I love all animals, especially small animals such as rabbits and rodents.
Rabbit Sudden Death—Why Does It Happen?
We all remember the happy day we got our pet bunnies. Sadly, some rabbits that appear perfectly healthy die for no apparent reason. There is always a cause of death, no matter how sudden. As heartbreaking as it is, the bunny must have suffered from some illness, stress, or injury.
The Life Cycle of a Domestic Rabbit
Rabbits are born in litters of 1–14. They start eating what their mother eats at around three weeks and can leave their mother at eight weeks. Most male rabbits (bucks) become sexually mature at around four months. This is a good age to have your male neutered. Females (does) can die from being spayed as it is a major operation. I suggest only sterilizing male rabbits.
Most rabbits stop growing between 18–24 months of age, and a healthy rabbit can live for 9–12 years. While giant breeds will not usually live to eight years, a healthy standard or dwarf rabbit will live to a full life span provided it is cared for properly. Rabbits become senior citizens at 7–8 years of age. The Holland Lop and Netherland Lop have the longest life span, with most living past ten and even into their early teens.
Possible Reasons Why a Seemingly Healthy Rabbit Can Suddenly Die
- The bunny was an indoor pet that could not handle outdoor temperatures
- Myiasis, or deadly fly-strike
- Injured during improper handling by children
- Fear-related heart attack
- Injured by another pet
- Aborted pregnancy
- Swallowed a sharp object
- Bunny was older than you thought
- Pre-existing health condition
Pet Store Rabbits Should Stay Indoors
Most pet store staff will tell you to keep your rabbit inside until summer when the weather is warmer. Pet shop rabbits have been inside the warm store for a few weeks or more and cannot live outside right away. Rabbits have delicate systems, and a drop in temperature could kill them. It is not a good idea to keep pet store rabbits outside at all. They are indoor animals and must be kept indoors.
Deadly Fly Strike and Rabbits
Many new rabbit owners are not aware of deadly fly strike. This happens when a germ-infested fly lands on a rabbit and lays eggs on them. The eggs hatch quickly and can literally eat a rabbit inside and out.
A rabbit with deadly fly strike gets a dirty bottom and has a foul smell. If caught early enough, treatments can save the rabbit's life, but their lifespan will be shorter than usual.
The best way to prevent this fatal condition is to regularly check your rabbit's bottom and keep it clean. Use a fly guard in your rabbit's environment and keep your pet on a proper diet: no carrots, lettuce, or bread.
Rabbits Should Not Live With Children Under 12
Rabbits often do not like children and can be very fearful of them. If a child does not handle the rabbit properly, the rabbit may jump about so the child can't hold them or lets go. If the rabbit falls to the floor, it may break its backbone or neck. Their bones are very delicate and break easily.
Children running around screaming can cause stress and anxiety for rabbits. If a child ran out into your garden yelling and a few days later your rabbit died, then you have your cause: Rabbits can die of shock (see below) and are not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
Rabbits Can Die of Fright!
It is possible for a rabbit to die of fright. Loud sounds, such as cats, dogs, loud music, or screaming can lead to a heart attack and put a rabbit into shock, causing sudden death. It can day several days for the rabbit to die this way, and it does not happen often, but it is quite possible.
Other Animals or Pets Can Kill a Rabbit
Do not even consider a rabbit if you have aggressive dogs, large dogs, young untrained puppies, ferrets, or cats. Ferrets are hunters, and cats are wild animals that can hunt, frighten, or severely injure a pet bunny. Large dogs can easily induce shock and heart attacks. Puppies don't mean to be naughty, but of course, they can hurt or frighten your rabbit to death.
If you are planning to get a bunny, train your dog beforehand and keep them away from each other. Slowly introduce them to one another. Do not buy a terrier such as a Westie or Schnauzer, as these are hunting dogs and are extremely hard to train to leave a rabbit alone.
An Aborted Late Pregnancy Can Be Fatal
If a rabbit aborts a pregnancy and cannot reabsorb the fetus, the baby rabbits will simply die inside her and create a toxic situation. A normal miscarriage can be absorbed harmlessly, but if the pregnancy is further along when the miscarriage happens, the mother rabbit may die.
Poison Ingested Indoors or Out in the Garden
It is possible for a pet rabbit to suffer poisoning and die very quickly. They may not show any symptoms and behave normally, but if there is discharge from any area, especially the eyes, mouth, or anus, they may have eaten something poisonous in the garden. They will have very little appetite for food or water. If your rabbit dies and you suspect poison, be sure to remove the body and sterilize the area. If you have another rabbit and that one seems fine, take them to the vet just in case.
Possible sources of poison include gardening products, pesticides, washing powder, and other cleaning products.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Rabbit
The Bunny Is Older Than You Thought
Once a rabbit is past three, it can be very hard to precisely identify the age. Be very careful to check a rabbit over before purchasing or adopting. Rabbits stop growing at 18–24 months of age, but read up on the breed of rabbit you are looking at so you know typical sizes for babies and adults of that type. Some rabbit sellers may pass an older rabbit as younger. Unless you are sure the rabbit is young, think twice about buying or adopting. The stress of moving to a new home might cause a very old rabbit to die sooner rather than later.
Did Your Bunny Have Preexisting Health Problems?
It is hard to tell a rabbit's history. If you do not know the person who is selling the rabbit, ask a vet or veterinary nurse to come along so they can give a proper examination of the animal. Ask the seller for medical records.
Swallowing Objects Like Glass Can Kill a Rabbit
Before your rabbit forages in the garden, make sure to remove any sharp objects, especially pieces of broken glass or anything that could be potentially very harmful to your pet. Rabbits will sometimes ingest things they shouldn't, and in many cases, it does them no harm. Swallowing a sharp or large object can literally tear a rabbit's insides, causing severe internal bleeding. If you notice blood around the anus, this may be a sign of internal bleeding. If this happens, take it to the vet to have it examined immediately.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Share Your Story With Others Who Understand
Person on August 13, 2020:
Our Holland Lop was perfectly healthy one second ran around fell over and died the next. There was brown goo around his mouth. We have no idea what happened.
Clover on July 30, 2020:
My rabbit named Luniio Died from being hanged out of a window
Melenny on July 27, 2020:
My rabbit was ten weeks old when we got her and her brother...she was super healthy yesterday and this morning..they live outside so I looked out the window and saw she wasn't moving. She was dead. I have no idea why..we also had 2 other 8 week olds that also died...not knowing why...its so frustrating...we have 3 left and we'll see what happens..
Tuckawayvalleyrabbitry on July 24, 2020:
We have raised netherland dwarfs for many years and have seen many causes of sudden death in rabbits. Some of the causes I didn't see listed above are: GI stasis, bloat/intestinal blockage, faders and "floppy rabbit syndrome". GI stasis is usually fatal as by the time you notice the rabbit is in distress it's too late. Since rabbits are prey animals they hide illness very well. If your rabbits "hangs back" with little movement and you can hear it grinding it's teeth, something is seriously wrong! Bloat and GI stasis and intestinal blockage needs medical intervention immediately. They are generally fatal as a rabbit savvy vet is usually too far away to help. Sometimes with intestinal blockage administering mineral oil can help and gentle massage to the abdomen. With bloat baby gas drops can sometimes help. Neither of these methods does much for GI stasis. Floppy rabbit syndrome is can be but is rarely fatal. The owner finds their rabbit usually flat out appearing dead until picked up and further checking show the rabbit breathing but not able to move. Usually in 2 to 7 days the rabbit is fine. My personal experience with this is I administered horse electrolytes and Bene-bac or some other probiotic. fed Critical Care mixed with a bit of baby food squash. Rabbit recovered in just a day! Supportive care is all that can be done for FRS. It is fatal when the syndrome affects the muscles that control breathing. From what I have been able to find out, there is no known cause. Some vets have found low potassium, others low silenium, still others low calcium. Not always the the case in all. Usually there is only a single instance but I have read this can happen several times in the same rabbit. It didn't with our one case. Faders are weanlings that just don't seem to thrive. They are fine as babies until they are weaned. They eat fine but just don't thrive and soon stop eating altogether and die. We have tried Critical Care with faders but didn't help and I suspect there is something wrong with the digestive system that they just can't tolerate solid foods. I hope this helps other rabbit owners. A final thought.., ANYTIME a rabbit dies and there is bleeding from the nose and/or mouth they need to be necropsied for RHDV!! (Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus. It is EXTREMELY contagious to wild and domestic rabbits and is currently sweeping is spots in the US!! So far it is mainly in the southwest, west, and northwest. DO NOT BUY OR IMPORT RABBITS AT THIS TIME FROM THOSE AREAS WITHOUT A HEALTH CERTIFICATE.
Lisa on July 04, 2020:
Our Holland Lop, Darcy died late last night. An indoor rabbit with a companion. All vaccinations and treatments given i.e fly strike. She was a bit quiet but not unusual or out of character for her. Our male Netherlands Dwarf seems fine. We left him with her for a 3 hours, as the literature suggests, so he could understand and grieve. Snowy will be checked and Darcy will be checked to find the cause of her death and cremated. We have decided that we don't want the risk of any cats etc. digging her up so we thought best to sprinkle her ashes in the garden. My husband and myself are absolutely gutted. Some people don't realise just how attached and how much you can love a small pet (we have even had hamsters and were in bits too). Darcy was a sweet doe with a beautiful soul. You will be missed, our little miss, by us and Snowy.
NaBrà on June 26, 2020:
Our harlequin rabbit died this morning at 5:55am at the very old age of 11 years old . It made a cat meow nose and a quick shuffle in the cage and next thing you know he was gasping for his last breath and peacefully went home to rabbit heaven . You will be missed
Brianne on June 16, 2020:
My dad had rescued a baby desert Cottontail rabbit as both her mother and siblings had died. I can’t tell you how old she was due to the fact I don’t know. Al I know is that she still needed milk. I fed her substitutional rabbit milk with a special formula I read about. I know having the right milk is important to keep them alive, but I don’t think that was the cause of her death. I had her for about 3 weeks. During those weeks, she loved the milk no problem. I had grew attached to her and so had my dog. He protected her as if that was his baby. I grew very fond of her. But suddenly she died yesterday. That day there was a big hail storm that was extremely loud. She seemed more tired than usual and she slept on my belly most of the day. I just thought she was sleeping until I saw she had laid on her side (which she never had done that) I picked her up and she seemed....weak. Suddenly her head tilted kind of to the back and was stiff in place then from there...her limbs stretched out and she died...in my hands. I don’t know what caused her death but I’ve been heartbroken. I know you’re not supposed to keep a wild rabbit as your pet, but her whole family was dead and I was going to raise her until she was old enough. She was supposed to get bigger and older and be set free to have a family of her own. Now she can’t. I need to know what caused her death. It hurts.
ERW on June 01, 2020:
I cannot believe this article doesn't mention Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, aka RHDV, which was released in 1996 to control wild rabbit populations and has been wiping out domestic rabbits worldwide. Far more virulent than Covid-19, it is carried on shoes, hair, clothing and can survive in the environment for up to a year. Not killed by freezing or heat. Always fatal. My two beautiful young rabbits just died of suspected RHDV, both within a few hours of appearing unwell. There IS an effective vaccine - Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS much safer than the previous vaccine. Seek it out, and find a vet trained in exotics - rabbits cannot be treated by a standard cat and dog vet! And remember, pellets are not a natural food for rabbits, just hay and a little veg. Save your rabbits, it is too late for mine.
vanacecil on May 19, 2020:
my baby bunnies were 4 weeks old very healthy and happy we did play with them found 1 dead one day 2 days later 3 more dead but mother still taking care of last baby running around fine 2 days later dead heart broken they are jersey whooly thanks in advance for help no idea what could of happened
yahya sharphird on May 12, 2020:
nice I love my rabbit and won't to be a big sharphird
galaxie on April 26, 2020:
i came home from school to find my dog in my room which he was supposed to be outside and i glanced at my bunny's cage and it was closed so i went out then my brother went in and said galaxie youre bunny is dead and i was like nah and then i went in and there he was laying on his side, his back was straight his head was up and he was stiff and cold nothing was wrong with his smell or poop or any symptoms this article mentioned and he was only 2 months old he was born in a house and brought to my moms clinic to get sold plus i only gave him pellets for food and a few treats like carrots and spinach, my mom said they were safe and i know she was right cause she is a vet, im just wondering why it was so sudden because my dog just tipped over the trash in my room to eat the trash he isnt aggresive toward my bunny either so i am still wondering what caused his death :'(
Jeremy on April 26, 2020:
Suzanne same thing happened to me
Suzanne on April 23, 2020:
Hello, my rabbit died suddenly. He showed no signs of illness right up to about 3-4 hours before his passing, his ears became cold and he was pooping way more that he normally would plus they were soft and in clusters. A few weeks prior we noticed he stained wherever he sat and thought he was unable to clean himself properly and we got rid of some access fur around his rear end. What do you think could have been the reason? He died in my arms after letting out 2 yelps and was shaking =(
Lil farmer on April 16, 2020:
Same here.. we just lost 7 rabbits and the of them have orphaned babies. Can anyone please tell us what might have happened???
_raima_ganguly on April 16, 2020:
Today my bunny is dead ..he was very good until the last night ..i givehim somemilk to drink in the morning he drinks and plays with us suddenly at 3 pm we notice that she was not moving within 15 mins she died ...what could be the reason of sudden death ...actually a deathwithin 1 hour as i checked him before 1hour
Gemma Anderson on April 13, 2020:
My mini lop aged 9 months had 5 healthy babies 5 weeks ago babies fine until today 1 was lethargic and wouldn’t eat and he died mother was the same, she died couple of hours later she had a few seizures (or body just giving up) then died absolutely gutted why or what caused this?
Ellie on April 13, 2020:
A few days ago we found our Flemish limp in her room and bleeding from her mouth and nose. I have watched our cameras over and over again and saw her freak out for a second and then she laid in her bed and never got back up. We rushed her to the vet as soon as we saw her and the vet said she most likely had encephalitozoonosis. I have researched and researched and the only thing that points to that was her being limp. She would lick my hand as I was holding her head up so she could drink water While we were trying to reach her vet. We had the make the most traumatizing call and put her down because she was suffering. Our home definitely isn’t a home anymore but more than anything we just want answers. She was perfect and within an hour and a half she was gone. Was it this fungi or could it have been something else?!
jinjer on April 05, 2020:
A week ago, I had five bunnies. Now I have 3. They all came from outdoor homes and the weather hasn't much changed in the last week. Each one of the three who passed did so unexpectedly and at night while I was asleep. They had water and food and were not exposed.
Cesar on March 28, 2020:
My pet rabbit died late at night and my family had no idea what happened to him I miss him already :(
Heather on March 26, 2020:
Thank you for being honest about spayinh. Nobody wants to admit there's negative effects due to major surgery, or even hormone loss.
Alayna1 on March 25, 2020:
My rabbit was completely fine the night before she died. We knew she was pregnant and due to give birth, but we hadn't kept track of the days as her pregnancy was unexpected - she was 3 months old. In the morning we checked on her and she still, like lying on her side and stomach, refusing to eat and unable to move. She continued to be like this, not doing anything and staying still, only blinking. At 2pm she died in my arms. I was told she died trying to give birth, as she was too young. The babies also died as they suffocated.Her partner misses her so much, as she died yesterday and I do too. RIP Misty xx
Jimena on March 15, 2020:
I bought a baby lionhead rabbit at a pet store and she seem fine! She was healthy and we took care of everything she ate or drink since she was indoors all the time and she was only 2 months old. She was able to run all the time around the house except during the night, but exactly 3 weeks later she died.
My mom saw her 30 minutes before she passed and she was happy, but we found her lying down, her eyes were wide open and her head was tilted back. Sadly, we couldn't take her to the vet to know what happened, but it seems to me she had a heart arrest because it was unexpected. Everyday I miss my baby since she brought so much joy to all of my family.
Natasha on February 25, 2020:
My bunny was with me all morning, perfectly fine. Eating and pooping normally. Then she went under the bed to snuggle with her mate. Not even two minutes later I stuck my head under the bed and she was on her side, already gone..it looked like she literally did a flop and died. I'm so heartbroken. It was so sudden and unexpected and I miss her so much. Her poor mate is also grieving.
Umesh Mani dixit on February 14, 2020:
Our Tutu Rabbit died a month back due to cold.
Wink on February 13, 2020:
My rabbit, Lucy died this morning. I had her for 6 years but she could have been much older. She lived a good life.
Misty Storey on January 18, 2020:
Came home from work tonight and found one of our two bunnies dead in it's cage? It was fine this afternoon when I left for work and dead 8 hours later. Our other bunny is much older and fine, they were in separate cages ( the one's that died cage was on top of the other one's), my one daughter has been staying with us for a while and sleeps in the basement(it's finished and is also where our bunnies live) with her 2yr old & 1 month old and is known for yelling and screaming and the 2yr old is the typical 2yr old( I asked if her 2yr old could have put something in the cage before they left on Friday(as we all needed a break from each other)and she stated that she had not. I am devastated by the loss and just want answers. We have had this bunny for probably about 8 months. Does anyone have any possibilities on why this bunny died suddenly?
Ash on January 18, 2020:
male rabbits have an equal chance of passing during sterilization surgery. you should not be advising people to leave their female rabbits intact as this will lead to a very increased chance of reproductive cancer and urinary infections.
all pet rabbits should be fixed.
「び」で始まる言葉1ページ目 - goo辞書 英和和英 on January 16, 2020:
Myway Home Page
Taylor Dunn on January 09, 2020:
I had my bunny for 3 weeks
On Monday I came downstairs before going to school and I pick her up and she dosnt move at all she won’t eat or drink anything
My mom comes to school 2 hours later picking me up early saying that my bunny died I was so devastated I cried for hours but we think she got out of her cage but we don’t know from reading this article it helped me I got a new bunny the same day named coco she is now my baby but we still don’t know what happend to my bunny we think migh have to shocked from my brother being to loud
Tanya on December 30, 2019:
Hi i need to understand why our bunny died she just gave birth to six little babies and hade like a fit and looked like she passed away we pussed on her chest and she took two more breaths then it whas her last we called the vet they told us we should leave the babies to drink from her til she starts to get cold then take them away.
Why did this happen did something go wrong during giving birth
madison on October 22, 2019:
my bunny died today it's a boy im 8 years my name is Maddie I got him like 3 months ago I went to my room I see him not moving his neck is twisted.that's no fair I love him so much I call my mom and my sister, also brother we were sad im so dumb for thinking i can have a bunny the first time i got him i was so excited to get one and i come to this,last night i played with him and i give him food and water then i put him in his cage when i wake up i dont think to give hime food or water i woke up at 8 and go to get ready to leave,im so mad at my self i want to punch a wall well it was his time but why today i dont under stand, well if your reading this dont think your alone i miss him to much
email@example.com on October 02, 2019:
i just got my bunny 3 days ago she was fine and active. also very cute. then this monring my bunny was not moving she's just laying not responding her eyes are wide open. i picked her up and it seem like her neak was loose. but how becuse i cheked on her last night and she was eating fine. then i set her down and she just layed. then she like steched 3 times and did'nt move ever sice. i need an exlanation.
wayne on October 01, 2019:
my rabbit was fine at 11 when i fed her, i found her dead 1 hour later, still warm. she was not even 3 years old
Margaret Hadley on September 27, 2019:
Took my bunny to the vets for op on teeth brought her home by 1.30 in the morning I rushed her back to vets they put her on a drip by 3.30 she lost her fight. She was given a 1.1/2 dose of anisatic I was told I am really upset don't know what to think anymore I miss her so much
Joe bonano on September 16, 2019:
Our bunny died this morning afyer being with us for 3.5 years and it was and is a very saddening experience
Roo on August 04, 2019:
The thing is if you don’t sterilize the female rabbit she will most likely develope uterus cancer around the age of four. And they have just a big a chance of dying during the surgery as the males do
Wanda on July 29, 2019:
Our baby bunny just died, he has one eye open and one closed and is cold. He was fine last night
Chitti on July 23, 2019:
My bunny is not moving, not responding,his eyes are wide open,body is warm, it seems that he is sleeping but something is wrong
plz help!I am scared.
Jenny Rolness on July 13, 2019:
I think it is sad that it is recommended to keep rabbits bought in pet stores inside. They also love to come outside in the sun and feel the grass under their feet, run, jump, dig and do all the things that is natural for a rabbit. I have taken over inside rabbits that were kept in cages in a basement. I let them out in the summer, with no problems for them, they were so happy to stay in a more natural environment and they lived for many years. All rabbits, and most other animals, need to come outside in the summer, and they enjoy it as much as we do. Otherwise a good article.
Toni on July 04, 2019:
A family friend who has raised rabbits for years had a litter, and she was looking for homes. She kindly offered a cage, food, bedding, and helpful advice as this was my first rabbit. She was two months old when she was given to me. She was a dwarf satin rabbit, so she wasn’t supposed to get very big. I researched how to take care of rabbits, especially for a first timer, and I had her for about a month and she was fine. She had warmed up to me quite a bit, would always give me kisses when I went to pet her, she was a total sweetheart. This morning, I came down to feed her breakfast and she was absolutely fine. Knowing her behavior, she gets very excited when I bring her food. And she did just that and ate breakfast like normal. She was hopping around, drinking just fine, using the bathroom normally. A few hours later, I went to check on her and she was in the corner of her cage next to her litter and she seemed really sleepy. I thought it was a bit odd, because I’ve never seen her that sleepy. I went to pet her and she didn’t seem to react much, so I started to worry. I checked on her frequently and she hadn’t moved, and was in the same spot. My family thought maybe it was just from the summer heat change, but I keep her indoors where there’s air conditioning, so that didn’t make sense. She was quickly getting more and more lethargic and I was growing more upset because I was helpless. It’s the 4th of July, so we couldn’t bring her to a vet nearby that had rabbit experience. I tried to offer her dinner, and normally she gets excited and hops around as soon as I’m in her sight, but she didn’t move a muscle. Shortly after that, my mom went to check on her because I was dreading it, and she had passed away. She was perfectly fine this morning, I still don’t understand what killed my poor baby. She had no odor coming from her whatsoever, her stool was normal, no changes to her pee. It was so fast and shocking. She died within an hour. She was only three months..we gave her a nice proper burial but I’m going to be mourning for a long time. She was very very loved, she was my spoiled princess. Even though our time was short, I cherished it. If you’re reading this and a similar experience happened to you, please know that you aren’t alone.
Mandy Farmer on June 22, 2019:
I raise Dwarf Netherlands and Dwarf Hotots, I was separating the does from her male babies. I place the young males in a kennel with other young males around the same age, seven weeks old. Some other males started chasing one and he had a heart attack and died. I grabbed him and rubbed him and talked to him and he recovered . I watch over closely and allow him to have a kennel alone. I named him Grace, because God Gave us grace to keep him longer in our home.
thebunnylover on June 19, 2019:
hi :( i come here to ask the same question like others... why my bunny suddenly die? last night i clean up all my bunnies cage...set up everything perfectly..but this morning,i found that my bunny so weak and cant move, and suddenly dead.what happened ? so many times happen to my bunny... almost 10 times like this... my bunny age 1 a half months ... ;'(((
Whitenose on June 13, 2019:
My rabbit died this morning and he is missed, Love, and water,
food ,you have a child that is family.
Some say they are animals, news for you, so are we.
Spend the cherished time and Love your bunny.
I know White nose will be missed by Mary, me, Buddy, Barbara, fluffy,hamlin, Ethiopia, Brandy lollypop.
I buried him and grieve as he was my child.
Maya on June 11, 2019:
I had a perfectly fine rabbit it was active and living in a big cage no cats nothing disturbs them. We don't have dogs in the country I live. 3 days ago it was always not having fun with the other rabbit it was very strange. We even had a routine to bring him to a garden to play but since it was rainy we could not . Today I found the rabbit still and we think it died of shock but when I looked at his chin it was a infection I am very sad for my loss
Jeff 0076 on June 07, 2019:
My daughter bought a Lionhead bunny about 1 1/2 years ago. He lived in our kitchen so he had constant attention water and proper rabbit foods. We did give him carrots, lettuce and bread as I read that maybe wasn’t good. But we also gave him bananas, strawberries, celery, he’d eat grass with no chemicals. First sign of something off was pee on hands and feet. We cleaned up as Mitch as we could. He then had discharge from they eye but we cleared that up. We put him in his cage for 2 days so we could clean the kitchen and he had food and water. My daughter found him laying on his side and we tried to nurture him back. He hopped several times around, we hand fed and gave water. He stopped drinking 2 days ago and I fed him 2 strawberries last night. He died this morning all with pee and poo problems. We’re a bit devastated and unsure where we went wrong. I read about purebreds being inbreds and many health problems but we thought he’d last a few years. He lived with us for 1 1/2 years and I don’t think he grew so maybe he was older? He wasn’t very bright for the first 6 months but I refused to believe his intelligence was lower than a bug. Slowly he came around and loved affection and treats. We’re lost
Jo on June 06, 2019:
Friday our 18 month old Dutch died suddenly today. I found him lying in his litter tray, no obvious signs and perfectly happy and lively this morning
Jack on May 26, 2019:
I had a Lion mane rabbit ,he was perfectly fine in the morning. He was moving , eating , drinking water just acting like normal. I went to a friends house and came back to find him lying on his side dead. He smelled like he had died weeks ago but he was healthy earlier that day
chriswallace65 on May 21, 2019:
we added Gin and Tonic to our family in Dec 2017, two gorgeous lionhead baby rabbit brothers.
On Friday, both lost their appetite, very few poops, no energy.
Deterioration over the weekend, extreme lethargy, admitted to vets yesterday.
Tonic died last night.
Gin very ill and lost without his longtime companion.
This makes no sense
Whats killing so many healthy young pets?
Pamela Day on May 08, 2019:
I found my rabbit sitting in her hutch..staring ahead...but she was dead..found that my daughter’s dog had been barking in front of her hutch..was a healthy young rabbit so I feel that she must have suffered a heart-attack from the stress caused by the dog barking..so very sad!!
Walter on May 07, 2019:
Lion Head was breathing and suddenly is slightly breathing or slightly moving she want drink anything hurry what should I do no vet available
hanuman bhati on April 28, 2019:
my baby rabbit was only 1 month old he was good and fine at that morning and afternoon he became unhealthy and unhappy !! soon i feeded him some milk but still he became like a plastic toy like if we take in hand he was literly bending and the next morning he died what can be the reason please answer me
Amanda on April 26, 2019:
I sadly lost my mini lop recently, he had all his injections, was neutered and was fit and healthy, he was 9 mths old only totally devastated. Can’t understand why, he was so full off energy. one morning he didn’t seem himself so we kept him indoors with us, he passed away in my arms several hours later. We called vets but earliest appointment was to late, however I’m glad he passed away at home with us and avoided the stressful vet visit. Miss him like crazy.
Alpha on April 10, 2019:
My rabbit was perfectly time a few hours before and so was my hamster. Next thing I know they’re dead. They both had discharge and the hamster smelt the worst so she was the carrier but what was the disease? Someone help I just want closure of my 10 month rabbit and 2 month hamster.
Lord Kenneth Montgomery-Moore on March 10, 2019:
Yesterday my 2 rabbits enjoyed their time in the garden. This afternoon i found my female rabbit had passed away, leaving her brother behind. I now fear he may die of loneliness.They are 2years 37days old. Heartbroken.
Wendy on March 05, 2019:
Bunny was very old so I didn't want to over-stock on food, thinking that he could go anytime.
We bought a partial bag of rabbit food online from someone whose rabbit had died. Now I'm wondering if there's something wrong with that bag of rabbit food.... or did Bunny just die of old age?
He's been with us for 8 years. He had 2 owners before us.
Rose on February 21, 2019:
my poor bunny died because she got an nfection because mz second rabbit bit her in the eye and we came too late to the vet
Dennis on February 10, 2019:
I found my rabbit dead yesterday morning. I think he died of suffocation, complicated by health problems.
He had been running and showing affection the previous day, and seemed normal. He was 10 years 6 months old to the day.
I fostered him as a baby from the SPCA, where he chose me from all the other people that came to visit. The SPCA had him listed as Dutch, but I believe he was actually Havana, being solid black, and similar body type.
On his last visit to the vet, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Symptoms were bulging eyes, and x-ray showed enlarged heart. The vet said not to expect him to live many more days. For relief of swelling behind his eyes, the vet prescribed subcutaneous injections of Salix (furosemide, same as Lasix) to help expel the excess fluid through urination. That was eight months and several prescription refills ago. I'm thankful that he had a happy survival for so long after his diagnosis.
My bunny had free run of the house, but would not venture out of site of his cage, therefore he always stayed in the same room.
Four years ago, someone in the household developed the need for an oxygen concentrator machine. We placed that machine in the same room as the bunny, running it at night. After a few nights, the bunny became used to it and it no longer seemed to bother him. The noise of the machine would make it hard for the bunny to hear other things, and we would always speak before entering the room, so the bunny would not be surprised by our approach. The bunny always slept outside of his cage.
Normal air is about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen. Air is drawn into an oxygen concentrator machine where the nitrogen is stripped away, leaving almost pure oxygen to be sent down the hose. The left-over nitrogen is then vented downward, out the rear of the machine, and back into the room. The oxygen machine sits about three inches from the wall, almost touching a solid piece of furniture to the right. About six inches to the left of the machine are magazines stacked against the wall.
Yesterday morning, I found the bunny dead, flopped in the space between the machine and the magazines, with his nose almost touching the wall. I turned off the oxygen machine, and then removed the bunny.
This morning, with the machine running, I placed my hand where the bunny's head was lying, and realized this was within the breeze created by the oxygen concentrator. The placement of the oxygen machine, furniture, and magazines, forced the expelled nitrogen to blow through the confined space between the magazines and the machine.
The bunny likely had diminished lung capacity due to his heart problem. I believe that when the bunny stuck his head into that confined space, he was in the oxygen-deprived breeze, passed out before he could step backward, and eventually suffocated.
Nohea on February 09, 2019:
My rabbit died today with no reason I didn’t get to see him before he passed I’m sorry for all with the same problem.
Jade on January 28, 2019:
On 28th January 2019 at 9.30pm I found my healthy boisterous 6 year old rabbit struggling to breath and was unable to move. We found him lying in his own urine. After caring for him by warming him up, cleaning him up and keeping a very close eye on him until we could contact the doctors which didn’t open until 8am. At 0.30am he had passed away on my chest. This was unexpected as he had no health problems and should have lived a long healthy life with his twin brother. Now we are very worried about his brother who is now all alone. There is a possibility he will follow shortly due to a broken heart which is found in many animals. This has been very upsetting. The vets should be available 24/7 and made a lot cheaper as animals should also have emergency access to healthcare.
Meghan Finch on January 28, 2019:
Our 6 month old baby girl Holland lop "Lucky" died shortly after being spayed. I know everything online tells you to spay as almost all females will eventually get cancer but I would have loved to have her 4-5 good years and lose her to cancer then.. then just have her the few short months we did. Sweetest little animal in the world. Our family misses her so much.
RufflesDaBunny on January 27, 2019:
My rabbit Ruffles was perfectly fine until my mom checked in on him and saw him dead. It broke my heart and I was so upset I told my friends and they helped me through it. I am still upset today.
Jack on January 12, 2019:
My rabbit was pregnant and we have no clues of dis thing... suddenly she started bleeding badly...we moved to vet nd later on discovered that the babies are not alive,they died in d stomach of my bunny....bunny was in pain nd bleeding frequently...vet gives med nd tried to help bunny so that she can abort her child out but in dis process my bunny died
Vicki on January 11, 2019:
My checkered giant bunnie, 1 1/2 year old passed away on christmas, she was totally fine in the morning, spent bonding time the night before with a few treats and checked her later afternoon she was stretched out in her liter box still a bit warm. Not a very good way to complete the day, i am dumbfounded. Lost 2 this way. Almost makes ya want to give up bunnies but so much enjoyable than a cat...
Jo on January 03, 2019:
My bunny passed away yesterday shed been in her cage 2daus being quiet not like her so had her out and she want being mobile so sat her on my lap cuddles and stroking. Was pushed to take her vets. The vets we took her palmed us even though i went back in with her and begged for us to wait to be seen. But the reception woman palmed us by the time we sat back in car she started fitting or i reckon a heart attack. And passed it was horrible. I wish id kept her home that journey to a uncaring vets did her in from what i can see on here i definetly think she was in shock. My advice to anyone elses rabbit that goes like that is its shock so do your best to comfort them at HOME. If they dont make it at least they died there in your arms and not panicked in the back of car
Sharon Godoy on January 01, 2019:
You are dead wrong. Females need to be spade for two reasons. Gestation is every thirty days. Even if she is not pregnant she will create a nest because here hormones dictate that. Realizing she is not producing kits can cause depression. Second if they are not spade by 2 years they are 85% susceptible to cervical cancer.
Rania Fedda on December 30, 2018:
11 month old lop passed away today. He was healthy and such a happy bunny. He would always run to me when he saw me. He was ok in the ‘am’ afew hours later checked on him and he was flumpped on his stomach couldn’t move. Took him to the vet, they couldn’t determine cause but suspected it could be spinal injury causing a nurological defect. Apparently very common in bunny rabbits as their spines are so fragile.
Joyce on December 23, 2018:
my bunny was fine ate her food in am and gave her a snack.thru the day I offered her food and snacks later that day.would not eat or drink.made sure she got some water in her.she poop and and urinated very little.she passed away about 4am the next morning.she was a three year old holland loop ear bunny.Iam heart broken.always gave her a thin slice of banana seeds removed,and kale in am stopped romaine when the out break of e coli was anounced.gave small amount of kale 1 or 2 times a day.always had plenty of timothy hay and some pellets.fresh water and clean cage,even though she only went to cage to go to potty.i don't know what caused her death.
Aaron on December 21, 2018:
my rabbit was very healthy a few hours ago and then the next hour I saw her she passed away.my mom said she fed her biscuits and I know it is not good , but the previous time my mom fed her biscuits she was totally fine.it might be over dose of artificial chemicals or some other reason.but the way my rabbit die out of blue was very sad.i feel sorry for dose who had similar situations as well
Precious on December 20, 2018:
My rabbit gave birth to four litres and they all die at once.
Sab on December 04, 2018:
My rabbit is not moving he wont walk but just eaten a carrot.his eyes have gone wide,blind?
Think he had a stroke what should i do
Henry Nelson on November 27, 2018:
Our rabbit was fine hopping around we let him out and a bout we put him back in the cage and we went to bed in the morining he died we did not know what happend his name was Phoenix
Hannah on November 12, 2018:
My beautiful 4 year old bunny Bonnie died a few days ago. I went out to her cage and she was lying on her side and couldn’t move half her body, she then had a seizure. Sadly she didn’t make it
Rohini S Das on October 30, 2018:
My two months old bunny passed away yesterday evening.Even before an hour she seemed to be perfectly fine.I have one more rabbit and it has been shivering like anything...since the death of the other one.It has not eaten anything since yesterday evening but drank some water twice today.It's condition is so worse that one can hardly bear.The vet suggested that it might be due to calcium deficiency.I cannot believe it because it was just fed by its mother's milk and some selected fresh green grass .The I'll rabbit could hardly move around.... it's legs seem to be like paralyzed.....Does someone know what's happening with my rabbit.It's still alive.
Michael Mendez on October 24, 2018:
On this day I woke up to my mom freaking me out. Telling me that something really bad happened and to not stress. I kept asking her what happened then my heart and stomach dropped when she told me that my rabbit has died. I have nevered cried so much in my life. This just reminds of when we first got her and till this day. My rabbit was 4 and a half years old. January 20, 2014-October 24, 2018....
Arty Wilwib on October 15, 2018:
My beloved giant papillon rabbit died suddenly yesterday from a big heart attack. He was never caged and had free roam of the house and garden for 8 years.
He was my everything, I'd spend hours a day stroking and grooming him he would always wash me. He was my therapy. I feel utterly broken. A part of me has died with him.
There are reminders of him in every room. I am having him preserved as we cannot let him go and that way he will be here in his home where he belongs with us.
Every night he'd watch tv with us. He was fine the day before then the heart attack happened at 4.45pm yesterday he let out a series of high pitched screams for about 15 minutes on and off, It was devastating.
After he passed I held him all night. I'm grieving badly and in total shock. I talk to him still and know that he'll be back home with us soon where he belongs. Mummy will always love you, always.
carelis on October 06, 2018:
my bunny died yesterday I found her swollen no animal bites no bleeding I really don't know what happened
Alexis on September 30, 2018:
My baby bunny just died all of a sudden and it really pisses me off it was just fine one moment then the next its dead and like what the hell happend i been crying all day
guest on September 27, 2018:
You forgot to mention pine or cedar bedding can make your rabbit sick or kill it
No on September 27, 2018:
This article is AWFUL! You should ALWAYS, ALWAYS neuter *and* spay rabbits, 80% of female rabbits will get cancer by age 4 and be dead soon after.
Its absolutely abhorrent for you to AT ALL be telling people they shouldn't be neutering females. If you take your rabbit to a good exotic vet she should be fine, I am yet to hear of a female dying on the operating table from spaying. You're encouraging early pet death and unwanted babies.
This is disgusting and whoever wrote this article is an idiot and barely knows anything about rabbits, "rabbits can die if they swallow glass"
No fu*king sh*t
Madison on September 24, 2018:
Please by aware the article information about spaying isn’t correct. Female rabbits are generally at a 60 percent increased risk of uterine cancers if left unspayed. It is highly recommended you spay a female rabbit as early as possible. Typically there isn’t a difference in anaesthesia risk in male vs female rabbits.
Manju on September 24, 2018:
it was healthy one day and dead the next. We have no idea what happened!
Emma Currie on September 23, 2018:
On friday my loppy eared rabbit Rufus was fine i let him out that morning to run the yard as normal, he followed me everywhere like he usually does, followed me to the clothesline like normal, then i noticed him digging to get up under the gate near the shed and in the dirt i kept getting him out of it but he was determined to get in there and when he did he was rolling around on his back and side in the dirt, then he came back out and was normal, then i put him to bed at night time and he was fine and i got up to go to work the next morning he was sitting in his cage still alive but wasnt normal as i opened the door to let him out and he wouldnt come out, and he didnt touch any of his food the night before which i found very odd, and literally within 2hrs of me being at work my partner rings me up to say Rufus is dead, so i dont know how it happened and i am utterly upset about it, i still cant go outside without crying..
Dan on September 20, 2018:
Rex was a run away when we found him in our front yard. We took him in and he lived in our garage for 6 years. He was fully grown when we took him in so I would guess he was 7 1/2 years old when he died. Rex was perfectly fine at 300 AM.
When my wife fed him at 715 AM he was again fine and ate. His appetite was good for food and water. I found him dead at 145 PM. No bleeding or obvious signs of injury. No loud noises. No other animals in the garage.
My wife is a retired small animal vet. She looked him over and could find no obvious signs either. We were very careful to rabbit proof the garage. A mystery. He was active and alert until I found him dead.
Victoris on September 19, 2018:
I played with Albert who was primarily a house bun, with unfettered access to garden. I found him dead a few hours later. No signs of distress. I did not have him from birth, I think he was between 6 and 7 years old. He was vaccinated, and saw his vet regularly
Jane on September 09, 2018:
We had 2 rabbits from a breeder one became ill within 36 hours and died. The vet thought it could have been s virus The breeder gave us a second rabbit. Within 2 months the original rabbit was found dead in the hutch. I then bought another rabbit from a different breeder We have had this rabbit 2 days and the other one was found dead in the hutch this morning. We are wondering if it’s just the one breeder as we are heartbroken to loose so many rabbits and are seriously thinking of giving away our latest edition even though the children will be heartbroken
Keith on September 09, 2018:
Wife called out and said something is wrong with honey and when I got to her cage she was lying on her side kicking. I picked her up and put her on a blanket and she relaxed. We stayed with her petting her till she passed. I buried her the next morning. I won her at the fair and till this day wish I new why. Miss her very much.
Kai on September 09, 2018:
So my rabbit was brand new to us. Only 3 weeks with us. And on Thursday morning he was laying on the bottom of his cage. I rushed to the emergency vet but he died in the car. Necropsy said he had liver torsion and the heat in my area made it worse. I was told not to let my other bunnies play outside at all in the heat and liver torsion can be genetic, trauma or bacterial. Needless to say not something we caused. It was heart breaking. Be careful of liver torsion. First signs are lethargy and not eating. My kid didn't show those but those are the most common
C on September 06, 2018:
My rabbit Cocoa died this morning. I heard a thud and checked on him. He was laying on his side barely alive. I called my mom and my mom tried to give him CPR. I tried warming him up but that didn't work. A few moments later he stopped breathing. He was Lifeless. He died right in my arms. He was a bit over 2 years old but I still love him.
Christina on September 06, 2018:
I woke up this morning to find my Bam Bam dead in his cage. He had been fine right before I put him to bed... played with his cat friends, ate, drank, and pooped as usual. This morning when I went to let him out for breakfast, I noticed that he didn't greet me as he usually did. He was just laying there as though he was asleep. There were no signs of injury, illness, or trauma. He was just gone. He was only a year and 8 months so it couldn't have been old age. He was such a sweet, lovable little guy. We are heartbroken.
Lilly and joshua on September 03, 2018:
We just went to the garden 6pm fudge is now passed away, fudge was fine this morning no idea what happened. No funny smells or bleeding a mystery
Lolly on September 01, 2018:
Our curious & oh-so-sweet bun jumped up into a chair where a newly opened box of ordinary cookies were left for an hour, and ate 1/4 of the box. She was dead 12 hours later. :( So tragic, and heartbreaking!
Mara on August 31, 2018:
I literally just found my rabbit dead outside. She was fine last night after i gave her dinner, and then morning she was bleeding from her bottom and laying flat on the floor. Thought she was sleeping because i didnt see the blood at first. So, i went inside to grab some breakfast. When i came back out i noticed and i started searching google to see if something was going on. Then i stumbled on the website and im still grieving.
Elizabeth on August 30, 2018:
My beautiful dwarf lion head died today suddenly. I went to feed her and found her lying down and refusing to eat or drink I put her in a different cage and cleaned her old one. I force fed her critical care but still no improvement. When I awoke this morning to feed her she was dead and very stiff. I miss my baby. She was only 2 years old.
brittney on August 29, 2018:
I just found my baby dead today she was fine this morning but when I came home from school and went to take her out for playtime I found her dead broke my heart because I just lost my childhood dog a few weeks before and she was helping me heal and now she's gone the pet store where I got her never gave me the right information about how they could die if frightened.
Linda on August 29, 2018:
My little angel died 2 days ago. He was all good but we decided to wash him a little because he was dirty. It wasnt first time, he didnt like so much but i didnt mean to harm him. I hold him and he tried to escape many times. I just hold him to keep him so i can wash him. I think i stressed him much, my poor baby, my little baby. After bath he was jumping in home, he sit on the carpet and some hours later we went sleep. In morning i woke up and he was paralysed, he couldnt move at all. I thought he s dead but he was still breathing. I went with him fast to vet but he didnt know what can be so he made him 3 injections to try to make him better. My little angel died 2-3 hours after. My little baby we were so shocked. It wasnt first time when we washed him, probably he was so stressed and i didnt even realise. I wish i can know what happened for real. Even the vet couldnt say anything. I feel so guilty so so guilty. Home is so empty so cold without my little angel. I wd do everything to change the past. We miss him so much.
Anonymous on August 28, 2018:
My sister had two healthy rabbits two days ago. Perfectly normal, perfectly happy, perfectly nourished with the food they had eaten since they were born. But that night, my sister took them into the house to play as she had done every weekend for nearly two years (they were only just about two years old). But we noticed that one of the rabbits wasn’t acting right. Misty, the rabbit, was just sitting in the corner, not doing anything. He was normally very adventurous and excitable, running around, hiding under the sofas etc. We thought he was sleeping because he had his eyes closed. Still breathing normally. So, we put him back in the hutch in the shed and thought nothing of it. The next morning, we were about to head when my sister went to check in then bunnies. Chocolate, the other rabbit, was perfectly normal. Just eating some rabbit food! But my sister opened the area where the rabbits slept (which is also where my sister had put Misty the night before) and there Misty was, laying on his side in dead fashion, barely breathing. My sister brought him into the house crying, holding him in her arms, saying “Misty’s dead! He’s dead!” Soon after he completely stopped breathing. What could possibly happen like that within 12 hours!? That night I couldn’t get to sleep. It just didn’t seem like he had had a heart attack. It must’ve been a virus. My mum took Chocolate (the other rabbit) to the vet this morning, you know, just in case. She was normal, the vet said there was nothing wrong with her at all. Throughout the day, my dad checked on Chocolate, each time she was eating food or drinking water or bouncing around the hutch. But, the last time, my dad said she looked ILL. My mum took her to the vet and she was barely alive. So, my mum got my sister and they went to the vet. The vet had no clue what was wrong with her, but they put Chocolate on painkiller anyway. So, a few minutes later, Chocolate was dead. No doubt about it. Plain dead. I have been searching the internet for the past 10 minutes looking for the answer and so far I think is was somehow Myaisis. If anybody has the answer, please tell me. We loved those bunnies so much. I don’t know how to say to my sister is was most likely Fly Strike. She’s still crying. It’s going to be hard.
Lindsay on August 21, 2018:
I found my rabbit dead this morning. She was a rescue rabbit so I have no idea how she was. She was fine at 6:30am but by 10am she was laying in her side dead. She still had a mouthful of cabbage, it was so sudden. Nothing was sprayed on the cabbage, it was the home grown stuff she'd eaten for the past 3 years and we eat it too. She's been normal and happy, I sat in her hutch with her on Sunday like I do at the weekend and she wanted to sit on my knee and nuggle. Everything was normal then suddenly she died. Im so upset, I dont know what happened, I did everything like normal. No new food, she gets cleaned out regular, we have other pets but they cant touch her, I dont think she had a fright. We live in the middle of no where, theres no people around or loud sounds. Im really going to miss her
Teddy on August 15, 2018:
Today my rabbit Charlie died she was a holland lop and she was one of a kind she would jump up onto the couch just when I was minding my own buisness and she would put her head under my hand and demand to be petted I loved her with all my heart she died trying to breathe jumping and gasping in my dads arms I literally felt my heart tear in two she was the friendliest awesomest bunny you could ever find she wouldn’t even run away from people she hid that she was sick and died at the vet today
Joe on August 13, 2018:
My lil bunny die so sudden this morning. We call him Angel :( . We're surprised since he is a very happy bunny. Always lick our fingers regardless. Didn't show us any sign before he died tho. My lil sister cryin a river when she saw Angel lying in his cage with eyes open. Haih I'm so dissapointed and confused as well since I couldn't figure out the reason behind his death. To all people out there who still considerin to get bunny or not, pls make sure that you are capable of handling this cute lil bunny, they are fragile and so not suitable for first pet but they will give u joy in return if u could handle them in right way.
Ann Zoghlin on August 12, 2018:
We boarded our( 5 year old fixed male) rabbit at a very reputable pet store for 12 days total( to go to a wedding out of town). He died on the 10th day.
He had stayed at this place at other times in the past. We were never sure if he hated it, due to some other animals like cats, dogs and birds. I'm sure he didn't love it, and missed our scratches. We 3 adults really loved on that bunny for hours and hours, and I cant help but think he died of sadness or fright from the noise. Feeling guilty . Just don't know.