View Full Version : Post Mortems

22-09-2004, 01:50 PM
Im just wondering out of curiousity how many people do or will have a PM done on a rabbit that dies suddenly? I know its not something people ever want to think about.
At the beginning of this year I was quite proud of myself and my rabbits. In 6 years I had only lost 3 rabbits. The 1st died while under anesthetic so didn't think about it, the 2nd died after quite a while of being ill and although I didn't know what exactly was wrong, it wasn't sudden and the 3rd had been severly ill for a week and went downhill very fast. Sweepie won't passed earlier in the year was being treated for E.C although had never been tested for it. She went downhill very quickly and died 24 hours approx after displaying symptoms. Casper I had a PM down as he had only started showing symptoms 3 days before he died. Jasper will die soon but I won't need a PM as we already know she has a tumour and it's only a matter of weeks.
Just wondering if others have PM's done rountinely or just in cases of sudden deaths or not at all?

22-09-2004, 02:06 PM
My only bunnie death was a side effect of her not being neutered. I knew this and so didn't think it was worth it. I would like to think I would do one if I was unsure of why an animal died and wanted to try and trace if it was something I had done or could prevent. This might be if the vet was unsure or I wasn't happy with the initial reason for death.

BUT I am unsure of costs and would like to know how much it is or people have been charged. If its really expensive I think most people wouldn't want further costs.

22-09-2004, 02:32 PM
Well I can only tell you the costs of my own vet which will no doubt vary from yours.
My vet gave me the option, 1 was that she could open him up and see if there was anything obvious that she could determine herself, which at the end of the day would save me money and if there was noting obvious then we move on to 2nd option.
2nd option was to send his body straight to Scottish Agricultural College which would have cost more but they can do more through tests.
Thankfully I went with option 1 which saved me the extra cost as it was something obvious.
If he'd been sent off it would have cost me around 70 and letting the vet do it cost me 25, I think it was. To be honest having a PM done has helped me deal with his death in a big way, although it's still hard to accept he has gone.


22-09-2004, 02:33 PM
Hello, I have had two bunnies post mortemed after sudden death, or a death that has occurred after rapid deterioration over a couple of days. The reasons for doing so were I needed to know what had happened, I always struggle with the idea, but feel, if I find out, then perhaps there will be some bit of information that can be used to prevent the same happening again.

Unfortunately, I am unaware of charges, as my vet always does it for free as he is always interested himself, and feels it is useful for him to know as well.

22-09-2004, 03:03 PM
We have had many bunnies in the Sanctuary over the years, and only opted for a PM to be done, like Annie, when a sudden and unexplained Death occured.
The main reason for this was that the lovely bunny who died, only arrived the day before and we were suspicious as to the speed with which she died, after apparently appearing so well.
We were concerned that it was a disease or illness that could be spread to the other bunnies, but we isolate new arrivals for 6 weeks as a matter of course.
The Pm was inconclusive, raise liver enzymes etc, and a question mark over VHD. The PM only gave an indication in this situation and could not confirm cause of Death proper.

We do not have PM done routinely, only if a Death is unexpected, rapid or it is a new bunny arrival in the Sanctuary...mainly as a means to keep tabs on any diseases that could be spread ...but a PM is not something I stomach easily and only have one done if I feel it is absolutely necessary.

22-09-2004, 03:05 PM
I suppose is all depends on the circumstances of the death.

If I knew why the bun had died there would be no point of a PM in my eyes.

But if a young bun suddenly drooped down dead for no reason I would certainly have a PM done to find out what the cause of death was no matter what the cost.

As somebody mentioned it might be something I had done or could prevent in the future.


22-09-2004, 03:23 PM
As somebody mentioned it might be something I had done or could prevent in the future.


Yes this is a good point Louise

22-09-2004, 03:58 PM
I can appreciate why you, Annie and Adele would have their sudden deaths PM'd as well with so many bunnies in your care you have to be on the safe side. What about the pet owners though? Is there many of you who would opt to have any pet PM'd?


gina paul
22-09-2004, 05:43 PM
I knew what was wrong with my last rabbit so when he was put to sleep to save his suffering I did not see any point in getting a post mortem done , I did get his ashes back and they take pride of place in my house , I did have an iguana and she was a cracker but she died suddenly one night , The vet asked my permission to do a post mortem then as anything that he found out would help another of the same species .

22-09-2004, 09:19 PM

I think the best reason of all for having a PM done is if you currently have, or are likely to have in the near future, other bunnies.

Other than that owners would sometimes choose a PM for personal peace of mind ie. they could comprehend/come to terms with the loss of their pet if they could get to the bottom of what the cause of death actually was.

In these cases it is usually after sudden death or if they have other pets of the same species to determine that it will not be infectious causes.

It is a good idea but one is always advised that it can sometimes be inconclusive & sometimes with vague findings like excess gas in the stomach, which can be normal after death or sickness anyway.

Holly Go-Lightly
23-09-2004, 08:07 AM
I can appreciate why you, Annie and Adele would have their sudden deaths PM'd as well with so many bunnies in your care you have to be on the safe side. What about the pet owners though? Is there many of you who would opt to have any pet PM'd?


If Clio dies I'll have a pm done, unless the lab reports come back with something obvious today. I have 8 other bunnies as pets and I need to protect them from anything that clio might have.
TBH they said he looks like he has Myxi but I can really believe it. He has been vaccinated and lives in the house.I think it is a severe secondary chest infection as a result of his pasturella virus.
He has always been the runt of the litter. Too small fo his age. He is the one we thought was a girl for ages. 6 months old dutch and no testicles dropped. I have also had his front paw x-rayed because he holds it funny. It is not broken just weird. He has always been a bit sneezy but we thought originally it was allergies. He is such a happy go lucky little guy. He just loves being alive and playing. I will want to know what got him in the end or if the chips were always stacked against him.

23-09-2004, 09:03 AM
But you seemed to certainly even things out for him! Nurture winning over nature.