My rabbit was family he just died I am so sad

by Janine
(Christchurch NZ)

My rabbit Danny was a dutch bunny he lived inside in his hutch plus he loved to go outside and bounce round the back yard. He was going to be a year old this year. He would occasionally sneeze but I thought nothing of it as he did that when we got him from the farm.

But on Saturday this week he didn't want to go out of the cage and when I picked him up he just was like a doll and didn't move a lot. He had gooey stuff in his eye so I bathed it for him but it was like he had no energy. He nibbled a little carrot.

On Sunday he didn't look much better so I bathed his eye again but he had trouble moving around and I had to get him a pillow as he couldn't keep his head up. I was going to take him to the vet Monday morning but he died. I am so sad crying as I write this.

Do you know what he had as he was so healthy and I loved him so much. I did notice when he passed away he had yellow stuff up his nose. Could've I done more? I loved him like a baby. What was wrong with him? Please help me understand.

***** Karen Sez *****

So sorry Janine. You're describing a very sick rabbit that succumbed rapidly to a powerful germ. You would need a necropsy (animal autopsy) from a vet to determine the true cause of death.

You didn't mention every last symptom of myxomatosis, but you said enough to put this very bad disease at the top of my list of suspects. It is also possible that your rabbit had an underlying Pasteurella or Bordetella infection, though the role this would have played in the death of your rabbit is unclear.

Sounds to me like you did all you could do. A fulminating case of myxo doesn't leave you with many options, to be sure.

People who have other rabbits should keep them quarantined for a few weeks to determine whether they will also get sick.

I hope you will obtain another rabbit when the pain softens. If you do, you might be sure to vaccinate it against myxomatosis. Consult with rabbit breeders or your vet about this, and about how best to disinfect your rabbit's hutch and yard spaces so a new rabbit won't die of the same thing.

Here's the website of New Zealand's national rabbit club:, in case you need a starting point.

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Jun 15, 2014
Charlie and Angel
by: Anonymous

I have just lost two a bonded pair within five days of each other. Symptoms came on very fast with Charlie last Sunday afternoon his eye started streaming and he was struggling to breath. I brought him in and put him in the carrier overnight intending to take him to vets Monday morning but he died overnight.

His wife Angel was taken to the vets Tuesday morning as she went off her food and also had a runny eye. Despite intensive antibiotics over four days I had to have her put to sleep on Saturday. She was struggling to breath and its been so traumatic I'm devastated. I have another rabbit who shared the same garden but is kept separate. As yet he seems fine.

I noticed that Angel had blood coming out of her mouth and back passage after she died and although I and the vet thought it was pneumonia I am doubting this after reading about some nasty man made viruses that have been manufactured in laboratories and the rabbit bleeds just before dying although Angel was put to sleep so this process may have been interrupted. I feel that I have been robbed of my beautiful friends who were cut short of their lives. They will be so sadly missed. I have buried them together in my garden as they would have wanted.

Mar 02, 2013
my rabbits dieing too
by: mackenzie

I'm an 11 year old girl with a pet rabbit called peeta. He is 2 months old i got him for my b-day. he is a lop ear and i love him so much. like family. And now he's dieing of a disease called myxomatosis,wich has no medication for so i also no how it feals and i'm very sorry for's not fair and i wish both our rabbits could live a longer happier life but thats just life and life isn't fair. I'm very very sorry but you know my sister told me even tho their bodies are dead their spirets live on in heavan, around us and in our hearts.

Feb 22, 2013
Reply to Janine
by: Deborah (NZ)

I'm so sorry for the loss of your rabbit Janine :( As far as I'm aware myxomatosis does not exist in New Zealand - an attempt was made to introduce myxo in the 1950's, but never took hold as NZ lacks a suitable insect vector to transmit the virus.

It sounds like your rabbit may have had an underlying bacterial infection like Pasteurellosis. Rabbit calicivirus (RCD) is another likely cause. It has been very active this summer and has affected many pet owners and rabbit breeders across the country, especially South Auckland, Paeroa, Wanganui, Waimate, Kapiti Coast and the McLeans Island area of Christchurch. You can find further details of outbreaks, and ask for advice, on the Rabbit Council of New Zealand's (RCNZ) Facebook page at

The best prevention for RCD is a vaccine from your vet. If you suspect a rabbit has died from RCD, it's recommended to quarantine yourself and any remaining rabbits for 110 days after the last death, disinfect all rabbit housing and equipment, and if possible advise your local RCNZ area representative so that they can advise other rabbit people in the area to take due precautions.

This is a link to a pamphlet about RCD and what to do in the event of an outbreak amongst your rabbits:

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