Question Hi there,
I had a baby wild rabbit that I rescued. I recently went away for 3nights I left food and water when I returned I was devasted to find she had died. I wanted to find out what could have been the cause of death. I am so sad that she has gone.
Answer Dear Moira,
I am sorry about the loss of the little bun.
Sadly, there is absolutely no way to confidently ascertain a cause of death without a post-mortem exam, preferably including histopathology of major organ tissues. The signs you describe are very vague, and could have been due to any of dozens of different things.
If you noticed signs of unusual behavior before he died, then please read:
which might give some clues. But unless you can provide a lot more specific information, this is the best I can offer.
If a body has been kept very cold (not frozen), and it has been less than 24 hours since death, a necropsy may give more information. But at this point, that time has passed.
It is not safe to leave any animal alone for three days, even with food and water available. You can't notice any sign of illness, and by the time you come home, it will be too late.
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
RULE #1: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology