This Romeo is Needing…

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Our Romeo, a male rabbit who recently entered the network, has a tale that’s not quite as tragic as his famous namesake, but he’s having a good go at claiming the title.

In the short time he’s been with us, he’s already proven to be the most accident prone rabbit we’ve yet had to deal with. Having previously lived alone in a hutch, rarely getting out, when he had access to a proper run for the first time in a while he thoroughly enjoyed hopping around, playing with the toys, and when he saw other rabbits in the runs next door to him he was naturally curious. Unfortunately he stuck his nose in where it wasn’t wanted and needed a trip to the vet for stitches. No simple matter for a rabbit, getting stitches involves anaesthetic, but after a couple of days with lots of encouragement to get his appetite back, Romeo bounced back, and looked set to start looking for his forever home with a friend (formally introduced of course!) and lots of space to run around in.

No sooner had we got him back onto his food however, we noticed he was now limping. Still hopping about, but definitely holding his back leg up, not wanting to put any weight on it. As most rabbit owners are aware, rabbits have incredibly powerful back legs. These are great for running fast, jumping great heights and doing fantastic binkies, but every so often it gets them into trouble. We’ve all heard the horror stories of rabbits kicking their legs so hard that they broke their own back! So, another vet trip, another anaesthetic, this time to do an x-ray, and the worst was confirmed. Romeo has broken his thigh bone. How he managed this we can’t be exactly sure but the fact is he has broken his leg!

For Romeo, this is a disaster. He has been on Metacam for the past few days to manage the pain and has been confined to “bed” to limit movement of his broken leg: devastating for a bunny that had just rediscovered the joy of movement, but in this case necessary to minimise the damage.

After a consult with a senior vet we were left with three choices:

  1. Leave it to heal on its own, managing pain with medication. Risks of this approach include the possibility of the bone healing out of place and resulting in permanent mobility problems, or the potential for a prolonged healing if the leg breaks multiple times during the healing process.
  2. Surgery to pin his leg and stabilise it. This will increase the chances of a successful recovery but due to the type of fracture there are still some risks to be considered (not least the fact that it is a big operation for a rabbit to go through!).
  3. Accept that he has had a significant injury, will undoubtedly be in pain and has already been through a lot. Helping him to hop off to rainbow bridge in peace may be an option.

After much deliberation we decided that we didn’t want to risk leaving it alone and possibly allowing the situation to worsen, and putting a rabbit to sleep that could be saved just doesn’t seem fair – he’s still eating well, and as curious and bright as ever, and seems to still have so much life about him despite his injury. So, we want to be able to give the second option, pinning his leg, a try in the hope that it will give him the best chance long-term. We have great confidence in the talents and experience of our vet and are hopeful that this would give Romeo the greatest chance of a full recovery.

But here’s the problem! The surgery, under normal circumstances, would cost in excess of £500. A great advert for the benefits of pet insurance, but sadly our rescue rabbits don’t qualify for insurance whilst in the rescue network, so this will hit our finances big time! The vet has very generously agreed to give us a discount off the normal cost, but we are still looking at the prospect of a bill into a few hundred pounds, on top of the costs of the anaesthetics he’s already had to get us this far!

This is an unexpected cost, and whilst our fundraising attempts this year have been reasonable there have been a number of our usual events that were cancelled due to poor weather, and turn-outs at community galas, shows & events have been lower as a result of the changeable weather too. We are fully reliant on all our fundraising events to cover our costs, as our minimum donation fees for adoption are considerably lower than the typical cost of preparing a rabbit for their new home. A single rabbit, for example, will cost in the region of £100 to neuter & vaccinate (assuming no other complications), and our minimum donation fee in that scenario would be £40. As with all rescue services, money is regularly tight and an unexpected bill to this magnitude could easily cripple us.

We believe the decision to proceed is right for Romeo, but we are concerned that having to cover his costs will result in a significant delay to the treatment of other rabbits in the network, and may result in us having to refuse those rabbits desperately waiting to enter the service for their chance of a forever loving home.

And so we turn to you for help. We really (heavily) rely on the generosity of the public to help see our rabbits achieve their dream of a loving family home with bunny friends and lots of space and attention.


He is a lovely bunny who’s had a really tough few weeks, but he deserves every chance to recover well and go on to be a wonderful pet.

Please click the Sponsor Me button to help pay for Romeo’s much needed surgery. He desperately needs your help and every small donation will add up to ensure he gets the care he needs!

We simply can’t afford to do this without you.


For never was a story of more woe
Than this of a bunny named Romeo

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