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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 19291
Experience:  15 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
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Hello my Netherland dwarf bunny was about 3 yrs old and we

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Hello my Netherland dwarf bunny was about 3 yrs old and we found her dead in the cage tonight! I'm so upset becuAse she seemed fine last night licking me and cuddling up. In the day we leave her hut open so she runs around the garden and she loved that and at night we would bring her in with us until she went to bed, she was so loved!!! I took her to the vet 3 weeks ago to get her yearly injection and the vet indicated that she had lost weight which he was a bit worried about but just said feed her more hay etc We started to realise that she hadnt been pooong a lot either and eating but we didn't look into this further becuae we thought she was eating in the day. She would still eat apple and carrots when we fed her but not so much of the rabbit foodi About to 2 weeks ago we started baby sitting a 8month kitten so we tried introducing bunny and the cat and at first they where fine but bunny would stomp her feet to let the cat know not to poune. Anyway in the course of that time the cat was getting more playful so we where more hesitant to have them interact together. Bunny would always come up to us and lick us and didnt seem that frighten but we had read about how the bunny can get heart attacks from being scared. I would hate to think this is what happend to her. She had lost weight prior to the cat so I think that wouldn't be the case. I am so upset she was the cutest bunny and had such a beautiful personality :( :( do any of these symptoms seem familiar? Thankyou


Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of Bunny. This situation is one where fright from the cat shouldn't have caused her passing. The weight loss here is key. Rabbits are notorious for being able to hide an illness very well until it is very critical. The weight loss was a subtle tip of the iceberg as far as what else was going on with her. The particular reason she passed isn't going to be known. I tell owners that husbandry is a huge factor in keeping them healthy and diet is always key there. Making sure they Have a well balanced diet is extremely key. Did the cat again cause her passing? In my opinion - no. Could she have had intestinal stasis? That is a very common issue in rabbits. I wouldn't feel that there is anything left in the environment to keep from getting a new rabbit. Will Bunny be replaced? Absolutely no as she was her own unique being. But can another help fill the void? That is possible. Please let me know what questions this brings up.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thankyou for your fast reply, it may have been Gastrointestinal Stasis as Bunny always preferred to eat apple and carrots rather than her hay. I Iooked up the symptoms and she wasn't acting depressed and no teeth grinding. i was just wondering if it would have been a quick death? is it heart failure? or how?
thankyou again

I'm glad to help as much as I can at this time. With GI stasis, some don't really show depression or teeth grinding - just decreased appetite and weight loss can be all that is seen. Rabbits are tough again as I tell owners that if they notice something, then there is a good chance something Very serious is going on. Rabbits hide issues very, very, very well. Heart failure is on the list of rule outs, but not common in rabbits.
Dr. Bruce and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Tonia,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bunny. How is everything going?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello Dr. Bruce
It's been sad but we are okay . Thank you for your concern