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View Full Version : Any tips for dealing with a bereaved bunny?



SarahP
26-03-2008, 12:23 PM
I've never dealt with this before, as these were my first bunnies. :(

Dusty is doing a lot of sniffing and looking for Clover. I have a soft toy on order for her, but it hasn't come today. (:()

I don't know if I should start trying to wash things to stop so much smelling of Clover (blankets etc), or keep them as long as possible as a comfort? :?

Any tips (however basic) would be gratefully received. Thanks. :)

*lily*
26-03-2008, 12:31 PM
Hi Sarah,

As you know I'm going through the same thing with Tinkerbell since Simba passed.

The first day or so Tinkerbell was very quiet and didn't eat a lot. I went outside and got up a few Simba poos that were on the lawn but didn't know if it was better to do that or leave them. I'm sure the hutch and run must still smell somewhat of Simba, as they never toiletted in the bed so it hasn't been changed since Simba went.

Hard to know what to do for the best isn't it? Have you got another cuddly you could put in there as a temporary measure? I've noticed that Tinkerbell tends to go and sit by her cuddly toy as soon as she is locked away at night.

Luciuslop
26-03-2008, 12:34 PM
Are you able to get her another friend ? That is probably the best way for her to get over her loss. Also, lots of cuddles and yummy food to take her mind off it. Is she eating ok ? is she a house bunny ? if so you could try rearranging things where she lives.

Sorry for the loss of your other bun :(

Becki xX
26-03-2008, 12:37 PM
This is absolutely one of the hardest things ever. Personally, I leave them to grieve (by leave them I dont mean actually leave them, but dont try to speed up/stop them grieving). I know buns are different but if your husband dies, you dont go out the next day & find another one, thats how I see it. She'll come through this hun :( X

norrielian
26-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Awwww, it is heartbreaking to watch and sorry to hear about Clover. I went through exactly the same thing with Dillon when Pippa died. A teddy never worked for Dillon but I just tried to spend as much time with him as possible (even more than normal). I also started to look for a new wife for him quite soon after and got Connie within the month and now Dillon is back to his normal self so highly recommend it.

Sending lots of hugs your way :cry:

Isabel
26-03-2008, 12:39 PM
Oh thats so sad. I have never had to deal with this but I wondered whether putting something in there that smelled of you would help??

SarahP
26-03-2008, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the replies. :)

Sorry, forgot to say that she is a house bun, so getting lots of attention from me and not lonely in the garden.

I can't get her another friend unless she really can't cope, I just can't. :( To be honest, I don't think Dusty has long left herself (has the same condition as her sister), and this has just been way too hard.

Yes, makes sense to let her find her own way. I mustn't try to rush things....

Jack's-Jane
26-03-2008, 12:42 PM
Was Dusty able to spend time with Clover once she had passed away?
Last night I left Freya's little body with Fred for several hours until he moved away from her. I think it helps *some* Rabbits accept that their friend ( or in Fred's case his Mum :cry:) have gone.

I also find that a change of environment helps. Fred has been moved to a different pen in a 'busy' part of the house. He has really perked up and has even started to throw some toys about :)

I think with Bunnies there is no 'one size fits all' when helping them through a bereavement. I do try to keep to the same routine with my Buns every single day regardless of what happens. That routine seems to help them feel secure during 'difficult' times.

Janex

Azraelm
26-03-2008, 12:43 PM
This is absolutely one of the hardest things ever. Personally, I leave them to grieve (by leave them I dont mean actually leave them, but dont try to speed up/stop them grieving). I know buns are different but if your husband dies, you dont go out the next day & find another one, thats how I see it. She'll come through this hun :( X

It's not the same for animals as it is for humans IMO.


Sarah I don't know whether others would agree, but I personally would change things around, so she does not associate her surroundings with the loss of Clover. And give her lots of attention.

Hope you are ok x

SarahP
26-03-2008, 12:45 PM
Unfortunately, because they are mostly free range and don't have a cage as such, everywhere smells of Clover! The main 'hang out' is under a small table, and a cardboard box. I need to find a nice new box for her....

She wasn't able to spend time with Clover, as I couldn't risk taking Dusty to the vets too (she gets incredibly stressed, and I've known it bring on a stasis attack - couldn't cope with that on top, or put her through that). I put Clover's empty carrier on the floor for her when I got back, so she could see she was no longer in it, but that's all I could really do. :(

Azraelm
26-03-2008, 12:46 PM
You could get her some new toys for distraction maybe? Like willow balls or seagrass mats?

SarahP
26-03-2008, 12:47 PM
Thanks so much for all the replies. I will put some thought into what can be changed around to try to perk her up.

What would you recommend about the blankets? I've got huge blankets on the carpet now, due to Dusty's sore feet. Do I wash them gradually starting now, or leave well alone for today? :?

HS
26-03-2008, 12:48 PM
Bobby's been bereaved twice. Each time he's moped around looking very unhappy (he got to spend time with both bodies).
Although it was extremely difficult, I did find him another friend each time within the week. The bonding process on both occasions was fairly straight forward, and he's a lot happier with company.
In saying that, Bobby is an outside bun, and definitely not a people bunny, so I was unable to spend much time with him.
It's so hard, isn't it?

kayjay
26-03-2008, 01:18 PM
Pippa died on the Saturday night and I took MJ to Kays the following Tuesday. It seemed very quick to me, but he was moping badly and he bonded immediately with Opal and is really happy now. It's lovely to see him happy with another bunny as him and Pippa were very close but he's just as close to Opal now. Obviously all rabbits are different but it worked for him... I hope your bunny settles down soon and finds a new friend in time

rabbitmum
26-03-2008, 04:20 PM
Lots and Lots of tlc and try to keep everything as calm around her as possible to reduce any stress.
However, we do try and find a mate for the bereaved bun asap and I think the surviving rabbit bonds easier then than later when its got used to being on its own
There are no real wrongs and rights with dealing with this as everyone and everybun is different.
Go with your heart and do whatever you feel is right for you and your bun.
It sounds like you're doing a fab job already- sorry to hear of your loss x

capel
26-03-2008, 04:54 PM
I'm in the same situation with Tim. When I got back fron the vet yesterday I put him in the bathroom while I bleached and deodourised everything in their run before putting him back. He seems OK and is eating normally, but I am aware of a subtle difference in his body language, so know I'll be looking for another bun for him. I'd try to bond him with F&B but am worried that it might upset them. Don't know what to do for the best either. Anyone got a very placid ladybun around 5yrs old?

*lily*
26-03-2008, 05:27 PM
Sarah, I feel the same as you in so much as I don't want to get another bunny either.

I feel awful for saying this because I really feel sorry for Tinkerbell being on her own but I wouldn't be getting another rabbit for me, if you see what I mean, it would just be so Tinkerbell wouldn't be alone and I don't think this is entirely the right reason for taking on another bunny.

SarahP
26-03-2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks everyone. :) I've started moving things around a bit, and have got one of the blankets and 2 mats in the washing machine. Am going to try to change things gradually, as Dusty hates change. I so wish the toys I'd ordered for her while Clover was still alive had come today. :(

I think if it wasn't for the fact that Dusty has exactly the same condition as Clover did, I would probably be looking for another bunny. But, all things considered, I'm wanting to see how she gets on with just me and the OH for company (and I'm around far more than Dusty would ever want me to be, believe me! :lol:)

rabbitmum
26-03-2008, 07:27 PM
:wave:we had a bonded pair...he had to be pts very suddenly and they had never been apart in the 3 years they were together. they were both 3 when we got them and they bonded straight away.
some people recommmend that the one thats left should see the one that died so they can understand that the partner has passed away.
we didnt let her do this...we got her another male straight away but she died a couple of days later overnight.
i think we tried to do the right thing but her heart was broken when her mate died.
only you will know what your bun will want...i think maybe wait awhile and then take her? to a rescue to see how she reacts to another bun.

SarahP
26-03-2008, 11:39 PM
Have not had the best evening with Dusty. :( After me removing one of the blankets to be washed and just changing the position of her cardboard box (that is all!) she went all strange. She stopped pooing (may well not be related - she's prone to this, after all :(), and had to be given the usual drug cocktail. She started munching and pooing pretty quickly tonight, but then she seemed to get herself all disorientated, and found herself wandering around upstairs (not somewhere she would usually go often). She might have started off looking for Clover again (:cry:), but I think she got herself all lost at the top of the stairs. She wandered around looking for water and hay on the landing upstairs, and I ended up bringing piles of hay up to her, as she wouldn't come back downstairs! :roll::lol:

She's now in the kitchen for the night and seems relieved to be back on familiar turf again. She's just done a big pile of poos and is munching hay, so another crisis averted. Poor little bunny - she's never been the sharpest tool in the box, and I think I really have to try to keep things as familiar as possible for her, but I will wash everything gradually.

Becki xX
26-03-2008, 11:44 PM
Oh Sarah, thats horrible :cry:

rabbitmum
26-03-2008, 11:53 PM
sarah...without being horrible..:oops:we didnt want to get another rabbit at that time as we were also grieving,but we took the bun to the rescue to let her make up her mind about another bun.if she wouldnt of picked him we wouldnt of got him.its a really tough decision...
i hope i didnt speak out of turn,. just trying to offer my experience to help:oops:

SarahP
26-03-2008, 11:57 PM
I honestly don't think Dusty is going to be with us for long though. :( I'm sorry if that sounds heartless and awful, but it has to affect my decision to get another bun. Any stress (surrounding bonding) would affect her badly too - she absolutely hates change. So, I think I really do need to watch her and see how she goes at the moment. I won't let her suffer, I really won't.

Becki xX
27-03-2008, 12:09 AM
I honestly don't think Dusty is going to be with us for long though. :( I'm sorry if that sounds heartless and awful, but it has to affect my decision to get another bun. Any stress (surrounding bonding) would affect her badly too - she absolutely hates change. So, I think I really do need to watch her and see how she goes at the moment. I won't let her suffer, I really won't.

I dont think that sounds awful or heartless hun, Its so awful - Such beautiful girls :cry: Im willing Dusty to fight hard (Massive kisses to her) XXX

SarahP
27-03-2008, 09:16 AM
Aww... thanks Becki. x

I have got another blanket in the wash and just hope to have a better day with her today.

For those who think I should rush out and get another bun, I honestly always do this with my guinea pigs (I even managed to organise one the day that one died once). But this time is different - bonding Dusty to a new bun will be stressful and will soon leave me with yet another bereaved bun. I've got to be realistic about that. :(

Happy Hopping
27-03-2008, 09:23 AM
When Monty passed away, I also let Minnie observe Monty's body for about 1/2 to 1 hr. Minnie did sniff Monty's body and go around a few times. But she doesn't appear upset at all.

When she done observing and doesn't seem to have any further interest in Monty, I moved Monty's body back upstair. With Monty and Minnie, they were only together for 4 mth. or so. And Monty was an abused bunny, so he never lick Minnie, but Minnie is a friendly bunny, so she has lick him from time to time.

So I'm guessing because Monty never lick Minnie, that would explain Minnie doesn't seem upset. A month past by, and the only behaviour change on Minnie is that she is a bit lonely downstair, she did damage the baseboard and drywall one night, something she didn't do before, and for many occasions, she also sit at the top of the stair next to the gate.

I did try to bond her w/ Bernie, but Bernie is fighting w/ her every time they meet so far.