My Story
by
Pookey Christensen
A very special bond began the evening of December 24, 1996 when my Daddy opened his heart and rescued me from pet store prison.  (Yes, they now know better. They were brand new bun parents then.)  I was a six-week bundle of fur and I immediately stole Mommy and Daddy's heart and today I am literally the apple of their eye.  I dearly love my Mommy and Daddy and Mommy and Daddy treasure me more then anything else.   (I have them trained real well.)  Almost from the start, vet visits were as common to us as waking up each morning as we constantly dealt with eye discharge and malocclusion issues.   Even from a tender age I have had to have my teeth filed down, as I never learned to enjoy the "art" of chewing.  Time and time again wrong diagnoses were given and we suffered through every antibiotic you can think of along with three nasolacrimal duct flushes.  Believe me, I've been through it!   As I approached age five my teeth began to discolor and some even died.   At this point the vet decided it was be less stressful on me in the long run to extract the problem incisors.  According to vets, if one incisor is extracted all incisors must be extracted but one incisor broke off below the gum line so only three were extracted.  I recovered well but the vet told Mommy to keep an eye on that tooth, as it would have to come out at some point.  Soon after these tooth extractions Mommy's job took us all to Indianapolis so Mommy helped me load up the truck and off we went.  Right after we moved there Mommy started noticing this smell coming from my nose/mouth area every time she got close to me (she loves to smooch all over me).  It smelled like dried blood and so she just assumed it *was* dried blood from when Dr. D had pulled the teeth back in November.  Well one day around the end of March (2002) Mommy noticed that one side of my face was drooping lower then the other side.    She didn't pay too much attention to it as she thought maybe my fur was having a bad fur day.  The next day Mommy could tell I wasn't feeling good and as she looked at my mouth area again she could tell there was this lump there.  She called my new vet and was scheduled in right away.  She confirmed an abscess and we made a follow-up appointment to have the thing removed.
 
The normal consistency and color of an abscess is like mayonnaise but the consistency and color of the fluid in this thing was clear fluid (like water) and boy did it stink.  The vet said the fluid was clear and it smelled so bad because the infection was an extremely aggressive bacterium.  That was what Mommy had smelled all along but of course she didn't know she was smelling a brewing abscess.

Fortunately, Mom had been building quite a library of rabbit information on her computer and when she pulled up "Abscesses" she came across this new kind of treatment that vets all over the world have been using with tremendous results.    It's called Bicillin, which is a combination of Procaine G and Benzathine penicillins.  The vet however said she was going to debride the abscess, pack the abscess cavity with Calcium Hydroxide, leave that in for three days, then take it out, and then Mom
would have to flush the cavity every day and keep the incision open so that the wound could heal from the inside out.   The vet also wanted to put me on the infamous Baytril as well.
 
Well Mom had also read of other treatment plans often used which included: Implantation Beads, Dextrose Packing, the Calcium Hydroxide, and of course the Bicillin but the success rate of the first three wasn't very promising.  Mom loves to talk about bunnies and she was able to get in contact with several bun moms who had also been through a bout with abscesses who had also used the Bicillin and ALL of them said it had worked in getting rid of the abscess with no reoccurrences.  She
also touched base with Marcy Moore Rosenfield who developed the Bicillin.  She works at the U of Mass with other PhD vets and over the course of the last 15+ years she has been working with Bicillin at a phenomenal success rate.
 
Mom was thrilled when she read the Bicillin Protocol and she printed off a copy of this Protocol as well as all of the case studies from the other bun moms, as well as all of the names and phone numbers of the other vets who have used Bicillin successfully and took it in to the vet to ask her if we could try it as these people had also warned Mom against the complications and high risk factor of reoccurrence if she chose the other forms of treatment.  Unfortunately, the vet wouldn't even give Mom the time of day.  You see, she had tried Bicillin one other time on another bunny who had been diagnosed with Pseudomonas but the Bicillin didn't work.  Well, it wouldn't work because Pseudomonas is one of the very few bacteria that are not sensitive to Bicillin.  The C&S on the fluid which was extracted out of the abscess in me came back as Pasteurella and Pasteurella IS sensitive to Bicillin.  Mom got into this huge, shall we say "discussion" with the vet because she was determined to use the Calcium Hydroxide and Baytril.   The vet said that she also saw deterioration to the bone on the x-ray and that Bicillin would not help.  Mom reluctantly let her pack the cavity with the Calcium Hydroxide which gave her three days to get back in touch with these people she had been corresponding with re the Bicillin.  They ALL told her that if she continued with the course of treatment the vet wanted to pursue the abscess WILL return and most likely I would die.  So back to the vet's we go to try and persuade her to use the Bicillin.  She wouldn't budge and even went so far as to tell Mom that if she brought up the subject of Bicillin one more time she would cease to continue to have us as a client.  Let me tell you, I was one scared little bunny.
 
I underwent the second surgery to remove the Calcium Hydroxide and Mom was armed with dextrose and saline solutions as well as Baytril coming out her wha-zoo.  Still in contact via E-mail with these people they all kept giving Mom stern warnings to get rid of the Baytril and get on with the Bicillin.  Was she apprehensive?, you bet.  Mom will tell you she loves all four of her animals but I'm her favorite.   It's our secret; we don't tell the other guys (tee hee).  Three weeks goes by, Mom is still not sure about the Bicillin and these people's warnings are becoming more and more stern with Mom but positive in the regards that she wouldn't be disappointed if she used the Bicillin.  Nervous that she would need a prescription when she ordered the Bicillin (because she knew she wouldn't get one from the vet) she was given the name of a Company where she could buy the Bicillin over the phone.  Mom MADE SURE it was the same Company that Marcy uses and had used with her own bun who had developed an abscess.  No questions asked, the Bicillin was shipped as well as injection needles and so me and Mom began our course of treatment using the Bicillin.  I continued to have follow-up exams to see how the healing was progressing and all the while Mom couldn't tell the vet I had been on the Bicillin; she thought it was the Baytril working.   She had more or less told Mom that the abscess would reoccur and "when" the Baytril becomes resistant I was screwed.  One time during a follow-up exam the vet even told Mom the abscess had come back.  She wanted to open up the cavity once again and do the daily flushes again.  When Mom asked the vet to let her feel where the new abscess was she couldn't feel anything.  That remark plus the encouragement from those people Mom had spoken with re the Bicillin gave her the enforcement she needed and that's why she went ahead and put in the order.
 
Another couple of weeks went by while I was on both the Baytril and the Bicillin.  My little system handled both well but occasionally I would get a bout of mushy butt.    The people Mom had been corresponding with re the Bicillin told her to get off the Baytril, as two antibiotics was too much for my little system.  Mom wanted to stop the Baytril but was apprehensive but she did stop it.  To make a LONG story short it is now June (2002), I'm still on daily Bicillin injections and I am doing just fine.  No side affects and they don't hurt either.  Mom had never given injections before so she was apprehensive but it's easy to learn how to give them.
 
In the meantime Mom met a woman who volunteers for the Indiana HRS.  She lives about seven miles from us and she's been a bun mom now for over 13+ years.  She has since become my pet sitter and as their friendship developed Mom confided with her that this vet was very strong-willed and head strong, and totally unwilling to consult with other vets or try anything different if it would help.  My pet sitter suggested we try her vet.  He doesn't have the experience the other vet had but he is very open to trying anything (whether allopathic or alternative) if it will help and he's not ashamed to admit when he needs to consult with a more experienced veterinarian regarding an issue he's not comfortable with.  Mom took me in for a "well bunny" exam about two weeks ago and the new vet has declared me abscess free, in good health, and looking real good.  And all because of the Bicillin.  (He even knows I'm using the Bicillin.)
 
I'm leaving a lot out of this but it's enough for you to get a good idea of what Mom and I have been through not only in dealing with an abscess but with a totally defensive, uncooperative vet.  It has not been easy but the Lord was good and led Mommy and me to Marcy and she has been with us the entire time leading us, guiding us, and steering us in the right direction.  I can never thank Marcy enough for all she has done for me.  Now, tee hee, I play, eat Mom out of house and home, I run all over the house, do a binkie or two to keep Mom on her toes, and the best part is that EVERY morning anywhere from 3:30AM to 6:00AM I go charging into Mom's bedroom and jump up on the bed to check Mommy out and make sure she's okay and awake because I want to eat!

Oh, one of the people who had corresponded with Mom, who's own little bun went through the same thing, sent her this awesome recipe so I could continue to receive nourishment but not have to use my sensitive teeth.  Don't tell Mom but I now have become a mush ball junkie; I love this stuff!
 
So that's my story.  After all of the reading Mom had done she wanted to try the Bicillin but had received such opposition from the vet she was scared to but thank God because of Marcy's patience and guidance; along with the encouragement Mom received from other bun moms she did and now I'm here to share with you my success story.
 
     Pookey

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