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Young rabbit suddenly died :-(

(17 Posts)
devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 12:03:34

1of our rabbits died suddenly yesterday .... we’re absolutely devastated. She was just 18 months old.

She didn’t do much on Sunday so took her to the vets yesterday as I knew she was very poorly. She had Ileus (gut statis) and hypothermia.

We’re in complete shock, it’s just so sad. We have no idea really how she got Ileus. I guess we’ll never know.


bunnygeek Tue 06-Feb-18 12:15:39

Was she fully vaccinated against Myxi, VHD and VHD2? VHD2 is a nasty one and can cause other symptoms, it doesn't kill as quickly as VHD.

Gut stasis can be triggered by so many things, including blockages like a hair ball. Was she inside or outside? Sudden temperature drops can trigger stasis too.

devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 12:28:45

She was up to date with jabs. She was outside in a big hutch with her brother. The hutch has a waterproof cover over it then we also have a quilt cover over that. The vet can’t say which came first, hypo or ileus, but said it can kill within 12 hours. We’ve always kept our bunnies outside and never had any problems before, so I suspect it’s been the ileus really.

We’re just devastated. She was gorgeous rabbit with a gorgeous temperament.

bunnygeek Tue 06-Feb-18 13:01:27

It's heartbreaking when they go suddenly sad

I would be concerned for the brother now though, especially with the very cold night temperatures over the next few days. Do you have snugglesafe heat pads?

devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 13:43:31

Her brother is eating, is warm and seems fine. I’ve put masses of hay in his hutch. I’m buying a snugglesafe from the local pet store this afternoon when I go for other bits. I’ve never used one before, but I’d now rather be safe than sorry.

Fwiw, we’ve always been told it’s not the cold that kills rabbits, it’s the wind/draughts combined with a wet hutch. I’ve looked online and it confirms this is the case as rabbits actually are fine in the cold. However, I’m now taking no chances at all.

We’re also looking into getting a rescue rabbit to go alongside brother.

bunnygeek Tue 06-Feb-18 13:54:41

Indeed, it's being wet and in a draught that does a bun no good. But when a bun is used to having another bun to snuggle with, it'll be so sold without. Good you're looking for a rescue companion, previously bonded buns are much easier to bond again.

I have elderly buns now, when they were outdoors a sudden overnight temperature drop sent one into stasis - despite having no draught, thick hay, snugglesafe, she was too much of a dingbat to sit on it and got all cold. Daft creature!

devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 14:39:21

Ah bunny .... did she pull through after going into statis?

The bunny rescue place in my local area says it’s actually best to take your bunny to them for a ‘play date’ with the rescues .... apparently they usually choose their own companion. I haven’t rang up yet so not sure whether to do it this way or just go and choose ourselves.

Brother and sister were so affectionate with each other, don’t know if this is usual as we’ve never had 2 together. They just snuggled together, sat in their potty together, groomed each other, they were just lovely. Their temperaments are/were just the best.

I’m still blaming myself, still think it’s something I did/didn’t do.

bunnygeek Tue 06-Feb-18 15:19:04

Yes mine did pull through, I've been fortunate with their "episodes" of stasis and bloat a few times also.

Mine came as a pair as they're siblings from a rescue, but most good rescues will offer bonding. It can be a tricky process so do read up on it and ask what those particular rescue's bonding processes are. If it's a meet and sniff once and go home immediately if they don't get feisty, then you'll be doing the bonding yourself as it can take a few days, even a few weeks or longer, for a bond to cement.

And yes it is normal for a bonded pair to be that snuggly smile mine are like that too.

Stasis is a bugger, especially this time of year and going into spring when they start to moult. How the episodes play out completely varies bun to bun. Sometimes they recover, sometimes there's something more serious underlying and they don't. Don't blame yourself, concentrate on looking after her brother and spoiling him rotten now <3

Devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 17:54:41

Thanks bunny

We’ve had lots of bunnies over the years but have never ever lost one early. It’s just such a huge shock.

Brother is getting lots of tlc and constant checking! I’m hoping we can get a friend for him and they bond easily. I’m probably hoping for too much grin

WetsTheVet Tue 06-Feb-18 18:01:18

90% of the poorly bunnies I treat at work have ileus. Unfortunately they are just extremely susceptible to it. It wouldn't have been anything you did wrong. I'm very sorry for your loss x

Devastatedupset Tue 06-Feb-18 18:28:44

Thanks wets .... but she also got hypothermia ...
I feel I’ve badly, grossly let her down, I should have noticed earlier. I try not to overthink it because we’ve had lots of rabbits and this has never happened before.

Fir future care, how would I ‘see’ ileus?

dangermouseisace Tue 06-Feb-18 20:43:37

So sorry to hear about your rabbit. I'm sure it's the statis that probably led to hypothermia setting in (i.e. If you don't hop about you get cold). Rabbits don't vomit so if there is a gastric problem they just bloat.

My rabbits are currently sat outside in their run, in the fecking snow. They're not even sitting together! I put snugglesafes and kale in their nice insulated hutch- they hopped in for the kale and then went straight back out again. I'm saying this to illustrate how rabbits behave given the choice- to bloody well sit outside and freeze! So I really, really don't think you could have prevented this. I bet remaining bun will be glad of the snuggle safe tonight though. I hope you have good luck finding a new companion.

EfficiencyDeficiency Tue 06-Feb-18 20:46:56

Hi op, I know nothing at all about rabbits but just wanted to say that I'm sorry your little bunny has passed away.

It's clear as day from your posts that you adored her, take comfort in knowing how much she was loved flowers

dangermouseisace Tue 06-Feb-18 21:07:37

I've never had a rabbit with stasis but I'd read that if bun is just sitting not doing much/not eating/drinking then assume it's stasis and get to a vet asap. I'm a bit paranoid about it though so check the buns at least twice a day and feed them twice a day (so I have more chance of witnessing both of them regularly eating) I also use water bowls rather than bottles as I think they drink more from bowls- their favourite one needs topped up twice a day. But you might do all this already...

WetsTheVet Tue 06-Feb-18 21:12:52

Indeed, the hypothermia sounds secondary.

Any sign of a bun refusing to eat, or move should be treated as potential ileus. You get to know your buns - are they looking sluggish? If you offer them their favourite veg do you still refuse it? Are they just 'off'? e.g a normally skittish bun allowing you to stroke her without moving. These are all signs of gut stasis or other illnesses and need treated urgently. Never wait until the morning with buns, they deteriorate exceptionally fast.

Devastatedupset Wed 07-Feb-18 09:29:27

Thanks everyone.
danger ... mine LOVE/D the snow! I’ve read online that rabbits do like the cold and thrive in it.
efficiency .... thank you, that’s lovely. She was more than adored, she was just adorable, beautiful, loving, inquisitive - and a great companion. She was my daughters rabbit, ‘brother’ is my son’s rabbit. My daughter has autism so this has hit especially hard.
wets ... that’s the thing - on Saturday she was her normal self but I should have noticed on Sunday and I didn’t. Dh said on Sunday night when he covered them up that he noticed she hadn’t done much all day. I rang the vets Monday at 8.45, was given the earliest appointment st 2.20, but by then it was too late. She was literally dying in my arms while he was getting the injection ready to put her to sleep.

Awful, just awful.

dangermouseisace Wed 07-Feb-18 10:58:35

Aw that's terrible devastated

It's awful that you had to wait so long to see a vet in this situation, how distressing for you all, and it is even worse if it's a particular child's pet flowers.

It is so hard to tell with rabbits when something is wrong, or if they're just a bit tired. Don't beat yourself up- if the vet had seen bun soon after your call maybe things would have been different.

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