As a resident of Queen’s Gardens I am sure Rabbit has gone by many names. But when I saw him “Rabbit” for unknown reasons popped into my head – and stuck. I am unsure how long he had lived at the Gardens for, but if you are a frequent visitor you may remember seeing him, feeding him on occasion, and have noticed that he is gone. Read on – it has a happy ending I promise.  

Rabbit was brought into the Halifax Veterinary Clinic by a concerned member of the public – and rightly so. He was riddled with lice, emaciated and unable to walk. A veterinary examination determined he had a parasite infestation, was dangerously underweight, had cataracts leaving him partially blind and was suffering arthritis in his leg and wing joints, making standing up and walking very painful. Poor Rabbit was in a bad way.  

He was hospitalised for some intensive TLC, antiparasitic medication and pain management. It took a few days before his strength started to return, but he was continually showing positive improvements so there was hope. As he was technically a stray, once he was strong enough, he was placed under the care of the SPCA to recoup until a home could be found. Arthritis as a disease can be managed but not cured so unfortunately Rabbit was not a candidate for re-release. During his three days stay away from the clinic I decided his absence from my life was unacceptable and could do nothing else but officially adopt him.

Rabbit now spends his days free ranging in the yard, interacting with the local visiting ducks. He has constant, easy access to highly nutritious, good quality food. He is brought in each night to sleep in comfort and safety. But key in his management plan is his twice daily dosing of pain relief to keep on top of the arthritis, keeping him mobile and comfortable.

Rabbit showcases that it is not just our cat and dog friends that can suffer ailments in their older years. He is a perfect example of how far some extra TLC and a tailored management approach can go in improving and prolonging quality of life. If this is an area you think your feathered or furred friend could use some help in, please contact the clinic for an appointment.

Jo Pilcher