When rabbits are bonded they form a very strong relationship. When that bond is broken through physical separation or death of one the partner I have heard that they can die from loneliness. The risk is considered so significant at my local shelter that a bonded pair has the same adoption fee as a single rabbit.
I have seen rabbits who have survived being separated and I have heard of otherwise healthy bunnies who died within a few days of losing their partner.
I am looking for answers that include outcomes from multiple broken bonds. Points to answer are:
- Death a few days after partner, where it is reasonable to assume there was not a medical or poisoning related connection.
- If the second death was the submissive or dominant bunny in the relationship (does one handle it better than the other?)
- Any signs or symptoms immediately proceeding the second death, and how they differed from the first death
- Treatments attempted to prevent death
Bonus points: Outcome of attempts to find a new partner for the living bunny.
Note. The scenario I have gathered from interacting with multiple house rabbit people, is: The living rabbit on the loss of it's partner will get depressed and stop or decrease eating for a couple of days then they die. Very experienced rabbit people will recognize this for the emergency it is and force feed if required. Second deaths are usually with in the first 3 to 10 days after the first. I have also seen rabbits that were clearly distressed by the loss who survived.