The Bunny Has What?!

Gracie sleepingThe results are back, and Gracie’s two month medical mystery has finally been solved. She has MRSA.

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!


4 responses to “The Bunny Has What?!


    Jessica,   Well, it seems you do have a guardian angel who prevented you from getting MRSA.  Let’s be thankful for that.  Also, your vet is wonderful to have caught this.  With all of the new challenges you face, I am so glad you didn’t have to add this to your already long list of hurdles to jump.   It is scary to think someone like you or Seth could have so innocently picked it up & brought it home, You may want to wipe down the steering wheel, car door handles, etc. if you haven’t already done that.  I will add Gracie to my prayer list.   Thanks for sharing your news as you always do,  I appreciate your updates & it always reminds me to say an extra prayer or two for all of you.   Best Regards,   Juli

  • Sabina

    Awwww Jessica,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Gracie’s MRSA infection and, worst of all, that you will both be deprived of the enjoyment that bunny caresses bring to both parties until she is cured. I’m a convert to the joys of living with a house rabbit (previously I lived with cats) and I can honestly say that the feel of a warm bunny under ones fingers is one of life’s GREATEST tactile pleasures. I’ve done a bit of background reading on MRSA and was glad to learn that there are still some antibiotics which are effective against it. I will add Gracie to my prayers and look forward to hearing that she is all better in due course. Julie’s advice is sound – take great care not to infect yourself.

  • Sjoukje

    OMB!!! You be careful now!!! Hope Gracie will be okay again soon!!
    Sending healing vibes

  • Jennifer

    Oh, poor little Gracie! I hope she responds quickly to the medicine and starts to feel like herself again.

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