A trend where your rabbits keep dying can be cause for great concern. You will definitely want to know why the rabbits are dying, and what you can possibly do about it. Read on, for answers.
Why do my rabbits keep dying? The rabbits may be dying because you are keeping them under improper conditions. Various diseases (including infections), stress, poisoning, not feeding the rabbits properly, injuries and old age are other possible reasons for them dying.
Once you zero in on the exact reason for the rabbits dying, you can take the appropriate corrective measures.
Those may include changing the conditions under which you keep the rabbits, vaccinations, changing how you feed the rabbits and so on.
How Long Do Rabbits Usually Live?
Perhaps the best place to begin answering the why do my rabbits keep dying question is by having insight on their typical lifespans.
As it turns out, rabbits typically live for between 8 and 12 years.
Therefore if, for instance, you have a trend where your rabbits are dying at 4 or 5 years of age (or even younger), that would be reason for concern.
A case of, say, 6 week old rabbit babies dying in quick succession would warrant an investigation.
Or if you have a case where two rabbits died suddenly, and they were both quite young (like, say, 3 years old), there would be reason to be concerned.
Another case where a rabbit died suddenly 6 months after birth would similarly be disconcerting…
All in all, rabbits usually live for between 8 and 12 years.
What that also means is this: if the rabbits that are dying are in the 8 to 12 years bracket, then what you may be seeing are natural deaths due to old age.
What Are The Common Causes Of Death In Rabbits?
In answering the why do my rabbits keep dying question, another thing we need to have some understanding of are the common causes of death in rabbits.
The first common cause of death in rabbits is disease. Some of the diseases that kill rabbits are those that come from germs. So those are infections, like rabbit hemorrhagic virus, myxomatosis and the one we refer to as pasteurellosis.
Other diseases that kill rabbits are of a physiological (non-infectious) nature. Examples are kidney disease, liver diseases and GI tract diseases (including the common trichobezoars ‘hairballs’ condition).
We also have diseases that arise due to parasite attacks. A good example here is that of myiasis, from fly strikes.
The second common cause of death in rabbits is stress. This may be stress due to sounds that the rabbit is exposed to (for instance noises from a nearby road). There is also stress from exposure to children under 12, of whom rabbits are very fearful.
And then there is stress from exposure to other pets that the rabbits view as predators. Examples are cats and dogs.
The third common cause of death in rabbits is living in improper conditions. For instance, if you keep rabbits that are supposed to be kept indoors outdoors, that may kill them. Keeping them in conditions that are extremely unhygienic can also easily kill them.
The fourth common cause of death in rabbits is injury. For instance, if a rabbit injures its spine while fleeing from something, that injury can cause it to die.
The fifth common cause of death in rabbits is poisoning. If, for instance, you use improper bedding material which is poisonous, it can kill the rabbit.
And the sixth common cause of death in rabbits is old age.
Why Do My Rabbits Keep Dying?
In answering the why do my rabbits keep dying question, you may need to start by observing the exact manner in which the rabbits are dying.
A scenario where the rabbits are dying suddenly would be very different from another one where the rabbits keep dying in a gradual manner.
Even for just 2 rabbits, a case where a rabbit died stretched out with eyes open would be rather different from another one where my rabbit screamed then died.
Another scenario where my rabbits are dying off rapidly would be different from another one where the rabbits keep on dying, but with huge gaps of time in between the deaths.
Ultimately, one possibility may be that there is an infection circulating among the rabbits, and which is killing them off.
Another possibility is that there is something really stressing the rabbits, and which is killing them.
Yet another possibility is that there is something poisonous the rabbits are eating/being otherwise exposed to, which is killing them.
There is also the possibility that the conditions under which you are keeping the rabbits are improper, and that is killing them off. The problem may be lack of hygiene, too low temperatures and so on.
There may also be parasites that are killing your rabbits.
And if the rabbits that are dying are agemates, in the 7-12 years age bracket, then it may be old age that is killing them.
Therefore in answering the why do my rabbits keep dying question, those are key possibilities to consider.
Why Do My Pet Rabbits Keep Dying?
The possibilities we gave, while answering the why do my rabbits keep dying question at a general level also apply here.
So it could be some sort of infection, stress, parasite attacks, old age, poisoning or improper living conditions that are killing your pet rabbits.
In the long term, improper feeding can also kill pet rabbits.
If you keep pet rabbits in houses with kids under 12, or with other pets like dogs or cats always in the rabbits’ vicinity, then the resultant stress can eventually kill them.
It is important to understand that rabbits are very timid creatures. If you research on why do rabbits die easily, you see that one reason is fear-induced heart attacks.
Therefore if rabbits are constantly in the presence of something that scares them, they may die prematurely.
Even frequent handling for some pet rabbits can cause stress that is significant enough to kill them.
The factors leading to the death may be gradual. But the death itself may be quite sudden: leaving you wondering, why did my rabbit die so suddenly?
Why Do My Baby Rabbits Keep Dying?
Sometimes, the person posing the why do my rabbits keep dying question turns out to be someone who is specifically losing baby rabbits.
So, for such a person, the question is, why do my baby bunnies keep dying?
If the deaths are sudden, the person will wonder, why do baby rabbits die suddenly? Or why do my bunnies keep dying when they are still too young?
Now one possibility is that you are separating the baby rabbits from their mothers when they are still too young.
Another possibility is that you are keeping the baby bunnies in conditions that are too stressful. These may be conditions that are too noisy, or where they are constantly in the presence of what they perceive as potential predators.
There could also be an infection or a parasitic agent that is circulating among the baby bunnies. This may be killing them.
Or there could be something poisoning the baby bunnies, and causing their death. For instance, the material you use for their bedding may be poisonous to them.
If the baby bunnies that are dying are from the same parent(s), there may be some genetic condition behind it.
How Do You Know A Rabbit Is Dying?
Anyone posing the why do my rabbits keep dying question may also have an interest in knowing the common signs that your rabbit is dying.
Knowing these signs can help someone in starting an investigation on why is my bunny dying in good time, before the rabbit actually dies.
So, what does a rabbit do when it’s dying? Or more generally, what do rabbits do when they are dying? How exactly do you know that a rabbit is dying?
Common signs of impending death in a rabbit may include lethargy, loss of appetite, tremors, shivering and breathing problems.
Therefore if you see any combination of these, they may be indicative that your rabbit is dying. So you may need to do something, to perhaps save the rabbit from dying.
How Do I Stop My Rabbit From Dying?
The first step is to figure out, why is my bunny dying?
Once you identify what could be killing the rabbit, then you can take appropriate measures.
What is the most common cause of death in rabbits? Some studies show that it is myiasis. So that is where you may start your investigation.
Myiasis arises as a result of fly strikes. If the dying rabbit has a dirty bottom and a nasty smell, this may be the culprit. If you get a vet to initiate myiasis treatment in good time, it may be possible to save the rabbit.
Where the rabbit seems to be dying due to stressful conditions, first identify the culpable stressors. Then eliminate them, to possibly save the rabbit.
That may entail taking the rabbit to a room with less noise, or away from kids, or away from other pets that may be scaring it (like dogs and cats).
Where the problem seems to be poisoning, you may need to know what exactly is poisoning the rabbit. Then get rid of it, to possibly save the rabbit.
That may be a question of changing the rabbit’s diet, bedding materials and so on.
At a general level, one key thing you can do is ensure that the rabbit gets all vaccinations it needs.
Another critical thing you can do is ensure that the rabbit always stays in hygienic conditions.
And yet another key thing you can do is ensure that the rabbit always gets adequate, nutritious food.
My Rabbit Died What Do I Do With The Body?
What you may need to do with the body is either bury it or cremate it.
But before this, you may need to consider having a vet conduct a post death examination. This is in order to establish the real cause of the rabbit’s death.
That can be particularly useful if there has been a trend of rabbit deaths: leading you to start wondering, why do my rabbits keep dying? A post death examination can give you a definitive answer.
You can then use the information from the post death examination to put in place remedial measures, to prevent future rabbit deaths.
Dealing with a pet rabbit’s death may admittedly be rather hard. You may be in a situation where you lament, my rabbit died and I cant stop crying. Yet, after some period of mourning, you have to pick the pieces.
And that is where things like having a post death examination, then burying or cremating the rabbit’s body may come into the picture.
Final Verdict – Why Do My Rabbits Keep Dying
If your rabbits keep dying, it may be that you are keeping them under improper conditions. Constant stress, disease, parasitic infections, injuries, poisoning and old age are common reasons for rabbits dying in succession.
Once you identify the reason why your rabbits are dying, it may be possible to put in place remedial measures.
Switching from an outdoor cage to an indoor cage, changing the rabbits’ diet (as well as bedding), proper vaccination and removing the rabbit from stressors (such as dogs, cats and young kids) can be helpful.
Sometimes, it may be ideal to have a vet conduct post death exams on the dying rabbits. This may reveal the exact reasons for their deaths, after which you can proceed to put in place the proper remedial measures.