Willow's Medical Journey
Chonic medical issues due to owner neglect and abuse.
Early Life and Background History
Willow was born on November 24, 2018 into a rescue. Her mom was dumped and brought into a rescue for safety, it was then they found out she was pregnant. Her mom gave birth to 8 babies but sadly only 5 made it.
Willow had a couple of foster parents along with a couple of adoptive parents before coming to our rescue. Sadly they did not work out through no fault of her own. Willow's last adopter was not up to caring for a rabbit. Willow was left in an x-pen while only feeding her pellets. With no interaction, no exercise, a very poor/high calcium diet this led her to become obese and calcium to build in her bladder. Her adopter allowed her condition to progress to the point where she had a 50/50 chance whether she would make it through this or not. Willow now also has a chronic eye discharge issue which she never had in the previous 1.5 years of life.
Medical Health History
Willow came to us with overgrown nails, sore hocks, obese, eye discharge, matted fur, poopy bottom, urinary soaked/stained fur, urinary scalding, UTI, calcium filled bladder, bladder stones, and a kidney stone.
Without being groomed, Willow's fur started to mat. This has led to urine being able to soak up into the matted fur which keeps the skin damp leading the skin to deteriorate and cause infection.
With the matted fur from lack of grooming, how obese she had gotten from her poor diet, poor diet leading to a poopy bottom, etc it has led to chronic moisture being present on the skin. This has led to the skin to deteriorate and infection to be present.
Willows nails were long enough to touch the floor and cause her to lean back onto her heals aiding in the cause of sore hocks. This can also cause hip and spinal issues from being in an incorrect body position.
Nails should be checked every 4-6 weeks to see if they need a trim. If you are uncomfortable giving a pawdicure yourself please reach out to a rescue, groomer, or your vet for assistance.
Knowing Willow throughout her life has allowed us to have a better idea of what is normal for her and what is a new condition/medical issue. Knowing her healthy adult weight helped her vet know her goal weight that we should be aiming for again. The extra skin caused by obesity puts an additional 0.5lb onto her healthy weight. Any additional weight puts stress on their joints. While at her highest weight Willow was barely moving because it hurt to try. She was on Metacam to get with pain and inflammation that was present in her joints from the additional weight. As she was on Metacam for a prolonged period of time, we needed to protect her stomach from ulcers.
Obesity not only puts an incredible amount of stress on their bodies which are not set up to take that on, it is painful, it puts stress on organs, any surgeries required become high risk, etc.
Willow's Medical Foster
We are so thankful to our medical fosters who are willing to go out of their way for our medically inclined rescued rabbits. Without medical fosters there is no way we are able to handle as many medically at risk rabbits that we do.
Mekea is an animal lover who happily took on Willow knowing she requires medication daily along with regular vet check ups to ensure she isn't going into a life-threatening condition with having a kidney stone remaining. Willow is also now susceptible to retaining any calcium she takes in from her diet. This means calcium needs to be cut from her diet as best as possible while having x-rays every 6 months to make sure there is no calcium building up in her bladder along with her kidneys.
We are so grateful to Mekea and her family for making Willow feel a part of the family and like she won the lottery with the care they provide!
Calcium build up in the bladder and kidney
Sadly due to the extremely high calcium diet Willow had been on from her last owner, she can no longer have any calcium in her diet. If she ingests anything with calcium, her body now absorbs and retains it which is medically very concerning. Her bladder has been able to remain clear while on Potassium Citrate along with her kidney stone being maintained. Without Potassium Citrate her body starts collecting calcium again making this medication a life-long medication that she will need to be given. Typically Potassium Citrate has the best results when given every 12 hours however as this is a more long-term solution, we are seeing if we are able to give every 24 hours. Lowering the frequency will help lower her stress and is overall nicer for the rabbit. To do this safely Willow needs monthly xrays to make sure lowering the frequency doesn't place her in a life-threatening situation especially with already having a kidney stone.
Blocked Tear Duct- Chronic
Willow started having chronic eye discharge after her last owner. We have done many diagnostics and even an x-ray with Iohexal contrast. Her next steps is to have a CT to see if they are able to see more in the imaging that might explain why this has become a chronic issue for her. In the meantime her best option to maintain this issue is a nasolacrimal duct flush every few months. If we can fix this issue long-term that will always be the best option.