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Monday, July 16, 2007


A friend of mine just lost his first mini lop to heat stroke and it got me thinking about death.

It's hard to have to put a rabbit down because it is suffering. At one show, we got a cute tri mini lop from a raffle. (I know, I know...raffle bunny!) I had her all of two days when I went to pick her up and she screamed. I sat her back down and she promptly went in to seizures. When she came out of them, she was paralyzed. I had picked her up the normal way, I still don't know what happened. We waited a few hours to see if it was temporary paralysis and as she showed no signs of improvement, we put her down.

I've had to put peanuts down as well- I don't like to leave them to suffer for 3 days, until they pass. When they hit the skeletal looking stage, that's it for me, they won't recover from that.

These cases of euthanasia are hard on breeders. No one wants to put an animal down, but at least in these cases, we made a choice, we did what was best for the animal. What hits me harder is waking up in the morning and going out to visit the bunnies, only to find that little sable point Holland baby passed in the night.

I lost an entire litter to what I can only assume was weaning enteritis. I lost half a litter to baby suicides- jumping out of the nestbox and the like. I nearly lost Star to a mysterious illness.

It's sad, but I always appreciate my rabbits more after one dies. I want to always love them the same amount, but you don't realize how lucky that litter is to survive, until half of it dies. You don't really understand how much your first rabbit, or your favorite rabbit, mean until they die. After I heard that his doe passed, I went outside and cuddled a few of my favorites, and handed out head rubs like they were going out of style. Yes it was hot, and the flies were on my nerves. Yes, the humidity made me feel icky and I wanted to be watching something coming on TV. But I know it makes them happy, judging by the binkying going on. And really, rabbits can be taken so quickly, you just never know when that head rub will be their last.

Have you hugged a bunny today?

Thanks for reading
Keep's Rabbitry

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