Registered: 1570253966 Posts: 4
I found and joined this site a few days ago because I’m not coping well with the loss of my 10 y.o. baby girl. She was euthanized during emergency stomach surgery last week on Wednesday, Oct. 2, but I’ve been to ashamed to post here because I know I’m to blame for her life ending. Since I’ve now thought of ending my own life over this, I thought it might be time to at least try to see if sharing here helps.
My baby girl (bunny) Lily was 10 years and 4 months old. She was everything to me. EVERYTHING. My whole life revolved around her. I’d had her since she was 5 weeks old. Every decision I made, I made with her in mind. I’ll be 38 soon and part of why I never had human kids was because I didn’t want her to become neglected. From the first moment I saw her, it was like my soul connected with hers and I knew we were supposed to be together. I spent nearly every day with her for over ten years. I avoided vacationing because I was too scared to leave her with anyone. I moved across the country twice with her because there was no way I’d ever rehome her. I started working from home when she was three, so I spent literally all day every day around her. Lately everything was fine, other than she had lost some of her hind leg strength in the past year, due to arthritis the vet said (which in hindsight may have been neurologically related). Her checkup in June was great. Bloodwork was really good; no signs of being ready to let this life go. I knew Lily was up there in age. I’m not in denial that she was getting old. But I truly feel like she had more years left in her if I hadn’t screwed up. I’m ashamed to even say what happened and feel I don’t have any right to ever not feel guilt for her leaving this world unexpectedly and before she was ready. But here goes... So when Lily was about three years old I started making jewelry. I always had my work area around her so I could spend my days with her. I always tried to be pretty careful not to leave any wire or anything that she might eat in her reach. There would be tiny pieces of metal wire on the ground and as I saw them I’d pick them up and vacuum just in case, but she never showed an interest in eating them anyway so I wasn’t too concerned. On Tuesday, Oct 1st, I woke up to do my usual morning thing of coffee and snuggles that I’ve done every day for the past several years (ever since I became a coffee drinker). I noticed there were a lot of small poops. She was still eating a few pellets but I gave her gas meds (simethicone) just in case she had an upset tummy, as I always did if this happened. I came back and saw her laying in a part of the room in a position that was unusual so I went and picked her up just thinking she was napping in a weird position - something she’d do pretty often this past year. But she seemed okay so I just went about the morning. A little later I decided to give her pain meds to try to encourage her to eat more. I walked out of the room for a second and came back in to see her seizuring. I picked her up and comforted her as I frantically tried to find a rabbit-savvy vet that was close, since my husband was at work and Lily was too unstable when traveling to just ride alone in a carrier. Any time we traveled long distance with her the past couple of years I had to hold her to make sure she didn’t fall over. So I found a vet and took her in right away- within 15 minutes- since it was down the street. She was acting okay at this time. They did xrays and discovered she had two approximately half inch pieces of wire in her stomach. Wire that I clearly left on the ground. She had another seizure while we were there so they confirmed what I saw was in fact a seizure. They said she needed surgery the next morning to remove them before they went into her intestines. I panicked and agreed to it. I called her regular vet who’s an hour away when I got home with her. And that vet agreed. Lily had two more seizures that evening. Even after giving her the anti-seizure meds they gave me. I laid on the ground next to her all night until it was time to go to the vet again. She was eating hopping around and drinking like normal all night. I took her in to have the surgery and two hours later the vet called to tell me her stomach was in very bad shape and wouldn’t take the stitches- that it was just tearing. They said she wouldn’t make it more than a day and she’d be in horrible pain if I had them wake her. So they convinced me to let them euthanize her to save her from suffering. So she died without me, surrounded by strangers and for two hours before the surgery as she waited in the surgery area she was alone and likely so scared. They said she was severely dehydrated which makes no sense because she drank so much the night before that I had to get up to refill the dish. And at the vet on Tuesday I had them give her subcutaneous fluids. I feel like they screwed up and botched her surgery after learning a few more details they told me afterward that don’t make sense. The vet even said she was kicking herself for not having me go to a rabbit specialitist to see if the wires could have been removed endoscopically. However, ultimately I’m to blame for her ingesting the wire and not taking her to a more rabbit-savvy vet. This one seemed so confident in her ability to do the surgery. If the vet had even hesitated at all in her abilities or if I had known there might have been a less invasive way to fix her, I would have driven Lily the two hours to the specialist. I would have made my husband cancel his meeting with his boss to help me get her there. So that’s what happened... I’m sorry it was long. I feel like I can’t tell anyone I know about it because I spent my whole life making sure she was safe and taken care of the best anyone could... but I screwed up and I’m ashamed and I’ll never forgive myself for it.
Registered: 1564851236 Posts: 32
Hi I’m so sorry about the loss of your beautiful Lily. I came to this site for some comfort when my gorgeous bunny passed away 3 months ago. She was 7 years and 5 months. I hoped we would have so much more time. I have been dealing with a lot of guilt over my girl’s circumstances, she was poorly for at least a month and I’m worried I took the wrong actions for her, I would have done anything to save her as you would have done but it’s really hard making decisions when you’re so stressed. It sounds like you did all you could, you took urgent action and got advice from the vets. Bunnies are magical but they are such fragile little things and it seems that it’s sadly easy for things to go wrong. The life and love you gave your girl were amazing she must have had such a good life with you. I know it’s no comfort now but 10 is a really good age for a bunny, I know some can live longer but sadly it seems that not many get anywhere close to the age of 10. I’ve been reading posts on the binkybunny rainbow bridge section, there are a lot of sad stories of bunnies dying young, many from unknown causes and some from accidents, one thing that is very common is the guilt that people have when they bunnies pass. I’m so sad to hear you feel the way you do because it’s clear how much you loved Lily and how you changed your life to give her company. You also did try everything to keep her safe but sadly some times things are out of our control. You made jewellery at home to ensure you were always with her, that improved the quality of her life so much. Something I read that helps me is to think about what your pet’s life would be if they had not met you. It’s a sad fact that so many bunnies get stuck in hutches outdoors with little company, care or space and I can’t imagine any scenario where Lily could have had a life as wonderful and as long if it were not for you. Please be kind to yourself and try to take things very slow. At this stage it’s really just about getting through each day. I felt desperate when my bunny died and didn’t know how I’d live with my guilt, I still miss her incredibly and do have feelings of guilt still but those feeling are not as intense and are more bearable. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you can find some comfort soon in the knowledge that you gave Lily an amazing life.
Registered: 1569382995 Posts: 6
I'm so sorry about the loss of your little girl. I lost my bunny boy 2.5 weeks ago. Like your Lily, my Thumper was 10 and the ending happened very suddenly. Like you, I got my bunny when he was too young to be away from his mother (2 weeks old) and never felt so connected to another animal before. It was like we were supposed to find each other and I never once imagined a day when he wouldn't be there.
Like you, I replayed the final day/moments over and over in my head more times than I can count. He went from being perfectly fine to gone so quickly, but that didn't stop me from questioning what I could have done differently. I thought he might have some gas, so I gave him some baby gas drops. When I checked on him in the middle of the night, he had pooped and was moving around. I thought everything would be okay. He passed very early on a Friday morning - just as the sun was coming up. I had already decided (when I checked on him in the middle of the night) that I was going to take the day off of work and call my vet when they opened at 7:30. He passed away at 6:13. I've spent a lot of time wondering if I had taken him to the emergency vet in the middle of the night, would things be different? What could I have done differently? What would have kept him here? I felt so guilty, like I had spent so long keeping him happy and health and that I had let him down at the end. 2.5 weeks on, I can start to look back and see that there was nothing else that I could do. I did what I had done before when I thought he might be having tummy troubles. He was showing signs that the gas drops were helping, that things were still moving through his system. He was alert. From the time I realized that he was dying, to the time that he was gone was maybe a 10 second window. What happened to Lily was accidental. You sound like an amazing bunny mom and you gave her the best possible life for those 10 years and 4 months. You took such care to keep her safe. You did more for your Lily than many rabbit owners would do. We would joke that my Thumper was part rabbit/part cat/part daredevil. He figured out how to get into so many things that he shouldn't have (literally nothing was safe from him and he even figured out how to get over baby gates that were put up), was a huge fan of making terrifying jumps (I'm pretty sure if he was human, "the floor is lava" would be his favorite game because he loved jumping from one item of furniture to another), ate so many things that should have probably ended his life years earlier (hence the 9 lives of cat - one time he figured out to get a chocolate bar out of basket that was a good four feet of the ground and tucked on a shelf - he was only 3 pounds and about a foot tall when he really stretched out). It doesn't help now, but 10 is a good age for a bunny and we are both so lucky that we got to share those years of our lives with such amazing little loves. I don't think anyone can understand what its like to a bunny parent until they are one and how absolutely magical they are. What's helping me now, is to focus on the happy memories of my bunny. I can't think about the end without becoming upset, but I can start to feel grateful for the time I had with him. Grief is the price that we pay for love, and as much as this sucks, I'm so glad I had him for every day that I did. I've been working on creating a memorial space to my bunny and my fish (who died exactly 3 weeks before Thumper did). I just had a stone made that uses a quote from Winnie-the-Pooh, "How lucky am I to have something that make saying goodbye so hard". The first week felt impossible. Everything felt impossible. The second week was a little easier. Everyday, you're getting through what you thought you couldn't. I'm so sorry that you're going through this and it's a terrible club to be in, but this a great place for support. We get what it's like and that can be hard to find in our lives. My boyfriend loved Thumper too, but nobody loved Thumper like I did. No one else had the bond with him that I did. No one else knows the level of grief but me, but this community has been wonderful.
Registered: 1570253966 Posts: 4
VBunny and Bellebones,
Thank you both so much for taking time out of your lives to respond to me. I knew my post was long so I wasn’t sure anyone would even bother to read it. I’m so sorry that you both had to experience this pain as well. It’s truly something I wouldn’t wish on the worst human. If either of you would ever like to communicate in private or just want someone who knows what you’re going through, feel free to contact me. I’m not sure if this website allows for private messaging so here’s my email if not or if you would rather use email: email@example.com Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.
Registered: 1570253966 Posts: 4
Or even if either of you would like to stay in touch with a fellow bunny lover via social media, I’d like that. Thank you both again.
Registered: 1569382995 Posts: 6
I just wanted to let you know that I sent you a private message through this site.
Registered: 1570253966 Posts: 4
Bellebones, I messaged you back. 🙂