“Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.” This is not a disease that bunnies can carry primarily. She got it from humans!
The first thing that occurs to me: I can’t believe our vet even thought to test for it. The ear itself doesn’t look like any of the gnarly MRSA pictures online. It’s thick, warm, scaly, and flaky.
But having a good vet is just as priceless as a good oncologist. And in addition to being an adept surgeon (he’s reconstructed both of her ears twice), he’s a smart internist. He realized that we were spending a lot of time in hospitals and connected the dots that maybe – just maybe – we brought something home to Gracie. He has seen it only one other time during his career where a NICU doctor brought home a MRSA infection to his pet rabbit. The odds must be astronomical.
My next point of shock: I can’t believe Blossom didn’t get it. She hasn’t been sick at all, but she did just have both tear ducts flushed because they were blocked. That would have been a perfect MRSA entry-point right there. And they lie next to each other all the time. Gracie often wants Blossom to groom her “bad” ear, but Blossom refuses. She’ll get up, hop around, and plop down to clean Gracie’s healthy right ear instead. I think it’s quite obvious why.
Third point of shock: How did I not get MRSA?! If there was someone in this house who should get sick, it’s me. And an infection like MRSA could have wiped me off the face of this earth in no time flat. After my seizure the only room they had for me was in the ICU. They tested me there, so I know I’m MRSA-free.
It’s for this reason that I think it came home on Seth. It’s not his fault, of course! He probably got it from pushing me in a wheelchair at Fox Chase (the only facility we visited in this timeframe) and then gave it to Gracie while she was getting meds after one of her ear surgeries or tear duct flushings. Luckily, he’s a healthy guy and didn’t get sick himself.
In hindsight, I doubt it was preventable. We are clean, hand-washing people, and this was just a freak thing. MRSA lives in all healthcare facilities, and we’re just lucky that our vet figured out what was going on before it consumed our poor bunny.
Gracie starts a minimum 30 day course of chloramphenicol this evening. It’s the strongest thing she can have, and hopefully her tough little bunny body will maintain weight so we can knock this out quickly. She’s a tough broad. If anyone can kick some MRSA ass, it’s Gracie.
In the meantime, we will keep a very close eye on Blossom. And I guess I’m on Gracie quarantine. One of the vet’s primary concerns is that I can easily become infected until she is cured. I bet Monty Python never thought of this when he created the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog!