, first.

    When I first got home with him, I set him down on my couch, he was limp and his head hung down sideways. I thought he was dying, or at the very least had a middle ear infection ... Nope. Charlie was just so calm and mellow, he was just that way.

    I've had many, many pet rabbits but have never had one quite this affectionate and loving before. More then treats, more then anything, he wants to be held and loved. He lives free in my house with another male rabbit called Munchkins, and uses a litter box.

    I work for an airline so I'm not home every day and I know Charlie misses me because he comes to me when I get home and smothers me with bunny kisses all over my face. He is with me when I go to bed to read or watch T.V. and he had to be close to me, touching me with his paw or his face. Constantly cuddling with me.

    Charlie loves everyone, human or animal. I used to have rabbits who attacked Charlie. Charlie never ever bit back. He just kept trying to be friends with them by coming over and putting his head down in front of them. I've never met a rabbit quite like that, most will at least try to defend themselves.

    In December of 2005 Charlie was having trouble using his litter box. I took him to the vet clinic and he was diagnosed with a bladder stone (blocking his ability to go to the bathroom) and a kidney stone in his right kidney. I had the bladder stone removed, and surgery did not go that well as his uterer was torn in the process. The only way my veterinarian could fix his uterer was to stretch both sides of his bladder up and over the torn tube. She stitched it that way, basically bladder folded in half in order to keep the urine inside a pocket like area. As for the kidney stone, nothing can be done. Just hope it stays put and that no others form. One only needs a single kidney to survive.

    It was a long road back from his surgery, I had many scares along the way. I thought he had turned the corner in August 2006 (his best month ever) and thought I'd have Charlie for at least a few more years.

    On my birthday, September 18th 2006, I had to rush Charlie back to the clinic as he was very restless and uncomfortable looking. Sadly, an X-Ray revealed his second kidney has several kidney stones now and is very swollen. Charlie is now in renal failure. Even with all of my efforts with a change of diet since his December surgery, to low calcium pellets and daily large amounts of fresh veggies and apples, Charlie has continued forming calcium stones. Now, to update things, January 2007, I had to rush Charlie for an ultrasound and an X-ray. He had stopped eating and looked to be in pain, the X ray miraculously showed that not only had six to seven kidney stones gone into his bladder but out again, the natural way.

    For anyone who does not believe a bunny can be someone's child, they are wrong. Charlie is my boy and I'm so broken hearted with the news that he has a few months. I treasure every moment I have with him.

Charlie, the Pet of the Day

    He still has kidney stones in both kidneys, but he passed the ones he had in his bladder (he had six to seven in there and the vet thought he wouldn't be able to pass them and would run into big trouble if he tried) so at least that is good news.. I'm afraid kidney failure is terminal, I'm just doing all I can to help him enjoy the rest of his life. He's getting thinner but his spirits are still very good. The day I'll have to put him down is coming but for now, he still gets excited to get his craisins and cuddles and does what bunnies do (teeth purr), kind of like cats purr only they clatter their teeth :) I'm not sure if you can remove the date on the one photo, if not that's ok. For sure he is the sweetest rabbit I've ever had and believe me I've had many.

    Sweet Charlie boy, I will love you forever.

    FYI: To bunny moms and dads of the world. Please do not feed your bunnies human foods, including an especially bad one (chocolate) which is poisonous to rabbits, perhaps doing a bit of damage to their organs at a time. Also, highly recommended by veterinarians, switch over slowly, regular alfalfa-based pellets to timothy hay-based pellets for rabbits over a year of age. Alfalfa is very high in calcium and is not necessary for rabbits who have finished growing as well as can create problems with stones later on.

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