My rabbit died yesterday and I had him for 5 years. I noticed the rabbit was full of poop (poop stuck to his bottom?). He had been attacked by flies and the vet removed the visible maggots. The rabbit was not obese.

The vet told me he was injecting the rabbit with antibiotics and some other medicine to kill any remaining maggots.

Took the rabbit again to the vet for follow up and he found more maggots inside the testicles and this time the bunny had an operation and his testicles were removed because the maggots were inside the skin.

2 days later I took the rabbit back to the vet for a follow up and also the vet said he was going to put laser on the rabbit to speed up the drying of the wound.

While I was in the waiting room the vet technician, came out with my bunny dead. He said my rabbit died from a heart attack. I do not understand. Can this be possible? Or could it be something went wrong with the laser?

I am trying to get some sense on what happened. The rabbit supposedly did not have anymore maggots. He had even undergone an operation. The rabbit was very skinny but was still eating how could he die when I took him for a follow up and laser?

He died 3 days after his operation at the vet's office.

I don't believe the vet. Something went wrong when my rabbit was inside while I was waiting for him outside in the waiting area. Or maybe there were still maggots inside that kill him and it was a coincidence that he died at the vet's office?

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  • 1
    The hearts of rabbits cannot take injected anesthetic. Many vets that don't know too much about rabbits inject them. But since the castration 2 days ago was successful I assume that the vet knew what he was doing regarding anesthesia
    – papakias
    Aug 14, 2018 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


There is a lot going on here.

First: There are 3 kinds of vets when it comes to rabbits.

  1. Some vets do not see rabbits at all
  2. Some vets do see rabbits, but not might not be skilled at rabbit care
  3. Some vets see rabbits and are VERY GOOD at caring for rabbits.

Optimally you only want to visit a vet in group three. There are a number pet rabbit organizations and rescues that will help you find a good rabbit vet in your area. Contact a local rabbit rescue in your area or there is a list here https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

For the sake of this answer I will assume you visited a vet in group 3, who is skilled in working with rabbits.

Poop on the rabbits butt is a symptom of digestive and/or diet issues. The picture of bunny makes him look a bit skinny. Fly strike is also hard on the bunny.

In short, it is possible that your rabbit died of complications for all that is going on while being treated.

If there is a question about how the rabbit died, you would need to have a necropsy, but this would need to be done by a vet that is in group 3, who might recommend it if the cause was unsure and there was a reason (other pets at risk, advance science, give closure, etc).

There are some antibiotics that should not be given to a rabbit if they were, it could have added to complications. Additionally anesthesia can have risks for the rabbit

Circling back around to the poopy butt, in my experience the number one cause of health issues in young rabbits (up to 8 years old) is diet and digestion related. If your rabbit is not making good poop, there is a problem that needs to be addressed (some pictures and descriptions in the post) For the most part this is controlled by diet, See related Why is adding hay to a rabbit's diet important? If the diet is not properly balanced it creates issues with the rabbit eating cecotropes

In closure, it is really hard to say what the cause of death was. It is unlikely that any one thing was the cause. Your rabbit had multiple complications from multiple issues. The most positive outcome in your scenario, would have come from earlier correction of the rabbit not making good poops.

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    I don't think that you should trust the World Rabbit Veterinarian List link from the vet listings. At least for my country (Greece) the vets listed there belong to category 2.
    – papakias
    Aug 14, 2018 at 13:29
  • @papakias yeah, best option is always to find a local house rabbit rescue or club to get a good local vet. Aug 14, 2018 at 13:40
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    @JamesJenkins or ask other rabbit owners for vets that they trust
    – papakias
    Aug 14, 2018 at 14:13
  • @papakias you make a good point, there's huge variations with animal welfare standards between countries. It's really good to have a diverse communities, the more pairs of eyes the better.
    – user6796
    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:53

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