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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 rabbit suddenly died a while back and I still don’t really know why

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    • ashlyn
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      I used to have a black rabbit who was healthy and young, at least to my knowledge. I’m not sure what kind she was, but she was fairly large. One day, she got sick and suddenly passed. After a year and a half, I still don’t know what caused it and how I could’ve prevented it. To give some background, the second week of January 2018 I got her from a family who could no longer keep her because of their baby’s allergies. The original owner was unsure of her age but said she was around 1 and a half years old. While I had her, she was super active and had a diverse diet. She’d get hay and grain daily with a rotation of fruits and veggies every morning and night. She had a three story wooden cage that she’d occasionally bite at, despite how many times I tried to get her to stop. It didn’t look like she ate the pieces as I was always throwing them out, or at least didn’t eat most of them. Anyway, the month of September 2018 I relapsed with depression and my motivation sucked. I gave her kale more often with a side fruit or veggie to compliment it. It was the easiest thing for me to get and prepare for her. The morning of September 18, I got ready for school and fed her kale and strawberries and carrots. Her food and water was in the middle level and her litter bin on the bottom level. She didn’t run up to the cage door as she normally would. Thinking nothing of it, I left. When I returned, I was super tired from school and immediately passed out. Before getting in bed, I walked up to her cage and noticed that she hadn’t ate anything. I didn’t wake up until 7 p.m. that day and threw out her breakfast to feed her dinner. Again, she didn’t approach me which was the normal routine. Now concerned, I told my mom back when I was living there and she too was worried, but didn’t think it was serious so we didn’t make a trip to the vet. For the rest of the night she laid next to her bed on the top level, barely moving. I put her water and food up there with her and as much as I tried to get her to move, she refused. She didn’t go to the bathroom or eat or drink anything even when it was right in front of her. I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. before I accidentally fell asleep. Right before I fell asleep, I checked up on her periodically and she was the same; no movement, just breathing. My mom came in three hours later at 6:30 a.m. to check on her and wake me up. That’s where we found her on the bottom of her cage, laying against the side as if she was sleeping. She wasn’t stiff or cold, and she felt and looked just like she was relaxing. After shaking her over and over, she didn’t move, and when we picked her up to put her into her bed for cremation, urine came out. I never really got to know if it was a blockage from something like the wood cage, if she had too much kale and colic, if she was actually old (which I don’t really think), or what. Regardless, it was super sudden. After finally trying to do some research, I saw that rigor mortis lasts for hours? Between the 3 hours, would it be possible for it to go away? When I felt her for the last time, she was soft and limp. After all this reading some part of me fears that she wasn’t gone when I saw her. I know it’s kinda crazy because she wasn’t waking up and the pee that came out when moved but she felt so normal that, thinking back on it, I have no idea what to think anymore. Anyway, sorry for the super long passage but please if anyone has any insight or any experience like this it would help so much. We didn’t take her to the vet or get an autopsy so I’m so scared that it was my fault and never truly stopped blaming myself. I got another bunny in March of 2020 and she’s turning one soon. She has a plastic cage and only eats grain and hay as she doesn’t show much interest in anything else I’ve tried so I’m not too worried about something similar happening but it still does concern me.


    • Bunny House
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      I’m sorry for your loss. I recently lost one of mine but she had a history of health issues. I also suffer from depression and know it can affect how I provide for my buns. To me it sounds like she had GI stasis and it could be from stress or Shan he in diet. Does she live outside? It is recommended buns live inside away from stressors that may cause health issues like this. A change in diet could have certainly caused her stasis. Also, a bun loving inside can be managed was easier for illness if they are inside. On here we always recommend going to the vet ASAP if they haven’t ate within 6-8 hours because that is a sign of stasis and must be treated right away. I know you were younger and may have not known that and now is kicking yourself. Through bun losses, we always learn better ways to take care of our new buns. I got a autopsy with my bun who just passed and didn’t find how she died (very traumatic for her) but autopsy’s can bring closure for people to let them know it wasn’t their fault or bring sadness to find out it could have been prevented so it’s a coin flip. I would like  to first address the diet, they should be given unlimited hay, and then if the bunny tolerates it, 1 cup of little to no sugar veggies (celery, green leaf lettuce, Romain, with occasionally something like basil, parsley, cilantro) (try to avoid grains and carrots as it is high in sugar and can mess with their gut flora and cause obesity if given too much) per 2 pounds of body weight. Some buns don’t tolerate veggies. And of course try to have the bun live inside, we love seeing buns being free roam, they start to act like dogs after a while. Know that her passing was in the past, and no matter how much it hurts and you blame yourself, you must acknowledge the mistakes that were made and then make those changes with future buns and other animals you have (I do that with each animal I loose). Make sure you have a rabbit vet who you can take your bun to when it is sick, they are not just dog or cat vets, they require extensive post school education on rabbits. We would love to see the new bun addition!


    • ashlyn
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      Oh no I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁 I figured that’s what it was but we were never really sure. She was purely an indoor rabbit and would roam the room from time to time. Her original owner would take her outside sometimes and had a cat that would be with her (because she wasn’t really caged most of the day there) so when I introduced her to my cat they were good. She was still in her cage and he wouldn’t come too close but was definitely interested and she’d try to play with him through the cage (nudging her toys toward him and appearing generally happy). I wanted to go to the vet but at the same time I didn’t know if it was serious and thought it’d  pass because she was my first bun. Right after that, we both agreed that if it happens again we will take to the vets asap. She would have free range hay like the current one gets, and I gave her some grain because I wanted to try to keep the pattern of her old home as much as I could to prevent any issues with big changes. I tried to not give many veggie treats but was hard because she’d always be looking for them haha. And thank you for that closing statement, it honestly means a lot. Through everything I’ve looked at no ones put it like that. Thank you for bringing some reassurance to me, too. It’s been driving me crazy for the last almost two years because we don’t have a lot of people with rabbit knowledge so this really helps.

      The other bun looks just like her! Except her nose and completely white belly haha. Her name is Nala and I think she’s a mini (not sure what kind but she’ll forever be 6-ish inches long). She prefers exploring over snuggling but will sometimes lay near me for pets, and if it’s nighttime she gets sleepy as I pet her and it’s soothing for both of us. I have two playpens for her (a pop up one for inside when she can’t free roam completely and a metal dog one for outside) and we’ll go outside on a nice 60 or so degree day and she’ll hop around and watch people go by. I recently got goats too so she likes to watch them play haha. Other than that she’s always trying to get into trouble. Just this morning she pulled half of a piece of cloth through her cage and was hiding under it! My depression has been inactive since fall 2019 so it hasn’t gotten in the way of caring for her which I’m also happy about 🙂

       


    • ashlyn
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      It won’t let me add photos for some reason :(( any idea why? Maybe because I’m on a phone now. Would love to share her


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15273 posts Send Private Message

      I’m very sorry for your loss. We would love to see pictures of your sweet girl. The forums are still not in full working order, and we are currently having some problems with picture upload. I have sent you a PM.


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15273 posts Send Private Message

      Here is a series of pictures of Ashlyn’s beautiful bunny Stella ❤

      Binky free, sweet girl. 💔


    • Missmybunny
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      Hi I have just had a similar experience and feel really responsible- gut stasis but vet said they didn’t know what the cause was I am asking myself why I didn’t take better care of him was it his diet was he lonely,  scared- i just feel terrible he was gorgeous and only 2  ☹ will this ever pass??

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Forum RAINBOW BRIDGE rabbit suddenly died a while back and I still don’t really know why