Our Poor Bunny Passed Away

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So sad our "small bunny" just passed away today. She was the last bunny we have. We call her "small bunny" because she was the smaller one when we brought her home together with her sibling "big bunny" on December 11, 2018. At that time, she was around 3 months old, and her sibling "big bunny" was around 6 months old. I got them at $6 each from bidding at the farmers' market in Lancaster PA, saving these two littles from being sent to the slaughterhouse. We did a lot of restructuring of our basement to build them a nice home. Their potty training was effective after half a year, and the cleaning work was easy on bi-weekly basis. They are our most closest family members in the animal category in our home besides two aquatic turtles, two parakeets, and one hamster. They can respond to our simple directions such as "jump up" and "jump down" to and from our laps, and quickly greet us begging for food whenever we walk downstairs. Today when we walked downstairs cleaning the cage, the "small bunny" did not greet us, she hided herself in a weird spot - a gap between the cage and the wall with no exit and barely no movement room. I did not know how she got into there. I could tell she was quite sleepy, because her eyes were closed and she barely moved. After cleaning her cage, I held her belly with both hands and carefully took her out from that awkward hiding spot. To my surprise, her body temperature was quite high. I had a sense of her normal body temperature when I held her in the past, definitely was not as high as that. Obviously, she was sick, struggling against a fever. But what caused the fever? She lived indoors all the time, and was unlikely to touch undesirable transmissible bacteria and viruses. Food was the only cause as I could think of. She was given a large watermelon peel and several small tomatoes in addition to regular main food of timothy hays. Her body weight was quite okay, with no symptom of decreasing as her sibling - "big bunny" did, who passed away on January 30, 2020 at an age of approximately 20 months old with an obvious symptom of losing weight. And she was quite energetic, with the ability of jumping up easily, unlike her sibling who lost the ability of jumping several weeks before she died. My diagnosis of her death reason was the uterine cancer, which limited her peeing ability when given too many fruits. As I was holding her body after she died, I could feel her stomach was quite full, and there was liquid on the floor coming out from her mouth at the scene of her death. Our bunnies were not spayed, and the unspayed/unneutered rabbits in the wild can live 1-2 years, while spayed/neutered rabbits can have a life span of 8-12 years. The reason for the much shorter lifespan of the unspayed/unneutered rabbits is the cancer. Unspayed female rabbits have a very high risk of uterine cancer. Unspayed rabbits, and rabbits who are spayed late in life also face an increased risk of mammary cancers. Only spaying/neutering can eliminate those risks. If I am about to raise a bunny again, I would raise a spayed/neutered one, because I feel sorry for seeing their lives being so short. The "small bunny" lived for approximately 24 months - 4 months longer than her sibling. She was buried underneath the evergreen tree in our backyard. Rest in Peace.

Published from: Pennsylvania US
Liked by: Evan Tang, Andy Tang, Hauber 

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