How to help surviving rabbit

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CHWong31

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I lost one of my foster rabbits (the brown one, 4 y.o. male) very unexpectedly a few days ago (25 May) and am terrified about the other bonded rabbit (lionhead, 4.5 y.o. male). By all accounts, he seems to be doing fine but I'm super worried about missing something. The lionhead has always been very chill, sleeping through sirens and other loud noises. Currently, he is lounging around and still zooming around. He is eating, drinking, pooping, grooming fine, just as usual. He doesn't usually bother with toys and occasionally chews on his cardboard boxes (he is not really chewing more than he used to either). I don't know if this means that he doesn't need to grieve, or has not realized that his partner isn't coming back. Half of me is worried I'm mistaking sadness/loneliness for his usual "chill-ness", and the other half of me thinks he hasn't realized his partner is gone and is bracing for the time when he may realize that.
I didn't research until two days after my brown bunny passed that I was supposed to bring the body back to the surviving bunny to help him realize that his partner is gone- he was euthanized at the vets due to an unsuccessful surgery and the lionhead did not see anything. People say I should shower the surviving rabbit with treats and affection, and while I have been giving him treats every day, I don't think he cares much for human affection. I can't tell whether he likes being petted or is just tolerating the petting (if it's the latter then I don't want to make things worse by bothering him). Neither of the buns seemed to be really affectionate actually. I've also read people's experiences of losing the surviving bunny just days after their partner passed. Is it possible to lose the survivor without it showing any symptoms? Is there anything I can do other than treats, since he isn't really fond of toys/affection? I am just really worried I am not doing enough to help the surviving bunny. Also is there a certain period of time after which the surviving bunny should be fine if he doesn't end up showing any grieving symptoms?

(I don't know if info about the bunny that passed is helpful/relevant to helping the surviving bunny but here it is. I noticed he wasn't interested in eating in the morning, which is opposite of his normal behaviour of racing in circles upon smelling the pellets. I gently put him in the pellet box, but he simply hopped out and lay in a litter box, which was very unusual. He looked like he had to constantly shift around to get into a position that was less uncomfortable. I couldn't get him to eat treats either, so I contacted the vets at the shelter I foster at, and we scheduled an emergency appointment to bring him in for a checkup in the afternoon. I brought him in, they checked him and told me that he had GI stasis, confirming my suspicion. They said he'd stay with them for a few days so they could force feed him and give him fluids and such, so I went home thinking I'd pick him up in a few days. A few hours later that night, the vet called to say that they tried to remove the stone in his urethra but he was so fragile the catheter went through the urethra and he felt pain even under anaesthesia, so they had to euthanize him immediately and couldn't even call me in to see him one last time. Everything happened so suddenly: he was still eating 17 hours before he passed, then I woke up in the morning and he wasn't eating, then 10 hours later he was gone. To me, it felt so sudden and unexpected, considering how he went from appearing normal to passing away within 24 hours. But I don't know how the surviving bunny sees it. He probably could tell his partner wasn't feeling well, then I took him away and until now he still isn't back..? I don't know, I can't even tell if he is even affected by the absence of his partner... Would appreciate it so much if anyone has any advice; thanks so much in advance)
 

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MayBae

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I'm so sorry for everything you went through. I can only imagine how difficult it was and is. If your living bunny is acting completely normal and not hiding away or not eating, then he should be okay, just continue to supervise and make sure he doesn't change any of his natural behaviors.
 

JBun

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I'm very sorry for the loss of your rabbit. From your description, it sounds like his bunny companion is probably adjusting fine to the loss. As long as he's eating and drinking normally, and isn't showing uncharacteristic lethargy, I wouldn't be too worried. Rabbits that get depressed from the passing of their bunny companion, will show signs of reduced or lack of appetite, and/or uncharacteristic lethargy and not being interested in things they normally would be interested in. Not all rabbits will get depressed and miss their bonded companion when they're gone. None of my rabbits have, so it really depends on the rabbit. I would just continue to monitor eating/drinking/pooping, and make sure that all that stays normal. And that his behavior stays relatively the same.
 

MyGrandbunns

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I lost one of my foster rabbits (the brown one, 4 y.o. male) very unexpectedly a few days ago (25 May) and am terrified about the other bonded rabbit (lionhead, 4.5 y.o. male). By all accounts, he seems to be doing fine but I'm super worried about missing something. The lionhead has always been very chill, sleeping through sirens and other loud noises. Currently, he is lounging around and still zooming around. He is eating, drinking, pooping, grooming fine, just as usual. He doesn't usually bother with toys and occasionally chews on his cardboard boxes (he is not really chewing more than he used to either). I don't know if this means that he doesn't need to grieve, or has not realized that his partner isn't coming back. Half of me is worried I'm mistaking sadness/loneliness for his usual "chill-ness", and the other half of me thinks he hasn't realized his partner is gone and is bracing for the time when he may realize that.
I didn't research until two days after my brown bunny passed that I was supposed to bring the body back to the surviving bunny to help him realize that his partner is gone- he was euthanized at the vets due to an unsuccessful surgery and the lionhead did not see anything. People say I should shower the surviving rabbit with treats and affection, and while I have been giving him treats every day, I don't think he cares much for human affection. I can't tell whether he likes being petted or is just tolerating the petting (if it's the latter then I don't want to make things worse by bothering him). Neither of the buns seemed to be really affectionate actually. I've also read people's experiences of losing the surviving bunny just days after their partner passed. Is it possible to lose the survivor without it showing any symptoms? Is there anything I can do other than treats, since he isn't really fond of toys/affection? I am just really worried I am not doing enough to help the surviving bunny. Also is there a certain period of time after which the surviving bunny should be fine if he doesn't end up showing any grieving symptoms?

(I don't know if info about the bunny that passed is helpful/relevant to helping the surviving bunny but here it is. I noticed he wasn't interested in eating in the morning, which is opposite of his normal behaviour of racing in circles upon smelling the pellets. I gently put him in the pellet box, but he simply hopped out and lay in a litter box, which was very unusual. He looked like he had to constantly shift around to get into a position that was less uncomfortable. I couldn't get him to eat treats either, so I contacted the vets at the shelter I foster at, and we scheduled an emergency appointment to bring him in for a checkup in the afternoon. I brought him in, they checked him and told me that he had GI stasis, confirming my suspicion. They said he'd stay with them for a few days so they could force feed him and give him fluids and such, so I went home thinking I'd pick him up in a few days. A few hours later that night, the vet called to say that they tried to remove the stone in his urethra but he was so fragile the catheter went through the urethra and he felt pain even under anaesthesia, so they had to euthanize him immediately and couldn't even call me in to see him one last time. Everything happened so suddenly: he was still eating 17 hours before he passed, then I woke up in the morning and he wasn't eating, then 10 hours later he was gone. To me, it felt so sudden and unexpected, considering how he went from appearing normal to passing away within 24 hours. But I don't know how the surviving bunny sees it. He probably could tell his partner wasn't feeling well, then I took him away and until now he still isn't back..? I don't know, I can't even tell if he is even affected by the absence of his partner... Would appreciate it so much if anyone has any advice; thanks so much in advance)
Oh so sorry for your sudden loss of dear bunny. We have experienced a very similar thing. Our boy bun survived a GI stasis but it was touch and go a few years back. His wife bun had always been the tough ravenous one who was never ill. Then suddenly one evening a few months back she seemed to have trouble eating her supper- usually she goes crazy for it. By lunchtime the next day we had made the decision for euthanasia- like you it was just so sudden and traumatic. Never saw it coming. She got ill so fast and couldn't be saved. I feel so bad. And same- we didn't know about bringing her wee body home. We were very worried how her "husbun" would cope but the weird thing is he binked around the place and has eaten ravenously since. They used to sit side by side constantly and i felt incredibly sad that he was alone. But truly he hasn't seemed distraught at all. I make an extra big effort to kiss and love him- he doesn't like being held or cuddled so you have to sit down beside him. He does love being patted and kissed- and nibbles his teeth. We have a wee dog so he isn't alone. THey lived in our kitchen/dining room and he has free range of that area as he is house trained. He was here with me before his wife joined us so he did have time alone first. All the best to your sweet bunny man..hmm maybe the boy bunny's are more resilient! Best wishes-:) Mary- and Jett the bunny.
 

CHWong31

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I'm so sorry for everything you went through. I can only imagine how difficult it was and is. If your living bunny is acting completely normal and not hiding away or not eating, then he should be okay, just continue to supervise and make sure he doesn't change any of his natural behaviors.
I see, thanks a lot!
 

CHWong31

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I'm very sorry for the loss of your rabbit. From your description, it sounds like his bunny companion is probably adjusting fine to the loss. As long as he's eating and drinking normally, and isn't showing uncharacteristic lethargy, I wouldn't be too worried. Rabbits that get depressed from the passing of their bunny companion, will show signs of reduced or lack of appetite, and/or uncharacteristic lethargy and not being interested in things they normally would be interested in. Not all rabbits will get depressed and miss their bonded companion when they're gone. None of my rabbits have, so it really depends on the rabbit. I would just continue to monitor eating/drinking/pooping, and make sure that all that stays normal. And that his behavior stays relatively the same.
Oh I wasn't sure if all/most rabbits would experience that kind of depression as this is my first time caring for rabbits (and losing one, unfortunately), so I was just kind of building my expectations off of what I found online- and people were describing how their poor buns were depressed after losing their companion so I was wondering if my bun's behaviour was unusual because he seems to be doing well. But it's good to hear from someone with more experience that your bunnies did not become depressed and miss their companions- good for our bunnies who are doing better than me :') Will definitely keep monitoring him
 

BunLover

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I lost one of my foster rabbits (the brown one, 4 y.o. male) very unexpectedly a few days ago (25 May) and am terrified about the other bonded rabbit (lionhead, 4.5 y.o. male). By all accounts, he seems to be doing fine but I'm super worried about missing something. The lionhead has always been very chill, sleeping through sirens and other loud noises. Currently, he is lounging around and still zooming around. He is eating, drinking, pooping, grooming fine, just as usual. He doesn't usually bother with toys and occasionally chews on his cardboard boxes (he is not really chewing more than he used to either). I don't know if this means that he doesn't need to grieve, or has not realized that his partner isn't coming back. Half of me is worried I'm mistaking sadness/loneliness for his usual "chill-ness", and the other half of me thinks he hasn't realized his partner is gone and is bracing for the time when he may realize that.
I didn't research until two days after my brown bunny passed that I was supposed to bring the body back to the surviving bunny to help him realize that his partner is gone- he was euthanized at the vets due to an unsuccessful surgery and the lionhead did not see anything. People say I should shower the surviving rabbit with treats and affection, and while I have been giving him treats every day, I don't think he cares much for human affection. I can't tell whether he likes being petted or is just tolerating the petting (if it's the latter then I don't want to make things worse by bothering him). Neither of the buns seemed to be really affectionate actually. I've also read people's experiences of losing the surviving bunny just days after their partner passed. Is it possible to lose the survivor without it showing any symptoms? Is there anything I can do other than treats, since he isn't really fond of toys/affection? I am just really worried I am not doing enough to help the surviving bunny. Also is there a certain period of time after which the surviving bunny should be fine if he doesn't end up showing any grieving symptoms?

(I don't know if info about the bunny that passed is helpful/relevant to helping the surviving bunny but here it is. I noticed he wasn't interested in eating in the morning, which is opposite of his normal behaviour of racing in circles upon smelling the pellets. I gently put him in the pellet box, but he simply hopped out and lay in a litter box, which was very unusual. He looked like he had to constantly shift around to get into a position that was less uncomfortable. I couldn't get him to eat treats either, so I contacted the vets at the shelter I foster at, and we scheduled an emergency appointment to bring him in for a checkup in the afternoon. I brought him in, they checked him and told me that he had GI stasis, confirming my suspicion. They said he'd stay with them for a few days so they could force feed him and give him fluids and such, so I went home thinking I'd pick him up in a few days. A few hours later that night, the vet called to say that they tried to remove the stone in his urethra but he was so fragile the catheter went through the urethra and he felt pain even under anaesthesia, so they had to euthanize him immediately and couldn't even call me in to see him one last time. Everything happened so suddenly: he was still eating 17 hours before he passed, then I woke up in the morning and he wasn't eating, then 10 hours later he was gone. To me, it felt so sudden and unexpected, considering how he went from appearing normal to passing away within 24 hours. But I don't know how the surviving bunny sees it. He probably could tell his partner wasn't feeling well, then I took him away and until now he still isn't back..? I don't know, I can't even tell if he is even affected by the absence of his partner... Would appreciate it so much if anyone has any advice; thanks so much in advance)
Aww, you buns so adorable. I wish I could have another rabbit but we only have room for one right now. I have not lost any on my own animals yet, well, except a pet betta fish. I must be really hard losing a rabbit. it must have been really hard of what you went through, Just stay strong, remember that
 

CHWong31

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Oh so sorry for your sudden loss of dear bunny. We have experienced a very similar thing. Our boy bun survived a GI stasis but it was touch and go a few years back. His wife bun had always been the tough ravenous one who was never ill. Then suddenly one evening a few months back she seemed to have trouble eating her supper- usually she goes crazy for it. By lunchtime the next day we had made the decision for euthanasia- like you it was just so sudden and traumatic. Never saw it coming. She got ill so fast and couldn't be saved. I feel so bad. And same- we didn't know about bringing her wee body home. We were very worried how her "husbun" would cope but the weird thing is he binked around the place and has eaten ravenously since. They used to sit side by side constantly and i felt incredibly sad that he was alone. But truly he hasn't seemed distraught at all. I make an extra big effort to kiss and love him- he doesn't like being held or cuddled so you have to sit down beside him. He does love being patted and kissed- and nibbles his teeth. We have a wee dog so he isn't alone. THey lived in our kitchen/dining room and he has free range of that area as he is house trained. He was here with me before his wife joined us so he did have time alone first. All the best to your sweet bunny man..hmm maybe the boy bunny's are more resilient! Best wishes-:) Mary- and Jett the bunny.
Sorry to hear that you had a similar experience too; I'd never wish it upon anyone else but it's somewhat comforting/relieving to hear from someone who's been through it as well. I'm also sad that my bunny is alone and has no one to groom because they would always sleep next to each other :'( but he really doesn't seem different without his bonded bun. I'm glad that he is doing pretty well (better than me), so that I don't have to be so worried about him
 

CHWong31

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Aww, you buns so adorable. I wish I could have another rabbit but we only have room for one right now. I have not lost any on my own animals yet, well, except a pet betta fish. I must be really hard losing a rabbit. it must have been really hard of what you went through, Just stay strong, remember that
thank you so much!
 

MyGrandbunns

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Sorry to hear that you had a similar experience too; I'd never wish it upon anyone else but it's somewhat comforting/relieving to hear from someone who's been through it as well. I'm also sad that my bunny is alone and has no one to groom because they would always sleep next to each other :'( but he really doesn't seem different without his bonded bun. I'm glad that he is doing pretty well (better than me), so that I don't have to be so worried about him
Yes I know- i loved seeing them sitting side by side :( But i can hear him binkying by right now :) I spend more time patting and kissing him!
 

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