Rabbits/sick bunny



my friend and i bought two baby male lop rabbits from a breeder. We placed them together in a large area, enclosed with chicken wire, including a hutch and straw, food, water, salt licker, everything they need. We bring them inside in the afternoon for cuddles and they seemed to enjoy being held and patted. We have only had them for 5 nights and the are 7weeks old.

Yesterday when we went out to get them they both had cuts on them and were very still and tired, My rabbit (Otis) had a swollen eye and could not open it. We put them together and they cuddled and slept for a couple of hours. They seemed to be doing much better so i took turns patting and holding them. They didn't seem to be in pain and the cuts were only small. Otis had opened his eye now and it didn't seem to be causing any problems.

We are unsure how they got these cuts. we cant imagine they would fight as they choose to lay together and play together. We have checked the hutch and there is no sign of entrance from any animal (Chicken wire goes deep into the ground#

we kept them together in my room last night as it was stormy weather, i checked on them 4 times in the night and they were okay. This morning when i woke up Otis had passed away :# i also noticed he had drunk alot of water the night before.

The other rabbit is having trouble breathing now and makes little wheezing noises each time he breaths.

Do you have any possible answer as to if they could have fought each other? Why Otis passed away and maybe what could possibly be wrong with the other rabbit. Do you think its all related?

Any information would be greatly appreciated,

Thank you for you time

Hi Jamie,

At only 8 weeks old I doubt they were fighting but it can happen.  The respiratory problem is an immediate emergency as rabbits are obligate nose breathers and if their noses are clogged they can't breath.  Without a necropsy it is impossible to tell what happened to Otis. If you got them at 7 weeks old there is a very big probability that they had intestinal problems.  Bunnies need their mothers milk until they are 8 weeks.  Their mothers milk is what helps them to develop the necessary antibodies for a healthy immune system.

Your surviving bunny needs to see a rabbit savvy vet right away.  If you do not already have one you can look here:


I wish I had more answers for you.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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