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Last Post by Bunnymad111 at 4/26/2011 9:07 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline BearMom
59 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 2:42 AM

Hello everyone,

I've been lurking for some time, but have waited to post. I was hoping my first post would be introducing my 7lbs spayed mini-lop, Bear, and her new brother a flemish giant. Sadly, it didn't work out that way .

I picked up a flemish giant fawn buck from a breeder on Sunday. We went with a breeder because most of the places who adopt out bunnies bond them first and we didn't want a pair, or the bunnies tended to be older. We will be moving in a few years so we wanted a bunny who will still be pretty young for that experience.

Sunday he did great, he was eating and pooping normal, and really seemed to enjoy our company. When I woke up Monday he seemed tired and just wanted to sleep. I didn't think much of it because this is a new house and he had quite a day on Sunday. When I came home I noticed he hadn't eaten as much as the day before, but he had eaten some and was drinking water. I decided to see how he did and take him to the vet in the morning if he didn't continue to eat or wasn't feeling well.

Over night he developed diarreha. I took him to the vet first thing at 7:30am. She checked him over, said he was a bit gassy and he definately had diarreha. His tempature was normal though. She gave me some antibiotics and Oxbow critical care and some instructions for feeding him. He seemed to be doing a bit better - he was perking up and not just sleeping.

Then in the evening he started refusing the critical care. I would get some in his mouth and he refused to swallow it. I just held him and did the best I could. Then he started jumping out of my arms - he did not want to be held. I ended up having to put him in his cage because he kept trying to jump to the floor. I stayed by  him though. He started doing this thing where he would tilt his head up, almost like he was trying to stay awake. Then he started having trouble breathing and he died shortly after.

I'm so sad I felt like I did everything right this time and he died. My mini-lop I got at a pet store when she was 6 weeks old and she never had any problems. With him we got him at 8 weeks from a good breeder who takes really good care of their rabbits. They sent me home with his food so I could slowly transition (which I hadn't started) and gave me all kinds of good advice. I took him to the vet when he was sick... I feel like I failed him. I didn't take him to the vet again last night because before he got to the point of having trouble breathing and jumping from me he was still accepting water and the vet said she couldn't do much else for him (she could have given him fluids if he wasn't drinking, but he was). I'm sure he would have died in the car ride over there if I tried.

I don't know how I'm going to make it through today . I'm a graduate student and I have a talk to give today - I have no choice. I also have to bring his body to the vet and contact the breeder. I'll also have to face my friends who will ask about him.

I'm sorry for the long post - I don't have it in me to edit right now.


User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16353 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 3:01 AM
I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your new bunny. That's very sad that you didn't have the life together that you planned. Some of the other members may be able to give you some perspective on what may have happened. Perhaps the whole litter was sick. My condolences to you and Bear.

((((Binky Free Bunny))))))
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 3:58 AM
So sorry about your new bun. There has to have been something wrong that you could not have prevented. I think it's important that you contact the breeder. Her rabbits may have some kind of parasites that were passed to the litter. Adults can sometimes live with parasites because they have a stronger immune system than babies.

I would also inquire about a refund since the baby passed within a day. (My two cents...) Do not agree to take another baby bunny from the breeder. It's possible it was JUST that baby that was sick, but you don't want to take a chance of this happening again, or (worse?) getting a rabbit that will have long-term health issues.

(((Binky free Bunny!)))
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline BearMom
59 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 8:46 AM

Thanks for the kind words, both of you.

I did contact the breeder and let him know what happened. They honestly seem like great breeders who really care about their rabbits. Unlike some, they don't let their bunnies go home until they are at least 8 weeks of age, they handle them several times a day, and they are in good conditions. They sent me home with their food and vet recommendations for getting him neutered. They have pictures on their website from people who have their bunnies as pets, with descriptions of how well they are doing.

When I talked to him he said that this is the second time ever this has happend with one of their rabbits, and they have been breeding and showing flemish giants for 5 years - and I honestly believe him. He seemed really sad to hear what had happend because he really cares about his bunnies. He asked me about what the vet did for us and pointed out something important - even though he was drinking some water it really would have been best if the vet had given him fluids because with how bad his diarreha was he was likely very dehydrated. I'm thinking he was right and that my vet should have done that. The only reason I had the Oxbow critical care was because I asked for it when she gave me the medications. She didn't suggest it or anything, or really discuss his issue with not eating. This makes me think she was not as rabbit savvy as she made me believe. This is the same vet that did my other rabbits spay - but I don't think she is very well trained in handeling emergency situations.  My vet did do a fecal test and it came back negative.

I'm angry at myself for not realzing he should have extra fluids at the vet, and I'm angry at her because I think she should have at least discussed that option with me. He may have lived... I'm going to take my mini-lop and my future bunny to a new vet who the breeder recommended and is also listed on a couple of rabbit sites online, including on the house rabbit society website.

I feel pretty comforatable getting another rabbit from them in a few weeks especially since my bunnies fecal test came back negative. He said he would work with me to pick another bunny that meets our needs. All of the rabbits there were healthy and active and I won't be getting a bunny from the same litter (or the same parents obviously as he definately gives them a lot of time before having another litter). He did say that he would contact the other people who got bunnies from that litter just so they can keep an eye out, but that he had heard from some who said their rabbits were doing well. He also said that the one that was still with him is doing really well.

Do you guys think I'm being crazy trusting him?

Anyway - I took my baby to get cremated. I first called my original vet but they told me it would be $150 if I wanted the ashes. I just gave them $100 yesterday and my bunny didn't even live another 12 hours. So I called the vet that I'm planning on switching to and they can do it and get me the ashes for $55. We should have them by the end of the week.

I'm so sad , but glad he's not in pain anymore.

Here is a picture of him and his brothers and sisters:

User is Offline amandacv86
12 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 8:56 AM

So sorry for your loss. I don't think you would be crazy to trust him, but others may say different.

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6655 posts Send Private Message
4/06/2011 2:11 PM

I would suggest talking this over with your vet or finding a new vet who is good with rabbits. The breeder you got your bunny from is not a qualified veternarian.

Some of our babies just go.. and it is sad that they leave so soon

It is up to you if you want to get another rabbit from him. There are many great bunnies at the shelter waiting for a nice home. There are some undetectable diseases that rabbits have that even breeders do not know of.


User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16353 posts Send Private Message
4/07/2011 2:16 AM
What a sweet picture. Thank you for posting.

As a longtime rabbit owner it's my opinion that having a vet you trust is the best thing you can do for yourself and your rabbits. I've had experience with vets who said they "knew rabbits" and resulted in the death of my beloved lop that I'm pretty sure would have survived had the vet done what she should have. I now have a vet whom I trust 100% and it's a big relief to know that she is there if I need her.

If you want to get another baby from this same breeder, maybe you could get him/her vet-checked before you buy. That way you would know if there is any problems beforehand. This might be a costly route you don't want to take, however.

Wishing you lots of luck with whatever you decide. You should stick around, BB is a great forum with lots of knowledgeable people. I couldn't get on without it.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline BearMom
59 posts Send Private Message
4/07/2011 3:15 AM

Thanks everyone. It's been a hard couple of days. I've been crying a lot, feeling guilty, and asking "what if" way too much. I didn't get any sleep on Tuesday night so I took a nap for a bit yesterday. Bear, my mini-lop, kept circling the bed and periscoping - she was checking on me. Then when she was satisfied I was ok she went sat in the door way blocking it, like a little guard bunny making sure no one disturbed me while I was sleeping.

It will be a month or so before I get another bunny so I'm going to get set up with that other vet and when I get the new bunny I will take it there. The breeder wont be charging me for another bunny, and no matter what bunny I get I would want to take it for a vet check shortly after I got it. I've done some research - calling vets around town and asking them who they would send a serious rabbit case to and they all seem to agree that the vet at the college is the best - one of the professors specializes in rabbits which I didn't know before. Luckily, I'm a grad student so I get a discount there. The vet college here is one of the top in the country.

I've seriously looked into adopting, but its very difficult around here. Every other animal I have ever owned has been adopted. There are three animal shelters right around my house, two of which are no-kill, and they hardly ever have rabbits (they take them but people don't bring them often). The nearest shelter that does have them is an hour away and they like to bond their rabbits before adoption. They have a few that aren't bonded but they are either older rabbits, say 5-6 years old, or from talking to them they are rabbits they had a hard time finding a bonding match with. I have a bunny I want to bond so I don't want a situation where we adopt a bunny that is hard to bond. I understand that the shelter wants bunnies to live in pairs, but this makes it very difficult for someone who already has a bunny and doesn't want to make it a trio. I could try taking my rabbit for dates with those single bunnies but its an hour away and they don't usually have more than one or two, so making multiple trips would likely be necessary and would be costly with the price of gas.

I'll definately stick around here. It's pretty obvious this is a good group of people.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11069 posts Send Private Message
4/08/2011 3:18 AM

I am so sorry for your loss, and I think it was something congenital with that particular baby that could not have been helped.
The breeder is doing the right thing in giving you a new bunny for free. I would also strongly advise you to take it immediately (do not wait)  to the new vet for a basic exam before accepting it from the breeder. You can let the new vet know what happened so he can be watchful for any signs of similar issues or weaknesses, indicating the breed is problematic. It was also appropriate of the breeder to alert the other owners, though we can't be sure of that. To blame your vet is sleazy. That's called "shifting the blame to cover his own butt." I would be cautiously optimistic when receiving a new bunny, and insist that it is only after you get a green light from the new vet.

That sounds like a good new vet to start with. Regarding the cost, you would want to take any new bunny right away for a wellness exam from a new vet to establish a record of health, baseline, and do basic tests to confirm the health and become a patient, so you would be spending it one way or another. Just in this case, don't wait a few days, go immediately. It's better for you to know and you can conclude your relationship with the breeder successfully. Then if you have any more health problems, your vet will already know what may be the cause, and check for issues from the breed.

It's hard to think clearly in your grief right now, but do NOT blame yourself for any of this. Or your first vet. Just accept our hugs to you, and plan on a happy future with another little baby who finds a good new home. If you could adopt, that's great. But if circumstances, and your heart, make you want to continue as planned, you will be seeing to it that one of his babies will be in the best care possible at least. Yours.

SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline BearMom
59 posts Send Private Message
4/09/2011 4:27 AM

Thank you so much - this forum has been really helpful in this very hard time. I will take your advice about the vet. Since I will know in advance when I will be getting my new bun it will be easy to set up an appointment for the day I get him and I will warn the vet about what happened before.

Spending lots of time with Bear has helped - she is such a great bunny.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20764 posts Send Private Message
4/09/2011 5:40 AM
Bear sure does sound like a sweetie! Bunnies can be great healers. It's probably normal to go through all the "what if's" - part of grieving, but I do agree with with RabbitPam - please don't blame yourself. It must be terribly sad to lose a baby bun like that so be gentle with yourself.

You might have gathered we are pretty pro-adoption around here. But it's not always the option for some and I do commend you for looking so carefully for a responsible breeder. I hope you are able to get Bear her little friend when you are ready. Those babies sure are beautiful!
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Bunnymad111
50 posts Send Private Message
4/26/2011 9:07 AM
I'm so sorry to hear that *cuddles* you were a great bunny mum to him and are one now to your other one!
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