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Bladder stone/cataract surgery


Brenda B Delaney
 

Frodo doesn't have a bladder stone anymore, we think it passed when he had a seizure under anesthesia.
About the cataract:  I went to Cornell veterinary hospital in Ithaca, NY.  They have an exotics department there and they have done cataract surgery on many dogs and cats and 5 (now 6) rabbits.  They told me that my bunny would need lifelong eye drops if I did NOT get the cataract surgery, because there is a higher risk of retinal problems.   At the time, Frodo had spontaneous onset of a cataract in each eye, which we thought was due to a head injury because just a few days before he was acting weird and had made a mess jumping off an end table by the couch and his eye was very wet and runny.  The vet said cataracts can come on suddenly though for no reason.  Frodo was 6 ½ and loves to run, so we was getting quite upset and scared and depressed at not being able to see very well. He kept running headlong into the walls and running into people and this went on for a few months.  One night he ran under my foot and I almost stepped right on him and i ended up falling on the floor, which scared him and he ran hard into the wall. That's when I made the decision. His right eye was completely covered with a cataract and the left eye had only a small one.  Since Cornell hadn't done many rabbit cataract surgeries, and there is a small risk of complications that could risk his vision, I decided to have the surgery on just his bad eye, that way in the worst case he would still have one good eye.  Well, the surgery went well but the day I picked him up to bring him home, we noticed that his good eye had completely clouded over with cataracts.  So now I wish I had both eyes done. The eye on a rabbit is the same as other animals, its the anesthesia that is the concern, so I guess it didn't really matter that they hadn't done a lot of rabbit cataract surgeries, as long as the surgeon was experienced in cataract surgery and the rabbit vet was experienced in rabbit anesthesia and rabbit health.   Since Cornell is a teaching hospital, it was cheaper than if I had had the surgery done at a local veterinary specialist.  (Which although closer I couldn't do a local vet because rabbits need careful observation while under anesthesia and require a rabbit savvy vet to administer the anesthesia. So that's how I ended up at Cornell.  )  Frodo did well with the surgery but the recovery was a little rough. He slept a lot which concerned only me apparently.  I gave him pain meds so he was comfortable enough. But he has a sensitive digestion ,so of course it acted up and i had to treat him for GI Stasis.  Which he gets from time to time --one year it was every 2-3 weeks, so I wouldn't say that is a common occurrence for this surgery.  But definitely give lots of probiotics if your bunny ever gets antibiotics.  It took a few weeks for the drugs and anesthesias and antibiotics to work out of his system. The bigger problem was that he started fighting with his bonded mate (who was being a pest so I don't blame him).  That resolved after a while when he felt better.   He wasn't a huge fan of the 4 eye drops a day at first, but that was only for like 2 weeks.  Now he gets 1 drop once a day in his cataract eye, and he gets a cran-raisin as a bribe so he doesn't mind the drops.  It's the regular brushing when he sheds that he hates me for, LOL.  I can go through my detailed notes for any better observations of the surgery and recovery.  Frodo was so happy when was able to run around and see again. I can't get the other eye done though, because he had a seizure under anesthesia for his bladder stone this summer and his liver and calcium levels lately tend to be higher than ideal.  He's also 8 years old now. Frodo now sees a holistic vet a few times a year for acupuncture, and she says that she wished I had started coming to her before the surgery, because acupuncture and herbs/homeopathic would have helped a lot with the recovery and if I had it done before surgery maybe his body wouldn't have been so taxed that it caused the other cataract to get worse suddenly.  Who knows, but I would try it if I could go back in time.

So that's the story of Frodo's cataract surgery.

Brenda