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Thread: what could cause sudden death

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    Warren Scout neeshkabeesh's Avatar
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    Default what could cause sudden death

    My rabbits are fine, its just I was at the vets getting their vaccinations and told them of my neighbours rabbits which dropped dead in May. They weren't vaccinated against VHD and the vet said there are other reasons why a rabbit would just die suddenly, but wasn't letting on why. Why would a rabbit die suddenly? With my neighbours rabbits one was found dead one morning and the next morning the second one was also dead without a mark on either of them or any sign of illness, so I assumed it was VHD.
    Neesh
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    I would assume that's VHD too. Tia dropped dead at Christmas with no ill health beforehand. In fact I'd just noticed she was looking in fantastic condition (I'd had her a year) so I was very shocked to find her collapsed one morning after she'd eaten her breakfast all up. The vet checked her over and said her lungs were fine and her womb felt fine (I didn't get her spayed as she was a nethie, very small and not in great health when she was rescued, so I didn't want to push it) There was just a slight drop in her body temperature, which I guess indicates shock. What caused the shock I don't know. Internal bleeding? Liver failure? Sometimes if they have been starved, fed badly, or had lots of anaesthetics and stress, their liver packs up. I couldn't afford a PM so I'll never know. E-Cuniculi also causes sudden death sometimes.

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    Warren Scout CrazyBun's Avatar
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    Poisoning can also cause sudden death. I know of a case where two rabbits died very suddenly within a day of each other with no apparent causes. Investigation found that the neighbours had sprayed their lawn with some insecticide or herbicide or something and some had blown over onto the rabbits in the their pen.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    If the buns were related it could be a genetic disease too - like congenital heart disease or something.

    Or if they were too hot in the hot spell - or dehydration. they could even have been ill - but not shown symptoms. they hide it really well
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    Were they experienced rabbit owners?

    If not, it might not have been as sudden as they say. Rabbits tend to be good at hiding signs of illness until they are pretty much at deaths door.

    Could also be pneumonia, meningitis or septicemia (sp?), cancer, or probably about a million other conditions.

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    I found Rowan dead one morning after he had seemed fine and it was suggested that it could have been something genetic like heart failure...or liver failure from a bout of stasis he had a week earlier .

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    I found my dear Meggie too I think some buns have poorly hearts
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    All of mine died suddenly Mary's I think was due to the kidney problems he'd been having for a while. Not sure about the other 4 - the PM results for Squishy said coccidia was partly to blame but none of the buns showed any symptoms at all. They literally went from perfectly fine to dead within hours

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    Mama Doe Jocelyn's Avatar
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    My first rabbit, Jessica - who was vaccinated, died very suddenly without warning at around 1.5 years old. I came home after a night out with friends and immediately knew something was wrong. She was limp and cold but still alive, I called the emergency vet and went to get her down there but she started having some sort of fit and it was so traumatising. All I could do was try to restrain her so she didn't hurt herself but she died shortly after before I could even get her in her carrier. I'm just glad I could be with her.

    I didn't get a post mortem done as I couldn't handle it after going through that but my vet said that the most likely thing was that she had an undetected heart defect which got the better of her It was so horrible but she was vaccinated fully. She was from a pet shop.. I know that's bad but I know better now.

  10. #10
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    It takes many years of 'bunny watching' to spot the early signs of illness.

    For instance you can learn to spot the early signs of GI stasis before bunny stops eating or has diahorrea (sp?) or suchlike.

    Also Ill rabbits often sit looking upwards at walls or into corners. I have no idea why, perhaps to maximize the amount of air they can breathe in.

    Yes, adult rabbits can go from fine to dying, but I don't think it's as common as you'd think...perhaps only as common as SID or sudden adult death in humans? I'm not really sure.

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