Saturday, 24 January 2015

Improved Litter Box

Jippie seemed to have grown slightly bigger. Since he also has a splayed leg, he's not fitting into his litter box comfortably. After reading more articles on House Rabbit Society (I gradually print them every week), I do think a change is really needed. Jippie should have enough space when doing his business; I really don't want to know what the potential consequences would be of using a small litter box...

I removed the upper layer of his usual litter box and replace it with a sort of rack. A piece of rubber matting is then placed on top to prevent Jippie's legs falling into the gaps on the rack.

I cut a hole in a paper roll, stuck some hay into it and tied it to the green box. Jippie had been observing my activities as he ate his hay:

"What were you doing, hoomin?"

Jippie eventually sensed there was a change in his litter box. He hopped into the box to inspect his property:

"Oh, what is all this?"

So far, after his bathroom has seemingly been expanded, Jippie has not urinated outside the litter box! Previously, Jippie would urinate outside every single day ... and only once or twice in the litter box. You can see the stain on the tiles in the first photo. 

Do you like the change, your majesty Prince Jippie? :)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Magenta Dragonfly

It's January ... and the start of a new year indicates hot weather with almost no rain for consecutive months. The afternoon sun literally bakes the outdoor grasses and trees. I have to water them every evening, especially the willow tree. It can't stand the temperature. :(

Today, after watering the plants as usual, I noticed a magenta dragonfly on the fence. I've seen a magenta one a few months ago, but the photo I took back then was rather blurry due to dim light. 

Immediately, I put down my bucket and rushed inside the house for my phone! 

The dragonfly took off momentarily

The dragonfly on the fence

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dutchie and A Droopy Ear

- This story took place around August 2011 -

We noticed one of Dutchie's ear was droopy. One of the ears was erected upwards as usual, but the other flopped like a lop's when he hopped around.

Before getting Dutchie and Millie, I've read a whole book on rabbit caring. I remembered a droopy ear was a symptom of an ear-related illness ... Immediately, we googled for information. Ear mites and many other rather scary diseases came up on the search results.

We watched Dutchie groomed himself for almost 5 minutes. He does seem to be scratching his ear more frequently...? We don't know for sure though, as we don't usually watch Dutchie's self-grooming session with such concentration. 

There were no crust or flakes in the ear, so as far as we observed, it shouldn't be ear mites. On the outside, everything really seemed fine, except for the fact that the ear wasn't erected like normal.

But what if there was an infection INSIDE the ear?

However, the vet was a long drive way. It was already late afternoon, and the highway route to the vet's would always have a severe traffic jam in the evening... Since Dutchie was eating and pooping normally, we decided to wait.

(Note: I can't remember what happened after this wait, but a series of inconvenient happenings made us delay the trip for several more days.)

Dutchie was normal and active, but that ear is still droopy and we have no idea what caused it. We called the vet to make sure that she would be at the clinic the next day. And ... and ... the news received was unexpected and very bad ... for us.

The vet wasn't in tomorrow. She wasn't in today either. 

We became horribly panic. Now, we have to wait for another two days?! The whole situation felt ... doomed. We could visit other vets but none of them are exotic experts! Our previous visits to alternative vets weren't pleasant, and we were definitely not taking any chances. 

Overall, Dutchie was perfectly normal. He was eating as usual, and that's the most important thing a bunny must do. Waiting seemed much better than bringing Dutchie to an unknown and possibly dishonest vet when he was generally fine

Tomorrow came. Sigh, it was the day we were supposed to bring Dutchie to the vet but the day the vet happened to be absent. 

Yet, another unexpected thing happened... His ear wasn't loppy anymore. It became erected - like normal! The ear was normal again!!

"How did it return to normal? Would it just droop again later on?"
"I don't think so. It has been normal the whole morning!"

And so the above conversation was repeated many times. 

The sequence of events was rather comical ... It was like Dutchie didn't want to go to the vet, so he healed himself with special bunny magic ... Of course, this was our silly imagination. But it still is an incredible coincidence!

Days past, and the ear was as normal as ever. A vet visit wasn't needed anymore. :)

We did continually made guesses on the droopy-ear cause though ... And our unconfirmed hypothesis is: Dutchie somehow injured his ear when he tried to hopped into the gap between two bedside single-drawers stacked on top one another. (Apologies for the excessive use of prepositions!) 

This incident happened a day or two before the droopy ear. Well, Dutchie did sort of knocked his head when he attempted to launch himself into the gap...

Monday, 19 January 2015

Growing Carrot Tops

Inspired by an article on Eddy & Rambo Bunny, I decided to grow carrot tops myself for Juppie-wup, too.

It was incredible how quickly the carrot came alive! The leaves were shriveled and yellow in the morning when I first placed them in water, but in the afternoon, they became healthy green! 

A few days later, I planted the stump in soil. The tops grew taller.

... Yet unfortunately after several more days, the stems bent and the leaves wilted. It was disappointing, as they were growing so well. I re-read the instructions on the website, and I can't believe I missed out one important step:

Once carrot stump sprouts roots, plant in soil.

Roots. Sprout. My carrot stumps hadn't sprout roots. I didn't read the last step. Lesson learnt: Do not skip over anything in an article.

I'm going to try growing the carrot tops again. And this time, I'm going to make sure that roots are present before I transfer the stumps into the soil. Hopefully it'll be a success!