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Special care

Jessica Rabbit came into our lives in 1995 as an 8-month old bunny. We found out Jessica Jessica had diabetes when we were moving and she got sick while staying with a friend. She was one year old and we had been having trouble with her - when she got stressed her droppings became very loose, and you could hear her tummy rumbling from across the room. Our wonderful vet ordered a blood panel to determine why she was not eating or drinking. Imagine our surprise when we were told that her glucose was off the charts. We spent two weeks giving her twice daily shots of antibiotics for the pneumonia and feeding her baby food with a special syringe (no needle, just a long the plastic tube at the end). When we spoke to our vet she informed us that Jessica could not have insulin shots because bunnies do not respond well to it. We spent a week on the phone to her as she tried to determine the best course of action. We discussed euthanasia, but my husband was so upset the we asked her to do some more research. She was more than happy to do so, and after speaking with several experts decided to make a radical change in her diet. 

We switched Jessica's diet to mostly vegetables such as spinach, green beans and parsley, with a show formula pellet to supplement. We looked at labels and ruled out anything with sugar, molasses or sweeteners of any kind. We chose Heinhold Show Formula, with a small amount of Kaytee Rainbow Exact (this does contain trace amounts of molasses), oats and Papaya Plus drops for hairball management, and free Timothy hay. The Papaya Plus contains no sugar, and if we found any loose droppings we would not give her the Rainbow Exact for a couple of days. 

We moved her up into our office where we could better monitor her.  Any drops in weight, food consumption and water intake were noted. We also were forced to restrict visitors to her room, and we allowed her to come out and play several times a week when the house was quiet to keep her free of stress.  

Special Care
We also hired a pet sitter with experience with rabbits (Jessica was very dominant and actually scared her when she grunted!).  She was a funny little creature because she actually traveled on several occasions when the sitter was not available, and she Loved the car, as well as the ferry boat to Long Island! 

She often got wounds that would take a long time to heal, and she had to wear a baby shirt to cover one on her dewlap for almost two weeks. We joked that she needed a bra! She often had sore hocks, so we would have to apply prescription cream and safety pin a finger cut from a cloth glove on her foot. Also, she was unable to use a litter box for the same reason. She was a smart, sweet, curious little clown, and she will be missed for a long time. We were told that even watching her diet she would have a shorter life span, so we are very happy and grateful to have had seven years and our only hope is that she went quickly and with no pain. 

She has many nicknames, like Jessie-bear, Stew (when she was being a brat), and Sweet-cheeks. We will cherish every moment that we were given with her. You can read more about her wonderful personality on Jessica's memorial page

-- Contributed by Angela (May 2002)

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Contributed May 2002
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