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New Rabbit Died Suddenly

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Tekla

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We are brokenhearted that our sweet 8 week old Flemish Giant died suddenly yesterday. She seemed fine - healthy and alert. I checked on her in the morning. My kid called me at work an hour later to say that she had died. She was not constipated. She had plenty of water and was eating well. What might have happened?
 

Blue eyes

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Sorry to hear. I imagine you had not had him long since he was so young? If you got him from a breeder, have you spoken with the breeder. Perhaps they have some idea based on the history of their rabbits.
 

zuppa

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Sorry about your loss.
She was 8 week old so how long was she with you?
What food she had, how much, what pellets, hay, greens please describe what she had and if there were changes in her diet made lately, was she fed same food as at her previous home?
What was her environment like, was she free roam or she had her cage or a playpen, if she had access to dangerous things like cords etc, is there any chance she ate something, maybe plants around your house or picked something like human food etc. If you post some pictures and give more information we could probably speculate of the causes but it is really hard since we know so little. As said above your vet can do autopsy to determine the cause of death.
How did she die or they just found her and she was dead, was there any blood around or something unusual, it could be a virus as well.
 

Tekla

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Thanks everyone. Yes, she was 8 weeks old.
I did speak to the breeder. She made some suggestions but couldn't be conclusive.
I want to try again with this breed, but I don't want such a loss again, if I can avoid it.
I will learn more by following this web page, but thought I'd put my question out there in case there was an answer somewhere.
I realize I don't have much information to give. She looked healthy when alive. When she died, I couldn't see any obvious physical problems.
 

Tekla

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Sorry about your loss.
She was 8 week old so how long was she with you?
What food she had, how much, what pellets, hay, greens please describe what she had and if there were changes in her diet made lately, was she fed same food as at her previous home?
What was her environment like, was she free roam or she had her cage or a playpen, if she had access to dangerous things like cords etc, is there any chance she ate something, maybe plants around your house or picked something like human food etc. If you post some pictures and give more information we could probably speculate of the causes but it is really hard since we know so little. As said above your vet can do autopsy to determine the cause of death.
How did she die or they just found her and she was dead, was there any blood around or something unusual, it could be a virus as well.
Thank you.
We had her for about 2 weeks.
We were feeding her timothy hay, which is what she had at the breeder. She had also been on pellets, but I hadn't fed her those yet - I was about to purchase them this weekend.
She was in my kid's room, in a cage, but my kid spends a lot of time in the room and would let her roam free. I was concerned that I needed a bigger cage, but she did have the ability to roam. The cage was a dog kennel. I had planned on getting her a bigger kennel this coming week.
There was no blood on her or near her. There are no damaged cords or wood that might have hurt her.
What would the signs of a virus have been?
She had a place to hide in the cage as well. I'll post pics a little later, when I can.
 

zuppa

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So for the two weeks she was with you she only had timothy hay and water or any other food? Sudden changes in diet are no good especially if she was still 8 week old she needed unlimited high protein and calcium pellets because at that age she was just weaned from her mother's milk max one week ago and only grass hay is not enough for the baby, they eat up to 250 gram high protein junior pellets a day usually.
Was she underweight? If you could post some photo would be great. Did you feed her vegetables or any other food in addition to hay? I can't imagine 8 week old baby on grass hay only honestly.
 

zuppa

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What would the signs of a virus have been?
She had a place to hide in the cage as well. I'll post pics a little later, when I can.
From what you described it sounds like no virus was involved there, but I can't guarantee that if you want to know for sure autopsy would explain that.

She was still very young, baby rabbits live on mother's milk until they are 6-8 weeks old, from 4-5 week they start eating hay and high protein, calcium and phosphorus junior pellets, as much as they can eat, that is in addition to very rich mother's milk they get. As they grow they eat more solid food and getting stronger and then mother stops nursing normally around 6-8 week but some mothers can feed them until 3 months or even later.

So after 8 weeks babies should have unlimited junior pellets up to 250 gram a day, unlimited grass hay and unlimited water until they are 4-5 months old, sometimes until they are 6 months old, then you should reduce their pellets gradually to 50 gram a day, but you cut them gradually, just if you fed 4 times a day 50 gram you reduce amount and reduce feeding times to 3 and then 2 times a day and an adult can have once a day 50 gram. But in my experience with larger breeds babies are growing slower so they need richer diet up to 8 months sometimes, depending on circumstances.

Hay only diet from 8 weeks when they need to grow sounds really wrong to me tbh.
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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Thanks everyone. Yes, she was 8 weeks old.
I did speak to the breeder. She made some suggestions but couldn't be conclusive.
I want to try again with this breed, but I don't want such a loss again, if I can avoid it.
I will learn more by following this web page, but thought I'd put my question out there in case there was an answer somewhere.
I realize I don't have much information to give. She looked healthy when alive. When she died, I couldn't see any obvious physical problems.
You could also bring a rabbit specialized vet with you to make sure rabbit is healthy
 

Tekla

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So for the two weeks she was with you she only had timothy hay and water or any other food? Sudden changes in diet are no good especially if she was still 8 week old she needed unlimited high protein and calcium pellets because at that age she was just weaned from her mother's milk max one week ago and only grass hay is not enough for the baby, they eat up to 250 gram high protein junior pellets a day usually.
Was she underweight? If you could post some photo would be great. Did you feed her vegetables or any other food in addition to hay? I can't imagine 8 week old baby on grass hay only honestly.
I do appreciate your reply.
Now I really feel crappy. I was under the impression that that pellets were optional. I feel really stupid now. That means it was my fault. :(
How horrible. I had no indication from her that she was suffering. She really seemed healthy and happy. So I didn't suspect that I was doing anything wrong, or that she was in trouble.
I hope people can be kind to me - I feel badly enough. Thanks again, zuppa. And everyone else.
 

zuppa

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Thanks everyone. Yes, she was 8 weeks old.
I did speak to the breeder. She made some suggestions but couldn't be conclusive.
I want to try again with this breed, but I don't want such a loss again, if I can avoid it.
I will learn more by following this web page, but thought I'd put my question out there in case there was an answer somewhere.
I realize I don't have much information to give. She looked healthy when alive. When she died, I couldn't see any obvious physical problems.
If you decide on getting another rabbit in the future please do research and learn basics about feeding and housing your rabbit, do it before you get a rabbit and be prepared, here's a good source to start educating yourself

Before you bring your new rabbit home
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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I do appreciate your reply.
Now I really feel crappy. I was under the impression that that pellets were optional. I feel really stupid now. That means it was my fault. :(
How horrible. I had no indication from her that she was suffering. She really seemed healthy and happy. So I didn't suspect that I was doing anything wrong, or that she was in trouble.
I hope people can be kind to me - I feel badly enough. Thanks again, zuppa. And everyone else.
Well rabbits are really good at hideing pain, sicknesses since they're prey animals 😞
 

Tekla

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If you decide on getting another rabbit in the future please do research and learn basics about feeding and housing your rabbit, do it before you get a rabbit and be prepared, here's a good source to start educating yourself

Before you bring your new rabbit home
Thank you. Believe it or not, I did do research. I also asked the breeder lots of questions. Thank you for the link. I put a lot of thought into this, and I'm not sure how I missed the timothy hay issue.
 

Tekla

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From what you described it sounds like no virus was involved there, but I can't guarantee that if you want to know for sure autopsy would explain that.

She was still very young, baby rabbits live on mother's milk until they are 6-8 weeks old, from 4-5 week they start eating hay and high protein, calcium and phosphorus junior pellets, as much as they can eat, that is in addition to very rich mother's milk they get. As they grow they eat more solid food and getting stronger and then mother stops nursing normally around 6-8 week but some mothers can feed them until 3 months or even later.

So after 8 weeks babies should have unlimited junior pellets up to 250 gram a day, unlimited grass hay and unlimited water until they are 4-5 months old, sometimes until they are 6 months old, then you should reduce their pellets gradually to 50 gram a day, but you cut them gradually, just if you fed 4 times a day 50 gram you reduce amount and reduce feeding times to 3 and then 2 times a day and an adult can have once a day 50 gram. But in my experience with larger breeds babies are growing slower so they need richer diet up to 8 months sometimes, depending on circumstances.

Hay only diet from 8 weeks when they need to grow sounds really wrong to me tbh.
Okay. :(
 

zuppa

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Thank you. Believe it or not, I did do research. I also asked the breeder lots of questions. Thank you for the link. I put a lot of thought into this, and I'm not sure how I missed the timothy hay issue.
Timothy hay wasn't an issue if she had it was fine.
I am sorry about your loss I know you didn't mean it and I actually can't guarantee that there wasn't any other health related problem with her, I simply say that 8 week old baby needs full and rich diet to grow, that was wrong from your side keeping her on hay only and I didn't like that she was kept in a dog channel for two weeks as well, I don't know what was her bedding if you trained her to use toilet at all etc, but I can't say if there was anything else that caused her death.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I’m really sorry for your loss!

If you decide to get another bunny, I would definitely reccomend going to a rescue rather than a breeder. Adult bunnies are almost always easier look after than babies, and the rescue will likely spay/neuter them, vaccinated them (if needed) and health check them - and you’ll be giving a bunny a home. The rescue will also help you when needed.
 
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