Friday, 29 July 2016

Buddy's Story

One of our amazing volunteers EJ, tells the story of Buddy and his three month long journey of recovery following his rescue by National RSPCA officers from terrible neglect

Meeting my new foster Bunny

When RSPCA Manchester & Salford branch called to say they had a very special rabbit that needed a foster home I jumped at the chance. When I saw Buddy’s photos I knew the poor boy had had a rough start in life. He had been kept with many other rabbits in poor conditions. There were multiple abscesses on his back end and they had been left untreated. This must have been very painful for him. 
When he arrived he was surprisingly bright and alert. The vets had cleaned out his wounds and prescribed some medication to make him feel better. To make sure the wounds healed properly they had to be cleaned twice a day and a soothing cream applied. 

The first thing I noticed about buddy was how confident he was, considering all he had been through. He had a good nosey around his new room, giving everything a good sniff. He found his food in next to no time, settled down and happily began munching away. He even met one of the resident cats. They were very curious about each other and many sniffs were exchanged.


The road to recovery

Gradually, poor Buddy’s wounds began to heal. It took two different types of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. The sores on his body began to close over and even patches of fur began to grow back.  Just as we thought he was on the mend we had a bit of a setback in his recovery. 

As his back was healing, the skin around the wounds became very tight and itchy. This began to irritate Buddy, so he chewed a large flap of skin loose and reopened the wound. This meant a trip back to the vets. The vet thought the safest option was to put a cone on Buddy so he wouldn’t be tempted to chew at his wound. Buddy had other ideas...

He did not enjoy wearing his cone and its destruction quickly became his sole mission in life. He achieved this mission within the first 24 hours of wearing it. Buddy, being a very resourceful boy, discovered that if he pressed his cone against something solid he could then reach it with his teeth. The cone was quickly shredded! It may have just been my imagination, but Buddy seemed very smug indeed to have done away with the dreaded cone. Thankfully there were no further setbacks on Buddy’s road to recovery. The wounds healed really well and his lovely glossy fur returned.

Meeting the real Buddy

I was constantly amazed at Buddy and his abundance of confidence. 

Little did I know that while he was ill he was only showing me a small part of his wonderful (and quite unique) personality. Healthy, recovered Buddy, was a whole new rabbit, full of mischief and fun. One of his first tricks was managing to completely clear the baby gate in one jump. After a few unsupervised, cheeky adventures around the house I had to upgrade to a higher gate. The cat was never far behind, it was as if they had become mischievous partners in crime. 

Now he is better he makes good use of every one of his chew toys and is constantly looking for more to do and see. He often runs around the room at full pelt, jumping in the air, binking happily. I have even found him in the cat’s radiator bed, which he has now claimed as his own. This boy really can jump! 

I began to let Buddy have supervised time outside in a run. He was so excited by all the new sights, sounds and smells. He did a few more binkies to let me know he was having fun. Buddy then settled down and began to help me in my efforts to rid my lawn of pesky dandelions. Buddy is a very clean rabbit. He always keeps himself immaculately groomed and is excellent at using his litter tray. 

Buddy has had such an amazing journey and I am so pleased he is finally ready to find his forever home. 

Foster carers like EJ provide care for some of our most sick and abused animals like Buddy. 

Without them we could not help the most vulnerable animals that come into our care. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer & live in South Manchester/Salford why not get in touch? 

Call 0161 882 0680 option 4 or email us on

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Poorly reptiles: Why they need our help!

It's one of the busiest times of year for us at the moment! This is due to a myriad of reasons from kitten season to foster carers being on holiday but also we are now helping more animals then ever, of a wider variety of species! Since March 2016 we have been taking in reptiles working in collaboration with the National RSPCA & RSPCA Adoption Centre in Stockport Pets At Home. So far we've seen corn snakes, bearded dragons, pythons and geckos! 

Exotic animals such as these are tricky to care for and require a lot of time and money to look after correctly. The National RSPCA inspectorate has seen an increase in the numbers of exotics it rescues as they become more popular to have as pets. Sadly, many people do not realise the level of care they require and the animals suffer the consequences. As such the demand for rescue spaces has rocketed and why we decided to help by taking in reptiles. After all, there's no point the inspectors rescuing them if they have no where to go!

Draco, a very poorly Beardie

This week we experienced a very sad case of a Bearded Dragon, named Draco. Poor Draco was rescued because his owner was unable to meet his welfare needs. He is in a pitiful state, weighing a mere half of what he actually should. Draco weighed 228g whilst his average weight should be at least 450g. In fact, he was so weak that he can't even eat by himself which led to him being admitted to an exotic vet for tube feeding. His condition would have taken several months to deteriorate to this level.

Thankfully he's now eating independently and weight gaining. Blood test have shown that his kidneys are fine but he is anaemic and has an infection. We are hoping that with a treatment of antibiotics and fluids he will be feeling better and able to leave the vets.

At this moment in time we don't know whether Draco will make it but we will do all we can for him.

Our staff do all they can for the reptiles in our care, however we've also quickly learnt that often as hard as we try too much damage has been done to these amazing creatures. This was the case for poor Sirius who's story sadly did not have a happy ending. 

Sirius came into our care after being rescued from poor living conditions. He had a low bone density due to previously not being kept in the correct environment with UV light (Bearded Dragons require a 10-12% UVB light for a 12 hour period every day. This helps them process D3).  Sirius also had a high burden of pinworms due to poor husbandry and the end of his tail was dead with a strong risk that necrosis would spread further up his tail bone. 

Despite our exotic vets best efforts he was not eating properly and eventually started refusing food, our vets suspected he was in kidney failure, likely related to his previous poor husbandry and diet. Due to the level of suffering he was experiencing the decision was made that the kindest option was euthanasia. This was a devastating blow to our team who had tried so hard to save him. However, with so many reptiles needing our help they soon had to dust themselves off and continue the fight for reptiles: rescuing, rerehabilitating and educating the public the best that we can.

How can you help?

> Caring for exotic animals is expensive, especially as they often come to us very poorly indeed. If you can please consider making a donation to us or setting up a regular direct debit. Any amount really will help and allow us to continue this very important work.
TEXT MCRS01 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070

or donate / set up a direct debit by clicking here

> If you are considering adopting a reptile why not look at the animals we have available for adoption? All come fully health-checked by an exotic vet and our experienced staff will be more than happy to discuss appropriate care. Read more about keeping reptiles here. You can see all our reptiles for adoption on our website!