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This morning on the feeding round it became apparent that we had one limping cat, one sheep with a scratched face, and one poorly pet rabbit.  The animals can’t seem to organise themselves to be ill one at a time, they like to do it in groups. 

Mary the sheep was first to be dealt with – she just needed the wound cleaning up.  The sheep often scratch their faces when they eat leaves from the hedgerow, and they can develop a virus called Orf through small wounds like this.  Most of our sheep are vaccinated against Orf but the Shetlands are a fairly recent addition to the farm and haven’t been jabbed yet – so that’s the next job on my list. 

Marmalade the cat wasn’t so straightforward – he’s one of a pair of semi-feral rescue cats that live in our hay barn, so they don’t take kindly to being stroked, let alone grabbed for inspection, but thankfully a closer look showed that nothing serious was wrong with him either. 

And lastly the poorly rabbit – Stephanie – was taken to the vet along with her hutchmate – Lucy – who wasn’t showing signs of ill health but I thought I ought to be on the safe side.  Sadly the poorly one didn’t survive the trip to the surgery – she had to be put to sleep – although we’re none the wiser as to what she was suffering with.   Lucy was dosed up with vitamins and antibiotics – just in case – and is currently in isolation in a clean hutch while I check anxiously every couple of hours to make sure she’s not taken a turn for the worse.  She seems fine – if a little depressed (ok I know I’m anthropomorphising here – but surely even rabbits can be depressed if their hutchmate suddenly vanishes?!). 

I’d just got back from the vets when Dottie (boxer dog) ran in from the garden with a baby wild rabbit in her mouth.  She’d found it in the corner of the hay shed.  She hadn’t harmed it at all – she was carrying it like a pup, and only seemed to want to look at it.  Christopher quickly returned the kit to its nest and barricaded the door so that Dottie couldn’t pay a repeat visit.  Let’s hope the rabbit’s mother hasn’t been scared off……….

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