|Sweet baby Wolfie, momma misses you!|
A few years back I rescued a little black lop and named him Wolfie. He was my little buddy, sitting on my lap while I surfed the web, skittering around on the wood floor in his Christmas sweater, even coming with me to work one day to meet 4 classrooms of kinder gardeners and first graders, which is a big deal since most rabbits like children about as much as I like getting my hair pulled by a giant with sticky hands. He helped kids learn about mammals, how to take good care of a rabbit, and how to be a good pet friend. This rabbit was very special, and my goal was to try and make him a service animal.
I made the mistake of taking him to a local vet for some flea control. He gave me frontline, which I dutifully dabbed on his neck before I took him in the yard to play. First his appetite slacked, then one day a few hours before a routine vet appointment he keeled over next to my bed seizing, making a noise that can only be described as someone shrieking and chattering their teeth at the same time. I drove, barefoot, 70mph and without my purse to the vet, where the vet apologized and said it had never happened to him before, but rabbits can occasionally DIE from frontline. He said Wolfie had about a 50/50 chance of recovering. I took him home where he continued to seize occasionally, then more frequently. He had to be fed by syringe, his little body going stiff and contorting and the horrible hissing/chittering sound of his teeth violently chattering. This went on for two weeks. He'd seem to make some headway, hopping over to greet me and jump in my lap, and then fall into another seizure.
|My friend took this the day I put the frontline on him|
This kept going on until one night I finally went out to a live art festival with the assurance my roommate (a trained vet tech) would watch him, telling me not to worry and that I shouldn't feel guilty since I'd been planning on doing this event for months. When I returned home, Wolfie was wrapped in his blanket on top of the cage, he'd died and I hadn't even been there to say good bye. I will never forgive myself for the suffering I caused him if I'd of just taken the 10 minutes to google to effects of frontline on rabbits, which it turns out is a well documented and common sense thing a small animal vet should have known.
After he died I told myself every thing that goes into or onto my rabbits is going to be SAFE. As of yet, everything that is rabbit approved is still made for cats and dogs, there isn't a rabbit specific product. We're told the kitten doses are safe and that's that. That being said, another thing to consider is that these products are being pumped out by companies that test these products without conscious or care on cats, dogs and rabbits (in at least one situation, I think it's made by ), and the pictures from their labs aren't pretty. I love my pets, but putting another animal through misery just isn't justifiable.
I'm at a crossroads here. The alt. products I've tried so far have been disappointing, once I used a "natural" flea spray on one of my older cats and he smelled so awful I had to bathe him several times, and he still smelled like cinnamon until the day he died.
What I really want to know is how other people deal with this? Not specifically to rabbits, I know they're not a common indoor pet, but how do you all deal with fleas, ticks, and the like, on your pets in a way that's effective and in line with your beliefs? If I can find something that's effective and cruelty free, the cats are getting switched as well. Any ideas?