Harriet Jenkinson

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Steel the Flemish Giant Needs Your Help!

Steel, my beloved bunny, serves as my emotional support animal. He’s been a constant source of comfort and companionship in my life. Recently, he fell ill and thankfully, I was quick to notice the changes in his behavior and health. This early detection allowed us to start his treatment promptly.

Ultrasound shows a liver torsion, but the liver lobe has full blood circulation. He has done three separate ultrasounds and it looks as if the liver torsion has untwisted itself, which is great news. He is on a lot of medication though and pain relief, and with bills exceeding $4,000 already, I really need your help! My Vet does not want to open him up if she doesn’t have to, so we currently trying to do everything with medication and his bloods have since gone back to normal.

Steel is my emotional support. After a really sad passed couple of years I needed to love again, I was becoming sour, cold and just dead inside… and one day a friend mentioned I should look into an emotional support animal… and I thought, “I always wanted one of those big bunnies.” I did some research and decided I wanted a Blue Steel Flemish Giant and to my amazement, there he was, 90 minutes drive away. I called the lady, gave some information, got in my car and drove with excitement… I stopped at the local pet store, bought a cat cage/crate, hay, litter tray and some bunny treats. I got to the lady, Steel was the last one, he was 10 weeks old she put him in my arms and he fell asleep… I was sold… “not so fast lady, I want to vet you to make sure you’ll take good care of him”. I slowly sat back down… I didn’t really have a clue, but I winged it and from the moment I saw him, he was called, ‘Steel’.

We walked to my car, opened the boot to hay, litter tray, food etc falling out and the cat cage which the lady took one look at and burst into laughter… I didn’t know what was so funny… her words, “he’ll out grow that in 3 months”. Oh dear, what have I done… I didn’t realize he’d grow that big. Four months later, he outgrew his cage. Now, he has a dog cage, large enough for a Labrador.

Slowly but surely, me and Steel got to know each other. He was cute, cuddley and once he grew big enough to jump on my bed, it became his sleeping ground.

Within 2 months, he had ruined my sofa, ruined all the corners of my walls in my apartment; but win win win, I had him litter trained… strangely enough, it started off him peeing with me at the same time every morning in the bathroom. His litter tray is next to the toilet… now he politely waits outside the bathroom door for whomever is to exit so he can go in to do his business. If he needs it urgently, he will paw on the door, door will open and he’ll hop onto his litter tray…

Once I got Steel vaccinated, we were off. He became the travelling bunny… we went everywhere together. We’d go to the beach, the park, to a cafe for a coffee… you name it, he was with me… when we go to the park or the beach, Steel goes onto a lead. Once I’m happy he is aware of our place, the lead comes off and he bounces all over the place… if he goes to far, I stand up and call him… “Steel, you’re too far babe”. He stops in his tracks, looks at me and then races back to me… all you can here on the beach or the park is “ahhhh, oh my godness is that a rabbit.” Echoing 360… yes, he is not like any normal rabbit… he is, as my friends say, “LEGENDARY”. All this, and he turned 1 years old on the 21st April, which is roughly 13 bunny years. I don’t have children, but he is my child and he is the best teenager ever…

However, on the evening Friday 3rd May 2024, I noticed something not right, but he perked up and was quite normal Friday night and Saturday, but Sunday he was sleeping on my bed in such an awkward position, grinding his teeth and making strange noises. I picked him up for our morning ritual and took him to the toilet; and as we are both peeing I hear him moaning… oh no… I call the emergency vet, they don’t have space but they refer me to ARC. I call them and they tell me to bring him in ASAP. The rascal perked up, flirting with all the vets and nurses. Other than a slight stomach pain, they sent him home with antibiotics and pain relief, instructing me to observe him for the next 24 hours. 24hrs passed and im back at the vet… they ask me if they want me to have a blood test done, because again they can’t find anything wrong… Blood test agreed too and his bloods are abnormal with his anemic levels, so a possible internal bleed. They call a bunny specialist and she organised an emergency ultrasound first thing the next day. Possible liver torsion but full blood flow to the liver lobe… what to do… they decide to wait and re do scans and ultrasound 2 days later.. bloods have come back normal (yippee!) but the possible liver torsion had turned into a possible liver absess… oh no… not only has the liver lobe changed from a triangular shape to a sphere, but it had grown.

I have two options, surgery, open him up see what’s going on, but in his state it’s only a 50/50 he’ll make it through, or persevere, up his medication and repeat scans/bloods in 4 days time. The best exotic surgeon is also back next week, so if surgery is required, he’ll have the best possible surgeon and if I can stablise him, his 50/50 chance will be much higher…

4 days past and we have re-done the ultrasound. The vet has gone with her first prognosis of a liver torsion, and the torsion had started to untwist itself, which is great news, but how long will it take?

So, we are currently back home together and I am giving him 5 medications in the morning and 4 medications in the evening and we go back to the vets once a week for him to be examined and it’s all adding up.

As you can see, this bunny means everything to me, he has been the most amazing emotional support and the love we exchange for each other is like no other… I have pet insurance, but it only covers the first $1,500 (crap I know) and with everything I have been through, I can’t lose him like this, so please help me get him better. Anything, big or small will be a huge help and will go straight to all his medical bills.


Instagram @steelthegiant

Donations: $101
Goal: $8,000