austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I won't forget a single day, believe me

So now to some more contemporary and less merry stuff.

Our pet rabbit's been taking his cold laser treatments well. He doesn't like being put in the pet carrier, but he seems to like going off to the vet's, where he can prowl around and explore and be cooed over by people admiring how much of a bunny he is. But we noticed that he was still having trouble standing up, getting his feet underneath him, keeping traction. Then we noticed his right leg was bowed in pretty severely, and he kept falling over on that side. So we got an appointment with the head vet, the one most experienced with rabbits, to see. (They're all experienced with rabbits there, it's just, he's the most experienced.)

We hadn't been feeling his knees any. He would rather we didn't anyway. But in the last few months the arthritis in his left knee has produced an incredible pile of calcification. It's bad enough that his left knee feels about twice as big as his right, and given that it's amazing he's as mobile as he is. Apparently he's been compensating with his right leg as best he can, but there's limits to what that can do.

And then on his right knee ... there's something growing there visible on his X-ray. It might just be more bone spurs. But the doctor said it also might be bone cancer. He wants another X-ray in two months, which ought to settle the matter.

None of this suggests any particular problems with his health or his keeping. Our rabbit is approaching ten years old, and a well-kept rabbit can be expected to reach eight to twelve years. And it's clearly early to think out end-of-life decisions. He's energetic, involved, active. If you showed him to a stranger the stranger might well never suspect anything was wrong, if he didn't see our rabbit catch his foot on something and struggle to get it over. But all the happy days you have with a pet reach a day that's miserable. And there's a reminder that one of those days is coming.

Trivia: Several Italian cathedrals in Syracuse and Lucia have been coated in a layer of perfluoropolyethers to protect them from atmospheric corrosion. Source: Molecules at an Exhibition: The Science of Everyday Life, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: The Big Oyster: History of the Half Shell, Mark Kurlansky.

PS: Calculus For Breakfast, a bit of signal-boosting for people who want a calculus puzzle to ponder.

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