SMOKEY'S BUNNY HAVEN
A SANCTUARY FOR SPECIAL NEEDS RABBITS

SANCTUARY RABBITS

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Hi! My name is Claire…. I’m a small breed Gray Dutch (agouti pattern), spayed female. I am considered a special needs rabbit because I require routine dental work every 3-4 months. I have been diagnosed with a condition known as “Malocclusion”. My front teeth are gone except for a small nub of a tooth which needs trimming so I can chew my food to get the proper nutrition necessary for me to grow and stay healthy. I’m also missing one of my molars. I can’t bite off pieces of food (hay, parsley, pellets etc.) I have to use by lips to get the food into my mouth, then, I use my tongue to move the food to the back of my mouth to chew. My lower lip droops. 

When I arrived at Angels of Assisi, one of my front teeth was sticking thru my lip. It was long and curled upward. It had to be cut back to prevent further injury. I was then sent to foster care. I was paired with a much larger white rabbit. One night, not long after I was sent to the foster home, I woke my caregiver when I was trying to get away from the much larger rabbit. She was biting and running me around the cage. I couldn’t get away from her. I was really frightened and afraid she was going to hurt me! The next day, a lady came to adopt “Emory” a special needs rabbit. My foster caregiver pleaded for her to take me. The caregiver had separated me from the larger white rabbit. She told the lady that I had stopped eating because I was depressed after being separated from the other rabbit. What my foster caregiver didn’t know was I couldn’t eat because my lower row of teeth were ¼ “ longer on one side than the other teeth. I couldn’t close my mouth or eat! I was literally starving to death.

Within 24hrs my new caregiver noticed the problem was with my teeth, not depression. I was immediately taken to the vet where I was placed under anesthesia, x-rays taken and my teeth were filed down to where they aligned up with my other teeth. I could finally close my mouth. I was given chopped up broccoli and apple 2-3 times a day in efforts to fill up my empty stomach.

I can chew pellets if they are chopped up into small pieces. Special thought  must be put into any treats I am offered because I get choked easy if the food can’t by chewed up. I can’t have dried carrots or apples because they are too chewy. Orchard grass cut into small 1/2” pieces mixed with alfalfa leaves (not the stems) is offered free choice. My litter boxes are filled with the smallest pieces of hay so I can sit in my box and chew on the hay like the other rabbits. Twice a day I get a treat of chopped up broccoli, golden delicious apples and sometimes pieces of carrots. My new mom does this to be sure I’m not hungry. 

I clean my bowl… and as an added treat for my mom, I whine quietly as I quickly gobble up my treat. I bat my beautiful black eyelashes while she holds my bowl for me to eat! It’s great to know I won’t go hungry again. I get special attention and all the medical treatment needed to keep me healthy so I can live a long, happy life with my new mom and “Emory” (my best friend) at the sanctuary for special need rabbits. 

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