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Is my Bunny Dying? What You Need to Know

Updated on April 20, 2015

My Beautiful Cocoa

My amazing sister made this beautiful picture of Cocoa.  I have it framed and hung where we can see it and it makes me so happy to see that she was such a happy bunny
My amazing sister made this beautiful picture of Cocoa. I have it framed and hung where we can see it and it makes me so happy to see that she was such a happy bunny
Cocoa with Pebbles at five months old
Cocoa with Pebbles at five months old
So cute
So cute
Eating her food
Eating her food
Panning at the fireplace.
Panning at the fireplace. | Source

Cute, Cuddly, and Love-able! Cocoa's Story

I know, its super morbid, not everyone wants to read about the death of anything, but having had a gorgeous, loving and affectionate bunny, Cocoa, for 6 years, and then having to witness and console her as she was dying last week was one of the most terrifying, traumatizing and completely horrific experiences of my life. Seeing her in pain and suffering was terrifying and heartbreaking. She was a part of our family, she welcomed us when we came home, she looked for kisses and hugs on an hourly basis, and for a while she slept under our bed at night (until she started to jump onto the bed and pee on us as we slept). She loved cuddles, and would lie with us for hours just snoozing and gnawing away(a bunny version of a cat purring). She was so loved, and had free roam of the entire house, which she absolutely loved. She had her favorite spots all over the house, and certain times that she would spend in each. Her death has left us broken, and since I know there are so many bunny parents out there, I thought it would be important to show the truth about how to look after a dying bunny. Its not as easy as bringing them to the vet and putting them down when they are pain, because in truth, rabbits are prone to sickness, and will sometimes get very ill, then suddenly come out of it. We woke up one moring to find poor Cocoa lying down unable to life her head, she wouldn't eat anything and we were so worried. She was rushed to the vet and treated for pneumonia. She was so sick for about 2 days then all of a sudden, back to her bouncy self. You just never know. Cocoa is also not the only bunny I've been with as they died. When we first brought her home, we brought her brother too. They loved each other so much and spent their days grooming each other, but after around 6 or 7 months, a cat broke into their enclosure and poor Pebbles was hurt defending his sister. At first we thought he had broken his leg, so brought him to the vet. He had to stay in overnight and I collected him the next day to amazing news from the vet that he was absolutely fine, but possibly frightened. He died that night in my arms.


Having witnessed two bunny deaths now (not something I'l ever be proud of), I've noticed that both were identical, even though there were two very different causes. Its not an easy slip away, it's a long, gruelling experience that will absolutely affect you, its inevitable. If you loved your bunny, then being there for the death will impact you more than you think possible.

So before we get into the sad part, here's a little info:

Rabbits, are without a doubt an amazing animal have in your home. Affectionate and unique, they are so easily kept. Personally, I don't agree with hutches, rabbits are extremely sociable characters, and can get lonely and depressed if they are confined. we had Cocoa in a hutch in the garden for 2 years with a little enclosure for her to run around in outside and eat the grass. The hutch broke and we brought her in. After day two we vowed never to put her back! She had changed so much from being outside, she was running around the house, sitting on the couch beside us and looking for kisses, she loved her freedom, and we loved her being so happy.

I have always researched bunnies, about what to expect if they get ill, or how to look after them properly, the food they are to eat, everything. In my research I found that for some Breeds (Cocoa was one) can live to the age of 10 and in some cases 12. We were over the moon. We looked into getting her spayed but were always warned against normal vets and female rabbits. You need rabbit specialists, otherwise the survival rate is staggeringly low. We opted against in the end, as she was on her own anyway (poor Pebbles) and although every site said that it makes your rabbit easier to deal with as they can be difficult at times we thought she was a relatively easy bunny, Yes she did chew bloody everything, and scratch the floor, and kick her feet when she was unhappy, but that's what rabbits do. I wasn't going to risk possibly losing her, just so we could have an easier time looking after her.

Only recently have I been made aware that it actually increases the rabbits life if done successfully. Rabbits can indeed live to about 12, but ONLY if they are INDOOR rabbits that have been spayed or neutered. This is possibly my biggest regret. Cocoa died at 6 years of age, half of what I expected. So, if you have a Bunny that's left in a hutch, expect to live up to about 2 maybe three years if its lucky (or unlucky since an existence of being caged seems fairly unlucky to me).

Cocoa playing with a ragdoll made from old T-shirts

Yes this Hub is going to be filled with Pictures of Cocoa....

Playing with her toys
Playing with her toys
She loved chewing cardboard!
She loved chewing cardboard!
And actually didn't spend as much time on the bought toys as I had hoped
And actually didn't spend as much time on the bought toys as I had hoped
Beautiful!
Beautiful! | Source

Getting to the Sad Part...

So, you've had your bunny for years, they are part of the family, you can't imagine a day when you get home and they aren't running around your feet, or jumping around. Then one day you get home and there's something wrong.

For us, we woke up, went downstairs and there she was, sprawled out on the floor, legs behind her, head not even able to move. I am not good in these situations, I'm the person who literally runs from problems, I sliced my finger open once in the kitchen, and just ran, I mean I literally ran from the kitchen to the front door, then to living room, as if I could run from the actual cut. Of course I didn't run from Cocoa, I picked her up and she flopped in my arms, Adrian ran to get a pillow, and we put her on it to bring her straight to the vet. She had to stay a few hours, so we left begrudgingly, in tears thinking it was going to be last time we would see her. That entire day was a mess, we sat around just hoping. And then the call came, but it was good news, she was treated for something with a crazy long name that I can't even remember and she was sitting up happy out.


After we brought her home, it was constant supervision, she was still unsteady on her legs, she wouldn't eat or drink, just sit there. These are important to notice, its never a good sign if your bunny refuses to eat. They eat non-stop all day, so its a massive problem if they don't. Over the course of the day, she nibbled on a few bits of apple and carrot. She wouldn't move from the fireplace, so we decided to sleep down beside her, we couldn't bear to leave her on her own, and we didn't want to risk moving her. Over the course of the night though she perked up, she was walking to her water dish and eating all night. She snuggled in beside Adrian and dozed for a few hours. By the morning she was just about her old self. Hopping around, eating well and drinking plenty of water. We brought her to the vet for a check, and the vet was delighted. She gave her one more treatment and sent us home with a rabbit on the mend.

Cocoa on the fireplace, where she stayed for most of the day

What To Expect

That same day we sat in the living room, with cocoa moving around and seeming really happy. Out of nowhere she freaked out. She jumped up, ran into the door, twisted her neck back and flopped. I ran to calm her down, tried to hold her and console her, but for a minute or two, it seemed impossible. Her little heart started beating so fast, she was breathing really heavily, and we rushed her back to the vet. We were told she was just stressed out, but when the vet shone a light on her eyes I noticed there was no reaction. Our vet didn't point it out, she just said that she thought Cocoa would be happier at home, and to bring her back in the morning. She gave us advice about putting her in a cushioned box though, to keep her comfortable and stop her from hurting herself if she freaked out again. We had to borrow one, but covered it in blankets and cushions.

I do want to say first though, that if your rabbit is showing any of these signs, bring them to the vet immediately. We had brought Cocoa back that day and were told to bring her home, which is why we didn't try to do anything drastic, we knew she was dying.

So here's what to expect: (and its not pretty):

  1. Not eating or drinking. Sick bunnies won't eat or drink much but this is not a sign of death, just a sign they are ill.
  2. A lot of groaning, and small squeaks. Its seems involuntary, and is heartbreaking to hear.
  3. Limp body. Usually they will be weak and unable to move, so its best to leave them rather than trying to pick them up. Bunnies that flop are in serious danger, and if they haven't been already, a trip to the vet is hugely important in these situations.
  4. No Reactions. Dying bunnies wont respond to anything, and will be very still for long periods of time.
  5. Involuntary jerks and movements. This is the most terrifying to watch. Although we had the padded box for cocoa to make sure she wasn't going to hurt herself, she jerked so much that she was hitting off the roof and was constrained at the same time. The best thing to do in this situation is to clear a large space on the floor, put down a duvet and pillows and place your bunny there carefully. You'll be surprised how far they can move when they start jerking, so we had to clear the entire living room floor so that she wouldn't hit anything. I don't recommend holding them down, this can damage and hurt them even more.
  6. Dribbling. A lot. Cocoa was dribbling so much the entire duvet was nearly soaked, which seems impossible, but there you have it.
  7. Shivering. Shivering is also a bad sign, it means they are either really cold, suffering from shock, or a combination of the two. the best thing to do is to place a small light blanket over them. DO NOT tuck them in...they need space to move.
  8. Heavy spasms. When they begin to jerk rapidly, squeak and move around very quickly, Im sorry to say your Bunny will not live much longer. Both Cocoa and Pebbles had massive fits right before they died.


Water should always be left in front of them when they are sick but don't try to feed it to them.


What they need during this time is simply to be comforted. Don't try to interfere as it could only stress them out more. We weren't sure whether Cocoa even knew we were there, but for the entire time we stroked and kissed her, whispered to her and made sure she knew we were there. After a long six hours she was still and we knew that she was gone.

The most important thing to remember is NOT to stress your bunny out even more than they already are. A lot of movement, and forced drinking is not good, don't try to get them to sit up, the likelihood is, if your rabbit is experiencing two or more of the above, then it is dying. Just be there for them and let them know you love them, its all we can really do as bunny parents.


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      Shyann 2 weeks ago

      Im terribly sorry for your loss. She was indeed a happy bunny and it seems she had the best lofe a bunny could ask for. Best wishes for you and you new bunnies. I find your posts very useful. Thank you.

    • belleart profile image
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      belleart 2 months ago from Ireland

      Hi Tishana, it sounds like your bun is ill and needs to see a vet. Its hard to say whether its dying, but fingers crossed its something small that's making the behaviour unusual. bring bun to the vet and im sure youl be able to figure bout whats wrong. Great for noticing odd behaviour though

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      Tishana 2 months ago

      I Have a question is it possible my bunny is dying she wont eat only drinking water and peeing alot and is staying to herself nor being the social happy bunny she usual is

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      zenna 2 months ago

      my rabbit was an outdoor rabbit and has lived 12 years so far...

    • belleart profile image
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      belleart 2 months ago from Ireland

      Hi Melissa, Happy to hear your question and help if i can

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      melissa 2 months ago

      I have a question

    • belleart profile image
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      belleart 2 months ago from Ireland

      Kayla, I'm so sorry, I'm not on this regularly anymore (babies change everything!). It sounds like your bun needs a vet ASAP, there may be an emergency vet available for out of hours. The best thing to do until you can get to see somebody is keep offering treats, lots of cuddles and petting (if your bun allows it) and try not to stress it out. Im sorry I cant be of more help :( I hope your bun is ok.

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      Kayla 2 months ago

      my bunny isn't eating anything at all she isn't even drinking her water and i can't reach a vet right now can anyone help me please I'm begging you she's my everything ,i love her a lot please tell me how to help her .

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      Vivi 3 months ago

      Such touching story... I myself have 2 bunnies which have now became parents out of 6 babies only one survived and we names him lucky... he turned 2 weeks today.

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      Claire 3 months ago

      I just found out today that my bunny Ollie is going to be put to sleep. For him its not a curable illness, he has a possibly cancerous tumor on his neck that is slowly killing him. I found out and am still crying. Its never easy and ive been through so much pet death because i rescued animals for years. I am always going to miss him no matter how long he's gone. I really hope i can get over this and i hope your bunny is in a good place like mine soon will be.

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      Rysha 5 months ago

      Hi, I'm Rysha and my angora rabbit which I got today hasn't been eating or drinking much. His head is currently lifted up most of the time and he went to rush at the door only to lift his head and stay there. I tried to pick him up and he let me, but in the past few hours he would kick. I know he's new and stuff and maybe I'm just crazy or something for freaking out but. I've been reading articles that maybe he's dying or is sick. Please help me, thank you.

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      Megan 5 months ago

      My last rabbit, Silky, died in my arms when I went to check on her out in the garden. It was warm so I let her run and I think she stepped on a thorn or sharp twig. I ran out and got her inside and watched her bleed to death on my lap. It just shows how vulnerable she was and I wish I could've done something. I know now never to make that mistake. She was my first rabbit and I learnt so much from her.

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      Noelle65 7 months ago

      Sweet Cocoa...Our bunny was black too and she just died Sunday. We had every intention of her being an indoor bunny but she just loved it outside. Of course, she wasn't a hutch rabbit...we have a small closed in backyard (that we had to keep bunny proofing as she was always finding places to get out in the summer---never went far but we had to make sure to bring her back so the neighbors dog didn't find her)...we had a special open pen for her that had her food and comfort in. As far as I could tell she was fine on Saturday ...Sunday afternoon she didn't present anything to make me suspicious but I had an odd feeling. That night I went out to feed her 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual and I knew she was dying--she wasn't quite 2 and I had envisioned her living many years. I ran in and got my son then went back out with her. I petted her and talked to her and prayed that she wouldn't suffer. I will miss going out to see her 3 or 4 times a day and her coming snuffling up to have me pet her of her to lick my hand. I miss looking out my office window and seeing her sitting out there looking at my window--I know its only been 2 days, but I keep looking out and thinking I need to go out there. Thank you for your article.

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      Joanne 9 months ago

      We had to euthanize our little Cinnamon today. Very hard to say goodbye. 14 years is a long time. She was paralyzed and unable to get up or go to the bathroom or eat or drink. She was suffering. She is now at peace. God bless her little bunny soul.

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      Joanne 9 months ago

      My bunny, Cinnamon is 14 years old, eating and drinking normally, but flops over sometimes and can't get up. She is having difficulty grooming herself, so feces gets stuck on her tail and leg. Sometimes when she is out, she hops like her young self, and runs up to us, other times she can't.

      After reading this article, I am struggling with letting her go naturally or euthanasia, as I cannot stand to see her suffer.

      Spent the last week literally in a vigil to make sure that she didn't flop ove and just not be able to get back up.

      Going to give it another week and see. It's heartbreaking.

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      Herald 10 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost their beloved rabbits.

      Our beloved Podong of 6 years just passed away this morning and I couldn't bring myself together. She was ill the past week, but she got better and we thought everything would be alright. It was the biggest shock in my life when I saw her limp in the morning as she was the largest and most friendly pet that I have ever raised. I know now that this might have been inevitable, but I still can't shake the thought that there might have been something more that I could have done.

      This story made me feel a bit better and made me realize how much of a blessing it was to have had her in my life and remember her as our furry ball of happiness rather than still mourning her death.

      I hope to see her again someday. She was and always will be loved.

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      Ian 10 months ago

      Very sad day today as our 13 year old rabbit died in my arms and there wasn't anything I could do. He has had a good life though in his 2 tier big hutches and having daily runs in the back yard with high walls so couldn't get out. As the back yard ground is all concrete I got him some grass turf this summer and he loved it lol. I know 13 years is a good age but you just knew there wasn't much left in the old boy. Now he is in bunny heaven running round green fields with his family and other bunnies.

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      Kerry 11 months ago

      Hi

      Just been reading your story with interest my bunny is a cross between a lop and a lion head rabbit he's beautiful fluffy bundle of love called Rosie ( we were told he was a she when we got him and decided to keep his name).

      Rosie is 10 years 3 months old and when we're at work he is in the garage in his hutch but once we're home Rosie has the whole garden and kitchen as his run.

      Rosie has started to slow down now he quite frequently puts himself back in his hutch after about 30 mins in the garden, he's not as active as he was and looks like an old bunny and I fear that day is coming when I'm not going to have him anymore.

      I am trying to be positive and grown up about the thought of losing him as he has had a very long and happy life and has been thoroughly spoilt and loved but I have loved him for 10 years and it's hard to imagine not seeing his beautiful little face anymore.

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      Tyler 12 months ago

      My bunny died yesterday and I'm so sad because he was fine and the next day he wasn't. :(

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      Flip 12 months ago

      I lost my bunny and best friend Nibbles today and I was not ready for that. The way he was laying was a horrible way to see him for my last time. The night before he was all good happy jumping around and then this morning he is gone

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      james 12 months ago

      Having been a rabbit owner for a number of years (5+), I am now of the belief that (unfortunately) if you rabbit gets seriously ill there is nothing the vet can do to save him/her; they may prolong their life temporarily but (again unfortunately) they ultimately don't survive.

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      Eliya 13 months ago

      Hi. My sweet bunny is very old. Shes a 7 year old dwarf bunny and i think shes dying. Suddenly in the morning i saw she barely moves, She doesn't react to any movement around her, sounds and even food. Is she dying? She has been by best friend for years and im so scared that she may be dying :(. Please help!!

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      Charlotte Melony Homer 13 months ago

      Thanks . I just lost mine Lavender- in my arms. 7.3 yrs. It helped to read this. Charlotte

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      Marc 13 months ago

      He has just been put down

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      Marc 14 months ago

      Our rabbit cuddles (7) hasn't eaten much for weeks..we have been told today he hasn't got much hope.i miss going out to feed him every day.no one understands the pain of losing a pet

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      Bunnycee 14 months ago

      I just left my rabbit at the emergency room:(( he's an older rabbit and has been sick for the last couple months. The doctors has been doing tests on him trying to figure out what's wrong with him but they still don't know.. I thought he was getting better a couple days ago but today I found him all hutch up being really still:(( he wouldn't eat his favorite veggies and felt really cold and weighted light. I took him to the emergency and I'm not sure if he will be okay? I'm wondering if I did the right thing leaving him there so they could watch over him or should have taken him home with me? He should me with me right now..

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      Carolyn 14 months ago

      A lot of this was very useful. My bunny passed away right in front of me at 11:56 pm after comforting her for almost 4 and a half hours. I'm not going to get into the details but it was so hard to watch. I've been crying all day. I still can't believe she's gone. I kept kissing her and telling her how much I loved her. Tomorrow morning I'm going to bury her. I still can't believe it.

    • belleart profile image
      Author

      belleart 16 months ago from Ireland

      Oh Laura, that brought some tears to my eyes. Dandelions were Cocoas favorite treat in the garden. It really is so devastating to lose a bun so special to our hearts, but it sounds like he had a wonderful home and family, and that's really important. I'm so sorry you lost your bun but you gave him a beautiful home X

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      Laura 16 months ago

      We lost our very gorgeous house rabbit Roger today. He suddenly went downhill a few days ago and was very close to death. We took him to the vets to have him out to sleep. We took an X-ray to find out the cause. He had calcium deposits in his bladder, so they gave him fluids and did a successful op on him. He rallied round yesterday and was quite perky. This afternoon he lay down and seemed to have a fit - jerky movements and difficulty breathing. I stayed with him and told him it was time to go and eat dandelions in heaven. He was so so special. We had him from 6 weeks, he was little trained and was such a character. More human than rabbit. We are all devastated. :(

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      Tennille 17 months ago

      my bunny has had a hard time with my gunniepig it past 1 week ago she's trying to get over it but the next day i go out there to feed it blood was every were the door was open we thought the fox might have got her I was really sad

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      17 months ago

      My bunny may be dead but Im not sure!

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      Bob 17 months ago

      Wish people who plan to leave their buns outside, in the awful weather, and not be a part of their family, our house buns are 24/7 free, to not buy/adopt rabbits! Buns are such magnificent, intelligent, clean, easily toilet trained, it would be a real torture for them. Really, what if I keep some dog or cat the way these people are treating these wonderful creatures? Buns should be kept only indoors, as part of the family, full stop. The tortures the karma will get you sooner rather than later. P.S. in addition, people who can't afford the vet, shouldn't have any pet. Find yourself somesome other hobby; and, not abusing living creatures!

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      Alyssa 18 months ago

      Right now I went to feed him and when I opened the cage and he was dead. He yesterday was trying to bit me and nibbling at something that wasn't there. He hasn't been eating or drinking and his friend died. He has been all alone.

    • belleart profile image
      Author

      belleart 18 months ago from Ireland

      Michc: Outdoor bunnies are fine as long as they get a lot of love and attention, and runs in the garden, but it quite common for indoor buns to have longer lives, sometimes by a few years. Bunnies, like all animals that we adopt, do become part of the family, and I agree, I'm always aware of time and how much I have left with our buns. Its sad tha they live such small lifespans compared to our own, but if we can make sure they are happy and loved then we have done our bit

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      Annie's Keeper 18 months ago

      My rabbit had exactly the same problem, she didn't eat all night the night before, and I thought it was just because she didn't like her food (i was 12 a the time and we had just switched to a local feed store pellet) but that morning she wouldnt move from her hideaway pin and the wouldn't look up and then all of a sudden she got up and ran into the wall and then her head jerked back and she made a screeching/groaning sound and we just held her and stroked her until she faded away. I've been doing so much more research but do not yet have the courage to bring home another family member. I sympothize deeply with the author

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      Michc 18 months ago

      Just to add my bunny is ten years old and lives in a hutch a big double one and he roams our large garden everyday but being in a hutch doesn't mean a shorter life if they are loved and cared for he is very much loved and I dread everyday as he gets older he is a big part of our family

    • belleart profile image
      Author

      belleart 18 months ago from Ireland

      Yana that's awful, I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost a bun and that she left behind a partner. It can sometimes happen very suddenly and appear to happen out of the blue, but rest assured there is no way you buried her too soon, dead bunnies are very obvious. I would suggest that if the weather is really quite bad you could maybe bring your bun inside, you can get indoor hutches to house your bun for short periods. you may notice a change in behaviour of the partner bun as they tend to get very upset and depressed when they lose a mate so lots of love and cuddles for him.

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      Yana 18 months ago

      I just lost my bunny 2 days ago.. Really don't know why.. She still moving around in the morning, but when I came home late night, she didn't come to me.. I later found her still, wet, and cold. It's heavy rain in the afternoon, but actually she used to live at my backyard. I provide a shelter for her for bad weather.

      any idea why she's dead? she just 4 years old happy bunny (she have a partner who love her very much)

      is there still a chance that she actually haven't died and I buried her too fast? (what're the sign that a rabbit is actually dead?)

      Still feeling guilty....

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      Mello 18 months ago

      This is a good article.. But there was one thing that wasn't very true. Even though outdoor hutches are not the best solution for bunnies, my bun bun lived for about 8 years outdoors. It might all depend on the breed, but mine was a Dutch and just fine. If it's outdoors you just need to give it plenty of hay, block the wind, and always give your bunny warm water so it doesn't freeze for a while.

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      Jess 18 months ago

      My rabbits (mini lops) are out door caged rabbits (huge cage) and are 4 1/2 years old and showing no signs of ageing except for the 2 month older one who has got signs of arthritis in his leg but has always had a range of health problems (such as mucky bum, dwarf - due to cross breeding - and tiny ears) but he is fine, make and female run around together in their run eating grass. I think it is ok if they are in a cage if they have a run and heaps of space + a companion

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      Braelynn 18 months ago

      My bunny Willow is super skinny and dosent look like he is eating but he is drinking and pooping

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      Kimmy Kay 18 months ago

      I lost my bunny 2 days ago. I'm so sad! He broke a back tooth and they pulled it. He tried to hard to recover but in the end I did all I could. I'm at a loss for words. I have looked around from him at least a 100 times in the last 2 days. His Birthday was last Sunday. He turned 4! :(

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      Samantha 18 months ago

      I have a 3 year old new zealand white female who has a sore hock that within 3 days has caused her foot to turn black and hairless. She is still eating drinking and moving around despite the infection. I cant afford a vet visit. What can i do to save her or just keep her comfortable until i can get to a vet. Someone please help.

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      kristen 19 months ago

      i am currently holding and petting a dying 4 week old bunny.we have no idea why they are dying but this is the 5th out of twelve. we have 6 live bunnies left. you artical explains the past deaths ive delt with. im sorry to hear about your rabbit.

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      Lin 19 months ago

      I am away for work and my boyfriend informed me that one of my rabbit has died. Her name was Bold and she was just very sweet and adorable. She was fine the night before but he found her lifeless.

      Your article helped me to accept her death, so thank you.

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      Pam 20 months ago

      Blood sugar...get your rabbit to the vet and get their blood sugar level checked. A lot of diseases / parasites cause blood sugar levels to drop and will cause seizures and flop and then death. Your vet should get their levels up by using an IV immediately. Most vets will not see exotics so suggest this. If your get a rabbit as a pet make sure you know where to take them for a useful vet.

    • belleart profile image
      Author

      belleart 21 months ago from Ireland

      Warren, if your bun isn't eating or drinking them there is definitely a problem. I'm not sure why your vet would suggest that she will be fine in 3 days, did they give any information as to what is wrong with your bun? If you don't feel happy with the vet care I suggest bringing her to a different vet and see what they say. If your bun is limp then I'm afraid she is very ill. I hope she's ok but maybe a second vet will be able to help

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      Warren 21 months ago

      My bunnie is not eating nor drinking nor licking me ...the vat said she will be ok in 3days time,but i doubt it as she is very limp....pls suggest something

    • belleart profile image
      Author

      belleart 21 months ago from Ireland

      Maddie, bunnies have a tendency to flip onto their sides and sleep for a few minutes, it looks unusual and weird for a rabbit but is fine. Things that are not OK are when your bun stops eating, doesn't move around for a long while, doesn't drink and generally doesn't seem themselves. It's important for bunny parents to recognise when their buns behaviour is off. If your bun is cold to touch then there is something wrong. Let me know if anything changes

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      Maddie 21 months ago

      What happens if my bunny lays on the side and doesnt move does it mean its dead ?

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      rip my willow 21 months ago

      My story is qu like yours belleart and i understand your loss. In july exactly on my birthday my mum me two rabbits witch i had met before at my mums friend house. They were so small as they only three and a half months old and were dwalf breed. I loved them so much. I decided to name them poppy and willow cause the women who had given to us thought they were both girls but i found out willow was a boy when we found them mating.at this point they were about five months old and we were all best of friends and every single day i would feed them and play with them for hours on end. Unfortunately i had to keep them outside but everyday i was aloud to bring them in for a few hours.one day i noticed something was wrong with poppy and dhe wasn't acting herself. She wasn't eating or drinking and her head was tilted just like cocoas. So i talked to my mum about taking her to the vet as soon as we can but my family don't drive so it was hard to try to get her to the vet. A couple of days later poppy was her normal self. I was so relieved as i thought she was going to die.now they had just turned 8 months and there was a nest in there bedroom.i was so happy as i thought poppy was preggers but as i was giving them cuddles i could hear very tiny squeaks coming from willow. I put them back down in there hutch and willow was not eating or drinking anything. Igot really worried about her and she was always still and only done slight movements. I wasn't even sure wether She was pooping. i couldn't work out what was the matter with her. I told mum the next night and she said my stepdad could take willow to the vet tomorrow while i was at school.i was very thankful to hear that after a close death with poppy. As i went outside that one night at about 7 i comforted both willow and poppy. Poppy knew that something was wrong herself as she was constantly licking him. I noticed that willow only sat in the bedroom or right outside the bedroom door. As i said to him that he was going to be ok i gave them a final kiss and cuddle and went inside. The next morning i was just about to leave for school when i asked my mum to text me if there was any news but she didn't agree. So i left for school but when i got back my mum told me that willow had died in her sleep in the exact same spot where i left her last night. Tears ran down my face as soon as i heard the news.

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      LindyB50 21 months ago

      Bunnies have very delicate digestive systems. If they are not fed the proper food including fibrous hay and quality pellets, such as Oxbow, every day and access to water round the clock, they can die. They will first stop eating. Then they will develop so much gas (bloat/stasis) in their tummies that it eventually kills them. It is horribly painful. They can be saved in time. But they have to see a vet and receive gas medication etc. If a rabbits ears get cold that means they are going into shock and will die if not treated. Warm them with a blanket and get them to a vet immediately. Rabbits should be treated by a vet just like dogs and cats. They are extremely loving and intelligent animals. Here is a link that explains the illness: rabbit.org/gastrointestinal-stasis-the-silent-killer-2/

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      belleart 22 months ago from Ireland

      Aziz, your bun needs to see a vet, I'm afraid its not a very good sign if they don't eat or drink and don't move a lot. Im so sorry, I wish there was more I could say.

      Floppy, its great that you recognize your bun isn't acting normal, buns aren't like dogs or cats who can tell their people when they are ill, so recognizing odd behavior is a really good way of telling when somethings wrong. While I understand your parents don't want to bring him to the vet, I do want to point out (and maybe you can tell them for me) that being a rabbit parent (or any animal for that matter) comes with responsibilities, the same as having children, and one of those responsibilities is medical care, I would hope they would bring you to the doctor if you were really ill, and its no different for your bun, its unethical to let any animal suffer just because they don't believe in vets. I suggest that in future they don't bring any animals home unless they are willing to be completely responsible animal parents.

      However, this is out of your control, and I know you just want your bun to be happy, so be there for him, lots of hugs and kisses, and make sure he is comfortable. If he is dying then I really recommend placing him on a soft (washable) blanket, in the middle of the floor where he cant hurt himself. Stay with him, and let him know how much you love him.

      xx

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      Floppy 22 months ago

      My rabbit Floppy is not acting normal but he is an old rabbit, sadly ,y parents dont beleive in the vet so there is nothing i can do. I hope he does not die...I love him so much

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      aziz 22 months ago

      my small rabbit is pooping wet waste and barely moving or drinking water, so what should i do?

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      Lenore 23 months ago

      Thank so much for posting this as hard as I know it was. We just lost our beautiful sweet baby on Sunday . She we believe suffered a cardiac event. She held on for over an hour to make it to just outside the vet office. She started to wriggle and slip out of my arms and seconds later went limp. Reading that a fit at that last moment is normal is comforting because I was afraid I had hurt her or over stressed her in her weak condition. She was about 7 and was the happiest sweetest let I've ever owned. We are all still in shock. Thank you!!!!

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      missing my charlie 23 months ago

      my little dwarf rabbit passed away last night and it was the most devastating experience ever. He had GI and his stomach was bloated. vet said it was a 50-50 chance of making it. Took him home and was trying to syringe feed him like what the vet said and he started having spasms and started shivering uncontrollably. He died right there in my arms. I just dont understand it. he was happy and healthy just a few days a go.. I blame myself

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      belleart 23 months ago from Ireland

      Hi Taylor, you should to be safe bring bun to vet, however if she has been moved recently to yours then it could be the move that has her out of sorts. Rabbits love routine and hate change and sometimes take a while to get used to new surroundings. if she is losing weight then a trip to the vet is definitely a must. Let me know how it goes though.

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      Taylor goss 24 months ago

      Ok I have a little rabbit I got from a friend, we aren't sure how old it is maybe about 2? It's super chill and loves to be out. Nothing has changed with her but she barely eats at all. We think she is eating her hay but her food sigh won't be touched for a day or two sometimes and she is getting very skinny. What should I do? Her attitude is the same and everything

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      Christine 24 months ago

      Someone dropped a Tame bunny t my house 2.5 yrs ago. I named him Luci before knowing his sex. On July 3rd, 2015 when I went out to feed Luci, he was eating in a laying position. When I commented to him, he responded to my voice and a he turned to look at me he fell over. He stood up and I noticed his right front paw was flaccid. He let me manipulate his paw. I felt no tearing in his skin, no bleeding or even swelling. My neighbor raises Angora bunnies and she said to let him live outside but get him used to my barn when winter comes, he'll have a warm place to stay. Luci showed me he could still run with his broken paw, but it wasn't fast enough, I had to make the decision to take his freedom away. He loved being outside. When I brought him inside, he wasn't happy, thumped his hind legs for a long time. He finally settled down. Then I noticed a deterioration in his health, from the 6th to the 9th when he began to have seizures. My vet said he had a brain infection. The best thing I could do for Luci was to have him euthanized.

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      susanamoody@gmail.com 2 years ago

      Our 6 year old bunny suddenly appeared with a tremendous tumor which has developed very quickly. We took him to a homeopathic vet and after treating him twice, told us there wasn't much left for her to do, just cuddle him and see how it went. The tumor is near the right leg which is making movements very tricky, he can't get to the litter so is always smelly and wet, slightly better now with newspaper underneath... I'm holding him thinking he's dying, but not all the signs equal yours: he still wants to eat, though hardly drinks, does get spasms... I would like to understand if they'd rather die alone or being cuddled...

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      Kerry 2 years ago

      I have a little netherland dwarf called snoopy, we spend so much time together and he is without a doubt the best thing that's ever happened to me. Reading what you wrote about cocoa had me in tears, you clearly loved her so much and I am so sorry to hear that she passed away. I hope you're very happy with your new rabbits , they have definitely gone to a good home.

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      belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

      Tiger Hopkins; Im sorry to say it sounds like your bunny is very unwell, a limp bunny is not good, as even if they are quite sick they will still be able to move a bit. I suggest a trip to the vet, Im not sure about the green around the mouth, but maybe it ate something it shouldn't have.

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      Tiger Hopkins 2 years ago

      All of the sudden our rabbit went limp will not drink or eat and has some kind of green stuff around its mouth. Does anyone know what this might mean

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      jen 2 years ago

      My dwarf rabbit has just survived surgery on his teeth

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      brandon 2 years ago

      Are bunny died last night and we dont know what happened. She was fine when we went to bed then early this morning we found her dead.

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      belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

      Emma, I know how you feel, we went through the same emotions. Its such a depressing time, but what has kept me from breaking into tears when I think about her, is the fact that she was a very happy bunny, as Im sure your bun was too, and that's a very nice thought. So many bunnies have miserable lives so as long as your bun was happy and loved, then she was one lucky girl. We felt the same about getting more buns, I wasn't too keen, but my partner made the point of saying that if we can make our new bun as happy as the last, then we're doing some good. We actually went with adoption and although we have a very different relationship with our new buns, we love them to pieces and are so happy to see them thrive.

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      Emma 2 years ago

      I lost my bunny a couple of days ago out of the blue she was only just over 1. I miss her so much. She was like my best friend as I spent all my evenings with her. I don't really know what I will do. I don't think another rabbit could replace her.

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      Alexandra 2 years ago

      Beautiful article, I am currently dealing with the loss of our family rabbit that we have had for 9.5 years. However, the one thing I want to add is that he lives in a hutch, so the life expectancy can be longer if they are treated properly. However, we have always let him out to roam around a rabbit playpen we bought for him and would also let him roam around inside for short periods of time as we live in New England and going from outside to inside for too long can be detrimental. However, it is possible to have a happy bunny that lives for a long time in a hutch, you just have to give them lots of love and constantly take them out(:

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      belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

      Nicole, I'm so sorry to hear that, Its such an awful experience. Im sure your bun had a happy life and felt very loved.

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      Nicole 2 years ago

      Sadly my bunny past away today and we didn't know what was wrong with her it was a bad time

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      Ausseye 2 years ago

      You've done it again Belleart, shown the true nature of this man made world. Will we ever get a fair sex world, with the first amendment, we are all created equal and unique and entitled to our fair share of the planets offering. Equality no a name but a universal right. Hope the day comes and we stand as equals and sit with an equal purpose!