The ‘death feigning reflex of a rabbit is also known as playing ‘possum’. When frightened, the rabbit will stop breathing and its body will go limp. A predator might assume the animal has died and will become confounded when it moves or cries out after inspecting the motionless creature.
Rabbits who successfully play dead may be consumed, but those that survive will hop away quickly to avoid their pursuer.
What are the symptoms of a rabbit dying?
If you are concerned that your rabbit is dying, try to find out if it is indeed in this condition.
To see whether the rabbit’s heart has stopped, check for lack of a pulse by feeling the femoral artery at the back thigh. You can also use your hand to feel for breathing motions. If no motion is felt, quickly check the heart with your hands.
If you are still unsure, press down on the chest of the rabbit firmly to help get circulation started again. However, do not force it to breathe if it is not breathing naturally on its own.
What is the most common way for rabbits to die?
The most common way for rabbits to die is due to any medical condition that causes severe cardiac or respiratory failure. One of the most frequent reasons for this in pet rabbits is an underlying heart disease, which in turn may cause fluid buildup in the lungs.
It’s important to know that a rabbit who has been “thumping” or exercising unusually before death is usually suffering from congestive heart failure.
Other causes are kidney disease, internal or external tumors, uterine cancer in females, abscesses in the liver or spleen, side effects of certain medications, and aging. Old rabbits may die with no apparent cause at all. Sudden death syndrome (a cardiac arrhythmia) may also occur but is not commonly seen.
Treatment of a rabbit in cardiac arrest will be futile if the heart has suffered irreversible damage. However, CPR can still help to some extent if measures are taken immediately after signs of an acute cardiovascular event such as sudden death syndrome (SDS). It’s important to know that irreversible damage can occur within 3-5 minutes after the onset of an acute cardiovascular event in rabbits, thus every second counts when attempting to save a rabbit’s life.
Do pet rabbits die when you have them?
Rabbits are very popular pets in many countries around the world because they are intelligent, social creatures who bond strongly with their human masters. Often, a rabbit that has bonded with its owner will die of a broken heart if it is separated from that owner by death or by geographic distances like war and divorce.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet rabbit, consider adopting one from a rescue organization instead of buying one; many people end up getting rid of their rabbits because the animals become too difficult to handle once they’ve reached adulthood.
If you already have a pet rabbit, make sure you take good care of it and give it the attention it needs so that it can live a happy life with your family. Remember that rabbits only live for 5-6 years on average, which may be quite short to us but is still a long time compared to the lifespan of other small pets.
Do rabbits have souls?
Rabbits, just like all living things are spiritual in nature. They have a soul that is part of the Universal Spirit World and simply continue with their experiences after they pass on from physical life. It would be wrong to assume that one has “no hope of heaven” (the ultimate state of complete oneness with the Creator) simply because they are different from us.
Like all living creatures, rabbits go through life in an evolutionary cycle that helps them to learn and grow to make it possible for them to return to God in a higher spiritual form than their original state when they pass on. As the third part of the Most Blessed Trinity, God is a Trinity of Love and so this also applies to all living things.
Your rabbit’s spirit will remain with you for quite some time before it moves on to its next phase of evolution even if your eyes can no longer see him. And the cycle continues.
Also Read: why do rabbits jump over each other?