My mama rabbit died suddenly..

Madison Harrison

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We raise American chinchilla rabbits. We got our doe, Jessica in early March. Her previous owners said that she had never been bred before so we went ahead and bred her that week. The day after breeding her she had a litter of 11 kits, only 4 made it. About a month later we bred her again and on Mother's day she had 7 babies who are all still healthy and starting to open their eyes.

When we first got Jessica she was timid but we were able to handle her pretty easily. Though, as time went on she got meaner and meaner. She bit my husband a few times and even started to come out of her burrow (we have them set up outside with bucket burrows instead of cages) just to attack us while we were trying to feed her or replace her water.

A few days ago she attacked my dog, bit him on the ankle so he turned around and barked at her. I watched the whole confrontation and he didn't touch her. She got really scared and turned around and put her nose in the corner then went to go back in her hole and collapsed, dead.

We went ahead and cleaned her and found that her body cavity was absolutely full of blood. I had assumed she got scared to death but after that I think she may have been sick or injured this whole time which would explain her becoming the actual devil if she was in pain.

Has anyone ever experienced this or know what might explain the increasing evilness, sudden death or bloody body cavity?
 

AmberLops

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As a vet tech...that seems really strange to me!
It could be possible that she went into cardiac arrest (from being scared) and a vessel/artery ruptured from the rapid heart rate. I'm sorry that happened!
How old are her kits now? Is there a doe that could foster them?
 

Bunnylady

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I'm thinking aneurysm - a weakened, ballooned-out blood vessel that suddenly ruptured. A friend had that happen to a house rabbit; the animal was just hopping around the room, being a bunny, when it suddenly started screaming and flailing, with blood pouring out of its nose. As it was a tiny dwarf, it didn't take long to bleed out; it was understandably traumatic for the child who witnessed it.:hide
 

AmberLops

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I'm thinking aneurysm - a weakened, ballooned-out blood vessel that suddenly ruptured. A friend had that happen to a house rabbit; the animal was just hopping around the room, being a bunny, when it suddenly started screaming and flailing, with blood pouring out of its nose. As it was a tiny dwarf, it didn't take long to bleed out; it was understandably traumatic for the child who witnessed it.:hide
I was just thinking about an aneurysm too. I do think that's what it was after I thought about it. I also knew someone who had a rabbit die from one and it was awful.
 

Mini Horses

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I would suspect aneurysm with the speed it happened. Plus had there been pressure on the weak & expanded spot, or an organ, etc in that vicinity, there could have been pain -- causing aggressiveness.

I'm sorry it happened.
 

Pinecones

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Sounds like she had a heart attack, as some rabbits can do when frightened enough. I've seen animals (mostly rabbits) that have had heart attacks and their hearts like... exploded? Ruptured? Yeah, the chest cavity was filled with blood and a portion of the heart collapsed.
 

Madison Harrison

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As a vet tech...that seems really strange to me!
It could be possible that she went into cardiac arrest (from being scared) and a vessel/artery ruptured from the rapid heart rate. I'm sorry that happened!
How old are her kits now? Is there a doe that could foster them?
Her kits are 11 days old now and their mom was our only doe. We are bottle feeding them now and they have kept each other warm pretty well. They are all starting to open their eyes!
 

Sheepshape

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Oh, that's sad. Hopefully they will thrive on the bottle. Babies dying is bad, but mum dying leaves the vulnerable young.

I've known both rabbits and guinea pigs die of fright, but wasn't sure of the mechanism.

You're lucky that they will take the bottle. With only sheep, chickens and the odd (usually VERY odd) goat, death of a momma goat or sheep with babies about 2-3 weeks old is a nightmare. The lambs/kids are usually very reluctant to take a bottle and are not old enough to manage without milk.

Sounds as though there can be triumph from adversity if the babies are feeding, though.

Good Luck.
 

AmberLops

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Her kits are 11 days old now and their mom was our only doe. We are bottle feeding them now and they have kept each other warm pretty well. They are all starting to open their eyes!
I'm glad you're bottle feeding them!
It always helps to breed does in pairs...some things you just can't be prepared for, especially when it comes to rabbits.
For instance, a few days ago my Netherland Dwarf doe rejected her only kit (3 weeks old) and I have a Holland doe with 3 kits the same age, so I just put that little orphan in with my Holland and she took to it just fine! In fact, she never even seemed to notice!
About a month ago, I had a doe abort her litter and my other doe had a litter the day before...so I put the only surviving baby in with my other doe's litter (8 babies!!) and it worked out just fine! That kit turned out to be a little strange but I love him anyway!
Maybe next time, if you have more does...breed in pairs :)
 

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