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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum RAINBOW BRIDGE 3 bunnies died in 4 days, why? so upset/guilty

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    • EM123
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      I don’t know why I’m posting I know no one can tell me only a vet but I’m driving my self mad looking at illnesses, thinking about what I could of missed, what I should have done differently.

      So sad can’t stop crying, I’ve had to move all the pictures of my buns of my phone because I can’t bear looking at them. People without rabbits don’t seems to understand, if it was a dog people would feel different I imagine but because they were “only” rabbits I shouldn’t be as upset well I am and I loved them and they all had individual personalities.

      I don’t know what happened to them 3 perfectly healthy, happy bunnies.

      On Wednesday Biggie was dead when I went to check him before work. He was perfectly fine less than 7 hours earlier I refilled his water and hay at midnight while he had a play in the garden had the usually chase around the garden to get him in his hutch. He lived separate to the others he was due to be neutered and I was going to try and bond him with another male (not ideal two boys but didn’t want them both to be lonely). It was a shock but I put it down to a possible fright he’d had earlier in the week (cat in garden, it didn’t get near him but had jumped down onto the garden, while he was out) that had maybe caused it there seemed no other reason he had no visible symptoms and was eating, drinking and playing.

      On Thursday night I noticed my other rabbit Peach acting a bit strange she was in a bonded pair with her love Mario. I wasn’t sure if I was on edge due to what had happened with Biggie but she just didn’t seem right. She was eating and drinking but seemed off. I stayed up with her most of the night to keep an eye on her and  secured a vets appointment for the morning. Vets diagnosed possible stasis she had injections the same day (Friday) came home with lots of medicines. I when to work did some food shopping for a relative (due to the lockdown). When I got home she was lying limp on her side with no will to move I brought her into the house, kept her warm, syringed her some water but within 10-15 minutes she had a few spasms and died. She’d only been at the vets 6 hours earlier.

      And then Saturday morning I was dreading seeing Mario and just how sad he would be they had always had each other. I had spent all night googling about how to care for a rabbit that had lost his partner, and how soon I should get him a new partner etc.. I went to him and he was so sad I picked him up to bring him inside so I could give him extra love and attention and when I picked him up he was limp. He was kind of in the loft position but when I picked him up his legs just hung he made no effort to move he was like a newborn baby and wouldn’t support himself. I wasn’t sure if this was normal and some type of extreme grieving like he had just given up. Then within 20-25 minutes he went the same way as peaches laying on his side a few twitches and deep breaths and then he was gone. I just don’t understand it again he had gone from perfectly fine at 2AM playing in the garden, eating etc. To dying in my arms at 9AM.

      I just don’t understand what happened, how did it happen, why. My vets currently won’t perform a necropsy as they are only carrying out emergency procedures due to the government restrictions. Of all the illnesses I’ve googled they don’t seem to fit into the symptoms of any of them. Peaches I could possibly say had Stasis was caught to late but then why would Mario die he didn’t have that. But what it would have to be something contagious that has spread between the 3 of them?

      My other concern is that I have 1 final rabbit Tupac (yes Tupac and Biggie) who again lived separate to the other rabbits as he was waiting for Biggie to be neutered so I could try bonding them. As yet he is showing no signs of any changes but constantly on edge as the other all turned so quick. What would I even say to the vets test him for everything even though he’s not currently Ill?

      Also would a vet that’s not my vet carry out a necropsy for me, on a bunny that wasn’t registered with them.  Also worried about the viability of it now as my rabbit will have passed more than 24 hours ago. Don’t know if they have to be carried out within a certain time frame?

      I’m just rambling, I just needed to get it all out to someone that might understand.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      6232 posts Send Private Message

      I am so so sorry. 🙁 This is so tragic. I also want to let you know that you may not get very many responses because the forum is still under construction, but all of us here understand your loss.

      What you describe sounds like it may have been Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. It is a virus that they vaccinate against in some parts of the world, but has been spreading to many areas that do not yet have the vaccine available. You should definitely ask your vet about this. It is highly contagious, so try not to have anything the other rabbits were in contact with Tupac. Please do not feel guilty because if it was RHD there really wasn’t anything you could have done.

      Here is some more information (including how to sterilize things and prevent transmission to Tupac): https://rabbit.org/rhdv/

      Again, I am so so sorry for your loss. (((Binky free little Peach, Mario, and Biggie)))

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
      15488 posts Send Private Message

      I’m so sorry for you loss. I agree with Dana, RHDV is a possible explanation. There have been outbreaks in several states recently including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. The virus is highly contagious. Hopefully, your remaining bunny did not catch it from the others. The link Dana provided has great information.


    • BinkyBunny
      Moderator
      8773 posts Send Private Message

      I’m so sorry.  How heartbreaking.  I agree to let a vet know even if you want to check with another one that is not your regular vet.

      Definitely share the concerns of RHDV .  If you live near a house rabbit society or rabbit rescue, they may have vets they work with and would be very motivated to find out if this was RHDV.   This could be very helpful everyone.

      I can’t even imagine how painful this is.  I know how hard it is to lose just one, but to have two go so suddenly, I am just so sorry.  Sending hugs to you.


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15272 posts Send Private Message

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. This does sound like it could’ve been RVHD. Practically the same thing happened to a friend of mine, three rabbits died in three days, one after the other. We have RVHD here, the dead rabbits were not vaccinated. There is currently no vaccine available in the USA.

      I don’t know if you could have a live rabbit tested for the disease, and even if you could, there is no known cure. As for a necropsy, I only know the body must be kept cool, but not frozen. Whether US vets have testing capacity for RVHD, I dont know. Here we have to send dead rabbits in for testing to the National Veterinary Institute for RVHD testing, a vet cinic can’t do it, and it’s quite pricey. I still think you should contact the House Rabbit Society about this, because they’d be interested in mapping the disease. If it gets widespread enough, it would be important to get the vaccine to the USA.

      There was nothing you could have done differently.

      Binky free, sweet buns.

       

       

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Forum RAINBOW BRIDGE 3 bunnies died in 4 days, why? so upset/guilty