Camby and Taylor - Two Splay Legged Babies
Update: September 29, 2016

With a heavy heart, we must report that Camby has crossed the rainbow bridge.

Camby was an extraordinary girl, full of love. She is precious to all of us. Sadly, her condition declined rapidly the last two days and she needed to be rushed to her vet for help. She was in pain. Her birth defects proved to be more significant than we initially thought. Especially her malformed bladder and kidney issues. She had to be expressed for the past two weeks. Her bladder was very difficult to express. Her internal organs did not form correctly and to make her situation worse, her hips and both back legs fused in the wrong position. She barely had space to eliminate. She had begun to suffer urine scald and abrasions had formed on her little tummy from needing to scoot around on her belly. (at barely 4 weeks).

Her front right arm luxated at her shoulder so there was not even a way we could fit her for a cart. You need two front feet that work to move in a cart. She barely had one. PT on her hips and back legs proved unsuccessful. Her foster parent carried out her pt several times a day, plus they gave her medications. They also took her to her vet apts weekly. Yesterday at the vet she was in pain, she had started to bleed, (kidney and bladder issues). Injuries to her back leg from abrasions. She was so uncomfortable. Together with her veterinarian, after careful consideration of all of her situation, we helped her make her transition. She was hurting. Her pain was not manageable and offered her no life at all! We fought hard for her –She fought hard to live. She was strong and she wanted to live. Yet, in the end her body could not sustain life.

We could see that she was suffering and had only worse days to look forward too. Only 4 weeks old! Raymond and Kyomi, her Foster parent are crushed as you might imagine. We are doing our best to deal with her loss and to comfort her bunny family. Losing her is very difficult. She was such a loving, special and sweet girl. She was deeply loved. Her bunny family seems to know that she is gone. Taylor will miss her so much. They were very close.

There is some good news thought regarding Camby’s brother, Taylor. Taylor, who also suffered by leg issues (full splay front and back) is doing very well. His PT and leg braces have worked. After weeks of PT he is able to hop and his front legs are straight. He did not have the internal organ damage that Camby suffered. Taylor will need a few months of vet care, bracing for another 3-4 weeks and pt support. Then the Vet thinks she will heal in the correct position and be able to do most anything she wants to do. Please Keep Camby in your thoughts today -Her 2 day candle ceremony will be on 9-29 starting at 7PM - All are welcome to participate.

Camby and Taylor are two tiny babies that came in to us from the Watsonville animal shelter with Berry, their mom. We could see from the beginning that the kits had differences in their leg structure and use. However, they were kits only days old and it is difficult to detect conditions like this early on. We observed, waited for normal milestones in their development and sadly at two weeks Camby's difficulty in using her back legs become evident. She also developed a bulge on her left side which placed her into emergency status. We scrambled for the very first vet appointment we could get the next day. We took Camby, Taylor and family to see Dr. Sarah Hawklyn, DVM at Aptos-Creekside Veterinary Hospital.

Taylor, Camby’s sister, seemed to be scooting on her tummy and she appeared to have spay leg. That was very surprising as her condition was not at all apparent in the first two weeks. Both were examined by the vet, and had x-rays to make sure that there were no broken bones or abnormalities that might require intervention and treatment. The doctor determined that Taylor has two spay legs on both front and on her hind leg. She was fitted with a device for her front and back legs to help bring her legs to a functional position. Physical therapy (PT) training was given to her fosters. She will need PT three times a day to be provided by our excellent infant foster parents Raymond & Kyomi. This treatment for splay leg has can be very effective. Taylor has a good prognosis given PT care and close attention to the splay devices.

When a splay leg condition is detected early enough we can change the pattern of growth and stimulate muscle use by placing the rabbit’s arms or legs or both in the correct position. Physical therapy is needed daily and very close observation is required to manage infants with splay leg wrappings. We also need to be certain the mother does not chew off the device on the legs as she is cleaning her babies, so assist feeding may be needed. We also need to be sure the mom can feed her baby too. At the vet office Berry was able to feed Taylor even with her splay leg wrapping. When the baby is in the splay wrap, we check and make adjustments and changes bandage unit according to their correction, and growth. Taylor is getting accustomed to her leg braces and leg position.

Sadly, Little Camby has an abnormal bladder in both position and use. This is a very serious condition. The bladder is not in the proper place inside her body. She may have neurological issues that prevent normal urination as well. Her bladder is stretched out as well. Camby does have sensation and limited use of her back feet and legs to push. She cannot use them to move about. She has a very bad bladder infection. In addition, Camby has issues with her kidneys. One kidney is small and undeveloped and the other is enlarged.

Camby with Dr Hawklyn

The doctor expressed Camby’s bladder and the urine was condensed and plentiful. The entire bulge on the left side was her bladder. The bulge went away after expressing and then Camby was much more relaxed and comfortable. Usually the bunny mom will help stimulate her kits to urinate by her careful licking and cleaning activity as the babies nurse. However, the baby had not been turning over on her back to nurse, so she missed this normal conditioning activity. After her bladder was expressed, Camby was able to nurse on her back and her mom did stimulate her as expected. Good save! However, until she learns to urinate on her own, or unless mom is able to stimulate urination, her bladder will need to be expressed twice a day. A culture was run on Camby to help the vet determine the proper medication for Camby. She is a very sick little girl. In the meanwhile she is begin given TMS, an antibiotic.

We are grateful for the careful observation skills at our nursery site, and the level of care and expertise at the infant site. Catching this early will help to save the lives of both of these tiny bunnies. We also appreciate Dr. Hawklyn fitting us in at the last minute. We were at the vet office almost until 8PM.

Taylor and Camby will require more careful physical therapy and veterinary care for at least four months. Camby needs medication right away to fend off her urinary tract infection. In addition to Camby’s medication she will need physical therapy three to four times a day to reposition her legs, to assist her in using her muscles for proper development. Her back legs are both damaged and at this point in time we can only carry through the medication, repositioning PT to widen her pelvic area and to allow her to use her back legs in their normal position. Berry will continue to feed her and care for her as bunny mothers do for 8 weeks. Her care may be needed a bit longer for Camby and Taylor. Berry is an affectionate, attentive and devoted mother. While the babies were being examined, she was anxious to be reunited with her babies. She appears to be quite connected to all four of her little ones.

Good news: Happily Hilton and Sobus, the two other siblings in this litter are in good health and have no issues whatsoever. Berry is also in excellent health. We did take in the entire family to see Dr. Hawklyn so she could check the entire group for any illness or abnormality. Given the early detection of these issues we have hope to heal the two little ones. We will know much more in the next 7 days and they will return to see the doctor next week. Camby may need to go in sooner if she is unable to use her bladder.

So far the cost of care is only $400.00. By the end of treatment, dependent on the number of visits and any surgery required for Camby, estimates are $900 to $1,200 (higher amount if surgery is needed). This is for both Camby and Taylor. Please help us provide the very best care for Camby and Taylor. To help these two sweet bunnies back to health please contribute to their medical fund via The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Designed by James Farris