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Sudden Rabbit Death

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Sudden Rabbit Death

Postby Gib » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:42 am

i was a sleep early monday morning and i was awakened by a very fast and rapid high pitched sound, this went on for about a minute or so then my rabbit Sam and great friend like a son to me died in my hands all of a sudden,, when i went to pick him up i did notice blood spotting at the rectum,, and i was wondering with your best guess do you know what might have happened,, he has been fine,,he was about 5 or 6 years young, he was eating drinking and and going to the bathroom all well,, it hurts so bad,,, because i had a party for my son on Nov 1st and i never put him outside,, in new jersey it was about 40 degrees or so and he was out side the night before he died for about 3 hours or so in his cage of course,, my house temp was about 70 degrees or so, sorry i know him babbling but i just miss him,, anyway if you have time send me an e-mail,, thanks and be well!!   Jim cavuoto
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Sudden Rabbit Death

Postby Tarran » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:23 am

Dear Jim,

I am sorry about the loss of your friend.

Sadly, there is absolutely no way to confidently ascertain a cause of death without a post-mortem exam, preferably including histopathology of major organ tissues.  The signs you describe are very vague, and could have been due to any of dozens of different things.

If you noticed signs of unusual behavior before he died, then please read:


which might give some clues.  But unless you can provide a lot more specific information, this is the best I can offer.  If it's any comfort, the cold weather was not likely to have harmed him, especially if he had a refuge in the cage where he could warm up.  But exposure to cold would not have caused bleeding from the rectum. It sounds more like trauma.  If you had a party for your son, is it possible that one of the kids might have handled the bunny improperly? The only way to know would be via necropsy.

If the body has been kept very cold(not frozen), and it has been less than 24 hours since death, a necropsy may still be possible, if you feel that would give you closure and peace of mind.  You can find an experienced rabbit vet here:


to call and find out what your options might be.

I am very sorry for your loss.


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