If you’ve come to The Ralph Site because you’re grieving the loss of a much-loved rabbit, then please accept our deepest sympathy and support.
As you’ve no doubt experienced first-hand, rabbits make wonderful companions, combining affection and loyalty with a curious and playful nature.
Losing a rabbit can leave a huge hole in your life, routine and home.
The loss of a rabbit can come as a shock
Sadly, the latest research shows that the vast majority of domestic rabbits die prematurely. If this is something you are dealing with, you’re certainly not alone. The most common causes of death include teeth problems, flystrike, weight loss, collapse and bloat (gut stasis).
Rabbits are a prey species. This means that they have evolved to hide the signs of illness for as long as possible. Doing this makes them less likely to be targeted by predators or cut off from the protection of their social group.
But the ability to hide illness comes at a price for the rabbit and their human caregivers. By the time it’s noticeable that a rabbit is ill, they’re often in the late stages of a health problem or illness and it’s too late to save them.
Pet loss guilt
As we’ve explored in past blogs, guilt seems to be one of the most common and difficult emotions associated with pet loss. In large part this is because our pets are unable to tell us what’s wrong and so we have to make decisions on their behalf, doing the best we can with the information we have.
This can be especially hard when dealing with a prey animal. If you are grieving for a rabbit that died unexpectedly or prematurely, you may feel upset that you didn’t pick up on signs that they were ill sooner.
Please try to be kind to yourself about this. You may need to practice self-forgiveness in order to be able to let go of your guilt. As we’ve seen, rabbits will hide that they’re ill for as long as physically possible. Even people who have cared for rabbits for years, including those running dedicated rabbit rescues or experienced vets, can miss the signs that all is not well.
It is also fair to say that our collective knowledge about rabbit welfare and husbandry is not as developed as for dogs and cats. As such, we are still somewhat in the dark when it comes to understanding what causes the common health problems that affect domesticated rabbits.
Even if you are one of the ‘lucky’ minority who has cared for a rabbit well into their old age, it doesn’t minimise your loss or the pain you’re feeling. When it comes to our pets, we never have enough time with them.
A disenfranchised grief
When a beloved rabbit dies, it can feel like a lonely experience. Generally speaking, pet loss is seen as a type of disenfranchised grief, which is when the grief is not fully recognised by our wider society.
People who have never experienced pet loss often see it as an experience that’s self-inflicted or view pets as commodities that can be easily replaced.
As pet carers we know better. We know that the loss of a pet can be just as painful and distressing as the loss of a human friend or companion, even if it is an expected part of caring for an animal.
Within the pet caring community itself, many people feel that pet bereavement conversations centre on dogs and cats. This can add an extra level of disenfranchisement if you don’t feel that fellow pet carers recognise how much your rabbit meant to you.
We want you to know that we see your grief and we understand it.
One only has to spend a little bit of time with a rabbit to see what special animals they are.
Taking care of yourself
The most important thing right now is that you take care of yourself. You will find lots of blogs on The Ralph Site to help you.
Ideally, share with your loved ones how you’re feeling and what your loss means to you. If you are finding that difficult for whatever reason, you might find it helpful to talk to someone through the Blue Cross’s excellent Pet Bereavement Support Service.
You can also find plenty of like-minded pet carers in The Ralph Site’s private Facebook group. There are a number of people who have lost rabbits and will understand the special bond you shared with your bunny.
Helping your rabbit’s bonded companion
Was your rabbit one of a bonded pair or small group?
In addition to your own grief, you may be wondering how you can help your remaining rabbit(s) come to terms with their loss. Sadly, they will be grieving too. Bonded rabbits live very closely together, spending hours playing, grooming, sleeping and eating in close proximity. When one dies, it can be traumatic for the one left behind.
In case you’re in this predicament and worried about your remaining rabbit’s well-being, we’ve put together some advice for you:
- Let your remaining rabbit say goodbye
Rabbits are social animals and, as such, they can grieve intensely for a bonded companion. If at all possible, try to give your surviving rabbit time alone with their deceased companion so that they can begin to say goodbye.
Several leading rabbit rescues recommend leaving the two together for between one and three hours. During this time, you may notice the surviving rabbit sniffing, nudging, grooming or even hopping on their companion to try to wake them. Once they understand that their friend has died, they will usually move away from the body. If this hasn’t happened within three hours, you might want to give them a bit longer together.
Observations of grieving rabbits have shown that spending time with a deceased companion can make the overall experience of grief easier for the surviving rabbit. Where a rabbit hasn’t had a chance to say goodbye, they may wait for their companion to return, even if it means not eating or taking care of themselves.
Of course, if your rabbit died suddenly at the vets, it may not be possible to let your remaining rabbit say goodbye. You can still help your surviving pet, so please try not to worry.
If you think your rabbit may have died of something contagious, it’s important to seek veterinary advice straight away about treatment options for your rabbit’s mate.
- Keep an eye on your remaining rabbit
You may notice some changes to your grieving rabbit’s behaviour. This is to be expected. Most commonly, a bereaved rabbit will lose their appetite for a while and they may seem depressed and lethargic. Some rabbits become more affectionate, shadowing their human carers everywhere they go, while others deal with their grief by being grumpy and grunting or running away when anyone tries to interact with them. They may even show signs of aggression, even if they’ve never been aggressive in the past. With time, this behaviour should pass.
As we mentioned above, you will just need to keep an eye on the surviving rabbit to make sure that they are eating and drinking, even if a little less than usual.
Give them plenty of attention and affection – you will probably find that it helps you as much as it helps your rabbit’s bonded friend.
- Give your rabbit a soft toy to cuddle
Your surviving rabbit is probably used to having their friend to cuddle up to for warmth and companionship. Some rabbits benefit from having a soft toy placed where they like to sleep so that the sense of comfort continues as much as possible.
You may also be able to help your rabbit cope with their grief by providing them with new toys and opportunities for enrichment.
- Maintain your rabbit’s usual routine
Most animals thrive on having a predictable routine or things in their environment that they can predict. For this reason, it’s important that you try to maintain your surviving rabbit’s usual routine, even though you are coping with your own grief.
You may both find it comforting to interact with each other as much as possible. Your rabbit is bound to pick up on your emotions but, hopefully, you can bring each other some much-needed love and kindness.
- Consider adopting a new friend for your rabbit
As social animals, the majority of rabbits do best when they have a bonded friend to live with. This is especially true when a rabbit has always been part of a pair or small group.
It isn’t a case of replacing the rabbit who has died. Instead, it’s a case of helping your remaining rabbit through their grief by giving them the company of a friend who, as the same species, understands their language.
If you do decide you have room in your life for another rabbit, then it’s important to think about the age, temperament and requirements of your existing rabbit and their new friend. Rabbit rescue centres will often let you bring in your surviving rabbit to meet potential companions so that you go home with a good match.
Introductions should be managed slowly and carefully to give a new bond the greatest chance of success.
If you’re not ready to adopt another rabbit or you don’t feel it’s the right course of action, your remaining rabbit should be fine as long as he or she receives plenty of love and attention from you.
You may feel guilty about welcoming a new rabbit into your home so soon but please know that you are just looking after the welfare of your remaining rabbit. The love you feel for the rabbit you have lost will not change or lessen.
Whatever you decide and however you feel, know that you’re not alone.
Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
We lost our youngest rabbit suddenly tonight and our other rabbit’s sister. I have been beside myself and not really sure what my next steps are. Thank you for not only helping me look after my other babe but myself as well. ❤️
Unfortunately we weren’t able to bring the other rabbit home but we did bring home the blanket she had with her when she passed. The other has been messing with it. Do you think we should allow the same amount of time for her to grieve with it or just monitor when she is “done” with it?View Comment
I am sorry to hear of your loss.
Regarding your question about the blanket, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer here. It depends on the individual rabbit left behind. I would suggest that you monitor when she is done with it but at the same time ensure that it does not become a complicated attachment/obsessive issue in which case you may need to remove it. Spend time with her, comfort each other but also maintain some routine. It will take you both time and there isn’t really a fixed time with this.
Condolences again on your loss,
Thank you, so much, for your site. Reading this page has been very comforting. Our Flemish Giant was euthanized 2 days ago and I am utterly devastated. We had been working so hard on getting rid of an abscess on her shoulder that we were completely shocked to discover she had flystrike. Why the vet didn’t recommend Rearguard I don’t know, yet feel all the guilt of not having caught it soon enough and not even knowing about it. The only reason I saw it was because there were two flies around her rear, which I thought odd.View Comment
As my partner stated, it was a privilege to have known her. She was the sweetest, gentlest and most sensitive creature I have ever encountered. That such beings live on this earth is a blessing. Her gentleness softened hearts and we all experienced more love than we ever thought possible.
We had our sweet little girl named Thumper pass away recently too. She was so sweet and would just loaf up receive all the love i had to give her, she always let me kiss her cute little nose and tell her how cute she was. God i miss her. Such sweet beautiful creatures. I love how the article says when it comes to our pets, we never get enough time with them. And its so true. Whenever i would have feeling of frustration or anger it felt like she would just pull it right out of me and make me happy again. God im gonna miss her. Can wait to see her in heaven.View Comment
I have just lost my amazing rabbit 9 years old. He had an amazing character and been a massive part of our lives. I am so devasted to loose him. I have another rabbit left which worries me as they were inseparable. Can you advise how I can help her.View Comment
I am sorry for your loss, Keeley.
There is a lot of advice in this blog post itself.
There is some other information on this page – it is not specific to rabbits but hopefully helpful.
You could also join our private Facebook group and ask for advice and support there.
Hope that helps a little,
So sorry for everyone’s loss😢 but reading everyone’s stories has helped me cope with my loss🥺 I lost my favorite special beloved bunny daughter PASSION 🐰 just yesterday morning on my dogs (Simba) birthday that we didn’t even celebrate his birthday as it was too painful losing Passion 😭 I had never bonded with a bunny the way I did with Passion. I’ve been through so much heartache in life and last year I was diagnosed with lupus and other auto immune illnesses that I felt depressed but every time I would go and spend time with Passion she made my worries and anxiety go away! I loved cuddling her chunky face and her entire body and she loved my cuddles as well🥰 I spent mainly my mornings and nights with her. I literally treated her and saw her as one of my daughters because I have 4 human daughters but in my eyes she was the baby 😄 she would bite my walls but I loved her so much that it was hard to get mad at her 😁she would spin for me without me asking her to do so when she wanted he treats. She would lay down by me because she trusted me and that made me feel very special. I knew I was her favorite human because she would lick my hand when I would caress her body and she would run in circles around my feet letting me know she loved me 🥲 I loved holding her and kissing her head and telling her how much I loved her each time that I would see her. She came into mine and my kids life’s making it so much better! She was only 11 months old didn’t even make it to her 1st Birthday 🎂 and that breaks my heart 💜 I’m so heart broken 😞 I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. It’s only been a day without her and I feel like depressed again😣 yesterday was one of the hardest worst days of my life. She died from twisted gut and bacteria. I did everything possible to taking good care of her even would buy her supplements for digestive support since she was very fluffy full of furr everywhere. I fed her hay and Timothy pellets . Kept her cage clean everyday and tried to groom her whenever possible. One day we left her alone in her cage but she had a big area to roam and while we were gone she got out from her living area and probably ingested something so when we came home we found her lose but she seemed her usual self so thought nothing was wrong. Then the next morning one of my daughters fed her and by the afternoon we noticed she hadn’t ate her hay or drank any water. She was just in one spot and wasn’t active like usual and I knew something was wrong the moment I went in her room to check up on her she wasn’t exited to see me like everyday , she just sat their hunched up looking sad 😞 this was on Sunday do the vets were closed or I would have tooken ny baby ASAP to get checked. I stayed all Sunday night with her trying my best to make her feel better but she still wasn’t eating , I would feed her water through a syringe and she would drink but not much. I could tell she was in so much pain and it hurt knowing I couldn’t take her pain away. I massaged her tummy and tried to keep her warm. I also prayed for God to heal her😔 I wasn’t ready to lose my favorite companion, my best friend , my everything! The vet didn’t open till 8 am on Monday so I got my kids to school and took off straight to the nearest vet which is 25 mins away from where I live and she was still in so much pain her eyes half way open and not moving much. On the way to the vet I kept telling her to hold on to hang in their that I was going to get her the hell she needed to survive whatever was going on with her health. Once I got there they didn’t want to see her because she was a rabbit 😡 that made me so mad so I knew in my heart she wasn’t going to make it she already had a-whole day suffering in pain and not eating. Luckily I found a vet that was willing to see her but I still had to drive another 32 miles and by the time I got there passion was in more distress when she saw new humans( vet and assistant) grabbing her to check her so she stressed out and started acting different and that’s when I knew she was living me alone 🥺 she was jerking when the vet was holding her squealing in pain and she pooped one very hard poop and vet said she was goi g to check it for parasites and would be back in 10 minutes so when she left passion started shaking one of her paws and her neck started spasming and she didn’t look well so I yelled to the vet to come get her because she was shaking so the vet and assistant took her to another room and I was feeling so nervous and in 3 mins she came out and told me that Passion had died 😔 it all happened so quick and I went to say my last good bye to my best friend and daughter my baby 😭 she was laying there with her eyes open and her cute little tongue was out. I touched her and cried it was one of the hardest goodbyes for sure !!! I brought her back home with me in a cardboard box 📦 I hate how she died in horrible pain. I just wanted to get her the help she needed and instead I took her for her to only die at a vets. I wish like many on here that I would of caught her symptoms on time but either way the vets are closed on weekends and most don’t see bunnies so it’s tough owing a bunny because they are so fragile but yet really lovable and amazing pets to have. Just sucks how it’s hard to find vets that actually know what to do in bunny emergencies. I’m afraid to get another bunny to bond and then this traumatic event happen again! I don’t think I can put myself through this very painful situation again. With that said no other bunny Will ever replace my dearest Passion. I miss her so much and my hide feels empty without her presence. I had a whole Routine with her and now that’s gone. She passed yesterday morning and my kids helped me dig her grave on our yard and it was hard putting her in their and say goodbye 😩 all I can do is just think about her and our memories and our bond we had. It’s hard letting go I feel so heart broken sad depressed knowing she’s outside in her grave instead of being in her home with me and my kids. May Gods help me mourn her and deal with this immense pain and it me to let her Rest In Peace. She will always be loved by me and never forgotten nor replaced. She will forever hold a Special place in my heart 💜 I’m so grateful for the time I had with her and wish I could have had many more years but only God knows why her life was cut short and like most if you I here I blame myself as well for not taking better care of her. Part of me feels I did ok taking care of her and the other part doesn’t. I just miss her so much 😭 It’s so hard going to her room and not seeing her there happy to see me and ready for her treat and cuddling. I put away some of her belongings but I left her cage untouched I’m not ready to put her space away 🥺View Comment
Reading your comment was like reading my story 😢 We lost our baby 2 days ago. Coco was in her enclosure all good throughout the day. We then have her last portion of food before bed and went to sleep. When we woke up she was lying down with eyes half open and not moving. We rushed to the vet straight away. They put her on fluids etc and said they will give her a scan and tests when she’s a bit more stable. She passed that night at 10 o clock. What hurts us the most is that we went to see her and vet said she’s stable and we can see her and give her a toy and fresh blanket and asked us to wait and she will bring her out. Then few minutes later she said she passed just there. She didn’t call us into the room when she was passing so she passed on her own with no one she knows around. That broke my heart. She was only 4 years old. We always tried best for her. She was such a good bunny. I feel guilty feeling I didn’t do enough. The vet didn’t tell us what was the reason for her dying which makes it worse to move on. I feel like it was similar to your bunny as symptoms are almost identical. We are receiving her ashes today and I bearly ate or slept since. The vets were not compassionate and didn’t care. Ireland does not specialise in rabbits and the knowledge is not great,View Comment
I’m keep blaming myself what if I went to Dublin which is over 2 h drive but has a rabbit specialist. I only found out after she died about that. Would’ve been too late anyway? I am just so heartbroken 💔 😞 I don’t know how to deal with it the guilt is so strong, my partner and I are finding it very difficult to go back to our normal life.she meant everything to us and there will never be another Coco so we decided not to get another rabbit ever, we would never bond same.
I’m so sorry for the loss of everyone’s beloved pets.. my Snowball passed at 1.15pm today. I’m in shock. She ate her breakfast and was a free Bunny running around the garden with her sister.. I found her collapsed outside the back door, eyes open. I think it just happened a moment before. I don’t understand what happened she was fine. I rushed her to the vet but he confirmed that she was gone. No injuries, no obvious signs of infection – nothing.View Comment
We are Devastated. Floppsy her sister is wondering, Snowballs scent is everywhere but Snowball is missing.
I feel so so guilty. We took such good care of Snowball, gave her everything. She would have been 4 in June.
Bunnies are such special animals and if you have a Bond with one it’s extra special..
I’ll never forget you Snowball, my heart is broken 💔
I just lost my baby yesterday due to intestinal blockage because she ingested too much fur and I think some puppy pads we had in the house. Im heartbroken, im 17 and due to my family being at work I had to rush her to the vets, she was in so much pain and it was all so sudden, she was 2.5 years old and one of 5 thag we have. They’re a little family of bunnies. She was one of three babies that live with the mum and dad rabbits. Now there’s only 4 left. I love them all so much im scared that it’s going to happen to them. I’ve been hoovering and sweeping their fur up like a madwoman non-stop out of pure fear they will ingest it. I completely feel your pain and i too csnt stop crying. It’s awful❤️View Comment
I lost my 16 month old little girl bunny today. I have lost friends young (was deployed three times in 12 years) and other pets due to old age. I have always kept death in perspective and loss in stoic manner. Always accept things as they are has always been my creed.
I got Gidget after she was a young bun and bunny sat her last year when the neighbors who had just gotten her went on vacation. I litter box trained her and allowed her to free roam. I fell in love with her immediately. When they returned I said they couldn’t keep her in a cage all day. They decided she was better off with me.
Again, I have been to war and lost half a dozen friends. I have never loved anything as much as my little bunny. She turned me from a blank and hard person into an immeasurably happy man. She slept with me, hung out with me, was with me all day every day (i work from home). She would lick my face for 30 mins straight and follow me around the house from room to room.
She had stasis six months ago and I recognized and rushed her to the vet. She recovered. Two days ago it returned at night, I fed her critical care and she rebounded in a few hours. Yesterday was perfect and last night she slept next to me like every night. Waking me up every 30 mins licking my face. She went downhill again tonight. I started the protocol (baby gas x, critical care…) she was alert and responsive but I was rushing her to the vet first thing in the morning.
She went from alert to almost nothing in minutes and died with me holding her tonight. There aren’t words to describe how devastated I am. She filled a hole I didn’t know was there. I have dealt with some of the worst things on earth without a care and this feels like my entire world just disappeared.View Comment
I lost my lovely Herbie this evening. He was only 3 years old. I’m so heart broken as he would makeView Comment
Me laugh everyday. I’m really worried about his best friend petal. I don’t think she’s going to cope well. She’s an introvert and Herbie was a extrovert.
I am thinking of getting her a new friend but it’s too soon to decide.
I can’t stop crying at the moment as im blaming myself. I think he died from bloat and so now im thinking did I over feed him ??
Ur website is brilliant and has helped me
I lost my beautiful bunny, Polly, today. She was absolutely lovely – so affectionate and loving . She was almost 7 and has always been a house rabbit since we rescued her. She was such a little personality – loved her food and loved being stroked and having her ears scratched. She would lick our hands affectionately – I have absolutely no doubt that she loved us as much as we loved her. I am so heartbroken at losing her – but at the same time relieved that she no longer has pain which would have only got worse. My house feels so empty – the grief is unbearable. She is in my heart forever. So many memories, so much love.View Comment
I’m so sorry to hear that you have all lost bunny’s recently. I had my 4 year old Pip put to sleep tonight. She’s been in and out the vet all week with suspected GI but an X-ray on Friday showed an enlarged heart and that all her problems were actually heart disease related. Since coming home yesterday she really perked up, started hopping around, looking interested in life, purred when I cuddled her-gave me hope! But at the vet he said the kindest thing was to euthanise before she has a slow and painful death. I don’t know if I did the right thing. I can’t stop crying. I feel so guilty. She could of had a few more week but I took that away from her.View Comment
I am so sorry to hear of every ones loss.View Comment
I lost my little guy 2 days ago.
I am really having trouble and keep blaming myself. The what if’s, if I had only just …. are haunting me. I feel quite traumatized by force feeding him and now feel I over feed him and caused him even more pain. I hate knowing his last memories of me were force feeding him. He hated it.
Today we lost our Holland Lop. It’ was extremely traumatic. I held it as it took its last breath and squealed in pain. My heart is broken and my children are as well. He left behind his brother. The two of them were very bonded. I believe he died of Flystrike which I had no idea about! His bum kept getting dirty and we bathed him and tried to keep him clean. But I believe something happened in his diet or something he ate. I also noticed him sitting in his poo and tried to move him away from it but he kept going back. I can’t help but feel guilt and it’s an awful feeling that my kids are know grieving another loss. We lost our beloved cat a year ago after having her for 8 yrs and it was devastating. I decided to get the Holland lops for my son to bond to and now we lost him as well. Grief is a awful awful thing to go through. But now I am contemplating getting another rabbit to help the remaining one side they were brothers bonded at birth. I feel terrible and can’t think straight to make that kind of decision as of right now:View Comment
I lost my bunny just a few days and I am in the process of grieving, guilty feelings and all. He was only 3 months old a and did not even have an official name yet. This is the part I think that hurts the most as he only got to live such a short life.I had only had him for two weeks but in that time I had already bonded greatly with him. I still am not certain what caused his death. I cant help but think he caught rhdv from the vets office for his checkup, as the next morning he started to lack appettite. They had prescribed him some Tsm as well so I wasn’t sure if he was just adjusting to his new meds. I had hope he was getting back to normal that day because I saw him splooting. But the next morning he was neither eating or pooping soI took him back to the same vet but it was too late, he passed soon I Told myself before getting him, that I would do my best to provide him with the best home, environment, diet, etc but I feel like that was all in vain. Now I am left with the sadness of losing my rabbit but also with the unfulfilled feeling of being a pet owner. I still want to own a rabbit but not sure when the right time will be.View Comment
We lost our bunny yesterday and I’m devastated. She developed a head tilt about 6 weeks ago and fought it and improved tremendously, only to develop GI stasis and pass. This page was so very helpful and validating. It’s so true about the disenfranchisement of rabbit owners and losing a pet. I find that no one else seems to understand how I’m feeling and the guilt, what if’s, should haves that I’m processing and how much a part of our lives she was. I’m also worried about her bonded companion. This is now the second time that he’s lost a bonded companion and I’m worried for him.
To all of you bunny parents on her, I’m sending you love because I know what you’re going through. Here’s hoping we all find healing and peace.View Comment
Our little girl Tallulah passed unexpectedly two days ago and I can honestly say I’ve never experienced pain like it. She had only just turned 3-years-old and seemed perfectly happy and healthy until a couple of days prior to leaving us.
The sadness I feel is indescribable and I can’t help but feel I have let her down in some way. She came to us for a better life after being rescued 2.5 years ago and unfortunately, her time was cruelly cut short.
I’m so grateful and happy for the time I had with her but wish so much that it could have been longer.
RIP angel, we loved you more than you could ever know.View Comment
Lost my princess yesterday. Only 2 and 9 months year old. I have 5 other rabbits but Fluffy who she shared a cage with is more heartbroken than me and my son. I found Tilly in her cage with Fluffy lay with her yesterday morning. She has since hidden under my sofa and not eating or drinking. Love all my babies so much but can’t believe my gorgeous princess Tilly has gone. Sleep tight Tilly, Mamma loves you to the moon and back. 😢💕View Comment
We lost our Wabbz on late Thursday night.View Comment
He had undiagnosed stasis which I was treating myself with medicine prescribed for a earlier episode just 2 months ago.
I thought he was pulling through but he took a turn later in the evening and passed soon after.
I have never felt pain and anguish like this before and will miss him and his antics for the rest of my life.
He was abandoned and rescued by me at only 2 months old I think.
I hope he enjoyed his short life.
I lost my rabbit yesterday and I can’t tell u how devastated I am. My rabbit died from a genetic disorder and was only 8 months old. So I know how it feels to lose a rabbit of a early age. I miss my rabbit so so much!View Comment
I lost my beautiful boy on Saturday morning and I feel broken. He was bonded with our beautiful girl, Dusty who we sadly lost in January. George has been by my side all year even though he was heartbroken to lose her too. I loved him more than anything and didn’t realise how much I needed him to get through each day. I don’t know how to live without George now and I feel so guilty that I didn’t spot something was wrong sooner. It all happened so quickly.View Comment
I will love you forever George and you gave me so much joy. My life was beautiful with you in it and I will cherish your love and memories always.
Yesterday I lost my perfect little bunny Alfie at 3 years. It is the worst pain I have ever felt so I have have no idea how his sister Alice is feeling. They spent every moment of their lives together and were best friends, she is acting okay now though. He passed away last night unexpectedly as he was in perfect health before yesterday but he stopped eating and drinking and he wouldn’t move. Alice has hugging him in the morning and wouldn’t let go it was so sad. I’m not sure what I will do without him. I wish you all good luck with your losses.
Niamh xView Comment
Being able to read all these messages left by bereft rabbit owners..has helped me so much tonight.so sorry for your losses.my heart goes out to each& everyone of you….it is New Years Day 2022..& my beautiful Molly passed away tonight 2hours ago..View Comment
.10 years of age she was my sweet darling …so clever & loving…she had had dental probs for the last 5 years..where she would need to have spurs burred down..but always back bushy tailed& bright
eyed ..she absolutely loved her food..especially her favourite ..Apple..only this last 18months theyd found a mass near her lungs ..Bless her..but was on long term meds..& she’d been good….she leaves her sole mate Rooney….awwww love him..we gave left him with her..& will do for as long as he needs
We will do all we can for him..to comfort..& work through our grief together..we were so fortunate @& indeed privileged to know & have Molly in our lives…shd eill always be with us in our hearts..God Bless you my little sweetie … rest in peace..love you for always xxxxxxxxxxxxx
I’m so grateful I found this site. On the very early morning of December 21, I went to use the bathroom, and on my way, I always pop in to greet my bunnies, George and Charles. They are bonded Holland Lops – George was white with a cute gray triangle on his nose, and Charles is blue gray. I noticed George was laying so still, which is unusual for him. He typically is hopping to be picked up or let out when I get up in the morning, or is throwing his food bowl around, or pestering Charles – his younger companion. Charles was hopping all over George, trying to wake him up. He was booping and sniffing him. I picked him up, and he was so cold. It was the worst feeling, and I have lost so many beloved pets, but this was just so unexpected. He was about 7 years old. I thought I still had more time. I had just played with him the night before, and he was completely happy, active, eating and drinking and going to the bathroom normally. It was like his little clock just ran out. My husband and I had to bury him before I went to work. It was awful. Charles is so lethargic and depressed. I was completely terrified of losing him, too, but he is just grieving. It still hurts so badly. I can just walk around holding Charles, and giving him as much attention as possible. Much love to all of you. This pain is so real, and you are valid in your grief. These guys are family, and so special. I love you so much, George.View Comment
I lost my pet bunny.Ebony a black dwarf x harlequin.I miss him so much, I am often in pain.It happened last Saturday.He was three and a half.
He was given food called critical care by me twice a day as I was helping him through gi stasis.Then he stopped eating Friday.I took him to the vet.xrays revealed fluid everywhere inside him where it is not supposed to be.I made plans to take him to the er, and the vet was going to test the fluid,but did not do it in time.The bunny was having seizures at the vet and I was called back as he was on the table and not in the oxygen tank anymore.View Comment
I talked to him and held his head and he passed painlessly away as he was given pain meds a half hour before.
I was crying and still often am.I am having him cremated and getting paw prints. I know his bonded mate Lola will be missing him and I showed her his body before cremation.
Now I am giving her lots of attention as she was bonded to him.
She is five years old,a Holland lop.I got her a stuffy and toys and veggies.She stays in her place where she went with Ebony and hides behind the table there.
I know she was alone for three years before I got her. I believe she may be happy now that she is on her own again.She is grieving,but she has me and she used to get sprayed by her mate Ebo y and chased when they were not cuddling.I am sure it is so hard for her.
I hope to bond with her myself as I live alone .I am not sure another rabbit is the way to go.
I also have two caged guinea pigs in the kitchen.I feed greens to them and Lola eats greens outside their cage and sees them.
I can not let them loose as she never liked them and charges them.I am trying to give her a chance to befriend them with a gate between them.
I looked at baby bunnies and even communicated with the owner and just not feeling good about getting it.
I am grieving a lot and my remaining bunny and guinea pigs are.
Ebony was a much loved rabbit.
Perhaps down the road a dog not a bunny .
Too bad my bunny would be afraid of it?
Thanks for hearing all my thoughts at this sad time.
Have a good weekend.Lola is often angry and growls or runs around fast.I think it is grief.
I discovered my rabbit Sally Petunia dead about 30 minutes ago. I feared something was up when she did not come running out for her greens this morning. I am hobbling around on an ankle I broke nine weeks ago and could not take her outside to bury her, nor can I drive anywhere. I am bereft. There have been a lot of people in and out of my house recently and she rapidly figured out that they would serve her some fresh greens, while my cats were more aloof. I will miss her forever.View Comment
My little lady Cocco passed away 4 days ago suddenly an hour after I dropped her and her friend, Butters, to our rabbit vet. I had nursed her through the night – feeds and cuddles before giving them time together to de-stress. I had no idea she wasn’t going to make it. She was about to turn 7. Even the vet was shocked by how sudden it was. Reading this article was nice, because I am absolutely devastated and so many people don’t understand how close owners can be with their rabbits. Butters and Cocco are free roaming house bunnies so they are very much a part of my little family. I’ve been camping out on the lounge room floor with Butters since she’s been gone, and I think he appreciates it. He even did some little zoomies this morning. I really feel for anyone who unexpectedly loses one of their babies.View Comment
My rabbit Toki passed away two days ago, weeks before her fourth birthday.
She suddenly started limping two weeks ago on a Saturday night. When we rushed her to the ER, she started getting fevers but was discharged with some pain meds. But within hours of being home, she suddenly could not breathe so we rushed her back into the ER, now in an ICU and in an Oxygen chamber. After a day there, they told us to move her to UC Davis, which was an hour away, even though she still couldn’t breathe well. So we did. We put an oxygen mask on her and drove 90 min and thankfully she had made it. We did all sorts of tests on her and she was hospitalized for a week, until they couldn’t do anything for her. At home, Her breathing issue was resolved but now it was the GI stasis and she was extremely and unrecognizablely bloated. With stomach massages, simethicone, and benebac, she really improved. We thought she made it because she was eating a ton of hay and veggies.
But on Thursday, it was very very hot, and the room was above 95 degrees. We could not install the ac because it had been cold this entire year. Toki was also doing well though with no sign of heat stroke such as lethargy. I was working on my laptop in the same room, under the heat, with Toki happily nose bumping me and jumping on my laptop. The suddenly, she fell backwards climbing up a door bump, then struggled to get up. Me and my wife tried to calm her and help her but minutes later she died in our arms.
Toki was a wild cottontail rabbit that i rescued in Boston. I found her on the asphalt, hairless and eyes closed. We raised her by syringe feeding her six times a day and rubbing her butt for urine and poop. My life was stuck in low gear at the time and having Toki in my life had made all the difference. Toki survived many challenges, including a cross country drive to CA and an eye surgery. We surely thought she would overcome this one, too. Especially since she was on an upward recovery trajectory. We cant believe how quickly she passed from just a simple fall.
Raising Toki for four years had a very hefty toll on our lives. We could not go on vacations because she needed eye meds everyday after the surgery but we could not find anyone else who could handle a wild rabbit other than us, that she trusted. Her hospital bills totalled tens of thousands of dollars. She also destroyed our apartments. But if we were ever presented the opportunity to raise crypto again we woud do it in a heartbeat.
We cant cope with this devastating loss. Our life was completely centered around Toki, with weekly routines to the groceries to buy apples and spring mix, and the pet store for hay and treats. We cant walk by the produce section in the grocery store or the small animals section at the pet store because it hurts too much. I get panic attacks when i see bunny dolls and they are everywhere because its Easter time.
I keep reliving the moment she died. I keep thinking there must have been something i could have done to save her. Besides, she looked like she had almost recovered. Despite all we’ve been through together, i cant believe how easily she was taken from us so suddenly and randomly.
Thank you for saying i need to work on self forgiveness. Ill try my best to overcome this loss, although it seems impossible now.View Comment
Thank you so much for this comment. I don’t think the pain ever goes away i think it just lays dormant until you remember again. May God bless your cute little bunny. I know i cant wait to see mine again one day.View Comment
I am so glad I found this site and to know that I’m not alone in my grief.
My beautiful girl Sprout died yesterday of GI stasis and I feel insanely guilty. She ate fine at dinner, bouncy as usual and good poop. The next morning wouldn’t touch her pellets, so I immediately became worried and gave her Critical Care and Reglan that I had left over from a previous visit at the vet. Waited and nothing. Called vet. Appointment available but only the next day. Repeat critical care 2 more times over the next several hours. No improvement so I took her in the middle of the night to an animal ER. She got worse overnight because the ER vet didn’t know how to treat rabbits that well and wasn’t sure what to do next. In the morning I transferred her to her regular rabbit-savvy vet, but despite talking to him on the phone and telling him about her critical condition he only assessed her 3 hours after I brought her to him. I was so angry. A few hours later he sent her home telling me she was “better” only for her to die in my arms within the hour. This has been very traumatic for me and I am extremely devastated. I blame myself very much because I trusted the vets and I shouldn’t have. I could have given her better care at home i.e. giving her critical care and staying with her overnight. I will probably never forgive myself for this. I’m so angry that the ER vet didn’t know anything about rabbits yet still agreed to see her (most of them would say, “no we don’t see rabbits” if they aren’t comfortable) and I am SO angry that her regular vet waited 3 HOURS until he assessed her (I brought her at noon in critical condition and she saw her at 3pm!) then told me she was much better, only for her to die less than 45min in my arms at home. And I am SO angry with myself for letting all of this happen. I feel like I should have advocated for her better and that I didn’t protect her well. I love my other bunnies very much but this experience has left me incredibly bitter towards rabbit healthcare. It’s like her little life didn’t matter to anyone else. Needless to say I got a new vet now. I work in human healthcare and while I know some things about rabbit health I am a human doctor and not a vet. When dealing with human patients if I don’t know how to do something I call my specialist colleagues right away. Also I would never leave a critical patient to wait for an assessment for 3 hours because of course they would die. I am just so angry and I had to include it in my rant.
She was almost 2yrs old and had so much life left in her. And I am so incredibly heartbroken.View Comment
Writing all of this out just breaks my heart.
However I am hoping that this will help someone at some point. Please research your vets and animal ER hospitals very carefully.
So grateful to read everyone else’s grief. Weird how horrible that sounds.. my baby had to be put down last night, on my dads birthday. 4 1/2 (and 10 days) years old. I miss him so much. My big sweet fluffy baby. He struggled the last two months with weight and hair loss. I wish I could see him fluffy and happy again. He was always happy. Always eating. Always running for food and treats. Even when he was weak, he would almost hurt himself while begging for more treats. I gave him a lot Wednesday night. I’m so glad I did. He died Thursday night. My boyfriend is sad too; but doesn’t show it as I do. So this site, and all of you have made me feel a bit more understood. I miss him so much. I just want to hold him one more time. I’ll always love you and I’m so sorry you died so young. I tried so hard to help you get better. I would’ve tried everything. I love you baby. I’m sorry it didn’t work. I miss you so much.View Comment
Today I lost my couple days old kit. We found him in our front yard abandoned with no sign of a nest or other kits anywhere. We think a snake may have dragged him out but gave up halfway because their seemed to be bite marks on his neck and the top of his head. We had agreed to take care of him as a family and then release him once he was old enough but I ended up being the “parent figure”. He was doing great, fur was coming in, teeth were starting to come in, and I could just tell he would be opening his eyes soon. And then one day I went to check on him and he was cold and lifeless. Not dead but barely alive. I tried to warm him up and thought it was working until he started whining and then he just abruptly stopped breathing. Yes, we only had him for a couple days but I bonded with him in the blink of an eye. And in the blink of an eye he was gone. His name was spider man lol. I can’t help but blame myself though. I feel like I should’ve noticed something sooner and even now writing this it kinda stings to think about. But yea this sucks man. R.I.P Spider-Man❤️View Comment
Hello, we lost our first pet bunny yesterday, he was only 4 months old, we don’t know what happened, we can only assume a heart attack. He was happy little fella, following us around and licking us for affection! In the morning he was happily running around like usual and when we got home he had passed away. My 7 year old daughter is beside herself and my 3 year old son doesn’t really understand. How long do you think we should leave it until we get another one?View Comment
My mom and I have lost our bunny on Sunday night. He has lived with us for 6 and a half years. He would have been 7 on August 10th. He was healthy. It all went so fast. I think it was bloat. One minute he was fine and after he stopped eating, pooping and drinking. The vet was closed. I was planning to bring him to the vet Monday morning but he died in my arms at 10:00 PM Sunday night.
I am beyond devastated. I can’t do the things I used to. My body hurts emotionally and physically. I don’t know how to cope with this. It’s my second bunny, but my first one died of a long illness, which mean we expected her death. She had many vet visit and treatment and surgery but eventually lost her battle. It was hard then but we could make sense of her death. We knew she was probably in a better place instead of constantly fighting and suffering on earth. For Mocha it’s different as he was healthy up until he died and it was very sudden.
Please help us. I don’t know how to cope with this and I am worried about my mother. She is 91 years old and was very attached to my bunny Mocha.
Thank you.View Comment
Sorry to hear this.
The most immediate and best source of support that we can suggest is to join The Ralph Site private Facebook group. 24/7 support from pet carers who understand. Please consider it.
Thinking of you.View Comment
I lost my lionhead rabbit yesterday his name was simba he was not even 6 months old. He was so beautiful with his ginger fur hence his name. He was so full of energy and loves to explore and run around he loved being around me and my family and our dog. He had been Unwel off and on since I got him he had problems going to the toilet regularly so I had to give him tummy massages every single day and feed him mind and limit his pellets and im reads his fibre with Tim other hay I was with him every day. Yesterday in the uk it was extremely hot I had two fans on him a damp towel in his cage and a couple frozen bottles to help bring his temp down I was with him keeping him as strong feeding him by hand and giving him water by hand but it was was all in vain he ended up having a massive fit all the way to the vets the put him to sleep my poor little baby boy I miss him so much he was sent to me to care for him Baccausw I put everything into him and looking after him and even tho I know I done my best I still feel guilty and lonely and I miss him so muchView Comment
My baby girl Bun Bun passed away yesterday evening. She stopped eating or pooping, so I took her in and she had promising x-rays and labs and the vet was ready to discharge her for supportive care at home with a good prognosis, but right before discharge she unexpectedly went downhill and passed away. I am in utter shock and heartbreak. She was my companion and best friend, and I feel so lost without her running around and doing binkies. I rearranged my whole house last night because I can’t stand to look at my home knowing every inch of it was hers too. I miss her more than I can bear.View Comment
I feel the same way. It’s hard to accept the loss. We had a similar experience with the vet telling us they were going to treat Binx, and we should come get him in about an hour. I was in the store getting some hay 30 minutes later and they called back to say he’d passed. He was all alone, and I am guilt ridden.View Comment
My little baby Romppe died two days ago at only six years old. She had been having trouble with stasis before and I thought it was the same thing, that I can cure her at home. She went on to fight for 4 days, every day getting better but then worsening again.
She was finally put to sleep after a final attempt at a surgery to fix her. Her liver had become fattened from not eating properly for days. The guilt is crushing me.
Her sister is the only thing keeping me from going insane. She’s such a pure fluffball, and thankfully seems to be doong okay.
My baby was my whole universe. She didn’t deserve to leave so soon. I can’t fathom not being able to see her when I come home, when I wake up, how she wont be waiting for me outside the shower door. How she wont climb over me while I’m sleeping or working, how I will never get to pet her again. She was the sweetest bunny to ever be, and I will always love her.
Sleep tight my baby bun, I’ll see you later.View Comment
I understand. We lost our bunny, Binx, before we could see him grow, but we loved him with all of our hearts before he passed. I get sick thinking about him being gone, and I don’t really talk about it with anyone outside on my house because I don’t think they understand or even care.
Our pets really are part of the family, and that’s how it feels when we lose them.
I hope you’re feeling better.View Comment
A week and a half ago we lost our Lola. She was a 10-year-old Netherland dwarf That We rescued at 5 and 1/2 years old. She was an amazing little bunny. In the previous months leading up to her death we noticed her having a harder time breathing when she over exerted herself. I hadn’t been able to really pick her up anymore but had lots of cuddles on the floor. She would still run for her treats and actually became quite affectionate towards us licking us all the time. The night before she died she started really having a hard time breathing I tried calling in so many vets to either get medication to make her more comfortable or to put her to sleep in our home. Nobody could come. I didn’t want to take her to the vet because I knew the car ride and the clinic with all the strangers what traumatize her even more with all the poking and prodding. I knew she was going to pass away and I wanted her to do so in her home with all of her things surrounding her and with Mommy and Daddy. The little trooper hung on until the next morning when she died very peacefully surrounded by her favorite things with us petting her she just slowly stopped breathing. I was grateful it was not traumatic like I had experienced in the past with another rabbit. I am so grateful we were there to soothe her through it. I am so grateful that We rescued this little girl and gave her an amazing life. But oh we miss her so much. Our Lives surrounded her. It is so hard even doing the little things everyday now without her expecting to see her there and she’s not. As someone else mentioned it is even difficult to go to the grocery store because we would buy her kale and lettuce there. It is so hard to go in the produce aisle. Absolutely everything reminds me of her. I keep her urn close because it gives me Comfort. I have no idea what happens to pets when they pass but I really hope they are always around us. We love you so much Lola and miss you so much! What we would give to have you here with us again. I am so grateful for you and all of the joy that you brought us and I hope that you know how much we loved you and still do. We will never forget you! No longer by my side but forever in my heart I love youView Comment
I am new to this site and have been searching for support since losing my 2 beautiful 2 yr old bunnies two nights ago to foxes. My older kids and found the remains of bobby in the yard and then found Charlie in the neighbours yard without her head. I am so devastated and distraught and am praying they were killed quickly as I can’t hear to think they suffered through this attack. We had both our babies in their hutch and the fox worked out a way to lift the panel and open the gate. I feel so guilty and don’t know if I will ever get over this pain…I can’t bear to look in the backyard anymore as I keep expecting to see them running around and causing trouble. I miss them so much and do not want anymore bunnies as my kids feel like they can never be replace 😥 when does these feeling ever disappear. It has taken the joy out of our lives…View Comment
I bought my daughter a Netherlands Dwarf two weeks ago, but he died after one week. We found out the breeders sold us a very sick bunny (pneumonia, parasites, lied about age), and we didn’t know until it was too late. My daughter is 18 and has wanted a bunny for 4 years. I finally felt she was ready and this happened…View Comment
My whole family is super upset. I feel depressed and blame myself for Binx dying. I know my wife and daughter are feeling down as well.
I can’t stop thinking about it…
I forgot to mention. After Binx died I made him a coffin in my woodshop and buried him. Later that evening, I went outside and my daughter was singing “Baby Mine” from Dumbo, to his grave. Now I can’t that song out of my head, and it reminds me of my own pain, but also how sad my daughter must be.View Comment
I just lost my gorgeous little bunny Barno this afternoon. He was over ten years old and after his bunny partner died in 2016 I tried to bond him with other rabbits but he just got stressed, so instead we moved him into the house where he lived happily amongst us as a single but much loved house rabbit.
During his long life he was prone to occasional unexplained episodes of gut stasis which we always managed to get him through with help from the vets, and more recently two operations to have his teeth burred. He had been slowly going down since Christmas, just going off some of his old favourite treats but still having his pellets and hay, so at his age it seemed okay to allow him to decide what he does and doesn’t want. Then this week he suddenly stopped eating entirely, a visit to the vet found nothing obvious but I took home some critical care to try to get into him. Oddly he wasn’t given any pain relief or a jab for gut motility which he’s had in the past as the vet thought his digestion hadn’t stopped completely. I’ve syringe fed him many times before but this time it was just so hard, he wouldn’t swallow much of it and it was getting so messy and distressing. This morning he was hunched up with eyes half closed, grinding his teeth, passed a few poos but not touched any hay. Two difficult syringe feeds later I didn’t want to let him suffer any longer, he was starting to wet himself and just looked so unhappy so we took him back to the vet. They couldn’t find anything obvious other than a painful gassy tummy from the lack of regular food and said there were perhaps other options to try but my heart told me it was time to let him go rather than prolong things or put him through anything else, so we had him euthanased and buried him in the garden.
There’s no relief or feeling I did the right thing, just grief, loss, guilt and doubt. I know he could still be alive now if it wasn’t for my decision. He was alive six hours ago. That’s what I find so hard, it would be so much easier if he had passed away peacefully at home and I could accept it as nature’s way. I try to tell myself he had the best life I could give him and was so loved, that I was lucky to have him for so long, but I suppose it’s early days, all I want to do is cry. I don’t think I want to go through this again and probably won’t replace him now, but as we’ve had rabbits for over 15 years since our boys were children, it’s embedded into my routine and I’m going to feel it so much every day – morning feed, hopping around time, clean out time, cuddles, run time outside while I do some gardening, bedtime veggies. I can’t bring myself to go into his room, sort out all his things, toys, food bowl, favourite treats, I’ll have to summon courage for that in due course.
He was the best bunny, a total joy and a wonderful companion. Every ounce of effort I put into his care he repaid and more, it was a privilege to have him.
Thank you for reading this, it’s nice to know there are others who know how this feels. It’s true that people in general empathise over the loss of a dog or cat, but a rabbit – there have been times in the vet waiting room I would be told how someone’s dog had killed a wild rabbit on a walk that very day or that rabbits don’t do anything but look terrified. You need to have a rabbit and love it, care for it, go through good times and bad to the very end to know just what affectionate, endearing companions they are when they are happy, just like any dog or cat. So I am truly heartbroken at the thought that, apart from my numerous photos and videos over the past ten years, I’ll never see him again.
Goodbye darling Barno, I’ll see you on the other side some day. XView Comment
Blossom Sakura Magnolia Wintersoldier Espinoza, the only name fit for my 3 year old Harlequin Holland Lop. I feel for all of you who have gained a hoppy 4 legged angel. You all have helped my shattered heart tremendously with your stories. I don’t know why I was able to hold my baby right when she had a seizure and why I was able to hold her in my arms as she passed. She was my 1st bunny, I’ve always wanted one. They’re real life angels. My bunny was everything to me. I am a wreck.View Comment
– Sending love and healing to who needs it next :3
They truly are angels Melly. I am so sorry for your loss. My Barno is buried in the garden with our other two bunnies and I think of him and them whenever I walk down there. Grief is such a sickening feeling, it comes over in waves but does start to lessen slowly with time. I’ve been two weeks without him and can now go into his room and start to tidy up, but it still makes me cry. If I have a brief cheerful moment I feel guilt as if I’m starting to forget him. It’s always the way, that feeling starts to go away eventually too. They are all waiting for us, hang in there, you are not alone xView Comment
I am absolutely touched by this article and am saving it. I’m crying reading all the responses. My Flemish named Moose passed away a week ago and I’m still crying at work and home. He was so big, and my room feels so empty without him. Squirrel (tiny lionhead) has never been alone before and the rescue (knowing Squirrel) told me to come in ASAP to find her a new companion, because she doesn’t know how to be alone. She has done pretty well so far, it’s just tough because she is very shy and not too fond of my attention. I’m fine with this, but am so worried for her. I feel like I am mourning for two. She saw him in his last moments, but he was rushed to the car and passed there on the way to the vet.. I hurt so much not knowing if she understands what has happened. I sit and sob on the floor wondering if she is just waiting for him to come back. He did not die a pleasant death, so I feel like she has to understand to some capacity. They cuddled and groomed each other all day. Oddly enough her attitude and temperament haven’t changed much. She never lost her enthusiasm for food and she has demolished several toys since his passing.
It’s in moments of grief that I wish so hard I could be religious so I could feel confident I will see him again — along with all my other animal friends I’ve lost too. I daydream of them all meeting me after I’ve died in a soft, grassy, and sunny field where we can all play together again. No one is in pain and we all just have fun. I feel like someone took my heart out of my chest and stomped it to bits before putting it back again.View Comment
My 2 year old bunny passed away 2 weeks ago my little brother found her on the floor dead… 3days later my other bunny passed I found him on my way out the fire to school. I am so heartbroken and don’t know what to do know one really understands my mom said it’s just a pet and I’ll get over it but it hurts and I am depressed. What should I do to honor them and help with my pain?View Comment