As if I didn't already have enough stuff to do, one more item has been added to my workload, but I'm not really complaining. Yesterday afternoon KeeWee hollered that I should come out by the garden and have a look at a baby bunny. I went out, and there was a little tiny cottontail rabbit, and he didn't look too well. It took a bit but I was finally able to pick him up, and I could see that the left side of his head was all swollen and you couldn't see his left eye at all. It was all covered with matted hair and dried matter of some sort. he was very tiny, barely filling the palm of my hand.
Using Q-Tips and hydrogen peroxide I managed to loosen up some of the matted fur and get a look. There was a thick white ooze coming from the poor little fella's eye socket. I kept swabbing and I was able to apply slight pressure to the area and work more of the white stuff out. Finally, after some time, I was able to actually get his eye lids separated and flush it out so I could see what the condition was of his eye. Sadly, the eye itself was pretty much gone. Not too much I could do except to clean out all the goo and disinfect it as much as I could. Once I had it cleaned out I applied some Neosporin to try and get some antibiotics in there to knock out any infection. Through all of this the little bunny was amazingly tough, putting up with what at times must have been incredibly painful.
We put him in a large plastic tub with some grass and lettuce and let him do a little post-op recovery. An hour or so later he looked a bit better, but was obviously totally exhausted. I gave him a little water from an eye dropper to keep him from getting dehydrated. He even nibbled a bit at some of the grass. Our biggest concern was that a lot of wild animals when injured will just shut down and die. The first hurdle to his recovery would be if he could survive the night. We'd have a better idea in the morning.
This morning he looked much better, and he'd eaten a couple of lettuce leaves. He's getting very comfortable around me, and he likes to stretch out and sleep in my hand. He's still a long ways from being out of the woods, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.
UPDATE: The bunny made it through another night and day, and his appetite and energy level are much improved. It also looks like he may actually still have his left eye after all. It may have just been hidden behind swollen tissue around the eyeball. I can't tell if he has any eyesight in the eye yet as it's mostly still hidden, but his eyelids are starting to work and I can see a little of the eyeball. As the rest of the swelling goes away I'll have a better idea. I don't want to get too optimistic as there's still a long way to go before he's out of the woods, but it does look promising. He seems to recognize me now and when I reach into his box he wants to crawl up my arm so I'll hold him in my hand so he can go to sleep. So far, better than expected......