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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 had to put my bunny to sleep and I feel so guilty

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    • Bunny T
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      A few weeks ago my bunny Pablo was a little more tired than usual. Before going to bed that night I checked on him and he was playing with his toys and still eating. The next morning when I opened his hutch he wouldn’t come out… I called the vet and made an appointment and got him to eat some critical care. The vet listened to his stomach and couldn’t hear anything. They ran a blood test and he was severely anaemic. His red blood cell count was 11 (a normal range is 35-55). The vet told me to rush him to the emergency vet an hour away for further investigation. We made the trip. After waiting the vet finally called and said he wasn’t ok. They did an ultra sound which was inconclusive for internal bleeding. It was either calici virus (Pablo was up to date with vaccinations but there is another strain that the vaccine is not so effective) or a chronic condition where red blood cells were being destroyed at a rate more quickly than they could be replaced. It was a Saturday and I was told the only thing I could do was keep him in ICU until Monday to confirm what the problem was with more tests but that didn’t mean he would be ok. Already knowing how sick he was I asked the vet if I should let him sleep and the vet said that it was a reasonable option. We went into the room to see him and the poor thing already seemed like he had left. In that moment I just felt in my gut that I couldn’t leave him there so we put him to sleep. My partner said Pablo knew I was there with him. I feel incredibly guilty that I didn’t wait and that I don’t know what was actually wrong. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him there alone and I was convinced if I left he would die there alone without me. I went with what my gut was telling me at the time but it just feels  like not knowing has made the grieving process so much worse. If there was a chance Pablo could have survived would my vet have told me or did he support my decision because it was the right one…. Rest In Peace little one. I miss you so much.


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15530 posts Send Private Message

      I am so sorry you lost Pablo. It is an awful decision to have to make. It does sound like he was very ill. There are several possible causes for severe anemia, none of them good, including cancer. I do believe you made the right choice for him, but I’m familiar with that nagging guilt that says perhaps I couldve done more.

      Vets like to treat animals if they can, but they tend not to want to put animals through pointless procedures that are likely to just prolong suffering. I dont think any vet wants to pts animals – and they obviously make more money  treating live animals-  so I think your vet would’ve told you if there had been a real chance of saving Pablo.

      Binky free, little Pablo 💔

       

       


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      6864 posts Send Private Message

      I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁

      It is very normal to feel guilty after the loss of a beloved pet, no matter what we do. I agree with everything Bam said, it sounds like he was very very sick, and you made the right choice by not forcing him to suffer further in a strange and scary place.

      (((Binky free Pablo)))

      . . . 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.  


    • Bunny T
      Participant
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      Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply. This happened nearly 3 weeks ago. I was starting to feel ok (and feeling guilty about that too) but yesterday it was almost like reliving the whole thing again. Reading this when I woke up this morning helped me more than you know.


    • ParsleyBun
      Participant
      107 posts Send Private Message

      (((Binky free sweet Pablo)))

      I’m so sorry for your loss and I think you made the best choice by not prolonging his suffering. ❤


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
      Participant
      2177 posts Send Private Message

      Oh no, that’s awful. I’m so sorry for your loss 😥 I think you made the best decision for him. The condition he was in sounds very serious, such extreme anemia is a sign of internal bleeding or things like cancer.

      Rabbits are not good at recovering from illnesses, they’re very frail animals. They have few reserves and heal slowly. Sadly they weren’t built for individual survival, only species survival.

      There’s also not much that vets can do for rabbits with severe illness, simply because there isn’t a lot of medication for rabbits and surgery is so dangerous for them.

      (Our vet explained that to me when our bridge bunny Breintje got incontinence problems. If he were a cat or a dog they would’ve had medication to help his bladder a bit, but rabbits have a very different system and there hasn’t been much research on rabbit medication.)

      A vet will always keep in mind that quality of life is more important than length of life, and they’ll advise accordingly. I’ve seen people struggle for months to prolong their bunny’s life, while the bunny’s health kept deteriorating and they still passed away. That’s suffering for everyone involved. We’d do everything for our rabbits, and sometimes it means knowing when to help them pass peacefully.

      Binky free, sweet Pablo…

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Forum RAINBOW BRIDGE I had to put my bunny to sleep and I feel so guilty