Sadly our much loved doe New Zealand White bunny, Flo, passed away last night. We noticed on Monday morning that she didn’t seem herself, having not eaten and just generally being quite quiet. Normally everytime we went into her area to fill up her food and water she’d lollop over and take a little biscuit to munch on and/or push our hands or the food box to encourage us to fill her bowl up. Instead she allowed us to pick her up and was generally quite floppy and lethargic. Her nose was running a little and she wasn’t keeping herself as clean as usual. We decided to monitor her and later in the day she chirped up a bit, drinking plenty of water, sunbathing and eating some willow and kale we gave her. However, by Tuesday morning she wasn’t much better so we decided to book her into the vet, with a view to having her put to sleep. Flo is (was) 4 1/2 years old and has had several (7 or 8) litters of baby bunnies. By the time an unneutered doe is 5, the chance of her having ovarian cancer is 50% and inevitably, breeding takes its toll on animals. Rabbits are very stoic animals and tend to hide symptoms of illness until it’s too late. There is actually very little vets can do to help rabbits with more than a few ear mites or a bit of a tummy upset. Flo has lived all but her first 3 months on our plot and we weren’t keen to have her go through the trauma of being taken to the vet, being pulled about and having her life prolonged to make us feel better. However, we did book her in for this morning in case she didn’t seem to be improving. However, during the day yesterday she took a real turn for the worst. We set her up in her hutch with plenty of straw and nature took its course last night. We think she had a pretty good life overall, plenty of natural bunny type activities, lots of room to run around in, raising kits, more grass and natural stuff than she could possibly eat, chance to dig whenever she wanted and Mack to keep her company. And when the time came, it didn’t take long.
We’ve been mulling over what to do with Mack now. As an unneutered buck, he won’t be good company for many (any) other animals, and we want to avoid getting into a situation where we’ve forever got bunnies. We need to simplify our stock. So we’ll just keep him as a pet for now and monitor his mood. Like Flo, he does have a pretty good deal so we hope with a little more attention from us, he’ll cope without seeing her through the fence every day. That’s the problem with having animals, you often end up with just one. It’s sad, but part of the deal.
RIP Flo, we’ll miss you x