austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I get excitement at your feet

Sorry to interrupt the lavishly detailed park trip but there's current events folks should know about.

Our pet rabbit had got to sulking for a couple days, after he was shut in his hutch. We were cleaning the rug that lets him move around on the hardwood floor and it had to spend time in the basement under fluorescent light to dry out without mildew. But we noticed besides his sulking that he wasn't eating. Not eating will turn a rabbit's minor health problem into a major one in days. After a second day of his not eating any pellets, and only the leaves --- not the root --- of carrots fresh from the yard I took him to the vet. (bunny_hugger was in school.)

The verdict: gastrointestinal distress, which is the default bunny health problem, with a hairball, which is the default bunny health problem diagnosis. For this they gave us a set of medications they warned could seem overwhelming. There's five of them. Three are oral injections, given twice a day. There's a laxative, and something to dissolve hairballs, and a probiotic to rebuild his intestinal flora. One of the other prescriptions is a subcutaneous injection given to his back three times a day. That's, I believe, an antibiotic against opportunistic bacteria. And the last one's a subcutaneous injection given to his back once a day, although that's an injection of 150 ml of fluid, meant to get his kidneys back in balance.

Happily, our rabbit loves oral injections. He got trained from the arthritis medicine we had him on last year, and had just started him on a few weeks back, because to rabbits that apparently tastes like paradise. The thrice-a-day jab he puts up with with remarkably good humor. He seems willing to let you do pretty much anything to him, as long as you're quick about it, trusting that we're doing this for his best interests. The vet was amazed by how patiently he sat still for his first round of injections.

The fluid injection he's less happy about, since it does take time for 150 ml of fluid to go in. Also it has to feel really, really weird to have that big a lump of room-temperature fluids squeezing into your skin. Just after the injections he gets this camel-like lump that squirms around the scruff of his neck. But we've taken to giving him the oral injections, which he so loves, after the fluid injection, in the hope he'll come to see the fluid as the early sign that he's going to get sweet, sweet fluids poked into his mouth soon. On today's fluid injection I jabbed his back, and he sank down, sprawling out. I had to cry, ``I deflated him!''

The early signs are positive. After a day and a half of this he had got to eating all his food again, the most important thing. He's also moving rather more, possibly because the carpet did dry out and we can restore his floor space to him. But he's much more the rabbit we want to see, now.

Trivia: The Lunar Orbiter II ``picture of the year'' photograph of Copernicus Crater was the side-effect of the hardware's need to advance the film periodically even if no photograph was taken. Mission controllers were allowed a set of targets to photograph during these otherwise useless exposures. Source: Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of NASA's Apollo Lunar Expeditions, William David Compton. NASA SP-4214.

Currently Reading: Moscow, 1937, Karl Schlögel, Translated by Rodney Livingstone. The text casually mentions ``Luna parks'' as some kind of generic term for amusement parks, or a kind of amusement park. And this caused me to learn that, for example, ``Luna park'' apparently is what Greek people call amusement parks. Also, in many European languages a roller coaster is known as a ``Russian mountain'', I believe from the Russian-forest backdrop scenery many early examples of the ride had. We just learned that in Russian, a roller coaster is called an ``American mountain'', because of course it is. I had, slightly jokingly, guessed Russian would call it a ``German slide''.


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