Caroline - Baby Rabbit Nearly Killed by Being Thrown
Update: March 12, 2015

Sweet Caroline, the baby who was injured has finally healed. She is physically and emotionally ready for her new life filled with love and gentle care. Caroline is loving, sweet, inquisitive and can get around very well. She does have one injured front leg which we were able to save for her well being. Her front leg has healed in a curled position due to nerve damage she suffered when she was injured. You can hardly notice. She doesn’t act injured and is not in pain. She is fully mobile using her one front leg and her two back legs. It is amazing that she survived and thrived. She is a very healthy girl now. She is adorable and super cute with glossy golden fur and cute Dutch markings. She like toys, snuggling sitting on the couch with you, lots of pets and soft fleece for her flooring. She is very happy to be near you. She loves music and all the attention she can get. She prefers to be the only bunny right now. She did suffer serious injuries that have left her nervous of fast movement’s pr any roughness. She is such a gentle girl.

Caroline is deeply sensitive, intuitive and always seems to be listening to you. She is such a special bunny girl. She will be the most wonderful addition to your life if you are the right person for her. She currently lives in a large x pen with a fresh cotton sheet, a soft fleece topper, with a little pet bed and wicker tent. Caroline likes to come out to run about during playtime, but goes back in to use her litter box and to rest. You should see how she sleeps on her side. (Bunny flop). She enjoys her wicker tent and a soft pad to rest on. She loves fleece and snuggles into it. She uses her litter box perfectly. She also uses food, water dishes and a hay basket. She appreciates voluminous amounts of hay salad hay made up of alfalfa, oat, western timothy and orchard grass. Caroline also loves Greens: parsley, romaine, red or green leafy lettuce and dandelion greens. Yes, she’s a bit spoiled- that makes her even cuter. Please speak with Auntie Heather regarding her special needs and adoption.

Update: February 26, 2015

Caroline has now received all possible medical care to help address her injuries. She has healed and will be avail for adoption to a loving family in March 2015! Watch for updates re her adoption. She is adorable so anyone would be lucky to adopt Caroline.

Update: January 26, 2015

Sweet Caroline has had a set back and will need minor surgery to repair her front leg injury. Her left front paw started to curl and it is causing her pain. We hope to free up the tissue in her arm and make a corrective repair to her arm so she that she can flex her front foot and correct the injury. We will keep you posted. Thanks to your support Caroline can eat on her own, and she gets around pretty well. Her head swelling, nose injury, and mouth injury are gone and her jaw has healed. She will need PT after this surgery. Her scapula and rib breaks have healed. Caroline is a precious bunny. Please wish her well.

Update: December 15, 2014

Sweet Caroline is so cooperative with her Physical Therapy sessions that occur with frequency during the day and evening. She gives little kisses as we gentle move her leg into position and massage her paw. She loves the physical therapy on her little jaw. We are very sensitive to her needs and stop if it is just too much moving to gentle massage. Her jaw, shoulder and leg are our focus now. The healing on the outside is complete now we must help her begin to use the leg and jaw more effectively. As of tonight she can eat hay on her own. This is a huge step forward! She is also learning to use the front part of her mouth by nudging and picking up a plastic ball. This is an effective way to help her use the jaw and mouth in a fun manner. All the while her jaw is getting accustomed to the movement in a pleasant manner. She deserves that now.

Caroline can eat pellets, and drinks water from a dish with no problem. She no longer need a bandage either! That is a huge accomplishment. It has taken love, clinical/medical support, long term care and now rehabilitation for her leg, mouth and jaw. Soon she will be happier and can really binky. Just last night she tried her first binky. She was so excited. We cried with joy and cheered her on.

Caroline is indeed a miracle and will always remain a clear example of the power of love and support to heal even the most traumatic of injuries. She is still taking medications and will need PT for several weeks. If any bunny can make it, Caroline Can! Wish her well

Update: December 14, 2014

Caroline’s leg skin is regrowing and fur is appearing on her leg! Her external wounds are almost completely healed. There is nothing we can do about the scapula injury or the rib break, those injuries take time and care to heal. She is such a lucky bunny to have survived her terrible attack. She is doing great! Now that her skin has healed, it is time to start physical therapy (PT). PT occurs 4-5 times a day. Her physical therapy started on December 12th. Caroline is adjusting very well and last night she even tried to binky. She appeared to feel super happy! During PT her leg is extended in a gentle manner and her paw is given light massage. All to the degree that is comfortable to Caroline. The prognosis is not good, but it is possible. Since the bunny is Caroline, who has won every emotional and medical battle so far, we are more than happy to help her try to recover the use of her leg. She is a fighter. We all want to do anything possible to help this little girl have a full and happy bunny life. She has experienced such horrible abuse and it is time that she have the joy she so deserves.

Caroline is going to stay with Heather for the next few weeks to go through PT since it is so intensive. She does have an pending adopter, however, the PT is too difficult for her to accomplish, so we have all agreed it is best that Caroline stay with Heather until her treatment is complete.

Update: December 13, 2014
Caroline with a vet tech

Caroline is still at a high level medical support site with bandaging once a day. Happily her fur is growing back on her significantly injured leg, shoulder and entire arm. She cannot use her paw at all as the attacker damaged her brachial nerve when he slammed her into the brush. Her chest skin and fur is growing back too. Her broken jaw, rib, and terrible injures are slowly healing. She will most likely never use her left leg again but she is the most darling bunny and she gets around well. She seems so very proud of her fur regrowth (that surprised all of us!) Her entire arm had lost its fur, and all of the skin had come off. We did not know if fur would grow in these places at all after this injury. She is defying all odds and healing in many ways. Emotionally, she was much damaged in the beginning. She was first barely conscious, then somewhat frightened and disoriented. Now she trusts us, kisses us, loves us and knows she is safe. Caroline is still on medications and is involved with physical therapy now. Her arm skin will slowly move back into a more normal position. Her rib will heal. Her jaw has healed. Her head swelling nose injury and mouth injury are gone.

Update: November 30, 2014

Little Miss Caroline was such a good girl yesterday. She went back to see Dr. Stern to have her new bandage changed. This time she did not enjoy her visit even though she loves Dr Stern. Caroline is getting frustrated. She was very cooperative but unhappy about the fact that the new gel bandaging stuck to her new skin and had to be taken off! The great news is that when we looked at her healing skin it is clearly healing and looks very healthy with no infection at all! Her leg is healing perfectly. The wound site has shrunken from 3 inches to about 3/4 of an inch in width and from 3 inches in length to about 1 3/4 inches in length. At this point in time she will use SSD dressings and bandaging with vet wrap. She is still on antibiotics and pain medications. She is recovering beautifully.

All of the swelling is gone from her head and face. She has such an elegant face and lovely eyes. Her ear is no longer hurting and she can lift it perfectly. The jaw hinge injury has healed and the wound inside her mouth has also healed and closed. She can eat well, except she still cannot eat hay. Eating hay is the next step for Caroline. We are trying all kinds and cutting in different lengths to see what she might like. Her front teeth are aligned now and you can barely see that her mouth had been injured. She is an amazing little girl. Her rib is still broken and that will just take time to heal. Her nerve has not regenerated as yet, so she cannot use her paw at this time. She is receiving physical therapy to help her muscles in her leg and foot stay flexible while we wait for the final healing of her brachial nerve. Caroline is an amazing bunny. She is a joy to take care of and all the other bunnies really like her. We have nicknamed her little sunshine.

Thank you so much for sending you the get well cards (Heather reads them to her and clips them up on her pen.) Thank you also for all of your support so she can receive all the medical care she needs. Caroline has quite an impressive and loving fan club.

Update: November 29, 2014

I got a new bandage at the doctor's office, and they put a pretty flower on it. I like it! Dr. Stern says my leg is better too. I still can't use my foot and my leg feels strange. I do not use it much right now. However, I think I am better. I can see well now and my nose and mouth are healed up. I just need to deal with the jaw puncture and my broken rib which still hurts. I take pain meds for all of this. Then my skin needs to grow back on my leg. Send many good wishes please - I want to keep my leg! I see the doctor again Saturday. Oh, I also wanted to let you know that I can eat lettuce and also carrot tops now!

Love Caroline

Update: November 20, 2014

Caroline went into the hospital for another surgery yesterday, for further treatment on her leg, chest, and internal jaw injury. Her chest and leg area was surgically cleaned, packed in a special surgical dressing and then her little injured leg/chest was rewrapped. Her leg and chest wall injuries needed to be rechecked to make sure healing was progressing and that no new infection had set in. During her surgery today it was determined that healing of chest and leg is beginning to occur. The internal mouth/jaw injury was flushed and this significant injury that dislocated her jaw has begun to heal as well. The best news is that Caroline started to eat greens last night! She loves butter lettuce, cilantro and parsley! Yumm! The doctor flushed out the internal jaw site injury today. The puncture wound inside her mouth into her jaw is healing to the degree that she can now chew some foods. She cannot eat hay yet, however we are hopeful that will be next.

Sweet Caroline is tired now but seems very content to have her very own special x-pen set up right next to Lil' Bit and Alexandri. The two babies are a great source of joy to her. She takes her medication without any problem and loves her butter lettuce. Her emotional state is also improving. Last night her foster mom stayed with her in the living room next to her pen and noted that Caroline had NO bunnymares at all. That is so wonderful. She is beginning to heal emotionally too. Her injuries to her head, nose and mouth have all healed. There is no noticeable swelling of her face, nose or head at this time. She is very slowly beginning to use her jaw too. The one area we just do not have any clear cut answer about is the brachial nerve damage which leaves her front paw non functional. The paw on that leg cannot be used, so she tends to avoid putting any weight on the entire leg.

Thank you for all the love that has been coming her way. The get well cards are adorable. We show her each one and read it to her too. She is very patient with us and sniffs each card with curiosity. Caroline is a special girl. She is well on her way to recovery. She needs to go back on Monday November 24 for a wound recheck and surgical pack/rewrap. She is doing so well. Right now she is resting happily.

Love to everyone who is involved in helping her get well. Caroline has a great support team! We also found out today that PAWS of San Jose funded part of her surgical expenses for today's treatments. That was such a nice surprise, and we thank them for this gift to Caroline. If you would like to help with Caroline's medical fund, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Update: November 17, 2014

Auntie heather was a bundle of nerves today. She could hardly wait to get Caroline in to see her doctor. For the past two days Caroline's skin blackened, hardened and split, exposing extensive infection under the skin. She was very sick and had little energy. Caroline was evaluated first this morning and after her exam both doctors agreed to go ahead and save her leg. A plan was created to clear the necrotic tissue and infection and then to apply a medicinal covering to help promote healing.

Caroline had a major surgical procedure again today. The external leg and chest skin was necrotic and had to be removed. As the skin died it shrunk and pulled tight separating from her muscles. The muscles were not necrotic and the infection was able to be cleared from her extensive wounds on her left leg and chest. Then, Dr. Stern used a special medicinal honey to dress the surgically cleaned leg and carefully wrapped her leg. Caroline’s injury sites will be rechecked and redressed this Wednesday. She will remain on medications and have supplemental feedings of critical care and fluids and be cared for 24-7. She still suffers from nerve damage and cannot use her front paw. However the doctors said that in time that nerve may heal. No guarantees on her paw, but everything else seems to hold a promise of potential use. We can wait for the nerve healing to occur. If not, that can be handled later.

Caroline is such a survivor. We are so very proud of her. After all that she has been through, she has still made it through yet another challenge. She has survived another surgery and she seems to feel better. It must feel so much better to be rid of all that infected mass on her leg and chest. We are focusing to help her heal.

Even after a painful surgery she is so sweet and loving. The dressing of new vet wrap on her leg has a little purple heart on the bandage. Awww. As we sat in the waiting room of the hospital and she was waking up she started kissing Heather's hands before her eyes even opened.

She is home now with Heather. She is actually able to move about she is eating, drinking and is visiting Lil' Bit and Alexandri right now. She has her own little pen next to their baby play area in the living room. Later on she will return to her own room where Heather can keep a close watch over her tonight. Hopefully she will have another night free of bunny mares. We hope to have new photos in the next few days.

Caroline’s wound healing process (a full thickness wound)

  1. we remove dead tissue (debride) and clear infection from wound (honey, antibiotics)
  2. body creates a healthy bed of granulation tissue over defect
  3. can then close the wound surgically with healthy skin (may need a flap or graft), or let skin cells migrate in from the wound edges and cover the defect. Depends on the wound.

Manuka honey is best for these full-thickness skin wounds. Here is some info:

Topical application of honey to full-thickness skin wounds has been recognized for centuries as effective in controlling infection and producing a clean granulating wound bed. The recorded observations show that inflammation, swelling, and pain are quickly reduced, unpleasant odors cease, sloughing of necrotic tissue occurs without the need for debridement, dressings can be removed painlessly (without causing damage to the re-growing tissue), and healing occurs rapidly with minimal scarring, eliminating the need for grafting.

Laboratory evidence suggest that honey has antibacterial properties that are due partly to its acidity and partly to phytochemicals from the nectar of particular plants. Honey is mildly acidic and has a pH between 3.2–4.5. Topical acidification of wounds promotes healing. The hydrogen peroxide produced by honey is responsible for the stimulation of tissue growth. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to stimulate fibroblast growth in cell culture at micro- and nanomolar concentrations.

Update: November 13, 2014

We have gotten an update from Dr. Stern about Caroline. We have been waiting for additional orthopedic surgical input about Caroline's scapula injury and what we can do to resolve that injury. Dr. Stern noted that she found a broken rib (second to last rib opposite her terribly injured leg) in addition to all her other injuries. She is waiting to hear back from a radiologist and orthopedic doctor about the shoulder dislocation, but since she is able to use her leg we will focus on cleaning up those extensive skin wounds first. There is a also brachial plexus injury, the nerve that runs down her arm and is causing her foot to bend under. There is no treatment for that except time. We just have to wait to see if the nerve heals.

Caroline needs surgery on Thursday November 20. Dr Stern needs to repair the leg skin wounds. She needs to get rid of the necrotic (dead) skin on her leg and replace it with a covering of her skin that is safe. Caroline will remain on antibiotics, and daily leg wound care plus bandages, fluids and critical care to keep her energy up. Heather will talk with Dr Stern about this surgery on Monday and discuss how we will harvest the skin to cover the leg area.

Caroline is still very ill and injured, but she is happy with love and attention at her foster home. We will provide the best care for her to make her whole again and give her the life she deserves. We will update more next week after she has seen her doctor again. If you would like to help with Caroline's medical fund, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Update: November 13, 2014
Caroline with Heather

Caroline underwent a surgical procedure yesterday, performed by Dr. Hilary Stern, DVM. Unfortunately, Caroline's wounds are much more profound than we first thought. Below is a report from her foster mom, Auntie Heather.

WARNING: This report details the extent of the wounds and the terrible abuse that Caroline suffered before she came to The Haven. These descriptions may be upsetting to some people. Reader caution is advised.

I am rarely shocked to the degree I am tonight. I have seen many injuries, taken many rabbits through surgeries, managed all sorts of amputations, fractures, abscesses, and bite wounds. However learning the extent of the injuries to Caroline today has been one of the worst reports I have heard. The rabbit is clearly in pain and has been injured so severely. We cannot even figure out how all these injuries occurred. Yes we know she was violently thrown into the bushes, however her injuries appear to be old and new. The vet said there are no animal bite wounds.

I realize many of you may wonder why we took her to the vet today given her brain trauma from being thrown so hard. She had slowly begun to improve with full eye moment and was able to sit upright. We needed the vet to check her leg and to shave the area so we could care for the lacerations. The doctor gave her very light anesthesia to help her so they could examine her and get radiographs and begin to clean up her severely injured leg, shoulder, paw and jaw. We also needed to have an x-ray of the shoulder and leg which is the area of most intense injury. During this exam the vast extent of her injuries became clear.

Caroline with Heather

In addition to lacerations covering the leg and chest, Caroline also suffers from torn ligaments and muscles in that arm and chest. Her jaw injury was examined and the doctor found a puncture wound in the upper jaw that came from an injury to the inside of her mouth. Dr. Stern said something like a stick or other sharp object went in through her open mouth and pierced her upper jaw. She has a dislocated scapula in addition to all this. She is horribly injured. It appears that she suffered from abuse even before the man decided to finally kill her.

Dr. Stern cleaned her leg as much as possible. Then she wrapped her leg and chest in bandages and koban after application of SSD cream. I will check in with the doctor tomorrow but most likely her next surgery to manage the necrotic skin cannot be done until Monday. She does not have the strength to make it through such a long surgery right now. Amputation was discussed and if the leg becomes dysfunctional or the muscles necrotic, then we will have no choice but to amputate to save her life.

For now we are being very careful with her, supporting her with medications, fluids, critical care and temperature management. We hope she is able to survive. We love her so much. Tomorrow we will contact the media. We will post a reward for information leading us to her assailant. My bet is someone will recognize this rabbit and will call us.

Thank you to everyone for your support to help us help Caroline. We are continuing to support her however we can, and are continuing to raise money to pay for her veterinary expenses. If you would like to help with Caroline's medical fund, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check. We will keep you updated on her progress. Please keep Caroline in your thoughts today, she needs whatever healing energy she can find.

Update: November 7, 2014
Caroline with a tech at Adobe Animal Hospital

A Haven volunteer went to Adobe Animal Hospital this morning to deliver some greens and to check on Caroline. A nice RVT who had just picked up Caroline to give her fluids and critical care brought her up so our volunteer could see her and spend a little time with her. She was held for a while, and was much calmer than last night. Her eyes were bright and she was alert. The dried blood on her nose was replaced with a nice critical care mustache. The tech told us that Caroline is a favorite with the staff, everyone wants to take her home because she is so trusting and easy going. Caroline will be examined by a doctor again today, with hopes of being discharged this afternoon.

Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of well wishes and donations for Caroline. Two overnight stays in the ICU will be very expensive, $600 per day. Even with our discount, Caroline's care will cost well over $1000. We still need help with her medical expenses. If you would like to help with Caroline's medical fund, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Update: November 6, 2014
Caroline in the ICU at Adobe Animal Hospital
Caroline Still Hospitalized - Continuing Care

Haven staff who visited Caroline today reported that she was fairly alert but stumbled a few times when putting weight on the injured fore-paw. They noted that the paw is totally folded under and it seemed to cause her pain when she tried to put weight on it. She has a lot of crusting on her nostrils, (dried blood from her impact injuries). This bleeding has stopped today.

One Haven visitor held her and she seemed to truly enjoy the affection, relaxing deeply. She must be handled with great care so she does not feel more pain. She truly seemed to appreciate the connection by everyone who visited to just pet her little head and talk with her. She needs to know that she is safe and loved.

Haven visitors brought her fresh greens which she seemed interested in, however she did not try to eat them. Most likely her jaw injury makes it painful for her to use her mouth right now she is begin given critical care 3-4 times a day and plenty of medications and anti inflammation drugs as well. She is taking an antibiotic for secondary infections due to the lacerations on her head and front legs. Both front forearms have cuts and abrasions. Her little mouth and nose are also injured.

We know that with love, medical support and ongoing care Caroline will improve. She may never have the use of her front leg again but there is a possibility if the nerve is not severed function may return to her leg. Right now Caroline needs to deal with the brain swelling and painful aftermath of her horrific abuse. I have been in touch with the shelter to see if they are continuing with their investigation. If so we will respect that, if not, we will be going to the media ourselves.

The doctor tonight reported that she has been able to eat critical care and is resting comfortably in her oxygen room. Her bedding is warmed to keep her body temperature at a stable level. Tonight she is running a higher temp. We are told that this is due to the massive inflammation from her injuries. The side of her jaw is very swollen and needs compresses plus pain meds and very careful handling to manage the pain and swelling.

Our hearts are breaking for Caroline and she struggles to survive. However she has made it past two critical time frames in her healing process. She is now breathing on her own outside of the oxygen room. That is huge! The doctor thinks that she has a good chance at a recovery. If all goes well we will take her into our medical care facility tomorrow for the remainder of her recovery. If you would like to help with Caroline's expenses, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Caroline gets some TLC
November 5, 2014
Caroline in oxygen at Adobe Animal Hospital

A little sweet 2 pound bunny was thrown into the bushes tonight. The man who threw the rabbit out was caught he asked “Is it dead yet?” then he left. The horrified Good Samaritan who witnessed this abuse gathered the little bunny and raced her to the shelter. They called in Rabbit Haven seeing that bunny needed our care to survive. We rescued the little girl, a sweet two pound red Dutch we named Caroline. She is at Adobe Animal hospital in Los Altos tonight. She is in shock and has multiple injuries due to the impact. We can only imagine what other horrors she has suffered. The shelter is carrying out an investigation of her assault.

She will need to be hospitalized over night on IV fluids and oxygen to save her life. She is also on pain medications and a light sedative to help her relax. We are concerned about the jaw and internal injuries. Lung effusion is a concern. It will take a day to fully be able to evaluate all of her injuries. Naturally we are committed to providing all the care she needs to have a normal happy life.

X-rays were taken along with other tests. Dr Nakamura will review the bunny’s condition in the morning and let us know if she is stable enough to go to our medical site. The bunny is very critical due to the trauma of being thrown into the bushes like trash. It is difficult to imagine anyone capable to such blatant criminal behavior. The vet bills with our non-profit discount will be at least a $900. You can help with the medical side with a donation. Send her get well cards. Show that you care. Send your prayers and healing energy to this little sweetheart tonight. If you would like to help with Caroline's expenses, you can use The Haven's PayPal account online or donate by check.

Caroline just after she was rescued

Designed by James Farris