Braveheart Marley Ardley

Our little furry friend Marley, a five-year-old rescue rabbit, has been chosen as this month’s Braveheart. Here's why:

At the beginning of last year, poor Marley was diagnosed with a very serious infection of E cuniculi. This microscopic parasite lives inside the body's cells, typically affecting the brain and kidneys. First signs are often a distinctive head tilt and the development of cataracts.  Therefore when Marley presented with both these symptoms, our Exotics Vet Nicky was certain of the diagnosis, which was confirmed by a blood test.

Marley’s observant owner had spotted the condition early - not surprising as she has a number of rescue rabbits, all of who receive lots of love and attention. Nicky tried everything to save Marley’s right eye, which was the most severely affected. Unfortunately   it became clear that the kindest course of action was for Marley to have his right eye removed, a procedure known as enucleation. There is a high risk involved when anaesthetising a rabbit, and understandably Marley’s owner was worried for him. Fortunately our Nurses here at Sandhole are well trained and highly skilled in anaesthesia and so Marley was in great hands.

The operation was successful, but sadly Marley had to subsequently undergo further surgery, this time with Vicky, in order to remove the other eye, where his vision had rapidly deteriorated.

Marley’s whole experience was made much more bearable thanks to the presence of fellow rescue rabbit friend Hannah, who came to stay with him whenever he was hospitalised at Sandhole.

We're so pleased to report that Marley is now enjoying a full life back at home with his friends - he gets around the garden amazingly well, scenting different areas by chin rubbing so that he can familiarise himself with his surroundings.

Marley was an extremely brave boy during both procedures and thoroughly deserves this Braveheart award.