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Rabbit Rhythm #023 - Animals and emotional health, the botfly, and more
December 29, 2011
Rabbit Rhythms of January
Little do we know how essential the presence and care of animals is to the human species. A few species of sheep have never been wild - men have tended them since the Garden of Eden.
Among many types of domesticated animals today, we also have rabbits that in one way or another impact adults and kids favorably.
Codrina, a psychologist in Romania, shared with us the deep impact her white New Zealand rabbit has had on her own heart. It’s a wonderful account:
"A couple of years ago, before my 34th anniversary, I got a little white New Zealand rabbit as a present. It was love at first sight for me. However, back then, because I never had a close relationship with an animal before, I was only seeing him as a very cute and fragile creature that I should take care of. I had no idea that one day I will begin to love him as my own child and that he will completely change my life.
"I didn't anticipate this, probably because I didn't know much about New Zealand rabbits (and about rabbits, in general) and their incredible personality - their intelligence, their sweetness, their courage, their determination, their joy, their sensibility, their sense of humor (yes, sense of humor)...
"I already knew that animals are intelligent and emotional beings. And as a psychologist, I can recognise these things objectively when I see them. But he was still a big surprise for me, because he was much more than I've expected."
(Codrina calls this rabbit a New Zealand - its coat is very curious.)
"He taught me the most beautiful and important things I could learn...
"For me, he is the most perfect creature I have ever seen - and consider that I am a perfectionist. If I would have doubts that there is a God, I will only have to look at him.
"I wish I knew much sooner that such kinds of rabbits exist. I would have never spent a day without having one in my life."
Yes, the value of animals within our society is incalculable, for ourselves and our children, whether they are pets or farm animals.
Rabbits in the News
Farm animals, including rabbits, are also highly important to humanity.
The Sun News, in Macon GA, posted an autobiographical story on December 28, 2011, from the perspective of the reporter, a "city girl," raising a country kid.
The son of reporter Alline Kent, is president of his local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter. He is receiving hands-on experience in farming and agriculture, including rabbits and chickens.
With the wellbeing of these animals depending on the FFA kids during the Christmas season, and with more and more FFA members leaving town with their families, son Ronnie got to look after them morning and evening.
Alline went with him on one of his forays to the high school FFA farm, out of curiosity. The city girl learned two things that day, in her words:
In fact, on that day, she and her son Ronnie together discovered the very first egg produced by the FFA’s flock of chickens. I feel confident that her visit to the chicken and rabbit barn made a huge impression on Ms. Kent.
Imagine the delight of watching your own teen son mature into a responsible adult, seeing the growth of his character because he has learned to genuinely care about the wellbeing of the creatures that rely on him, and indeed, to be able to make flock and herd decisions that result in the overall improvement of the herd or flock.
Not all animals are pets. Not all rabbits are pets, either, and that is okay. Part of farming is the creation of the product - eggs, meat, milk - for the health of humanity.
Read the whole story here. (This Sun News article is no longer available online.)
The BotflySometimes keeping our rabbits healthy involves some pretty gross stuff.
Via a Facebook post, we learned that a pet rabbit owner (Tammy) recently discovered a sore bump on her Himalayan rabbit’s flank. It turned out to be a botfly larva.
You too might run into the same problem one day...
The botfly life cycle requires an animal host (including humans). The fly attaches its eggs to the hair of the host animal. Upon hatching, the larva burrows underneath the skin of the host, which in this case happened to be Tammy’s rabbit. It snuggles in for a 5-10 week stay, while it undergoes three morphological changes inside the host. It maintains a breathing hole through the skin, and during this time, the skin swells painfully (at least in humans) into a large hot reddened lump. Over the maturation period botfly larvae can grow to 2+ cm while under the skin of the host.
If left undiscovered, the botfly larva will eventually wriggle its way out of the skin and fall onto the ground. It will pupate in the soil for another 14-30 days, and finally emerge as an adult botfly. The botfly will mate, the females will lay eggs on hair, and the cycle will start all over again.
Tammy did feel the large boil on her rabbit and investigated. She trimmed the fur, discovered the bot, and then pulled it out using a tweezers and some slight pressure. 'Post-surgery,' she disinfected the area with peroxide, and then checked the rest of the rabbit to be sure there were no more freeloaders lurking under the skin.
Well done, Tammy!
For additional details, visit here: Stanford.edu - Botfly Lifecycle
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Like this newsletter?Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful New Year.
Enjoy your rabbits!
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