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Old 06-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default My rabbit died unexpectedly :( i need answers!!

I lost my Bella baby on Tuesday, June 4th 2013. And I don't know what went wrong.

Bella was new to our family of 3 neutered male cats, and 1 neutered male lion head, Leon. I had adopted her about one month ago from our local rabbit shelter. She was previously living with a foster family that had cats, dogs, and fostered another female rabbit. I wanted her to bond with Leon so they could both have a lifelong companion, but we no longer have that chance now. Bella was dominant and confident of herself, but not too aggressive where I would ever be afraid of her. She would grunt and charge a little but never actually bite me, but the rest of the furry friends, she wasn't afraid to put them in their place, and they respected that and never hurt her. Leon and her would have been great together with some more time. They were never overly aggressive with each other, and in a completely neutral area they wouldn't groom each other but they played coy and had cute moments. I had Bella in the bedroom for about a week and then moved her pen to the living room so she could be around the others more to interact. It all seemed to be going VERY well. I would find her and Leon laying near each other with just the pen cage separating them. She would get to come out and play and she loved hopping around. Again, everything seemed perfectly normal and great...
Then on Sunday, June 2nd evening I noticed she hadn't eaten her dry food or her greens. Her ears were back, as though she was being aggressive however she completely let her guard down and showed no signs of trying to be dominant. She would let me put my hand in her house to pet her and pick her up and she would just softly sit with me and let me kiss her and be content and sweet. I assumed maybe she was feeling stressed out from the cats because my youngest whom she seemed to get along with outside of her pen, would often be too curious and persistent to want to sit in her pen with her. He would not hurt her however and she seemed to slowly have been accepting his friendship. I was not concerned for either or their safety around each other. Anyway, come Monday evening when she still hadn't eaten and I noticed she wasn't using her litter box. I held her and fed her water from a syringe which she drank with seeming ease but not an overly large amount. However, I felt better that she had drank something and it seemed to liven her up a bit. Leon was adamant to be around her, not with her, but around. She sat in her house inside her pen and Leon hopped around eating some lettuce and playing coy. It seemed like he wanted her to feel better. She enjoyed his company I could tell.
The next morning, Tuesday, I woke up at 9am to check on her. I picked her up and she made a cry, she was very frail. I held her and kissed her. She sounded very wheezy and had a white discharge from one of her eyes. I wiped it away and assumed she had an eye infection but our vet appointment was scheduled for that day at 1:30pm. I could hear her little heart racing and her wheeze, so after I soothed her for some time I decided to place her in her house in her pen so she could calm down and rest.... I wish I had kept holding her now.

I came back for her at 1pm to take her to the vet and she lay lifeless just outside her litter box.
My baby girl was gone.
I am in complete shock and so heartbroken. I let her down and she should still be here with us. She was doing so well and then we lost it all.... what went wrong????

I need some answers.



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Old 06-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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It sounds like she was going through GI stasis. This is where the gut slows down or even stops due to not eating. What might case this could vary from stress to gas or another illness. Rabbits need to eat frequently, so not eating for even a few hours can be an emergency. She wasn't pooping or peeing because she wasn't eating or drinking. It is possible that if she had been treated right away, she might have pulled through. It really sounds like she went into stasis and got quite sick from that.

There are things you can do if your rabbit isn't eating. Getting a large syringe from your vet along with a formal to force feed (usually Critical Care from Oxbow) is a good start, the vet should be able to show you how to give it. It should not hurt to give some if it can catch it quickly and it will help keep the gut moving. Gas medication for babies (Simethicone) can also be given to help with gas and is safe to give. These are easy to give and keep around just in case and can be good until you can get to the vet.
It is important to know what is normal for your rabbit. If he is always eager for food, but is acting off one day, that is something to worry about. Even just being off without an explication (like if it is hot out, he might not be as active) can be a cause to be concerned. Rabbits are prey animals, so do hide illness well and can go down hill fast.

I am very sorry that you lost her. It is never easy no matter how long you have them, be it a month or 10 years. Binky Free Bella



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Old 06-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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I'm so sorry you lost your little girl. Rabbits are a very fragile and sensitive animal, and sometimes things go wrong with them. It sounds like your rabbit may have had some sort of infection, possibly a respiratory infection, which in turn caused GI stasis because she was in pain from the possible infection or other health problem, and so had stopped eating and pooping. It's also possible e. cuniculi could have been involved, or a mass of some sort. It's really hard to know for sure, without a necropsy. Here's some info if you want to read up on it.

http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Respiratory/Differential/respira_diff.htm
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Respiratory/respira_main.htm
http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/ileus.html

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Old 06-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korr_and_Sophie View Post
It sounds like she was going through GI stasis. This is where the gut slows down or even stops due to not eating. What might case this could vary from stress to gas or another illness. Rabbits need to eat frequently, so not eating for even a few hours can be an emergency. She wasn't pooping or peeing because she wasn't eating or drinking. It is possible that if she had been treated right away, she might have pulled through. It really sounds like she went into stasis and got quite sick from that.

There are things you can do if your rabbit isn't eating. Getting a large syringe from your vet along with a formal to force feed (usually Critical Care from Oxbow) is a good start, the vet should be able to show you how to give it. It should not hurt to give some if it can catch it quickly and it will help keep the gut moving. Gas medication for babies (Simethicone) can also be given to help with gas and is safe to give. These are easy to give and keep around just in case and can be good until you can get to the vet.
It is important to know what is normal for your rabbit. If he is always eager for food, but is acting off one day, that is something to worry about. Even just being off without an explication (like if it is hot out, he might not be as active) can be a cause to be concerned. Rabbits are prey animals, so do hide illness well and can go down hill fast.

I am very sorry that you lost her. It is never easy no matter how long you have them, be it a month or 10 years. Binky Free Bella
I agree. I'm so sorry you lost your new baby. No matter how long or short you've had them, it is extremely hard to lose them. Binky Free at the bridge lil' bun!
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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So sorry for your loss. I agree with the others, GI stasis, often erroneously called by idiot vets- "hairball".

Dimi suffered a bout in May. This time I suspected it was an emergency when she went "silent" and let my husband pick her up (I lost a rabbit years ago to what I now know is GI stasis- called a hairball by vet who didn't know squat about rabbits, and just offered to put him down-no treatment). Thanks to this site, I have learned a LOT since then.

Dimi was perfectly fine that morning. Started showing symptoms that evening. We rushed her to emergency vet where she was given fluids subcutaneously, pain meds, and motility meds. She is doing great now. No more pellets and very infrequent fruit. She was also molting massively which all contributed to the "perfect storm" of events. The vets said that they were very impressed that we got her in immediately vs. waiting. They said 90% of people wait a day, and by then it is too late.

She gets a diet of healthy greens, orchard grass hay, and timothy cubes (I am very allergic to timothy hay). I also give her a tsp of canned, plain pumpkin a day, and that seems to keep her poops plentiful and the right size, and not dry. I also have 3 different brushes I have to use during molting. She hates being brushed, but too bad. At one sitting, I can fill a garbage bag with hair! So yes, we have to really watch her during molting...

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Old 07-03-2013, 02:32 AM   #6
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I'm not good at bunny sicknesses but I'd just like to day that I'm truly sorry for your loss. Its so hard to lose them.

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Old 07-04-2013, 02:32 AM   #7
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Sorry you lost your darling bun. Rabbits can be very delicate creatures indeed. Any change in eating habits (like refusing food) is cause for immediate concern. Even 12 hours of not eating could warrant a trip to the vet.
It seems, with bunnies, one is never finished learning about them.

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Old 07-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
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Agree with GI stasis, though the cause of it is hard to tell though it can be caused by many things. So sorry for your loss.

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Old 07-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Sounds like it could be GI stasis. I'm so sorry for your loss.



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