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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 I accidentally scared my bunny to death and now I feel horrible.

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    • CGPlayz
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        I have no other place to discharge this on and I don’t want to go insane thinking over this so here it goes:
        I arrived from school yesterday and I went play with my bunnies. One was a female and the other is a male. I started playing with the male one first. These bunnies were scared of me for some reason. I really don’t know why. I stopped playing with the male one and took out the female and I noticed that she was breathing vey fast, so I tried to calm her by rubbing my hand on her head. This did not calm her so I placed her down on the floor and let her walk for a while. Then I picked her up again but she was still breathing really fast. So I tried to put her back inside her cage but she tried to escape and gave me a really nasty scratch with her back leg. I was a little mad and gave her a little pat on her beak (which I feel horrible for doing but I was so mad). Then, I finally managed to put her back in the cage. Later in the noon I went to give them food and I notice that she’s lying on her side breathing very fast and not moving. Also she had a vomit-like substance on her beak. I picked her up and I noticed that she was like shaking as if she was cold(I dont really know how to describe this). I also noticed that she was looking up. I tried to move her head, but she was trying to look up all the time. I got a blanket and put it around her but she was still breathing very fast and not moving. I tried to put her on the floor but she fell to her side. I tried to give her water and she drank it but nothing else. I also touched the area around her eyes to see if she would respond and she blinked. I was going insane, I did not know what to do. Finally after 10 minutes she died on my arms. I think she got a heart attack. I really don’t know what hapoened. I feel guilty because I was looking up online what could have caused this and I found out that bunnies can die of fear. I think I scared her and I really don’t know what happened or why she was that scared of me. Sorry for the horrible grammar, I just feel horrible. One last thing I noticed that day when I put her back in her cage after letting her walk on the floor, I noticed that when I closed the cage’s door the noise made her leg move as if it was a reflect. I started making that noise countinously and she always moved her leg as if it was a reflect. If anybody knows what may have happened, please tell me.


      • Bam
        Moderator
        16897 posts Send Private Message

          I’m very sorry your rabbit died. It does sound to me though like something was wrong with her. Rabbits can be scared when handled, but we must all handle our rabbits even though they might not like it. We have to clip claws, check for poopy butt, take our buns to the vet etc. Buns may not like any of that and yes, they can hyper-ventilate with fear, but normally they don’t die just like that. A rabbit can have a weak heart, that would make the rabbit less tolerant of even normal stressors, but a healthy rabbit doesn’t just die from being picked up by their human.

          I’m thinking there could have been something wrong with her that made her react with such fearfulness towards you. Rabbits hide symptomes of illnesses really, really well. This is so they wont attract the attention of predators – predators have a keen eye for weaknesses in prey animals..

          Rabbits can die of fear, but that’s sth that’s primarily seen when there’s a dog or other predators involved. Being chased by a dog or just having a yelping, barking dog hanging around the cage can absolutely stress a rabbit to death.

          I don’t know what the cage noise/leg reflex was about. It doesn’t ring any bells with me. It doesn’t seem quite normal, but that’s difficult to know unless you were there and saw it.

          I hope your male rabbit will be fine, it’s hard for a bunny to lose a bonded mate. He may become more interested in you, now when he’s an only bun. Try to spend extra time with him. Keep a close eye on his appetite and poop.


        • Phil
          Participant
          239 posts Send Private Message

            Are there any dogs or foxes around only both bunnies were scared of something doesn’t sound like it was your fault, seems she wasn’t as resistant as your other bunny, very sad for you.


          • kurottabun
            Participant
            908 posts Send Private Message

              Sorry for your loss

              I don’t think you were the cause of her death as well especially if you are not a stranger to them and handle or spend time with them on a regular basis. There are so many possibilities – she could’ve been scared by something else when you weren’t around. If there was mucus on the nose or mouth area then it could be something like an upper respiratory infection that might’ve gone undetected. Sometimes if a bunny chokes on food, their body would also produce mucus and the head would be tilted upward in an attempt to dislodge it.

              Please don’t blame yourself and like bam said, keep a close eye on the other bunny. It might also be worth bringing him to a bunny savvy vet to check for illnesses just in case the female bun died of something that was contagious.

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          Forum RAINBOW BRIDGE I accidentally scared my bunny to death and now I feel horrible.