Wednesday 28 May 2008

Week 1 Progress

This is Buster's progress since day 1...

Over the past 7 days Buster has made some great improvements, he's put on weight, he's grown and he's very alert!
Leverets are notoriously difficult to rear and many things can go wrong at different stages of their development. I have been keeping in touch with the Irish Hare Organization and have received great advice and support (thanks Mike!).

We weight Buster every morning before his first feed to monitor progress, then he has his bottle.. the quantity he drinks depends on how much sleep or exercise he got, varying between 3 and 14ml.

He tends to be still asleep in the morning and does not drink too much but on his second or third feed he monsters down his bottle!!

Then he has a fourth feed in the evening that keeps him full and asleep for the night!

We wipe the milk off his chin and neck after his bottle, dry him and let him wonder around for a bit..

Also, his teeth are starting to grow and he started nibbling at everything!

We are offering him some branches with leaves for him to chew on but he's not interested in them yet!

His wild nature is starting to come through and although he likes to be held and falls asleep in our hands, some days he's just wild and it gets harder and harder to feed him.

Some more pics...

Wakey, wakey, it's dinner time!

Buster finds it hard to stay awake!

Also, we're concerned about Buster's eyesight.

Leverets are supposed to be born with good eyesight but Buster seems to be banging into everything.. he runs straight into a wall or a door and even outside he does not seem to see the fence around the garden. He does not respond well to movements but only to sounds and smells and we're starting to think he might be blind..

Even when feeding him, if I move away his bottle only half an inch away he goes wild looking for it but he does not see it, not until he feels it against his mouth.

Having discarded the hypothesis that he might be color blind with some colors (makes no difference what color the edge is, he will run into it!) and that he's no sense of depth, we did some research and came across a site which explains that hares have back vision, so they see all the way around them but have a blind spot right in front of them, so perhaps this is an explanation..

Or else, he was born blind.
If Buster is really blind this is going to affect his release but perhaps it's still too early to tell - so we'll wait and see how things pan out and it might be the case that it could just be an infection and his eyesight will return - either way, we love him to bits, we've become incredibly attached to him - really hard not to, he's the cutest little fella!!

A squirrel? A mouse? A baby kangaroo? A kitten?

Buster looks slightly sheepish about his weight!

Feed time!

More updates on him soon...

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