Monday, March 1, 2010

Death of a rabbit

I have one of my best bucks in the process of dying. He is young, energetic, eating food and hay as normal and in less than 24 hours will be dead.

Saturday evening he was perfectly fine and had finished his pellets as normal. We feed pellets in the evening so they have the night to eat and the following day to browse what's left plus hay in the morning. He received his normal ration of pellets Saturday night. Sunday morning it didn't look like he had touched his food and his breathing was incredibly loud. I have never heard a rabbit with such a rattle in the chest. He has no nasal discharge. You could hear him from quite a distance.

I brought him in and checked him over. He had a small bit of poop I clipped away from his bottom, but nothing major. I gave him a deep tummy massage in case he was blocked. Blockage is rare, but I did it anyway. I sprayed his nostrils with a dilution of Vanodine along with all the cages and other rabbits just as a precaution.

I think he inhaled his pellets into his lungs. There are still no sign of discharge from eyes or nose. The Vanodine is really to make me feel like I am doing something. This morning the loud breathing has stopped, but that is because his breathing is so shallow. When I held him he barely moved and is grinding his teeth a bit (signs of pain).

I fully expect him to pass within a few hours.

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