Last Updated: 10/28/05
One day after a visit to a vet named Ricky at the zoo, we passed a sign saying "Angora rabbits, $5." So, since we still had an old rabbit cage, we bought a rabbit. The 4H breeder assured us that Ricky was a male, and "his brother" was a female. Well, subsequent visits to the vet (for pasteurella) and a rabbit judge (for a visit) confirmed that Ricky was a female. Ricky was born on 5/1/88. We bought her on 7/3/88. She was a gray English Angora doe. After Ellie came along in 1991, my father built a large hutch for them to share (separate rooms). Ricky never had contact with any rabbit except once with Ellie (on the first day in the hutch, Ellie got through a hole and attacked her; we covered the hole) and once with Loppy (they romped just a few weeks before Ricky died). Not knowing anything about spaying and cancer, Ricky never bred or was spayed.
One day I found two humongous lumps along her mammary line. This was before I let the rabbits out for weekly romps in an enclosure so I had not felt her tummy in a while. Since my cat, Bootsy, had undergone breast cancer surgery, I just knew that was what it was. I had a vet cut Ricky's tumors out as well. His suturing was not the best, and she tore some out. This vet did not prescribe antibiotics like Baytril which should be standard for such a messy surgery. A few weeks after her stitches came out, she got a dark blue nipple on one of her remaining breasts. I did not get her to the vet fast enough. She succumbed to septicemia on 6/26/95. We now go to another vet. I also feel up my female mammals' mammary lines routinely, spayed or not. I have all my does spayed now.
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