How to comfort a dying bunny?
Realizing that your time with your best buddy is numbered is a painful realisation. You want to do what’s best for your rabbit, but knowing when to say goodbye can be difficult. As a result, this article is of benefit.
The loss of a beloved pet is never easy. The finest way to show someone you care is to let them go. In some cases, it’s more humane to put down a sick or damaged dog than to hold on to it.
Because rabbits live shorter lives than humans (between 10 and 12 years, depending on breed), all bunny owners have or will experience grief at some point.
It’s all we can do to make them feel safe and loved when the time comes.
Rabbit suddenly refused to eat or drink and died – What could be the reason?
Rabbits are extremely fearful animals that may “freak out” in an instant!
In addition, if you were in your room and all of a sudden put on some “Def Leppard”… a complete and total shitshow….
That would be sufficient to cause it to flip out and kill it of stress.
It could be Stasis. or Gastrointestinal Stasis. Animals such as rabbits have extremely delicate gastrointestinal systems, and if they stop eating/drinking/pooping, it should be addressed as if it were a life-threatening emergency.
Alternatively, it might be Most likely, your bunny was obstructed by a hairball or other barrier. If your rabbit is refusing to eat, take it to the veterinarian ASAP.
They are deafeningly quiet, and we must keep a close eye on them and learn what their favourite snacks are. If we have reason to believe they are ill, we provide them with a treatment…as soon as they deny a treatment…
I usually feed rabbits aspirin (not cats or other animals), maybe something for their belly (rabbit forums will tell you what to do), and a warm pad while we remain with them…
Here are Six ways to keep your rabbit comfortable as he or she approaches the rainbow:
- Make sure they have a clean, calm, and quiet sleeping corner at your house.
- Keeping them and their surroundings at a comfortable temperature.
- Bunnies become anxious when in pain, give them lots of assurance by hugging them a lot.
- Keep them well-fed and hydrated to prevent GI stasis and dehydration.
- Give them your undivided attention.
- Provide pain relief medication (only if prescribed by the vet)
6 Ways To Make Your Dying Rabbit more Comfortable and less anxious
Make sure that your house is clean, calm, and quiet.
In order to conserve their remaining energy, your long-eared companion will need to sleep more as they near the end of their lives.
To ensure a peaceful night’s sleep, give them with a clean, dark, and draught-free environment.
As well as providing enough room for your rabbits rear legs, the resting space should also be large and tall so that their ears don’t touch the top of their inclosure.
Choose a calm spot in the house for your sick rabbit’s cage Or the bed. The rabbit may have to spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days there, depending on its previous experiences and personality.
Take your time and observe the sick rabbit as he eats properly and shows interest in his surroundings.
Aside from avoiding abrupt loud noises, try to keep the TV and radio off or at a low volume.
Speak at a normal volume, but avoid shouting during the first several days. Other pets should be kept out of the rabbit’s exploration zone if you have any. If you have dogs, try to keep them quiet so that they don’t scare the rabbit away.
Rabbits excrete and urinate regularly. In spite of the fact that most rabbits defecate and urinate away from where they sleep, a sick rabbit may not have the mobility to do so, which means that he or she may have to do so while resting.
Make sure their sleeping areas are free of urine so they don’t have to worry about it.
Keep Them And Their Room At A Comfortable Temperature
Make sure your sick or dying rabbit’s body and ambient temperatures are at their ideal levels.
A rabbit’s ideal body temperature ranges from 100 °F to 103 °F (38.3 °C to 39.4 °C). Sick or dying rabbits, on the other hand, may have lower or higher temperatures.
If your Bunny’s Body Temperature is low:
Higher body temperature suggests your bunny has a Fever, while hypothermia is indicated by lower temperatures. Both are bad for your rabbit, and both might make him feel uneasy, and one of them may even be fatal.
He or she will go into shock if the temperature of his or her body falls below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).
In order to elevate their body temperature, place a hot water bottle or heating pad (covered in towels to prevent them from burning themselves) beneath their bedding.
.If your Bunny’s Body Temperature is higher:
If your rabbit’s temperature is too high (especially above 106 °F (41 °C), bring it down immediately or your rabbit may suffer permanent physical damage.
To cool them down, do the following:
Place a cold pack beneath their bedding to keep them cool (wrapped in blankets to avoid frostbites).
To cool your rabbit’s ear, place an ice cube or a glass of cool water in it. Extreme caution should be exercised when handling ice cubes to avoid frostbite.
Placing a fan near the rabbit or turning on the air conditioning in the room, if possible, is recommended; however, the temperature should not dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) or your rabbit will become too cold.
Because a rabbit’s body temperature varies during the day, it is important to take their temperature at various points throughout the day as well.
To take your rabbit’s body temperature, insert a plastic thermometer into its rectum using a needle.
Please double-check that everything is done correctly, otherwise, you may threaten your rabbit’s life.
For the greatest outcomes, I recommend that you have your veterinarian demonstrate how to perform this for you before proceeding.
Sick Rabbits Lose Interest in Grooming
Rabbits are clean pets, and grooming is one of the ways in which they maintain their cleanliness.
In contrast, if your rabbit is not eating or drinking, or is in pain, he or she may be lacking the energy required to maintain clean and healthy.
But this is something you can do for them; what a fantastic way to spend time with your furry companion, and what a wonderful way to demonstrate how much you value their friendship.
Be mindful that rabbits have delicate skin, so approach with caution if you suspect that your rabbit is in agony due to any of the illnesses that are causing him or her to die.
Give them Easy access to food and water
Rabbits must constantly consume food and drink 50-100 mL of water per kilogramme of body weight every day on average.
A sick or dying rabbit may refuse to eat or drink, but he or she will suffer and die as a result of their refusal.
Rabbits may go for up to 12 hours without eating a substantial meal or eating their favoured foods.
However, because rabbits are grazers, they run the risk of having their metabolism shut down if they stop feeding for more than 12 hours.
This is known as gastrointestinal stasis (GI), and it is a medical emergency. Make sure your rabbits feed on a regular basis to avoid gastrointestinal problems.
If they don’t like carrots or cauliflower, or whatever they like, now is the time to pamper them with their favourite food.
If their favourite foods aren’t enough to entice them to eat, make sure they have access to hay while they’re in the cage.
It is critical to drink plenty of water in order to keep your pet comfortable. If a rabbit goes for more than 24 hours without drinking, it is possible that it will suffer from organ failure, dehydration, and intestinal obstructions.
If your rabbit refuses to eat or drink for any reason, contact your veterinarian right away.
If you are unable to see your veterinarian for a short period of time, you may have to coerce them into seeing you.
A Warning – Force-feeding your rabbit is only a temporary solution, please ensure you speak with your vet as soon as it is possible as they need to check your furry friend.
Two feeding syringes from a pet store can be used to force your rabbit. One syringe is filled with its favourite pure vegetables or specialised food and the other can be filled with water.
Put the rabbit under your elbow and secure it with an index finger, then insert a syringe into their mouths (keep careful you don’t squash it).
Go slowly to avoid the choking of your rabbit. Spread 1 ml of food and 5 to 10 ml of water.
Ask your Vet how can you easily force-feed your bunny.
Medication for Pain Management
This step is critical to keeping your Bunny comfortable in his final days, but only administer medication that has been prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.
Never self-prescribe because you run the risk of exacerbating the situation and making them feel worse.
They need a Loads Of Attention
Rabbits are very social creatures and have loads of attention and they are unwilling to show them how much you love and what they mean to you. They are a good opportunity to show them how much.
Grab it, pet and groom it; but allow it to retreat as long as it needs it.
Allow them to set the pace of how often and how much attention they want.
Why Do Rabbits Scream When They Die?
The rabbit screams are really scary to hear because it’s because 1) they sound like a frightening kid, and 2) it’s usually serious. It’s never a wrong alarm.
Rabbits are rarely able to vocalise anything to risk them, but they can give someone who hears it a highly squealing, quite unsuspected if they experience sudden pain, anxiety or a seizure.
If you hear the unnerving cry, stay near them and contact your veterinarian if your rabbit dies. They may have time to cross the rainbow.
Your veterinarian may help your rabbit do so without pain and with dignity.
It’s not always the case. They may die gently on occasion.
When my Friend’s rabbit was old, he developed epilepsy. He screamed and writhed throughout his convulsions, but he wasn’t actually hurting himself.
When rabbits are afraid, they may scream to let others know they’re okay. It’s possible that they do this right before they die if they’re afraid of a dog or a fox or something.
How do rabbits behave before they die?
Refuse to Drink Or eat Food
Rabbits are grazers, which is necessary for their metabolism and digestive system to function properly.
A rabbit who does not eat for more than 12 hours is at high risk of developing harmful bacteria in its intestines. These bacteria will release gas into the system, causing excruciating bloating and decreasing your rabbit’s desire for food and/or water.
These bacteria will not only starve them but will also increase the risk of life-threatening infections infiltrating their digestive tract.
If your rabbit isn’t eating his or her favourite foods or grazing in the hay you’ve placed in their cage in the morning/evening, take them to the vet right away.
Rabbits Become Sluggish
A rabbit that is healthy and happy will want to run, jump, play, and explore.
When a rabbit is in pain or does not have enough food in its system, it may become lethargic and unmotivated to do anything.
If your rabbit is drowsy, take him or her to the vet right away because pain medication may be required.
Vital Signs Change
When a rabbit is on the verge of death, its vital signs may change, such as:
Shortness of breath (a healthy rabbit’s respiratory frequency is 30 to 60 breaths per minute), a lower temperature than usual (100 0F/38 0C), and changes in heart rate (in a healthy rabbit the heart rate oscillates between 180 and 250 beats per minute).
If your rabbit is ill or elderly and suddenly becomes aggressive or begins to hide and refuses to interact, it is possible that the end is near. These behavioural changes could be attributed to fear as they realise the end is near.
If, on the other hand, your rabbit is young and healthy and suddenly exhibits a change in behaviour, take them to the vet right away as an underlying illness may be present.
As your rabbit nears death, its breathing pattern will change, resulting in a rattling sound known as the death rattle.
This is one of the last symptoms your rabbit will have before passing away.
If your rabbit exhibits this behaviour, stay close to them, speak to them in soothing tones, pet them, and show them how much they mean to you; this is your final chance to say goodbye.
Bowels & Urine are released often
A sudden release of their bowels is another symptom your rabbit will experience as death approaches.
If this happens, stay calm, don’t get frustrated, and remember that they can’t help you.
What Are The Illness That Can Kill Your pet Rabbit
Seizures are a type of seizure.
Infectious agents, toxins, and metabolic disorders can all cause seizures. So, if your rabbit starts having seizures, take them to the vet right away.
Upper Respiratory Disease
A rabbit in good health will only breathe through its nose. If your rabbit is trying to breathe through its mouth, it may have upper airway disease.
The following are signs that your rabbit is breathing through its mouth:
Your rabbit is drooling and tilting back its head in an attempt to get more air into its lungs.
If your rabbit is breathing through their mouth, take them to the vet right away because they require immediate attention.
Extreme Temperature Changes in the Body
The temperature of a healthy rabbit should be between 100 °F and 103 °F (38.3 °C and 39.4 °C).
Sick or dying rabbits, on the other hand, may have lower or higher temperatures.
A fever is indicated by a higher temperature, while hypothermia is indicated by a lower temperature. Neither is desirable, and both can be fatal.
If your rabbit’s temperature falls below 100 °F or rises above 106 °F, immediately stabilise their temperature (for tips on how to bring your rabbit’s temperature up or down, see the first section (5 ways to make your rabbit comfortable).
Take your rabbit to the vet once its temperature has been raised or decreased (depending on the situation).
Sneezing, Runny Nose, and Runny Eyes.
If the discharge is whitish and thick, it could be an indication of an upper respiratory bacterial infection. If your rabbit is experiencing this discharge, consult your veterinarian.
The process of vocalisation:
When rabbits are in pain, they do not usually vocalise in order to protect themselves from predators. This is their attempt to avoid becoming an easy meal.
When a rabbit is in a lot of pain or is scared, it may begin squeaking, whimpering, grunting, and/or whining.
If your rabbit appears to be unable to control its vocalisation, in addition to the other signs on this list, a trip to the vet is in order.
Drooling or Wet Chin:
This is referred to as slobber, and it is frequently caused by tooth problems or malocclusion.
If your rabbit is drooling and you’ve noticed a decrease in appetite and ability to eat hard foods like a whole carrot, consult your veterinarian right away.
If this is not treated, your rabbit may develop an infection in the jaw bone, which could lead to death.
Tularemia is a disease that affects the skin.
Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted from rabbits to humans and is fatal to both.
- Loss of Appetite,
- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing rate, and
Grinding of the Teeth
Pain is indicated by loud tooth grinding. Be aware that this is not the same as the less-loud “tooth purring” you may hear when your rabbit is snuggling with you.
Rabbits are sensitive and fragile creatures, yet when they are in pain, they will do all in their power to avoid alerting us to the fact that they are in distress and require our care.
This is their instinct advising them to maintain their strength and avoid giving potential predators the appearance that they are a simple meal to be had.
The responsibility of the caregiver when death approaches is to be present and soothe your beloved fuzzy long-ear companion, aiding him or her in crossing the rainbow in a calm and respectful manner.
To ensure that your rabbit is as comfortable as possible throughout his or her final months, weeks, and days, follow these guidelines:
To ensure that your rabbit is as comfortable as possible throughout his or her final months, weeks, and days, follow these guidelines:
Maintain a suitable temperature in their room for them as well as their belongings.
Inspect their sleeping accommodations to ensure they are clean, calm, and quiet.
Make it simple for them to get to food and water.
Remember to provide pain management (if given by the veterinarians) and to always visit your veterinarian if you are in question. In order to make your lovely furry buddy as comfortable as possible during his final days on Earth, you should seek the assistance of a qualified professional.
For more about Bunnies see our other articles below
About the Author: Ash loves Pets! Ash is an animal lover. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of all kinds of pets.
Ash is a long-time pet lover. There has always been a soft spot in her heart for dogs. Although she has owned many dog breeds in her lifetime, Cavoodles has become her favourite.
Her Love for pets made her Join the pet paws hub Team, to share knowledge with the world.