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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Our bunnies keep dying, need advice :(
Last Post by Kokaneeandkahlua at 11/06/2012 4:46 PM (27 Replies)
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User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20617 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2012 4:13 PM
I'm sorry for your losses. Binky Free Babybuns.
I can understand your hesitation in getting another rabbit.

If you do decide to get another, it's probably best after you've been away. I imagine it would be hard to relax while away, worrying about a 3rd rabbit.

It's all guesswork knowing what happened. If pure rotten luck and it was to do with them having something from birth or from environment they came from, that was out of your control.

Still, it's wise to go over everything in your setup just in case. I personally would find it hard to believe the 2nd bun caught anything off the 1st from the habitat. For them to succumb that fast. In Australia there are some fatal conditions that will take them fast (myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease) and can linger on cages but I don't believe it's present in your region of the world.

Adding to the questions already asked; what is the bunny food they were on?
What was the chew toy? Had it been chewed?
Is the sipper bottle functioning properly?
I'm not a fan of the bottles but they are convenient. I'd offer 2 so if one stops functioning, they'll have another source of water. Or just use a crock.
I wouldn't think the water itself was a problem if this is what your cat has. Still if you want to be super cautious, offer filtered water.

If you wanted (if it gives peace of mind) you could get the food tested that they both had. Though I have no clue where you'd get this done. Sorry!

I hope you do consider another rabbit and its all a better experience for you. They're wonderful pets.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline jerseygirl
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11/03/2012 4:29 PM
Oh and ditto SkippersMama's question. Find out whether the pet store or breeder gave them any parasite treatment of any kind. They may not be forthcoming but it wouldn't hurt to ask. One would assume if a treatment was given, then all of them were given the same but not impossible that only a couple were treated for what ever reason. This is all speculation of course...
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2012 4:44 PM
I had to rescue a litter of bunnies from a pet store. They were emaciated, weaned too early from their mother (it is actually against the law in many US States to sell a rabbit that is under 12 weeks of age) and all but one went on to develop severe, long term health conditions because they were weaned too early and not raised properly in the pet store. The pet store foods they sell, the stuff with colorful junk in it, kills bunnies pretty quickly, and baby bunnies cannot develop an immune system when they are weaned too early so they end up with all these problems that cost a ton of money and shorten their overall lifespan.

This is the MAIN reason why pet stores shouldn't sell bunnies, and even guinea pigs, etc. as they are similar creatures.

In fact, in Los Angeles, CA, it is now illegal for pet stores to purchase rabbits from breeders to sell them as pets. 

The legislation was passed very recently, more on that here:

Rabbits are very different than dogs and cats and are much more fragile. It is always best to adopt from a rescue (many rescues have very young, cute bunnies if that is what you are looking for and will work with you on travel, just talk to them!).... this way pet stores will stop the madness with selling these poor little sick bunnies.

User is Offline Nova
220 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2012 4:47 PM
I also noticed, in your bunny cage setup there, you have a huge bowl full of pellets and not very much hay. It should be the other way around....they need much more hay than pellets as they can eat too much pellets, bloat up and their tummies can rupture (this is called bloat or Stasis) because unlike cats and people, etc. bunnies cannot vomit.

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4364 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2012 5:17 PM
Sorry about the barrage of questions neksmomma, I am trying to work backwards and eliminate any possible environmental factors first so that you have a safe place to bring your bun. I agree rescue buns are the best but you wanted buns and went to the only place you knew where to get one which is fair enough, nough said. So lets work together and make your home a safe place for your future bun and you. If its particles, gas exhaust or fumes it could be affecting your health and your families too. I did notice a floor heating vent right next to the cage in the first pic. So another few questions to add to my others and Jersey Girls. Does the vent go to a furnace or gas heating system ? Also cleaning products even though we try to be careful it doesn't take much for a breeze to blow it through and contaminate other things. Also is the food stored near anything that could contaminate it ? Are you close to an agricultural area where they could be spraying pest/herbicides on a schedule that could penetrate the house ?

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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16157 posts Send Private Message
11/04/2012 2:46 AM
I don't have any advice or thoughts that haven't already been brought up, but I want to offer my sympathies with the loss of your two babies. That must have been very hard. I truly hope you can find a bunny from a shelter and can enjoy his/her companionship for many years.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Silly Sungura
453 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 9:55 AM
Hi. I'm sorry for your losses.

It's most likely a coincidence that the bunnies both died within a week of your bringing them home. Barring some of the possibilities that Roberta and Jerseygirl mentioned regarding a toxin in your home environment, my inclination would be to say that the bunnies might've had some illness they picked up from their time at the breeder, or the pet store; maybe e. cuniculi. It's an illness (caused by a protozoan parasite) that can present itself in just the ways you described: It can cause a bunny to not be able to stand up - either because its hind legs are partially or fully paralyzed, or because the bunny is too dizzy to stand; it can cause the bunny's head to tilt slightly or very noticeably; and it can cause tremors or convulsions, as well as other symptoms. The thing about e.c. is that it can have terrible consequences, or none at all, depending on how strong the bunny's immune system is and where the protozoa is located in the bunny's body. If it winds up in the bunny's brain, kidneys, or eyes, and if the bunny is under stress from any thing (like being in a new environment, or having surgery, etc.), then e.c. is more likely to cause illness. This could explain why the other bunnies are fine - if they were exposed to something like e.c., it might never make them sick, or it might make them sick years down the road. The cysts can be dormant in a bun's body for years. Just thought I'd toss this idea out there; my sweet bunny, who came from a pet store, has e.c., and it stayed dormant in her little body for almost a year after she'd had any contact with other rabbits. (E.c. is spread when a bunny inhales or ingests the spores shed in the urine of an infected bunny.) My bun, who is my only bun, had to have picked it up from her mama, or from the other bunnies she was with prior to coming home with me. There are other illnesses that can cause symptoms like your bunnies had; one is caused by a type of roundworm. Like Sarita and RabbitPam said, with so many rabbits coming and going from the breeder and the store, there's just a lot of potential for illnesses and less-than-cleanly conditions. Your use of bleach to disinfect the cage was good; you can make a spray using two tsps of bleach to a liter of water to kill parasites, bacteria, etc. For regular upkeep, use vinegar and water.

I'm sorry this is so long.  I hope it helps you feel a little better, though. I know it had to have been hard to lose those little sweeties. Please consider adopting as the others have mentioned; it might save you some heartache.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
12104 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 4:46 PM
I just wanted to say sorry for your loss-how awful to go through.
i also want to say that even though the pet store said that the other rabbits are fine, and they've sold some in between, you just can't believe them. They are usually untrained people, making low wages, who aren't supported by the company to grow and learn. And a store's bottom line is to make a profit. They probably are going to try to blame you (which when they say nothing is wrong wiht any of the other rabbits they sold, they kind of are!) and maybe someone has had the rabbit pass away but they didn't go back to the store, or it was after their 'guarantee period' or maybe it's policy not to tell customers if others are having issues. So don't blame yourself because the pet store is trying to 'pass the buck'.

I agree with the others, I would look into adopting. Those bunnies are usually spayed/neutered (which is a big bonus!) and health checked. and you know a bit about the personality before you bring them home.

I really feel for ya, can't imagine how hard that was to go through. I really hope you have some better luck, please stick around and keep us posted!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Our bunnies keep dying, need advice :(

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