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Rabbits/Rabbit and high altitude


Can rabbits die from going from low altitude to high altitude within several hours?

I really doubt they would die from the change in altitude.  They may die from the stress of the trip.  The rescue I work for is one of the few in my country that actually ships rabbits by airplane.  We did a study before we started shipping on fatalities in flight and within our 5 year study we found exactly zero.  Each year the American Rabbit Breeders Association has a national convention somewhere in the US.  Since people all over the country participate a large number of rabbits are flown in for this event.  There are also rabbits flown in from Japan quite frequently.  The big concern with changing altitude is a change in temperature.  A rabbit cannot tolerate heat above 75 degrees for excessive periods of time.  They can also not tolerate temperatures below 10 degrees without acclimation (they must be slowly introduced to these temperatures so their bodies can get used to them).

So to answer your question, a rabbit can die from just about anything.  While most of the time they are healthy they can become stressed very easily.  I didn't want to believe a rabbit could die from stress until it happened to my grandsons rabbit.  I picked her up and she tried to get away, she let out a scream and died instantly.  Necropsy showed that his perfectly healthy 2 year old bunny died from a heart attack.

Unless you have a severe change in altitude, such as climbing Mount Everest, I would just take it slow and let your bunny acclimate to the change in pressure a little bit at a time.  If your ears hurt his probably do too.

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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