Bunny’s routines

For quite long now, Bunny has been very, very dependent on routines. His life practically revolves around routines.

If you remember, last July, Bunny had a major constipation problem where even enemas did not work and he had to have a manual evacuation done. Since then, he has been on laxatives and supplements to ensure that he can still have a bowel movement on his own. I’m doing the best I can to prevent megacolon from happening.

It took a great deal of effort, but for a few months now, Bunny has been able to have daily daily bowel movements. I measure the length of his faeces with my finger. One finger long is considered good. If it is longer, it’s a bonus. But if it is shorter (I call it “just the head”), that’s a cause for concern and I would increase the laxatives for that day.

But the only time Bunny would try to defecate is immediately after breakfast. If he misses that window, he will not do it anymore for the rest of the day.

It’s all about maintaining the routine every single day. So, the mornings are really important for Bunny.

And now that only, there’s also a “pooping song” that I have to sing each day to make him get into the defecating (squatting) position.

At the beginning, in order to stimulate him to defecate, I even had to resort to letting him smell the scooped-up faeces of the other cats. Yes, yucks indeed, but that worked, so I had no choice but to do it daily for some weeks. But now, he doesn’t need to smell faeces anymore. The song works.

And I also have to place him in a particular spot in the garden to stimulate him to get into position. It’s a special spot and that spot works. It has to start with that spot and from there, he might move to another location, but it simply has to start at THAT spot.

See his routine?

And then, there’s the pooping song as well, which works. He needs to hear it and the lyrics are simply, “scratch, scratch, scratch….”.  When he hears this, he would start scratching, and from there, he gets into position. If I don’t sing the song, he won’t scratch. If he doesn’t scratch, he will not defecate. That’s just the way it would work.

This is the miracle of the day!

When Bunny gets into position, I actually start to pray and I would hold my breath and wait to see the faeces coming out. One finger long, that’s all I ask for. Just one finger long would be enough.

Last week, I started training my husband to make Bunny poop. He had to learn the pooping song as well, and to know which exact spot in the back garden to place Bunny to begin the routine. My husband suggested that he record my voice singing the song! We have not resorted to that yet.

Luckily for us, breakfast does not need to be at a specific time. It can be anytime as early as 6.45am until 7.30am. But the routine for defecation must take place immediately after breakfast. If this window of opportunity is missed, he will not defecate for the whole day.

To help with overcoming his constipation problem, I also resorted to giving Bunny extra water each day. Initially when the problem began, I would give him diluted Cindy’s pureed food (yes, this food has been a lifesaver for our cats). For Bunny, what works is to use hot water. He really likes it hot. Just mix the pureed food with hot water and he would drink it all up.

I was surprised that he could drink hot water, but yes, he wants it that way.

After months, he got tired of the extra water sessions and refused to drink, so I had to improvise again. I added the diluted Cindy’s pureed food into his regular meals. That worked too, but I still used hot water. I guess hot water brings out the aroma of the food?

And Bunny never misses a meal. I’m using the word “never” literally, because truly, Bunny NEVER misses a meal. Indy, Cleo and Ginger might miss meals every now and then and I wouldn’t worry, but Bunny NEVER misses a meal. He might eat less, but he would still eat.

This evening, for the first time in forever, Bunny did not want to eat.

I immediately went into panic mode.

I bribed him with all kinds of foods, but nothing worked. Bunny did not want to eat. Thoughts and fears crept into my mind. Is it his kidneys finally giving way? Bunny also has chronic kidney disease but it has been maintained for almost three years now and he is on 150ml subcut twice a week.

To play it safe this evening, I force-fed Bunny some food. I didn’t want him to miss a meal as he has NEVER missed a meal before. I have a theory that if Bunny misses a meal, he might not have enough food to stimulate a bowel movement for the next day. That would be worrying.

Then I started googling and wondered if reducing the B12 supplement to alternate days was the cause of the decreased appetite. Bunny is also on the Gentle Digest probiotic daily. His eye supplement (Maximum Ophtal) is given three times a week. Initially, the B12 was given daily but the vet suggested that I reduce it to alternate days. I tried this about two months ago, but found that it affected his regularity, so I went back to giving it daily. Two weeks ago, I attempted to reduce it again to alternate days.

Does B12 actually increase or decrease appetite? Google says it can work both ways.

What a bummer!

I went from site to site, trying to find what I might have done differently that resulted in Bunny not eating his dinner tonight.

Finally….I figured it out.

It’s the hot water!

I used room temperature water this evening!!

So, after about an hour of panicking, I went to Bunny and offered him some Cindy’s pureed food (tuna), diluted in a wee bit of hot water.

Believe it or not, Bunny licked it all up!!

Phew!!

Then I gave him another helping and later, added some of his Coco&Joe’s too.

He ate up everything!! Many helpings!

So it was the hot water!!

He had to have his meals with hot water and only hot water.

Talk about sticking to routines!

Does the temperature of the water matter? I won’t be surprised if it does because I only use hot water from our water dispenser. So I think it would have to be THAT particular temperature.

Bunny also has routines on which place or spot he goes to at certain times of the day, but that would be another story for another time!

I’m just so relieved Bunny finally ate tonight! I’ll take that as a win and something to be utterly grateful for!

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