a rabbit receives treatment for a severe eye condition
January 18, 2011

 Douglas, being prepped for his treatment

Dr. Ruth Marrion is one of several volunteer veterinarians who offer their services to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.  A board certified opthalmologist, she visits our clinic once every other week or so to perform eye exams, special surgeries, and other important treatments on animals in need.

This past week, we sheduled Dr. Marrion to perform eye removal surgery on a rabbit who came to us with a severely infected left eye.  Douglas, a 4-year-old black and white Havana mix rabbit, had arrived just days before.  But immediately it was obvious to the staff that he was suffering from a major problem with his eye, which was swollen, weeping, and looked very painful.

Upon closer examination, Dr. Marrion learned that an ulcer had grown behind Douglas' eye, but that the eye itself was healthy.  She decided that the eye could be saved as long as she was able to relieve the pressure the absess was causing, and prevent the spread of further infection.

After sedating Douglas, Dr. Marrion aspirated nearly 3mL of pus from behind his eye.  She prescribed a combination of local and systemic antibiotics, heat therapy, and massage to promote healing.  Douglas was also given a 3-day course of pain medication to help relieve his discomfort.

Despite a tremendous amount of handling, and how uncomfortable most animals would be under these conditions, the staff report that Douglas is a great sport.  He allows the staff to clean his eye, squeeze antibiotic ointment into it, administer oral medication, and use warm compresses on the affected area.

According to Douglas' intake profile, he spent most of his life as an outdoor rabbit.  We recommend that pet rabbits live indoors, where the threats from the elements, predators, and simple loneliness are eliminated.  This sweet rabbit was surrendered because his owner was allergic to him and didn't have the time to care for him.  Rabbits, just like dogs and cats, are a huge responsibility.  And these animals, when cared for properly and spayed or neutered, can live as many as 10 long years.  So before you adopt a rabbit, spend some time learning about their specific needs and the commitment involved.  If you decide this is the animal for you, we have many different breeds and personalities available for adoption!