Willow has such a great background to her joining our household.
I frequently see wild rabbits grazing in the fields to and from my house when I’m walking to work. They’re so adorable but they’re wild so I just admire their cuteness and continue on my path.
One day however, I was on my way home from work when I could see this ugly crow tormenting something in the bushes along the sidewalk. I went to shoo it away, only to find the tiniest rabbit I have ever seen. Her paw was badly cut up (from the crow pecking at it) and worst of all, she wasn’t a wild rabbit.
I’m not sure how Willow got there. I don’t know if someone released their pregnant rabbit in to the wild, or their rabbit had babies and they released those or even if she escaped from the pet store that’s just around the corner. All I knew was that this rabbit was injured and didn’t belong outdoors.
Once I got her home, I wasn’t sure what to do. I started with fixing her a temporary cage – which was actually a large cardboard box we had at home. I really wasn’t thinking straight, I was too freaked out and concerned for this poor little thing. Once I had a home made up for her, I examined her paw. I gently cleaned the wound with warm water to take a look at the damage. Luckily, the cuts didn’t look too deep but she wouldn’t put any pressure on her paw.
Again I’ve never seen a rabbit so tiny in my life. She couldn’t have been a day over 4 weeks old.
Next I consulted with the pet store around the corner on how to treat the wound. Since it didn’t seem that deep, they suggested rinsing it a few times a day with warm water and epsom salts and then putting polysporin sans menthol on it to help it heal. Of course every pharmacy I went to only carries polysporin with menthol now because apparently it helps speed up healing. On animals, it can actually cause the permanent loss of taste buds. My husband suggested the pet supplies store (also near our home) so we stopped in there to see if they had anything they could sell or recommend. As luck would have it, they had this Dr. Maggie’s ointment that pretty much was a polysporin type ointment but made for animals. I did a quick check on their website when I got home and it said it was rabbit safe, so I gave it a try. In the mean time I also checked with one of the women at work on if I was caring for it properly. Her daughter-in-law was halfway through veterinary school and I thought she might have some good advice. She said that if it looked like it was healing, to continue with it.
Within a week, the wound was almost sealed up! I couldn’t believe how quickly she healed. She loved to be wrapped up and kept warm against me and even though she hadn’t been around people, she was always very good with me; Especially when I was treating her wound. I’d like to think she somehow knew I was there to help her, not hurt her. I didn’t have any problems feeding her, although she didn’t eat much of her pellets for a while but would eagerly munch away at her hay.
The only thing that worried me was the damage that was done to her paw. She didn’t complain or fidget when I touched or moved it gently around so I knew it couldn’t be broken and if she was standing she would put it on the ground. When she hopped however, she would tuck it underneath her. This went on for about three months until finally she got enough strength in her paw to hop around normally.
Now her favourite thing to do is run full laps around the upper level of our house! She loves to binky and flop, it’s so adorable! And even though she hates to be picked up, she loves coming to stretch out beside you if you’re sitting on the floor for a thorough rub down and nose scratching.