Status: In Memoriam
Location: Foster Home

Scooter Memorial
Farewell Scooter | Send Your Thoughts | Memorial Messages | Scooter's Story


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Sadly, Scooter crossed the Rainbow Bridge 6/15/06 at 10:30 PM.

A short time ago I told you all about my little foster bun Scooter and how well he was doing in overcoming his disabilities, thanks to the care he was receiving from his doctors.

So it is with a broken heart that I want to tell you that Scooter crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 10:30 PM last night (Thursday, June 15, 2006).

Dr. Carolynn Harvey from VCA Bay Area Animal Hospital found that "Scooter had a severe bladder infection which probaby got into the bloodstream or kidneys. That is THE most common way we lose our paralyzed companion rabbits. Since they don't feel their bladders, they can't tell what's brewing and so there are often no outward signs until the infection spreads to the bloodstream and it's too late."

He had shown no real interest in playing in the backyard earlier in the day, which was highly unusual for him, and likewise ate very little of his lunch. I gave him a small dose (.01cc) of Metacam before I left for work at 2:45, and he seemed to be peacefully resting in his combination litterbox/hay box. I told him if he didn't feel better in the morning, we hop over to see the vets at VCA Bay Area Animal Hospital. I gave his little head a kiss, then left for work.

Call it what you will, but all evening I had a sinking feeling in my gut that something wasn't right. I was able to leave work an hour early, and was home by 10:15.

I found Scooter at the opposite end of his Peter Rabbit SuperPet hutch (in our living room), laying motionless on his right side. When I picked him up he was still breathing, but the rhythm was exceedingly slow. It was obvious that making an attempt to get him to our wonderful emergency vet PETS (Pet Emergency Treatment Service) would be pointless.

So we stretched out on the living room sofa together, just as we had done nearly every night since he arrived here last November. But this time, there wouldn't be any of the constant kisses he would always give me when we snuggled together. Instead, he was motionless. I stroked and petted him, kissed his forehead, and told him how brave and courageous he had been all these months. I told him how proud everyone was of him. And I told him that I would miss him deeply, but that I understood that it was time for him to begin his journey, and that it was OK for him to go. At 10:30 the Black Rabbit beckoned him, Scooter gave a small sigh, and he was gone.

Later today I will take him to Dr. Carolyn Harvey for a necropsy so that we can find out what happened, and maybe help other bunnies by having this knowledge. Then he'll be cremated and his urn will be placed in that special place here in my den where all those who've gone before rest.

Scooter was helped by so many people since he suffered self-inflicted spinal cord damage while waking up following neuter surgery at an area animal shelter, and I'd like to take a moment to thank them here.

Marcy Schaaf at Save A Bunny (which is also the San Francisco/Marin chapter of the House Rabbit Society) in Mill Valley, California, is the person who initially saved Scooter's life. Had she not taken him - a frightened, paralyzed bunny - into her foster system, he would've been euthanized.

Initially, Scooter received care from Dr. Michele Kim at VCA Bay Area Animal Hospital in Oakland. He needed to have his bladder expressed several times daily since the bladder muscles became paralyzed as the result of his back injury, and Dr. Kim even took him home at night to work with him. Under her care, he began to regain partial use of his hind legs.

He came to stay with me in November 2005, and soon afterwards began receiving chiropractic adjustments from Dr. Mike Gleason at VCA Bay Area. Later, he would begin a series of acupuncture treatments from Dr. Kirsten Williams at Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center, also in Oakland. Dr. Williams concentrated on relaxing his bladder, which greatly eased the process of expressing him.

If you'd like to make a donation in his memory (he has some outstanding vet bills), please see the information left of this paragraph.

Just before Scooter passed, I told him about the Rainbow Bridge, and that he would soon arrive there. I told him not to be afraid, and to go ahead and cross it. Once there, we would be able to run and play - and even pee! - just like a completely well rabbit. He would be greeted there by lots of bunnies, and I told him to especially look for one in particular; a large black and white bun. Her name is Bonnie, my Heart Rabbit. I told him to tell her how much I love and miss her, and that not a day goes by that I don't think of her.

And so, I invite you to please join me in lighting a candle this evening to help a brave little bunny find his way to the Bridge.

Run and play, my little friend, until we meet again.

/s/ Rich Sievers

Original Post:

Hi. My name is Scooter. There was an accident at the shelter when I was under anesthesia,and I struggled and broke my back. That sadly left me with damage to my spinal cord and because of that I have limited use of my hind legs and my bladder muscles are paralyzed. I've been making slow but steady progress regaining the partial use of my hind legs. Unfortunately, the doctors have seen no real progress with my bladder muscles, and my bladder has to be manually expressed several times daily. However, everyone tells me that I have a very positive attitude and I refuse to be considered "disabled." I can scoot around - hence my name - almost as good as a well bunny. That's a picture of me right above this paragraph, enjoying my time out in the play area.

Because of my ongoing health issues, I am an expensive bunny who needs regular vet treatments. I will also need to have my bladder expressed with a catheter on an ongoing basis, but other than that I can have a happy life. I have been getting to go to special doctors, like Dr. Kirsten Williams at Creature Comfort who gives me acupuncture treatments. I also get a monthly chiropractic adjustment from Dr. Mike Gleason at VCA, and Dr. Gleason was extremely pleased with how well I've done in the last month, as he hardly had to adjust anything at all. You can see a picture of me at the appointments on the left.

I get a lot of exercise time almost every day at my foster home. At least an hour each time, but often for three or four. Since my foster dad started this, my mobility has drastically improved. Like, 1000%. I can now run the "Bunny 500" around the yard, hop up and over obstacles, and I try doing "binkies." I can now elevate my bunny tail three or four inches off the ground when hopping, as opposed to the previous one inch or so. My foster dad attributes this improvement to letting me have lots of exercise for those legs.

Because I'm hopping so much better now, my foster dad recently gave me a low-sided litterbox. I wasn't able to get in one before, but now I can. It's lined with Noah's Choice wood pellets, with Oxbow timothy hay on top of that. I spend a lot of time in it when I'm in my hutch inside, munching on the hay and even snoozing in it. Since I have an excellent appetite I leave a ton of "bunny beans" in the litterbox. But I can't urinate on my own.

I'm a wonderfully sweet and affectionate little rabbit, and I love to be held and interact with people, and I can't give you enough kisses.

Won't you help us out so I can continue to get medical care to lead a full and happy life?


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