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Home Page Forums RAINBOW BRIDGE Help for grieving bunny?

This topic contains 3sd replies, has 217 voices, and was last updated by  DanaNM 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • Miffy and Muffin
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    Hi everyone,

    New poster here. 

    I’ve had two 8 year old bunnies. Both have always been energetic and strong, they usually can manage to get over their illnesses quickly. However, one of them a few days ago just became very weak and we did everything with the help of the vet to help her get better. They thought it was GI stasis and it seemed to be so based on her symptoms. She was recovering fairly quickly for about two days and suddenly today she was extremely weak. We took her to the emergency vet, where they did bloodwork on her and found out it was actually kidney disease which had no cure and the most they said she’d live is about a month or two longer. It already hurt me to see her suffer for the few days where we had to force feed her and give medication so we decided it was best to put her down. It was all a shock and I was so unprepared for it. 

    I’ve been crying all day about it, but I’m also extremely worried about her surviving sister who did not get to say goodbye. When taking the ill bunny to the vet, they told us she has a possible chance of surviving if her illness was GI stasis, so we left her there (hoping for the best that she would come home) for them to help care for her. Later we had to go back shortly after hearing the news that it was actually kidney disease. I tried to do some research in case for the sister rabbit’s grieving or confusion as to why her sister never came home. I only just read now that you’re supposed to leave their companion’s deceased body for a few hours with them so they can process what happened, and that they can get depressed and die if they don’t get to mourn their companion’s body. But now I cannot do that anymore. I’m not sure if she knows what happened, but the past few days I think she might have been able to tell her sister was unresponsive and just not present anymore. However, they were not closely bonded friends. They always fought and never got along whenever they were together in an area, but they’d sometimes give each other kisses through their cages. 

    So I’m not sure how she is going to react to this as they were not closely bonded. Should we try to spend more time with her or will that make her more stressed? If anyone can give advice or their personal experience with something similar, or any tips, it will be greatly appreciated!! <3



    DanaNM
    Moderator
    2623 posts Send Private Message

    I am so so sorry for your loss

    Most of the guidelines for the surviving rabbit are written for rabbits who are fully bonded. It does sound like your two were friends, but since they were not bonded I wouldn’t worry as much about the deep depression that can lead to physical problems.

    I do think you should spend more time with her, as she is used to always having a neighbor around. Even if just hanging out in the same room with her, giving pets if she wants them. How is she doing? The main things to watch for are appetite and poops. It’s normal for grieving bunnies to be a bit more quiet than usual, but they should still have a good appetite and poop output.

    I also agree with your instinct that she probably knew something was wrong with her sister, probably before you did. So hopefully it wasn’t as much of a shock to her.

    I’m not sure if you are planning to get a second rabbit, but if you do notice her getting depressed to the point where you are worrying about stasis (which again, I don’t think will be a problem in this case), it might help to get another bun. Often it helps grieving bunnies just to have other bunnies around. You might even consider fostering one if you don’t want to commit to adopting yet.

    Again I am so sorry for your loss. Give your girl extra snuggles, you can grieve together. <3

    (((Binky free little one)))



    Miffy and Muffin
    Participant
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    Thank you so much for the thoughtful answer. We have been doing better.

    So far, my bunny is still very active. We try to play with her more and have her around us when we’re home. She seems quite indifferent about everything – still eating a lot like usual, running around and poking us. We also placed some stuffed animals beside her play area so she can feel like she has a neighbour again. 

    We are not thinking about getting another bun at this point, so we are quite happy with our situation right now! But thank you for the suggestion, and fostering seems like a great idea!

    Again, I appreciate your tips and support. Lots of love to you and your bunnies <3



    DanaNM
    Moderator
    2623 posts Send Private Message

    Glad you hear she and you are doing better


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