About two weeks ago, Jippie suffered a minor bone fracture in his splayed leg.
I was getting a strand of Kangkong from the fridge - Jippie always had a veggie snack before I put him in his cage for the night - when I heard a scuffling from Jippie's playpen.
He hopped towards me eagerly for the vegetable, but I could see that his gait was slightly different from normal; he must have injured some part of himself. When Jippie hopped back into his cage, I quickly noticed what was wrong.
Jippie was eating the Kangkong, he could move, he could hop - but the foot on his splayed leg was bent. It was usually straight, it had always been straight, but now it was bent.
I alerted my mother. From articles I've read, his injury was definitely bone-related. For the night, we placed Jippie in his pet carrier to restrict his movement. He could eat and move, and he didn't seem in too much discomfort ... There aren't any small animal emergency vets where I live, so at that moment it was the best course of action we could take.
The next day, we placed rugs in Jippie's playpen. He was perfectly normal: eating, pooping, begging for snacks ... but we could tell that he tried not to put his weight on the splayed leg. Twice a day, Jippie received full body massages and TTouches (which, I think, he's now a little addicted too. He tends to plop down bossily right in front of me, and I get the feeling that he's demanding massages instead of simple pets).
About 10 days later, the bone fracture must have healed, because his foot was properly aligned again!
"Why didn't you take him to the vet throughout the 10 days?" ... you may ask.
The truth is, sadly, there are no rabbit-savvy vets in Malaysia. Yes, I've posted a 'Recommended Vets in Malaysia' article, but a vet trip, for me, is used as a last resort. Jippie was eating and active, he may have felt slightly uncomfortable because of the injury, but he wasn't in pain. Carrying Jippie into the pet carrier and taking him all the way to the vet, where it's an hour's drive away ... The extra risk wasn't worth it.
I found When Your Rabbit Needs Special Care when googling for bone issues in rabbits. "No stabilizations" was one of the solutions when alternatives weren't available, I felt so relieved! I kept thinking: This could work. This could work. Thankfully, Jippie's case was extremely minor one. It did work!
Special Care is an excellent book. It's written from various experiences - the struggles, the personal methods to cater for specific bunny needs ... And I couldn't agree more with this sentence in the preface: 'Not all readers are fortunate enough to live where they have access to a veterinarian experienced with rabbits'. It's the exact bunny book I needed!
PDF download: When Your Rabbit Needs Special Care