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New Rabbit Died Suddenly

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Tekla

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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.
I do understand that timothy hay was fine. What I meant was that I didn't know that the pellets were so important.
To be clear, the dog kennel was what was recommended, over a rabbit cage, because of her breed (i.e. large when she grows). I took a long time to decide on the kennel. She wasn't limited to the kennel. She had room, as I explained earlier (ok if you missed it) that she could run around my kid's bedroom, supervised. I would definitely make even better accommodations in the future, if I decide to get another rabbit.
 

Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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Yes I agree with A.S it up is best if you adopt from a shelter (House Rabbit Society (I don't know if that exists in Canada)
#Adoptdon'tshop
 

Tekla

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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.

I would definitely read up some more on bunny care first, though. I’ve just published a new website (literally 20 minutes ago) which has information about bunny care on it. @Blue eyes has an amazing website! Rabbits Indoors
Thank you.
In the past, I've had older bunnies. I was successful keeping them healthy. That's part of the reason why I'm especially upset about this loss. However, this time, I especially wanted a Flemish Giant. They are harder to find where I am.
 

Tekla

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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.
I appreciate your comments, Zuppa. Thanks for understanding.
 

Tekla

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Everyone is being very kind. I really appreciate that, since I have made a grave mistake. I'm devastated by it. I was scared to post here, in case I got cyber-lynched, but now I'm glad I posted. My heartfelt thanks. 🐰❤💔
 

JBun

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First off, you didn't do anything wrong, and you didn't make any harmful mistakes. What you were doing was perfectly fine and highly doubtful it had anything to do with the death of your rabbit. A rabbit being on timothy hay only for two weeks isn't going to kill them, even a baby. In fact putting a rabbit on hay only for a while is often the recommendation by knowledgeable rabbit vets to help correct some serious digestive illnesses.

All a timothy hay diet would do to a baby is slow the growth rate some because of lower protein, but that isn't harmful to the baby at all. And a good quality grass hay diet is sometimes necessary and the best thing for a baby rabbit experiencing the stress of a new home and having just been weaned. Baby rabbits are very vulnerable to serious digestive illness at this stage and a temporary grass hay diet is one of the best ways to help correct or prevent this when there are any signs of digestive upset, provided the rabbit is eating the hay really well.

People are sharing their best guesses and opinions as to what they think may have been the cause. But in the end that is all it is, a guess. We aren't vets here and are just stating an opinion. There are multiple possible causes for sudden death with no prior signs exhibited, most of which have nothing to do with owner care. Rabbits are prey animals and can be a bit fragile. It's not unheard of for a sudden death to occur without any warning signs, just because of some unknown underlying health condition, or even just a freak accident or occurrence.

If there were no signs of anything being wrong prior, like lack of appetite, lethargy, not pooping, runny poop, mushy poop, tooth grinding, urinary incontinence, bloating, etc, then it sounds to me that being sudden it could have been something like a possible heart condition. Large breed rabbits in particular, like the flemish breed, can be more prone to heart problems even at a young age. Accidental choking on food is also possible. Whatever it was, it was sudden and was not due to anything that you did. I'm really sorry that this happened, and I hope that from what's been said here that it doesn't make you feel that any of it was your fault.

And just a side note, pellets are optional, if the rabbit is getting a balanced diet from other foods. This is long term. Short term, feeding pellet free and only free feeding a good quality grass hay is almost never going to cause health problems, but in fact usually corrects them when it comes to digestive health. Pellets are just a quick and easy way for pet owners to ensure that their rabbit gets vitamins and nutrients, but pellets can also be a cause of other problems like digestive issues. So they aren't the perfect solution for feeding rabbits. I've had rabbits on a pellet free diet for years. They did perfectly fine and were healthy, and it actually helped keep under control some serious digestive issues two of my rabbits had. So a pellet free diet is definitely a viable option if done correctly.
 

majorv

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I agree with Jbun on most everything said. Without a necropsy you don’t know what caused the death. There’s nothing wrong with a large kennel for an 8 week old Flemish. Young rabbits can get stressed over sudden changes in diet, new environment, etc, and because they’re still developing it can cause serious issues. The breeder should have given you some pellets to take home, to minimize diet changes. You also can’t rule out that there might’ve been something wrong with it when you got it.
 

Diane R

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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.
I really do not believe this was caused by the lack of pellets although it is true that diet changes have to be done gradually. 6 weeks is incidentally way too early especially for large breeds to leave the mother. Please, please do not encourage breeding, there are thousands of bunnies in shelters waiting for a good home. Much better in many ways to adopt an established bonded pair from a shelter. If you are going to get other bunnies you need to disinfect everything with a veterinary grade disinfectant since you don't know whether the death was caused by VHD2. The virus stays in the environment for several months.
 

zuppa

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I really do not believe this was caused by the lack of pellets although it is true that diet changes have to be done gradually. 6 weeks is incidentally way too early especially for large breeds to leave the mother. Please, please do not encourage breeding, there are thousands of bunnies in shelters waiting for a good home. Much better in many ways to adopt an established bonded pair from a shelter. If you are going to get other bunnies you need to disinfect everything with a veterinary grade disinfectant since you don't know whether the death was caused by VHD2. The virus stays in the environment for several months.
I actually never said that the lack of pellets caused the death I said that I think that the 8 week old baby had sudden changes in her diet, and it wasn't good for her, also I said that she was definitely underfed. At 8-10 weeks baby rabbit needs lots of rich food, in my experience underfeeding a baby weakens its immune system for sure. But I can't tell what caused her death, I also don't believe that Timothy hay caused that I 've just pointed out that abrupt changes in her diet were wrong, I can't agree with JBun that the OP didn't do anything wrong, I do think that the baby should be fed better and sudden changes in diet can do harm to any rabbit, especially at this age.

Again, I don't know what was the cause of the death but I think this is wrong to be too polite in this case because if they get another baby and will stop feeding pellets abruptly this won't be good so being polite is nice but when people ask for my opinion I give my honest opinion and that is not because I want to cyber lynch them but because I want to prevent future mistakes. In my experience it is very important that you keep feeding your new baby same food and good breeder will give you at least one week pellets so if you want to change them you can mix with the new pellets and do changes gradually. I hope that next time if they decide on getting a rabbit they will be prepared better.
 

Freedom

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Oh no. So sorry for your loss
I agree with some of the above.
I dont think you did anything wrong. Pellets are optional but suggested.
Lots of bunnies live off of hay only.
Her cage sounds perfect.
You did your research.
I'm thinking it was a freak thing.
So devastating but unknown things can happen.

We have a flemish and he is phenomenal. Please open your heart and home up to another baby.
They are sometimes hard to find in certain areas.
Hugs
 

majorv

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In my experience, a hay only diet for a youngster is okay if your treating it short term for gut issues. It’s not okay for its long term development. If it isn’t fed quality pellets at a young age (to get the proper vitamins and minerals to build strong bones and health), then you must do your due diligence and research the proper greens/veggies that will provide what pellets would’ve. If you don’t, you may not have a problem now while the rabbit is young, but you could well have a problem as it ages.
 

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