It’s always hard to tell when your rabbit is sick, and you might have experienced a rabbit dying randomly and without warning. The unfortunate news is they were probably suffering a medical issue silently until their last days.
Let’s dive into some of the more common causes of death for your rabbit and see how they die naturally.
Life of a Rabbit
In the beginning, rabbits are born alongside 0 to 14 brothers and sisters. At about four months, the rabbits will become sexually mature. They’ll keep developing and growing until around two years of age.
From there, they’re considered seniors around seven years of age.
The life expectancy of a rabbit is between 9 and 12 years. Some breeds live into the early teens, and others rarely reach 10.
So what are some diseases that cut their lives short?
Top Reasons for Unexpected Rabbit Death
Fly-strike, anorexia, collapse, gut statis, poisoning, swallowing an object, injury, not being accustomed to outside temperatures, heart attack, and injury are some of the top reasons for your rabbit to pass away.
A lot of these problems are unavoidable, and they become even more dangerous as your rabbit gets older.
If your rabbit avoids these causes of death and makes their way into old age, they will die naturally. Though it is statistically rare, let’s look at how your rabbit will pass away naturally from old age.
How Do Rabbits Die Naturally?
It is a sad fact that your rabbit will pass away, but it’s a good thing to know some symptoms and signs to look for ahead of time.
Rabbits die naturally by acting strange, refusing to eat and drink, and being very lethargic and slow.
Refusing to Eat and Drink
One of the biggest symptoms to spot is if your rabbit stops eating or drinking. There’s a lot of mental and physical science that explains their refusal to sustain their life, but it’s an understood sign that their time might come soon.
The refusal to eat and drink leads to more medical complications that make death more likely.
This will lead to starvation and dehydration.
Refusing to Move
Another symptom that’s more obvious is if your rabbit doesn’t want to move. They might be apathetic about treats or toys you’re offering them, and they will just sit stationary. This could be sparked by some stress, but it will lead to further problems.
If they’re in a warm environment with no stress and they’re still refusing to move, it’s time to take them to the vet for an evaluation.
They’re Acting Weird
You probably know your rabbit really well and know what kinds of behaviors to expect. When they seem to do a 180 and start acting differently, this could be a sign.
Strange behavior could be because of stress, old age, or a complete list of medical conditions.
Having an Accident
These are the sad symptoms you’ll see right before your rabbit passes away.
As your rabbit dies naturally, they will lose control of their bowels. It’s an uncontrollable release.
You might think your rabbit will yelp or scream if they’re in pain, and their time is coming. They are typically silent as their time comes. You can examine your rabbit to see if they’re showing any signs of pain, and this will be a clear indicator that something’s wrong.
Vital Signs Change
Another clear sign that your rabbit’s end is near is a change of their vital signs. A lot of these signs are hard to tell on your own.
Shortness of breath is the most apparent symptom. You’ll notice your rabbit struggling to breathe as well.
Beyond that, their heart rate will spike, and their body temperature will plummet. These two are hard to measure without the right instruments, though.
If you notice these symptoms, take your rabbit into your vet for an evaluation.
What to do When Your Rabbit is Dying Naturally
This will be a sad time, and it’ll be hard for a lot of pet owners to watch. As your rabbit starts breathing their last breaths, the most important thing you can do is keep them calm and relaxed.
Avoid panicking and moving them around a bunch. Sit there with them, pet them gently, and give them assurance. Avoid making loud noises.
Spend these last moments loving your pet and reflecting on all of the great times you shared together. It’s going to be a tough experience, but this is your last moment to love your pet before they leave you.
You might ask a family member or friend to join you in your rabbit’s last moments to help love them and keep them calm.