I tried to get some new photos of our dear little Boon baby. I think it might work better if I had one of the kids hold him while I snap a photo. He's gorgeous! Big blue eyes, black fur, white accents, and that mane! He is certainly a lionhead!
Today I made a sad discovery. While doing feeding rounds in the bunny barn, I decided to move Charlotte to another cage. She has one of the biggest cages, and she has long been friendly and happily greets me at the door every day. For the last couple of weeks she's been going to the back of the cage when I open the door to refill her food and water. I figured she just wasn't appreciating the cold. A couple days ago she didn't eat all of her food. She gets a rationed amount (as all of our adult rabbits do) and all of the bunnies eat it all by feeding time the next day. I figured she was feeling a bit off and I'd keep an eye on her. Today when I went to reach in to bring her to a new cage, she didn't move. She just huddled there, hunched up. Something was wrong. As I opened the cage, I noticed for the first time that her body was lopsided. As I ran my hands over her to pick her up, I felt the lump on her side. It's a deep lump, not just on the surface, and it's about the size of a tennis ball. How in the world has she managed to hide this from me? She didn't put up any argument when I scooped her up and carried her to her new cage. She wouldn't move even while I was trying to give her another square tile for better footing. She did come and eat her food, but when I walked past her cage she shied away from the door and her food bin. She is obviously not well. I think the humane option will be to cull her. She hasn't been bred, so I know she's not pregnant. That lump has to be a tumor. The last time we had a bunny with a tumor, she died shortly after we discovered it. It was horrible. I don't want her to suffer. Poor dear Charlotte got a nice new cage for the night, but tomorrow she will be dispatched to end her suffering. I'd like to necropsy to see just how far it's spread inside. A skin-visible lump isn't likely to cause pain or decreased appetite, which is why I suspect she's probably riddled with tumors inside. How heartbreaking. I like Charlotte. She's one of our three Flemish cross breeding rabbits, albeit the smallest. She is also the mother of Kevin and Kaelyn, who were kept back to play with vienna genetics next year... and their brother Kin, the buck in the chicken coop colony, as well as Kai who is the friendliest rabbit ever and is still looking for his home. It's never fun to lose a breeder, but her legacy and genetics will live on in our barn.