My Dimi has passed, and I am not coping well

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napagirl

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My 9yr old lop passed last Wed. I have been crying off and on since then, and having trouble coping. This is a bit long, but I've been wanting to write this out, and this is the first day I felt I could do it. Dimi has had lifelong stasis issues, and I've been able to pull her out of stasis several times. She was also seeing one of the top rabbit vets around, so we were very lucky. A few times, I've had to bring her to the vet urgently to get sub q fluids if the meds and syringing at home weren't working. And that would bounce her right back. She was perfectly fine last Tuesday, ran to her room for bedtime. Next morning, we noticed that she had not touched her hay nor pooped in her fresh box. She was in her igloo and didn't want to come out. So we started her meds and syringing fluids/critical care. I have been working from home since the pandemic, and she shares the office with me, so I could keep a close eye on her. After several hours, I was getting concerned because she was getting a bit more lethargic, and still no eating (even her favorites) and no pooping. I called her vet, and two other good ones I know. No one could get her in the same day. I've noticed this issue more so since the pandemic. Anyway her vet and another said I should take her to a specific emergency vet that was "rabbit savvy". So I took her. Here is where things get bad... The dr agreed to treat with sub q fluids, but also wanted to give a pain shot and take blood. He thought there could be something else going on besides stasis. To put it nicely, the techs that were sent in to give her the pain shot/fluids/take blood were not well versed with rabbits. First, they said they didn't feel her leg muscle, and stabbed the pain shot into her back. The needle bent, but she got the dose. She became very sedated- almost like anesthesia. Then they attempted to take blood, which wasn't working because her veins were so tiny. It was heartwrenching to see them attempt it. I told them to stop, and we would get it later at her vet. They then did the sub q fluids while she was just collapsed there. I just wanted to get her home. The dr came back in and told me if she wasn't eating/pooping by morning, to take her to vet. Duh. So we got home, and we put her on blanket in front room. She was completely out of it- splayed out like a pancake. She was breathing, but very slowly. I called the emergency vet back, and talked to the dr. I told him how sedated she was, and he said she's just chilled out, should wear off in 4-5 hours. Well, 30min later, she rolled onto her side, started having a seizure and died. I was convinced they overdosed her at that time.

The next day I spoke to her regular vet, whom I trust very much. She was sorry we had a bad experience there, and said she would look into the techs' rabbit handling training. She did say that some of the signs I mentioned, like them not feeling the leg muscle and the veins being small may have signified extremely low BP and circulatory collapse. Even though my rabbit was in only a month before for an exam which was all good, she said there could have been something going on that was not discovered at exam. The one thing that bugs me is that she was reading the report from the emergency vet, and asked me if Dimi had gained a lot of weight in the last month. She definitely had NOT gained a lot of weight, as a matter of fact, she felt a little lighter. Evidently, the emergency vet report had her weight at quite a bit more than what was measured at her vet appt a month prior. I suspect the techs didn't zero out the scale- I dont know. But now I'm wondering if they did overdose her based on incorrect weight.

I just feel horrible that I didn't protect her! Her whole life I've been taking care of her, always careful about who provided care to her. We never went on vacation longer than a night or two, because I didn't trust anyone to take care of her if she got stasis. I feel like I failed her by taking her to that emergency vet. I do realize intellectually that there could've been something else wrong, and she might have died regardless. But I keep wondering if they killed her. I miss her so much- we were very very close. And I just feel so darn guilty that her last hours had to be so horrible. How do you get past the guilt and grief?
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I have had this feeling a few times now. When my last rabbit passed away, I felt physically sick to my stomach, and it seemed like I couldn't even breathe at one point. Some might say that it's an overreaction but these animals are our friends and our companions and can be there for us when it seems like no one else is. And what I will say for you, is that there is no way that this was your fault at all. You noticed she was sick, you got her to the EV, and they tried their best (whether it was a mistake on their part, you probably never know) but you tried for her.

I'm not sure - and I wouldn't be in the position to say - if she overdosed or not, but when one of my first bunnies passed away from stasis (before I knew a lot about stasis or how quick they could get it), he did a similar thing to what you described. He spasmed/seized, and then passed away. I wasn't able to get him to the vet in time.

I'm so sorry for your loss, I hope you feel better soon. I'm not great with emotional or phycological advice, but I wish you well. Rest in peace Dimi ❤🌈
 

CrazyChickenGirl

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I agree with @Apollo’s Slave don’t blame yourself there is no way to tell who’s fault it was. She died knowing how lucky she was to have such an amazing, caring and loving owner as you who cared enough to do so much to help her through everything. She wouldn’t want you to blame yourself but to instead to remember the she’ll be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. Blinky free Dimi!
 

napagirl

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Thank you both, Apollo's Slave and CrazyChickenGirl. I knew only rabbit people would understand how I feel! I'm sorry about your rabbit passing from stasis as well. They are such fragile animals. We buried her in the backyard, and I found a stone Zen bunny (with lop ears!) statue to put on top of her grave. Rabbits are just the most sweet, innocent beings. We felt like she was our little toddler, and we miss her so much. I know I gave her a great life- but it's never long enough...
 

SirLawrence

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I'm so sorry for you loss. I can't make it better, but we're all here for you if you need to talk.

Your story breaks my heart for you. 😢 Please know that whatever feelings you're experiencing, you're right for feeling them, and be kind to yourself and let yourself grieve however you need to. Our bunnies are much more to us than simple pets.
 

zuppa

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My 9yr old lop passed last Wed. I have been crying off and on since then, and having trouble coping. This is a bit long, but I've been wanting to write this out, and this is the first day I felt I could do it. Dimi has had lifelong stasis issues, and I've been able to pull her out of stasis several times. She was also seeing one of the top rabbit vets around, so we were very lucky. A few times, I've had to bring her to the vet urgently to get sub q fluids if the meds and syringing at home weren't working. And that would bounce her right back. She was perfectly fine last Tuesday, ran to her room for bedtime. Next morning, we noticed that she had not touched her hay nor pooped in her fresh box. She was in her igloo and didn't want to come out. So we started her meds and syringing fluids/critical care. I have been working from home since the pandemic, and she shares the office with me, so I could keep a close eye on her. After several hours, I was getting concerned because she was getting a bit more lethargic, and still no eating (even her favorites) and no pooping. I called her vet, and two other good ones I know. No one could get her in the same day. I've noticed this issue more so since the pandemic. Anyway her vet and another said I should take her to a specific emergency vet that was "rabbit savvy". So I took her. Here is where things get bad... The dr agreed to treat with sub q fluids, but also wanted to give a pain shot and take blood. He thought there could be something else going on besides stasis. To put it nicely, the techs that were sent in to give her the pain shot/fluids/take blood were not well versed with rabbits. First, they said they didn't feel her leg muscle, and stabbed the pain shot into her back. The needle bent, but she got the dose. She became very sedated- almost like anesthesia. Then they attempted to take blood, which wasn't working because her veins were so tiny. It was heartwrenching to see them attempt it. I told them to stop, and we would get it later at her vet. They then did the sub q fluids while she was just collapsed there. I just wanted to get her home. The dr came back in and told me if she wasn't eating/pooping by morning, to take her to vet. Duh. So we got home, and we put her on blanket in front room. She was completely out of it- splayed out like a pancake. She was breathing, but very slowly. I called the emergency vet back, and talked to the dr. I told him how sedated she was, and he said she's just chilled out, should wear off in 4-5 hours. Well, 30min later, she rolled onto her side, started having a seizure and died. I was convinced they overdosed her at that time.

The next day I spoke to her regular vet, whom I trust very much. She was sorry we had a bad experience there, and said she would look into the techs' rabbit handling training. She did say that some of the signs I mentioned, like them not feeling the leg muscle and the veins being small may have signified extremely low BP and circulatory collapse. Even though my rabbit was in only a month before for an exam which was all good, she said there could have been something going on that was not discovered at exam. The one thing that bugs me is that she was reading the report from the emergency vet, and asked me if Dimi had gained a lot of weight in the last month. She definitely had NOT gained a lot of weight, as a matter of fact, she felt a little lighter. Evidently, the emergency vet report had her weight at quite a bit more than what was measured at her vet appt a month prior. I suspect the techs didn't zero out the scale- I dont know. But now I'm wondering if they did overdose her based on incorrect weight.

I just feel horrible that I didn't protect her! Her whole life I've been taking care of her, always careful about who provided care to her. We never went on vacation longer than a night or two, because I didn't trust anyone to take care of her if she got stasis. I feel like I failed her by taking her to that emergency vet. I do realize intellectually that there could've been something else wrong, and she might have died regardless. But I keep wondering if they killed her. I miss her so much- we were very very close. And I just feel so darn guilty that her last hours had to be so horrible. How do you get past the guilt and grief?
What a horror story! I am just totally lost for words now sending my hugs your way. You don't have to feel guilty, you did everything to save her and she lived long happy life with you. I am so very sorry about your loss, no words or tears will bring her back unfortunately, time will heal it a bit but please don't go hard on yourself, I would agree that probably she's got an overdose but of course we don't know that for sure, it was very unfair but we can't change it back unfortunately.
 

DelawareRunner

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So sorry to read all this, especially knowing you witnessed her pass away. But you really did all you could. As others have stated, we get really attached to our bunnies--just something about them. I have become more attached to my bunnies than any other pets I've had and I am almost 47 and have had many pets. Sunday will be four years since my twelve-year-old Lily passed away and I still am not coping with it very well. I love my new bunny and my pigs so much, but she was so special to me. Just know that your bunny knew nothing but love the entire time she was with you. Until we meet them again....they remain in our hearts.
 

napagirl

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Thank you all so much❤! Yes, I agree with @DelawareRunner , bunnies are very special. I am 53 and have lost many pets- this one was the WORST. She feels like my little child. Maybe it's because they are so innocent and require so much attention. Also with her needing the special medical care over the years- we ended up spending a lot of time and energy keeping her healthy and safe.

I'm definitely feeling the pull to get another bun soon. Not at all to replace Dimi (which could never happen), but to have a little being that I can shower with love.
 

Orrin

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I can empathize. We lost a much loved rabbit eight months ago and it hurts me as much today as it did back then. My spirits hit rock bottom and it seems impossible to forget. I feel your pain.
 

napagirl

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I can empathize. We lost a much loved rabbit eight months ago and it hurts me as much today as it did back then. My spirits hit rock bottom and it seems impossible to forget. I feel your pain.
I'm so sorry, Orrin, for your loss. Just when I think I'm getting a bit better, it all hits me again. I miss her so very much.
 

Barbara

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I am so sorry for your loss of Dimi. It sounds like you did everything possible. Don't look back at what could have been done. Just remember all those happy memories.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Some were with us only a short time while others were here for a long while--losing them was very hard--we know how you feel. But all we can do is love them and treat them as best we can and hang onto the good memories of happier times. Goodbye Dimi and rest in peace.
 

MyMelody

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I am so sorry you’re going through this. I normally just lurk on here but registered an account so I could reply to your post because it reminds me so much of how I currently feel as well.

I lost my precious baby (Holland Lop) on the 5th from stasis/possible blockage and I am still not coping well either. I am just left feeling lost, empty, and utterly heartbroken. I burst into tears multiple times throughout the day because I still see her everywhere. The curtains she used to bump her little head up into, the treadmill she used to love jumping on and off of.

Anyway I don’t want to make this post about myself, I just want you to know that you are not alone. We love our babies so deeply- they are not “just” bunnies as other people seem to think. Dimi was so lucky to have you as her mama and I‘m sure she knew every day just how loved she was.
 

napagirl

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I am so sorry you’re going through this. I normally just lurk on here but registered an account so I could reply to your post because it reminds me so much of how I currently feel as well.

I lost my precious baby (Holland Lop) on the 5th from stasis/possible blockage and I am still not coping well either. I am just left feeling lost, empty, and utterly heartbroken. I burst into tears multiple times throughout the day because I still see her everywhere. The curtains she used to bump her little head up into, the treadmill she used to love jumping on and off of.

Anyway I don’t want to make this post about myself, I just want you to know that you are not alone. We love our babies so deeply- they are not “just” bunnies as other people seem to think. Dimi was so lucky to have you as her mama and I‘m sure she knew every day just how loved she was.
@MyMelody I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby! I know exactly how you feel. I keep seeing Dimi everywhere- I actually go into check on her, and remember that she's not there anymore. Thank you for your message, I appreciate it. I know for a fact that your rabbit and mine would not have survived as long as they did without very attentive, loving owners- many lose their buns on the first episode of stasis, let alone multiple times! We could usually pull her out of it- it was so very shocking to me that she actually passed away. I still burst into tears as well.. I think the shock is wearing off, but the sadness is firmly rooted.
 

Cara

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My 9yr old lop passed last Wed. I have been crying off and on since then, and having trouble coping. This is a bit long, but I've been wanting to write this out, and this is the first day I felt I could do it. Dimi has had lifelong stasis issues, and I've been able to pull her out of stasis several times. She was also seeing one of the top rabbit vets around, so we were very lucky. A few times, I've had to bring her to the vet urgently to get sub q fluids if the meds and syringing at home weren't working. And that would bounce her right back. She was perfectly fine last Tuesday, ran to her room for bedtime. Next morning, we noticed that she had not touched her hay nor pooped in her fresh box. She was in her igloo and didn't want to come out. So we started her meds and syringing fluids/critical care. I have been working from home since the pandemic, and she shares the office with me, so I could keep a close eye on her. After several hours, I was getting concerned because she was getting a bit more lethargic, and still no eating (even her favorites) and no pooping. I called her vet, and two other good ones I know. No one could get her in the same day. I've noticed this issue more so since the pandemic. Anyway her vet and another said I should take her to a specific emergency vet that was "rabbit savvy". So I took her. Here is where things get bad... The dr agreed to treat with sub q fluids, but also wanted to give a pain shot and take blood. He thought there could be something else going on besides stasis. To put it nicely, the techs that were sent in to give her the pain shot/fluids/take blood were not well versed with rabbits. First, they said they didn't feel her leg muscle, and stabbed the pain shot into her back. The needle bent, but she got the dose. She became very sedated- almost like anesthesia. Then they attempted to take blood, which wasn't working because her veins were so tiny. It was heartwrenching to see them attempt it. I told them to stop, and we would get it later at her vet. They then did the sub q fluids while she was just collapsed there. I just wanted to get her home. The dr came back in and told me if she wasn't eating/pooping by morning, to take her to vet. Duh. So we got home, and we put her on blanket in front room. She was completely out of it- splayed out like a pancake. She was breathing, but very slowly. I called the emergency vet back, and talked to the dr. I told him how sedated she was, and he said she's just chilled out, should wear off in 4-5 hours. Well, 30min later, she rolled onto her side, started having a seizure and died. I was convinced they overdosed her at that time.

The next day I spoke to her regular vet, whom I trust very much. She was sorry we had a bad experience there, and said she would look into the techs' rabbit handling training. She did say that some of the signs I mentioned, like them not feeling the leg muscle and the veins being small may have signified extremely low BP and circulatory collapse. Even though my rabbit was in only a month before for an exam which was all good, she said there could have been something going on that was not discovered at exam. The one thing that bugs me is that she was reading the report from the emergency vet, and asked me if Dimi had gained a lot of weight in the last month. She definitely had NOT gained a lot of weight, as a matter of fact, she felt a little lighter. Evidently, the emergency vet report had her weight at quite a bit more than what was measured at her vet appt a month prior. I suspect the techs didn't zero out the scale- I dont know. But now I'm wondering if they did overdose her based on incorrect weight.

I just feel horrible that I didn't protect her! Her whole life I've been taking care of her, always careful about who provided care to her. We never went on vacation longer than a night or two, because I didn't trust anyone to take care of her if she got stasis. I feel like I failed her by taking her to that emergency vet. I do realize intellectually that there could've been something else wrong, and she might have died regardless. But I keep wondering if they killed her. I miss her so much- we were very very close. And I just feel so darn guilty that her last hours had to be so horrible. How do you get past the guilt and grief?
I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet bunny passing away. I lost my bunny Walter exactly 2 weeks ago and I know it's hard. Only had him 6 1/2 yrs and he had a huge impact on me. I still cry off and on bit, but it has gotten a little easier each day.

What you must remember is that 9 years is an incredibly long time for a bunny to live. Could she have lived a little longer under different circumstances? Perhaps, but just know that you did everything you could with the resources you had. This is not on you, believe me. I actually feel guilt about not making my bunny eat more hay, getting more exercise, etc., but you did everything you could and more. Please try not to feel guilty, your bunny knows how much you loved her and I'm sure she lived a happy bunny life.

Something that has helped me is remembering the great life my bunny Walter had and sharing with others the funny things he did. Looking at photos is hard at first but it has actually helped me on some way.

Wishing you peace in this difficult time.

-Cara
 

napagirl

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I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet bunny passing away. I lost my bunny Walter exactly 2 weeks ago and I know it's hard. Only had him 6 1/2 yrs and he had a huge impact on me. I still cry off and on bit, but it has gotten a little easier each day.

What you must remember is that 9 years is an incredibly long time for a bunny to live. Could she have lived a little longer under different circumstances? Perhaps, but just know that you did everything you could with the resources you had. This is not on you, believe me. I actually feel guilt about not making my bunny eat more hay, getting more exercise, etc., but you did everything you could and more. Please try not to feel guilty, your bunny knows how much you loved her and I'm sure she lived a happy bunny life.

Something that has helped me is remembering the great life my bunny Walter had and sharing with others the funny things he did. Looking at photos is hard at first but it has actually helped me on some way.

Wishing you peace in this difficult time.

-Cara
Thank you, @Cara . I am so sorry for the loss of Walter. The guilt feelings are abating for me. I am slowly realizing that I did all I could do for her. Sadness remains, of course, but is easing a bit. And yes, we talk about her often and remember her antics with a smile. I wish you peace as well.
 

AVIE

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Your story is so well written that I feel like I can experience your pain with you. Thank you for the gift you have shared with us. Just remember that while they are here for such a small piece of our lives, we are here for them through their end. Few humans are loved unconditionally every moment until their last breath. But Dimi was. And she knew it.
 

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