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Broken leg not healing

22 9:39:36

Broken leg xray
Broken leg xray  

18 Oct
18 Oct  
Hi Christine,
I have a 7 year old female bunny who broke her left hind leg in July. The accident happened when she chewed and pulled a string that tied a stack of flattened cardboard boxes at home. The stack fell on top of her and her leg was broken in multiple places. I immediately took her to our regular vet (who is a rabbit specialist). An xray was taken on the day, please see attachment. As the bone was broken into small pieces, I was told it would be too difficult to pin the pieces back together. The vet suggested amputation or putting a splint for a few weeks. I didn't have the heart to amputate her so I asked the vet to use a splint. After around 2 weeks my bunny had learned to use her splint/broken leg to prop her body and she was active again. I took her to the vet last Friday for a monthly check and the vet found that the broken bone had cut through the skin and there was a significant amount of pus. The vet recommended amputation. To give me time to decide, the vet removed the splint and re-bandaged the leg using a 'Robert jones' bandage. In your experience, does a tripod bunny still have the same quality of life as a normal bunny? I am torn between amputation and euthanasia. It would be quite unfair to prolong her life if the amputation carries little benefit and affects her quality of life. I am also worried about the stress and pain the amputation will cause. On the other hand, she seems to be a happy bunny and still gets very excited when I feed and pet her. It feels wrong to euthanize a pet that still shows an interest in life. I'd also like to mention that I am now struggling to pay the vet bills. I have spent more than $1500 (Australian dollars) on the splint and monthly check ups. The amputation will cost another $600. I love my bunny very much and want to do what is best for her, however I feel that I should consider her post amputation quality of life and the costs before I make a decision. I don't know what to do! I would appreciate your opinion on this matter. Thank you so much.


I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm sure you've been under a lot of stress recently, so I hope I can put that to rest for you. A 3-legged bunny can still live a normal, healthy, happy life. It sounds like she's otherwise healthy, so I'd go with the vet on this one and have it amputated. Honestly, the stress of continuing to bring her in due to complications is probably just as hard, if not harder, for her than her learning to hop on three legs, so don't stress about this (I know... it's easy to say but hard to do - I'd probably be a wreck too).
I would also suggest bringing pictures of your habitat in with you to the vet and see if they suggest any modifications to her space to accommodate her new situation, but she should be okay. Last, but not least, I'd see if the vet can work with you on some payments if you find your wallet is stretched. This vet sounds like they also wish for what's best with pets, and I'm sure they've seen you doing what you can for yours. Many are flexible for pet owners experiencing a sudden increase in expenses.

Best of luck!