Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Older bunnies

  1. #1

    Default Older bunnies

    I have such a big soft spot for older bunnies, and I love caring for Casper and Sophie, but Sophie's almost 11 now and Casper is about the same age and it's so hard knowing that we don't have many years left together. I think about it every day, and every morning when I go into their room I worry one of them will have passed away during the night. I know that's somewhat irrational, as they're in good shape for their age, and I also know that it's partly my anxiety disorder that makes me think about it so much, but I'm so afraid of losing them. I tell myself not to worry, that someday they'll be 20-year old bunnies and we have lots of time left, but I know that's very unlikely... I was just wondering how some of you deal with the emotional aspect of having older animal friends?
    (Pronouns: he or they)


  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    14,908

    Default

    I love having older bunnies but I would quite like them to just pop their clogs without any intervention! My first rabbit Charlie went that way, he had a big fit and died in his run within moments, he wouldn't have felt a thing. But Lopsy's slow decline made it easier to say goodbye I guess? I was talking to Matt about this last night actually: I always felt more sorry for Aboleth becasue I felt she went too early, even though she died without intervention like Charlie, she was only upper-middle aged I feel like Aboleth missed out on a few years which Lopsy didn't.

    But then, I want to give them their best life and I'm not as emotionally attached to them really: I do my best for them but... it's hard to explain! We're very hands-off If they're showing all the right behaviours we're happy and that's the best we can do
    The geeky one... Pronouns: she/her/any.

    Often available for bunny runs: PM for details.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by keletkezes View Post
    I love having older bunnies but I would quite like them to just pop their clogs without any intervention! My first rabbit Charlie went that way, he had a big fit and died in his run within moments, he wouldn't have felt a thing. But Lopsy's slow decline made it easier to say goodbye I guess? I was talking to Matt about this last night actually: I always felt more sorry for Aboleth becasue I felt she went too early, even though she died without intervention like Charlie, she was only upper-middle aged I feel like Aboleth missed out on a few years which Lopsy didn't.

    But then, I want to give them their best life and I'm not as emotionally attached to them really: I do my best for them but... it's hard to explain! We're very hands-off If they're showing all the right behaviours we're happy and that's the best we can do
    Ah, that makes sense, that while you'd like them to go without any intervention, the way Lopsy went did maybe make it easier to day goodbye to him. That's so sad that Aboleth died when she still should've had a few more good years. I can see why you feel more sorry for her and feel like she missed out on a couple of years, while you don't feel that's the case for Lopsy.

    I think I get what you mean, about your doing your best for them and wanting to give them the best life, and being happy when their behaviour shows they're doing well, but at the same time being very hands-off and not being as emotionally attached to them. I've known people with similar attitudes to their animal friends, so I think I understand.
    (Pronouns: he or they)


  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    23,907

    Default

    I think the emotional aspect of caring for bunnies is definitely difficult whatever age they are. They appear fragile and I find it hard that they don't show that they are feeling ill until it's become quite severe. I personally find an elderly bunny dying less traumatic than a younger one and can make peace with myself about it. I also have always felt that caring for elderly bunnies is very special and almost a priviledge.

    Then, as has been mentioned, there are the circumstances surrounding their death i.e. whether it was sudden or whether the last few days/weeks have been spent knowing that the bunny will not recover. I also find it particularly upsetting if I have had a bunny put to sleep. Whilst being perfectly able to rationalise it as being the best for my bunny, I always feel tremendous guilt that I have given permission for someone to perform this act.

    I think it's perfectly normal with an elderly bunny to wonder each morning whether or not they are still alive. I've often certainly done it anyway. There are other thoughts that I have whilst caring for elderly bunnies, such as after a certain age (around 8-ish), I start to think to myself that it's OK, they have lived to a good age and that anything extra I should see as a bonus. With Tethra at the end also, I knew he would not live for much longer and when he did die, there was a part of me that was relieved that it was over, even though I was heartbroken.

    I think all of this rambling shows that this seems to be not an easy one size fits all topic Enjoy your lovely two for each and every day that you have left together You will always know that they have had the best life.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    21,743

    Default

    Its sad because ultimately we will all lose our beloved bunnies one day so the worry I don't think is irrational, its just not useful & its not going to change anything. Ideally we'd live in the moment like rabbits do & just appreciate them day to day but I know from experience this is so much easier said than done. Until not so long ago my heart would be in my mouth every morning I first went in to Mouseys room / the lounge. I've had to say goodbye to 7 rabbits over the past 30 years & I can honestly say Joey's has been one of the easiest, despite him being with me for the longest & being a totally awesome bun to be around - I think this is because he lived to a fair age & I know i did my best for him. Because I look back at Joey & I don't think "poor bunny" I think its easier to process- complete opposite of Rudey's passing & how I processed that. Hopefully when Sophie & Caspers time comes, in many years, that they have had the best lives & you've been the best carer will be a huge comfort to you even though you'll miss them like crazy.

  6. #6

    Default

    I must admit although Rodney is only 5ish that worry about coming downstairs and finding them passed away is always there.

    I sometimes check the camera first to prepare myself. I've never had an elder bun as we lost Flopsy at 9 months and Primrose at almost 4.

    I felt very robbed of their potential years, where I was there when hubby's sister held her 16 year old boy as he went and that felt very much like saying goodbye to a life well lived so I'm hoping for that for my current two.


    Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies, Omi, j&b, and CarelessSquid. I feel that caring for elderly bunnies is very special, too, Omi, and feel very lucky that I get to do it. But all of you are right, as hard as it will be to lose Casper and Sophie, I know it's even harder to lose bunnies when they're still young(-ish) and haven't lived a full life. I've never had elderly bunnies before Sophie and Casper, so I've lost younger bunnies, and I can see why with elderly rabbits it would be a comfort to know that they've lived a long and happy life. And, Omi, I understand, too, why it's especially upsetting when you've had to put a bunny to sleep. You're right, caring for bunnies is emotionally difficult whatever age they are, with them being so fragile and your often not finding out that they're ill until it's already quite advanced. Thinking about it that way, I can see why when they get to a certain age you start to think to yourself that it's okay and they've lived to a good age and every day more is a bonus, and why you felt the way you did when Tethra died. Losing them after a long, good life is really the best possible option, isn't it? So, I can understand why you, j&b, feel like Joey's loss has been one of the easiest, especially compared to the way you lost Rudey, which was so different, because Joey lived to a good age, and that it helps that you know you've always done your best for him. Compared to your hubby's sister's saying goodbye to her 16-year old, it's so understandable, CarelessSquid, that you've felt very robbed of Flopsy and Primrose's potential years, losing them so young. I know what that feels like, and it's so hard.

    Your replies are helping me realise that when Casper and Sophie pass away, they'll have really lived their lives, and they'll have had good lives, and I'll try to see that as a comfort. As I said, I'm very afraid of losing them, so I'm not in that place yet where I think that it'll be okay because they'll have had long, happy lives, and I worry a lot, but as as you said, j&b, that worry is not useful and won't change anything, so I'll try to focus on the good times they're having, rather than on wishing they could always stay with me, which is, of course, sadly impossible.

    It's helpful to hear, too, that you all have experience with worrying in the morning about whether they've made it through the night. I'm glad that's relatively normal.
    (Pronouns: he or they)


  8. #8
    Forum Buddy olices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    York
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Both my bunnies are coming up to 11 in June so know exactly how you feel. Daisy has lumps in her tummy, she is absolutely fine and we have discussed with the vet about when they start to affect her badly we will let her go as we know she will struggle with any procedures. Harry on the other hand is as fit as a fiddle! It's hard but we'll know when the time is right and enjoy the time we have with them until then

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    21,743

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by olices View Post
    Both my bunnies are coming up to 11 in June so know exactly how you feel. Daisy has lumps in her tummy, she is absolutely fine and we have discussed with the vet about when they start to affect her badly we will let her go as we know she will struggle with any procedures. Harry on the other hand is as fit as a fiddle! It's hard but we'll know when the time is right and enjoy the time we have with them until then
    I didn't know anything of your bunny situation - how sweet you've a happy pair of oldies. I hope Daisy continues to cope well

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by olices View Post
    Both my bunnies are coming up to 11 in June so know exactly how you feel. Daisy has lumps in her tummy, she is absolutely fine and we have discussed with the vet about when they start to affect her badly we will let her go as we know she will struggle with any procedures. Harry on the other hand is as fit as a fiddle! It's hard but we'll know when the time is right and enjoy the time we have with them until then
    Thank you for letting me know you know how I feel. How lovely that you have an elderly couple, too. I'm glad Daisy is absolutely fine, even with the lumps in her tummy. I hope she'll be fine and comfortable for a long time yet. And that's wonderful that Harry is still so fit! We'll definitely enjoy the time we have left with our dear old bunnies.
    (Pronouns: he or they)


Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •