To amputate or not?

Waffle65

Member
May 25, 2012
1,177
11
Philadelphia, PA
I really need some opinions on what to do with my rabbit Kiwi. About 8 weeks ago he broke one of the bones on the top of his back foot. Fortunately it was in the front of his foot and not near his ankle. I took him to the vet, who did an X-ray and wrapped his foot for a few weeks. This was suppose to make sure the bones would heal in the proper position, and he said Kiwi should be back to normal in 6 weeks. Well here we are 8 weeks later, and he can't really bend his foot much when he hops (I don't know if he has "toes" technically, but it's in that area where his foot is suppose to be bending). He can still hop around and putting weight on his foot like normal. He is still stretching his foot out to clean it, and is still able to stand up on his back feet just fine when he wants to.

I took him to a different vet to get this checked out, who told me the previous vet did a horrible job wrapping his foot, which caused the bones to heal incorrectly. This vet told me that they never re-brake bones in rabbits. He said my two options were to either leave his foot alone, or we could amputate it. Fortunately, he said Kiwi isn't in any pain, and he doesn't flinch when you touch his foot or anything. The vet said it shouldn't be a problem if we leave the foot alone, although it does put him at risk for developing arthritis there as he gets older.

If this was your bunny what would you do? I feel like leaving it alone would probably be better, but I'm not sure. I mean, he's hopping all around and acting like he did before this stupid injury happened, which is good. So maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of it then it actually is? Amputation is one hell of a major surgery, with a really long recovery time. Keep in mind, Kiwi is almost 7 years old. Not that that is necessarily "old" for a rabbit, but he's not 6 months old either. At his age, I'm thinking that it would be really hard for him to adjust to missing a foot. And I'm sure there is a big long list of things that could go wrong during the surgery, and countless different infections he could develop afterwards. I think having a foot that is almost completely functional is better than not having one at all. I just feel so guilty about the whole situation. Like if I hadn't taken him to that :censor: vet in the first place and gone somewhere else, his foot would be fine now. I guess I'm just looking for other peoples perspective on the problem.
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
O.G.
Aug 8, 2006
9,872
159
54
PA USA
If he is not in pain and can walk ok I would leave it. Don't blame yourself. You took him in for what should have been proper care. That's all you can do. Just leave it be and keep an eye on him. If ever it seems like he is having pain or can't walk you can always make another decision at that time. Hopefully you won't have to.
 

Waffle65

Member
May 25, 2012
1,177
11
Philadelphia, PA
Thank you guys so much for responding! :hugs: The last thing I wanted to do was amputate his foot, and you all have really made me feel better about deciding to leaving it alone. These kinds of decisions are so difficult to make, especially because he can't tell me what he wants. It helps to get the opinion of others whose judgement isn't clouded with their feelings for him.
 

sally.m

O.G.
Apr 14, 2008
2,123
77
UK
I think you know the answer to this but its always nice to know others agree with your thoughts.
If your little bun bun is happy and hopping about, just leave him be. If the arthritis becomes a problem down the line, then deal with it if it happens but until then you have done as much as you can and whilst he is happy, be happy with him. :smile:
 

Waffle65

Member
May 25, 2012
1,177
11
Philadelphia, PA
I think you know the answer to this but its always nice to know others agree with your thoughts.
If your little bun bun is happy and hopping about, just leave him be. If the arthritis becomes a problem down the line, then deal with it if it happens but until then you have done as much as you can and whilst he is happy, be happy with him. :smile:
Thank you! :ty: You're right, I do think it's best to leave it alone, but it makes me feel better knowing other people would do the same. I'm sure if anyone actually saw Kiwi running around they would think I was beyond overreacting, but I can't help it. I've read many stories of bunnies with arthritis able to manage it with medications, so hopefully if he does ever get it, we could deal with it that way.