A call comes in on the emergency helpline around 03:00 pm. The lady is crying so hard that she is almost incoherent. We try to calm her down and ask about the nature of the emergency. From what we can understand, she has fed her rabbit sattu (gram flour) for lunch. Now the animal is lethargic, her stomach is swollen and she appears to be in severe discomfort.
She asks us to suggest a treatment plan. When we refuse to prescribe medication over the phone without examining the patient, she asks us to send one of our veterinarians to make a house-call.Unfortunately, our doctors don’t make house-calls during their shifts with us because that would leave the hospital without a doctor. She then, grudgingly, agrees to bring her rabbit to the hospital. Given her location, we surmise that she will arrive within the hour.
It’s an unusually busy day in the OPD Clinic and the next few hours fly by; no one has given the rabbit a second thought.It’s almost 07:30 pm when a woman rushes in with a rabbit which is desperately gasping for breath. We send her straight to Emergency, tell our paravet to start her on oxygen and call the doctor from his chamber.
The doctor reaches Emergency within two minutes of the patient’s arrival but unfortunately, he is too late. The paravet has started chest compressions but we all know she’s gone. Her grotesquely swollen stomach has placed extreme pressure on her diaphragm making it impossible for her to breath.If only she had arrived ten minutes earlier, we might have been able to save her.
We release the body to the owners.