Our rabbit Tiger is very sick.
There was a violent thunderstorm a couple of nights ago, and the next morning Tiger had wedged himself under his perch and was not eating.
Later that day, we discovered he was hobbling – His back legs didn’t seem to be working.
Deb called the Vet who said that he thought Tiger might have broken his own back by kicking his hind legs too hard from fear of a thunderclap . . . and that we should bring him in for a check-up.
We expected the worst – Told the kids that we might have to “put him down” and gave them the choice to come with us for the checkup.
They all wanted to come. There was much crying and distress as we emptied the car to make room for his large cage . . . and then Tiger had what appeared to be a miraculous recovery . . . hopping around the cage.
Deb and I decided that we would still go for the checkup, and so we did.
Apparently rabbits (Especially BIG ones like Tiger – 10 pounds) don’t come into the vet often as we drew a crowd. We had LOTS of attention.
The Veterinarian was phenomenal.
- He had a very calm, soothing approach.
- He treated Tiger with great care
- was very sensitive to the presence of our daughters.
- Spoke with confidence as he theorized what he thought was wrong
- Carefully explained our options for care
- Offered detailed financial scenarios for each option
- Gave his best guess as to the likelihood of Tiger recovering (Slim)
- and then allowed us time to decide
We decided to let him hydrate Tiger with an IV – and give him an antibiotic . . . and then to bring him home to attempt to nurse him back to health.
the Vet told us that Tiger was not likely feeling pain . . . That he had done what rabbits naturally do when they are ill. They suppress any signs of illness for as long as possible until they know it’s over . . . at which point they shut themselves down . . . they quit and decide it’s time to die.
That thunderclap was the jolt that caused Tiger to quit fighting an illness he had probably had for weeks (Essentially Pneumonia).
This was yesterday . . . Today, we have him at home – We are tending to him, nursing him, hand-feeding him, and loving him in what we know to be the final days of his life. Our whole family has this wonderful opportunity to say our thank yous and good-byes to Tiger.
We all know that unless he has a miraculous recovery and returns to feeding himself tonight, we will need to take him for his final trip to the vet tomorrow.
This Veterinarian has given us the most wonderful gift.
How’s YOUR Bedside Manner as you serve your clients?
A little bit of compassion goes a long way.