Rabbit Passing Causes

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Mar 18, 2020
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Hello everyone,

Overnight, my 3.5 year old neutered male rabbit passed away.
About 10 days ago, I noticed one of his eyes/eyelids looked a little bit swollen, and there was a bit of discharge from his eyes. His nose was also a little wet, and over the space of a few days a bit of hair was lost from around the front of his eyes.
As we live in Australia, I was worried about myxomatosis and so I took him to the vet on Wednesday the 18th.

At the vet, my bunny was given meloxicam, antihistamines and a medicated eye cream called chlorsig if I recall correctly. At that point in time my vet did not believe it was myxomatosis.
Whilst at the vet, numerous other tests were also run on him, particularly on his eye. There was nothing apparent that was found.

On Thursday the 19th, my bunnies eyes looked very red and irritated. Prior to the vet it was only one eye, but on the Thursday it was both and they were both bad. I rung the vet asking if that was to be expected after all the tests that was run on him. The vet said we may start antibiotics, and that she would call me on Friday. On Thursday, my bunny was acting a bit less active, but nothing majorly alarming, as I had been warned that antihistamines could do that to him. He was still eating pretty much normal, and was taking his antihistamine tablet wrapped in some veggies.

On Friday the 20th, my buns eyes looked better. They had gone down and were no longer red underneath the eyelid. They still looked slightly thicker the eyelids, but not as bad. There was a little bit of muck in each corner, but not much. The vet rung in the morning, and we decided to keep going with the meloxicam and antihistamines. I was having trouble putting the eye cream on myself, so we decided to leave that as the antibiotics seemed to be working.
On the Friday morning, my bunny was again able to be tricked into taking his tablet, once again wrapped in some greens. He took the tablet and his meloxicam. He wasnt as willing to take greens from my hand, which I put down to him expecting a tablet in them. He was still running about mostly happy. I did think at one point his breathing seemed a little funny, but only for a second.
On Friday evening, my bunny was eating greens I was trying to give him with the tablet inside, but kept spitting the tablet out. He was also nibbling on hay too. I was up with him for two hours trying to get him to take the tablet, however as he wouldn't take it, I put the tablet in a syringe, and mixed it with some water so it dissolved. I then gave him both the syringes with meloxicam and antihistamines in them. He was acting a little grumpy, but nothing I didn't expect after him being burritoed and syringe fed. I did not see him eat any pellets, however he did eat some greens so I was not worried.

On Saturday morning, his eyes were looking better again, and were looking pretty much normal. He was acting a little bit quieter, but I again attributed this to the antihistamines. I gave him the antihistamine diluted in the syringe again, and the meloxicam like normal.
On Saturday evening, he was sitting oddly outside in his run. I picked him up and brought him back inside the shed.
I took him his tablet to try eating again, and took the meloxicam up. He again was spitting out the tablet, and so I dissolved it in some water and syringe fed it to him. I also gave him about 10ml of water from a syringe too, as I had not seen him drink and wanted to make sure he was hydrated. I also gave him his meloxicam while he was wrapped up.
After he had taken his medications, he ate a pak choy leaf happily. I tried to offer him some nasturtium leaves, however he turned his nose up at them. I felt his stomach, as he does periodically have episodes where he doesn't eat, but his stomach didn't feel hard or anything like that.
He was acting pretty much normal. The only thing I would say is that when I picked him up, he was sort of trying to arch back if that makes sense? He also before and after eating the pak choy was making these rather loud chewing noises. They weren't like the grinding they do when in pain, it was almost like fingers down a chalkboard. His ears were also coldish. Not cold, but not hot like they had been. I put this down however, to the random change in the weather that had occurred as it had started randomly pouring down Saturday night. The other buns ears were about the same temperature
As I had given him his medicine and seen him eat some greens , I put him back down on the ground level with the other buns. He ran between them and flopped out.
I hopped out of the shed and kept the door open a crack to see what he would do if I wasn't there (as I wanted to see if he was just acting like he was because he wanted to avoid me) and when I shut the door he got up, stretched and ran to his water bowl. The water bowl was empty as I had just tipped it out to refill it.
When I came back from filling up the water bottle, I refilled their water bowl. When I came back, my bunny was flopped out on their mat and had the three other buns cleaning him.
As I had seen him eat some greens, and get up and stretch and move when I wasn't there, I was satisfied that he was okay, and went back inside my house. That was at about 11.30pm.

I had intended to go and check on him again, to see if he was moving about any more when I wasn't there, but I fell asleep while doing my skincare.

On Sunday the 22nd (today) I woke up and got dressed, and then went out to check on my bun at about 8.30-9am. When I opened the door, he was in a completely different location to when I had left him, but he had also passed away.

I am absolutely devastated that he is gone, as he was like my soul bunny. I feel absolutely terrible that I didn't go and check on him again, as I feel I could have prevented it. I am also very stressed that something I could have done may have caused his passing.

I am hoping people will provide me their opinions on what may have happened?
Does it sound like myxo? does it sound like a bacteria or something? Should I be worried about my other buns?

I'm very sorry for the long post.

I am absolutely devastated so hoping for any opinions on what may have happened.

Chino's Mum Mum

Active Member
Dec 31, 2022
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South Africa
I am so sorry to read about your ordeal, it really is heart breaking. I am a new bunny mum so unfortunately I do not have any idea or experience in bunny sickness. I hope you find peace and solice knowing your bunny is not going through any pain and is binkying in bunny heavan. 💜

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