I was at a conference a few years ago where we were discussing how it isn't always easy to spot when rabbits are suffering because, as a prey animal, they naturally hide their symptoms. One of the vets suggested that a way to tell if a rabbit is actually in pain is to give them pain relief and see if they suddenly perk up, start acting more normal. I found this idea of discovering problems based on reactions to medicines fascinating, it sounded like something out of the TV series "House".
With Whisky getting older, with the weather being colder and wetter, it seemed perfectly normal to me that Whisky should shun the offer of garden play time. I would open the door, he'd peer out but wouldn't go outside.
"No thanks. I think I'll go and search behind the sofa for dropped treats instead."
However, after a course of antibiotics for his snotty nose, not only did the nose clear up, taking with it the need for daily face washes to clear the backwash from his blocked tear duct, but so did his reluctance to leave the house. Late Friday night he followed me out into the garden when I was emptying rubbish into the bins and started having a wonderful time running around, sniffing everything and reclaiming the outdoors. So I made sure to be home at dusk yesterday to let him out again and lo and behold, he had a full-on binky-fest, the likes of which I haven't seen for months. He ran around, leapt about, raced in and out the house repeatedly, he was very clearly enjoying himself.
Who knows what bugs the medicines cleared from his system leaving him feeling so lively again. He has also been on ivermectin for his fur mites, so it could even have been something parasitic. I may never know, but I am very grateful to see my little boy loving life so much.