Rabbits Online > FORUM BUSINESS > RabbitsOnline Announcements & Support > Sudden Death of Pet Bunnys (4 in two weeks)



Help Support Rabbits Online by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-19-2017, 08:53 AM   #1
BunnyTribe
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Likes Given: 4

Default Sudden Death of Pet Bunnys (4 in two weeks)

This morning as I went to my Bunnys House, to bring them fresh food, I found my little 3 month old bunny boy Saphire (I named him because of the deep blue Eyes he had) shockingly - dead. He was really healthy and strong! His digestion and Appetite - all normal. He was perfectly fine last night. I visit my bunnies every morning and evening and any time in between I can. I really kept an eye on them recently. He lived with his brother and Dad in a large 4 level Bunny House, they are both fine BTW. But 2 weeks ago I was a crazy happy Bunny Owner because my Bunny Girl of almost 2 years had 5 healthy amazingly cute all blue eyed babies. I just got another huge Cage and separated the girls from the boys as they where waiting to get to the vet for the castrations, all the boys and Daddy too. This has not happened as a result of the events that took place the last two weeks. Today is Saturday. One Bunny Baby was found dead this morning. All over a sudden. He was not sick. He had no signs of any thing wrong with him. He was as healthy and strong as he could be. In fact these Bunnys are all incredibly strong and big, not as in fat, as in really strong Muscles. Now, last Sunday, I was shocked to find my perfectly healthy Bunny Mummy and her Daughter dead in their new House. With big blue eyes wide open. Laying on the side. Dead. The Thursday of the same week the first Bunny Baby died, she was also in perfect health. Eyes shut wide open. Just laying on her side. Dead. I had one garden funeral. Then decided to get some kind of an autopsy for the other two, now one more is gone. They all eat the same food, lettuce, green Hay, regular dry Pet Bunny food from the pet store.

The Vets (different ones), said there is no obvious reason. My go-to Pet Vet said that she noticed Lots of bunnies die in the Moth of August every year. I have never heard of this before. I personally never witnessed a Bunny death in the month of august either. Has any one else heard of this or has any experience maybe?
Its not any known virus. There is nothing wrong with them. They just drop dead at night. I live in a nice and peaceful neighborhood. A highly fenced garden, no visits from cats and nothing. Some wild birds, tons of butterflies and yes some slugs. I keep my garden completely organic. I use no chemicals or pesticides, nothing. Just regular water to water the plants. My bunnies, but also my two tortoises and my Dog run around in this garden when ever the weather is nice, as do I. But 99% of all Petfood is from the PetStore and the grocery market (the lettuce, I buy 6 Lettuce heads every two days/ I Used to anyways...its gonna be much less now...)

I cant figure out whats wrong with my bunnies. You see I have been a Bunny Owner for over 15 years, ever since I was a little girl. I only ever have seen Bunnys die from old age or long term health issues. My last Pet Bunny that died years ago was only 4 years old, but really struggled with her heath, I went to the Vet and they couldn’t figure it out for moths. She was sick, but then died of a seizure in my arms. After that I was done with keeping bunnies, it was just too hard emotionally, when a pet died. But my little sister started College and wanted me to take care of her Senior Bunny Mike, he is the Dad of my little bunny Babys and he is almost 10 years old now. Anyways he became incredibly lonely, a bit later I found this rare blue eyed Bunny Girl and decided to adopt her. Mike was crazy happy, but I kept them separated for almost one and a half years. They only had eyes for each other.

I really love my pets. Always have been an animal lover. Always adopted animals, sometimes rescues, sometimes young pets. My bunnies usually stuck around for 8+ years. I kept thinking I am doing every thing right. I spend 50 Euros weekly on fresh food and supplies just for them. I clean up the Food place daily and the entire House/ Cage 2 a week. All my Pets are 'Potty' Trained so they use their 'Toilet' and so their Cage is really clean all the time.

You see when I was a kid I always wanted baby bunnies. My mom got me a tortoise instead. She didn’t like the idea of a pet, especially a hairy one (she didn’t wanna deal with pet hair on furniture and such). I kept bugging her and always trying to make a deal toBut one day She gave in and surprised me with a little Pet Tortoise - I named him Speedy. He is still perfectly healthy and happy. Thank Goodness!

I don t know the reason for these 4 deaths. And by now I am really concerned, about the remaining bunnies, my Other Pets and even my own health. What ever the reason was... it really starts to freak me out. I don’t know if this could even be related at all, but at the same time the first bunny died, I started to get ants inside my house, on two levels, and I cant open and close my doors properly either - all over a sudden as well. It felt like the Ground shifted a tiny bit or something like the house was setting (I know this happens to new building) and thats why the doors to not fit right in. (I had a friend freak out, she got stuck in my bathroom for an minute, she could not open the door…happened to to me to a couple of times the past week or two) I lived in this house for 4 years now. The house was brand new when I moved in, the entire Neighborhood was brand new (all the houses on this street/ even the entire street was brand new ). There have been issues with some water pipes in our street these past few days. Weird smells coming up as their where drilling and looking confused, they kept at it several days, they kept trying all sort of things without results. 'They' - being nice workers that have been send by the water company from our district. They even shut the water down to all houses in our street yesterday for half the day because of these repairs. Afterwards the water had a bit of 'Public Swimming Pool' scent to it...
Anyways. I have a cleaning lady come to my house every saturday. No way is there any food for ants to be attracted to inside my house. They just run around everywhere looking for something…I always believed ants are very organized but they appear to run around a bit aimless…I don’t know. I had to kill them off of course by hand, each…that was not fun, but I cant let them take over my home, sorry…sadly they keep on coming...Oh and months ago, before any Bunny had even died, I found 3 dead mice (maybe that was in June), reasons of death unknown to in my garden. They where just laying in the middle of my garden pathway. This freaked me out then. I got them off my property and did not let any pet run around the garden for weeks. I just wanted to be careful, you never know. So I guess this was the first odd thing I noticed...

Just a bunch of weird things...i don’t know. Not knowing what the cause of death for my Pets was is really scary, but mostly I am just really upset they died. All these little fluffy Angels went up to Bunny heaven…

I'm sorry for the flood of information...I guess This is me trying to process that I just found Saphire dead...


Has anyone else any idea what this could be? What could be the reason for a sudden death of perfectly healthy happy vital Bunnys?? Anyone??


BunnyTribe is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 11:41 AM   #2
Aki
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: France
Posts: 961
Liked 185 Times on 175 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Sorry for you bunnies. I'm not sure I understood everything. The mother (2 years old) and 3 of her kits (3 months old) died? Maybe she could have had a problem, like a heart problem, that she passed on to her kits - kits sometimes die young because of a genetic 'defect'. Also I don't know if it's true for rabbits but for humans you get more problems when you reproduce old - the risks of getting a baby with a genetic issue and health problem is a lot stronger when the parents age (yes, even the father). Your buck is a grandpa, so I don't know if that could have affected the quality of the sperm. Just guessing here, I might be completely wrong as I'm not a breeder by any mean.
Just lettuce for vegetables isn't a balanced diet (rabbits should eat at least 4-5 different vegetables everyday and varying from one week to another as much as possible to avoid deficiencies) but it certainly wouldn't kill bunnies just like that.
It's really hard to tell - it could be anything. I remember that once on a forum I was a breeder suddently lost a lot of rabbits, mostly babies, and after weeks of tests they finally figured out it was the pellets - there was something wrong with the bag she was using. Did you maybe opened a new bag during the past month?
It's true a lot of rabbits die in the summer, especially when they are kept outside. Rabbits don't do well with heat (in the wild, they stay in burrows which are cool, being under the earth) and a lot of rabbits die of heat strokes, deshydratation and fly strikes...


Aki is offline  
BunnyTribe Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
JBun
Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
RABBIT_ADMIN.png
 
JBun's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Utah, , USA
Posts: 6,240
Liked 1144 Times on 988 Posts
Likes Given: 60

Default

You mention Euros. I'm presuming you live in Europe somewhere? If so, are your rabbits vaccinated against myxo, rhd 1, and rhd 2?

Did you notice any symptoms like blood around their mouth or rectum, swelling around their eyes, nose, or genitals, changes in poop, lack of appetite, etc. Anything different that could point to a possible cause. Have you changed their hard feed recently or like Aki mentioned, recently opened up a new bag? Does their hard food or hay smell musty or sour at all? If they can wander in your garden, have you checked for poisonous plants? There are a variety of things that can lead to sudden death, but if there were no noticeable symptoms it can be hard to sometimes know what it is. If you live in Europe and your rabbits aren't vaccinated, rhd 2 would be my biggest concern, as it puts the rest of your rabbits at risk as well.
JBun is offline  
BunnyTribe Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #4
BunnyTribe
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Likes Given: 4

Default

First of Thank you so much for your help trying to figure this out. I now know it was actually the deadly RHD2 Virus. Turns out the vaccination for the 'regular' RHD or RHD1 is not an effective protection from the the Mutation of the virus RHD2. My Vet the people I talked to, had no clue about danger.

My entire Garden and Home are potentially contaminated with this virus. I was adviced to remove 30cm off the entire soil in my garden because the virus can easily survive 10! years in the soil! Unbelieveble!

My sister came over and visited her old friend Mike one last time yesterday, he was all happy and playful...I am kinda glad at least she got to say goodbye and spend some quality time with him. He passed away shortly after.

The two bunnys that lived isolated from the others, indoors, get the vaccination tomorrow from a new Vet as most vets dont even have the vaccination needed against RHD2... it has to be special ordered from france in many cases.

I really wanna thank you again, I have asked these Question all week long, made visits, phone calls, no one even thought of RHD2. I did so much research and this never showed up, or maybe I simply missed it. I had no idea this Mutation of a virus even existed, let alone here in Germany, its supposed to be safe, well so i thought anyways up until recently...

Oh and it didnt come from the food or anything like that - I recently got a new Cage from Amazon. Everyone who came in contact with it died( Harmony was the first, past away her second night in there). Everyone who came in contact with a bunny that came in contact with the cage died. Everyone ate the same exact food. Everyone who didnt come in contact with the cage or a bunny that was in that cage is fine. So thats what I'm guessing.

Tomorrow the testing in the Lab begins. Then soon after I'll know for sure.

Can you even imagine you bring a new cage home and that thing carries a deadly virus that wipes out almost your entire bunny tribe just like that, only because maybe someone returned it after their one pet past and they ? I could have never imagined...now its all about doing everything possible to keep the living ones safe and doing everything possible not to let this spread...

BTW I am not a breeder, this is the first time one of my bunnys had babies in all the 15 years I had bunnies, I was really exited about this bunny family. I was over the moon seeing the little ones grow up every step of the way. It was so special, pure love. I could not get enough of these little furballs. I will for ever be grateful I got to witness their lives unfold. But the devastation about the rapid horrible ending sits real deep... my eyes still hurt from all the tears, the pain this caused me and my entire family is unimaginable!
I will do my best remembering the happy strong and crazy little bunnys they where. RIP Harmony, Wolke, Melody, Sapphire, Mike
BunnyTribe is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2017, 05:25 AM   #5
Thumperina
 
Thumperina's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: , Kansas, USA
Posts: 764
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I am so sorry that you had to lose the bunnies that you loved, and that little ones had to pass so young this is heartbreaking even for me, and I cannot imagine pain you are going thru. Its so sad that vets didn';t know much about vaccination from this deadly virus.
I hope that time brings you some comfort. Hugs!
Thumperina is offline  
BunnyTribe Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
Aki
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: France
Posts: 961
Liked 185 Times on 175 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

I'm so sorry for your loss. That's so sad. I knew about the RHD2 which has also been propagating in France for a few years (I think the first case was in the Netherlands in 2010) but it's still pretty rare so I didn't think it could be that. At least, it brings a quick death so your bunnies probably didn't suffer much, which is a small comfort. Filovac, the only vaccine which was indeed developped in France, is normally efficient and has been on the market since 2012 so it should be enough to protect your two bunnies.
Aki is offline  
BunnyTribe Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 01:06 PM   #7
BunnyTribe
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Likes Given: 4

Default Rhd2 - what's next???

So yesterday I got the letter from the Lab in the mail confirming that it was indeed RHD2 that caused their sudden deaths. I had the last 2 bunnys that past away tested to find their cause of death. Daddy Mike almost 10years old and his barely 4 month old Son JJ. And both had no other issues as the test now confirmed. All organs where really healthy, no parasites, nothing. So thats that. I got that new Bunny Cage from 'Kerbel' that I bought of Amazon and that thing was contaminated with the RHD2 Virus, it killed all 6 Bunnys that lived outdoors, Mom 'Wolke' and Dad 'Mike', 2 daughters 'Harmony' & 'Melody' and 2 Sons 'Sapphire' & 'JJ'. One Boy survived because he was isolated indoors as he had suffered a mild injury on his belly a week before the new cage came and I felt safer with him indoors - that in fact safed his life! And the second lucky Bunny 'Cara', survived as well, isolated indoors, because she was to territorial and argressive with the other bunnys and i kinda delayed the reintroduction of her to the rest of the tribe.
Now last tuesday I had both survivers vaccinated with filovac, the Vet adviced me to put them in a quarantine room in the house and not to handle them, even when giving them food to wear rubber gloves so I dont accidently contaminate anything...as it takes 7 days for the vaccine to work/ be effective. Its wednesday now and for the first time in over a week I pet my sweet little bunnys :-)

My big question now is, what do I do next? How safe are they now with the vaccination? Can they live in outdoor cages that are definetly contaminated with the virus? Can they eat from the lawn that the infected bunnys roamed before they died? Can they live like before? I didnt end up digging up the 4 graves, the Vet adviced me to in fact do nothing and avoid going in the garden for the 7-10 days while the vaccine needed to be effective. Now that it is, what does that mean?

I dont know how I should arrange everything now, so if anyone has ideas pls share. I would love to get my head around this once and for all, and move on from the horror of the past 2,5 Weeks. This month was really intense...So I am really looking forward to September now

At this point I also just wanna say how much I gotta thank you, if I had not found this forum and had not researched all the suggetions as to what the cause was, chances are the 2 survivors would not be, only when I learned about this RHD" virus and all the symptoms matched did I realize about the contamination so I could act accordingly and therefor save both Muse and Caras Life. So thank you so much!!!!! You can not imagine how happy I am this whole thing is behind me and that these sweet little Angels are still here!!!

Thank you so much.
BunnyTribe is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 08:04 AM   #8
Bam
 
Bam's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Default

I'm very sorry for your losses.

RVHD2 is spread by mosquitos (and ticks), so it doesn't necessarily have to be the cage that was infected. Rabbits don't have to have direct contact with other rabbits to contract this disease.

You can clean out the cage/cages with Virkon S, a bunny-safe disinfectant that kills RVHD2 + lots of other pathogens. You first clean out dirt etc with water and f ex washing-up liquid, dry the cage and spray Virkon S on all surfaces and let dry.

Bleach will also kill RVHD2 but it's not really bunny safe so it needs rinsing off after.

According to my specialist rabbit vet, the Filavac provides 90% protection against RVHD2 if given every 6 months. So there's still a 10% risk. You should wait 2 weeks until you let your buns outside post vaccination, so the rabbits' bodies have time to produce adequate amounts of antibody.

I have mosquito netting over my outside run. A tick still crawled in and bit my bunny. It's of course difficult to have mosquito netting if your buns are housed outside permanently.
Bam is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 03:50 PM   #9
Aki
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: France
Posts: 961
Liked 185 Times on 175 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Filavac is efficient at 90-95% for 12 months, normally (after 7 days, like your vet said). It's pretty good, but of course no protection is 100%. Like bam said, I would desinfect everything you can. I personnally would use bleach (and rinse thoroughly, of course). I don't know the other product mentionned, but maybe it's good as well. You won't ever be able to 'desinfect' your garden though and the virus can survive for several months, so you have to decide after the vaccine is effective if you feel like the risk is worth it (well, 0 risk doesn't exist anyway). Where I live, we have myxomatosis and both of the VHD and a LOT of wild rabbits close by. It's too much of a risk for me, so my bunnies are vaccinated and kept inside the house at all time (there is a mosquito net on the window). They have a room for themselves so I don't think they suffer from it. I'm sure they would love the garden, but between illnesses and cats and poisonous plants I am too scared to let them run around outside (when I was a kid, I had guinea pigs and my mother wanted them to stay outside - they all died really young which was quite traumatizing). Some people keep rabbits outside successfully though, so you have to think about what you can do.
Are you going to bond your two bunnies when they are spayed / neutered? (I'm guessing the male isn't, considering he's still young)


Aki is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sudden Death LucindaLoveBunny Health & Wellness 16 02-24-2016 08:24 AM
sudden death bunny lady Health & Wellness 4 08-09-2010 11:37 PM
Another sudden death sha10ly88 Rainbow Bridge Announcements 2 08-24-2009 03:39 AM
sudden death tinwoodsman Health & Wellness 6 06-29-2007 09:32 AM
Sudden death serenz General Rabbit Discussion 6 05-09-2007 09:18 PM





Newest Threads