Why did my rabbit died with eyes open? All explained

Robert Blaylock

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Why did my rabbit died with eyes open?

When a rabbit died unexpectedly or died suddenly they are likely to die with their eyes open. However, when your rabbits die unexpectedly or suddenly with it eye open you should be looking at not just one causes but a number of factors ; this could be poisoning, injury, illness or just old age.

Rabbits are known to be sensitive, in fact rabbits are sensitive to not only their diet but also to their environment and when such changes takes place they are easily affected and may succumb to illnesses which other pet animals will easily fight off.
Here are some well known health challenges or problems that easily affect rabbits:

  • respiratory infections,
  • dental disease,
  • digestive problems.

More also your rabbit’s death could be as a result of an injury suffered. So, you have to check if there is any visible injury because rabbits are known to be vulnerable to accidents or falls. Although this don’t happen all the time except in cases where they are kept in an environment where they are not well suited.

Finally, always remember that rabbits have a relatively short lifespan, so whenever your rabbit dies suddenly it could be that it passed away due to old age which is not bad after.

You might ask, how many years do rabbits live? Certain factors might contribute to how long they live. Well On average, rabbits are known to live up to 8-12 years before they pass away. There are some that live longer than this age.

Rabbit do sometimes simply drop dead with no warning because they sometimes hid their illness without you ever knowing they are sick and this is always sad because we can’t get them back to life when they are gone



Do rabbits play dead with eyes open?

Yes rabbits are known to play dead, playing dead is just a defense mechanism.They usually play dead whenever they are being threatened.
While rabbits are known to play dead when threatened, they don’t do this with their eyes open.

Typically, when they noticed a predator around or they feel that they will be attacked by the predator, they are likely to freeze just to appear dead but their eyes wont be open rather they might close the eyes entirely or they might partially open it.

However, it’s also possible for rabbits to keep their eyes open but unfocused or partially closed. While in some cases, rabbits might even roll onto their side or back, all in a’ attempt to look dead.

Playing dead is an unconscious act not actually a conscious act. Or let’s say it is a natural response that makes them motionless whenever they feel threatened or they perceived danger. And as soon as they feel that they are safe and the threat is gone they will start moving again.

Lastly, If you notice your rabbit is playing dead, don’t disturb them or feel worried. Just leave them alone for them to recover without any interruption.

What do rabbits do before they die?

Just like any other pet animals out there, Rabbits are likely to show some symptoms or we might call it behaviour being display before their final moment here on earth.

While we agree that rabbits could show symptoms or behaviour, not all rabbits are likely to show symptoms when they are about to die.

Here are Some common signs and behaviour that tells that a rabbit might die soon or finding difficult to continue living :

  • There will be Reduced appetite or water intake
  • There will be weakness
  • You will notice Difficulty in breathing or what is called labored breathing
  • Incontinence or loss of bladder/bowel control
  • There will be Loss of coordination or balance
  • Cold extremities or body temperature
  • You might see the rabbits Hiding or seeking solitude
  • There will be Lack of response to stimuli or the environment

Reasons Why Rabbits Died Stretched Out

Rabbits can die stretched out for various reasons, and some of the most common ones are:

Heat stroke: do you know that Rabbits are sensitive to high temperatures? Yes they are most especially when they aren’t used to such weather and they can easily suffer from heat stroke when the temperature goes extremely high. So temperature changes over an extended period of time will definitely affect your rabbit and their body starts getting rigid and stretched out.

Hypothermia: just as they adversely respond to heat in a Similarly situation, rabbits do suffer from hypothermia when the temperature is cold unless they are adapted to that kind of weather. Hypothermia will also make rabbit’s body to stiff and stretched out.

Gastrointestinal Stasis: with their delicate digestive system which could stop completely or stop working , if rabbit eat food they are not supposed to eat they can suffer from gastrointestinal stasis.

Injuries: when your Rabbits died stretched, it can be as a result of an injury it sustained or even a trauma

Poisoning: when Rabbits Died Stretched Out it could mean they have been poisoned. This could be that they ate poisonous plants or substance.

Rabbits Died Suddenly Stretched -Out .

There are many possible reasons why a rabbit might die suddenly, and it can be difficult to determine the exact cause without a veterinary coming in to look into what killed your rabbit. Here are a few possibilities:

Illness or infection: Rabbits are living animals and all living animals are
susceptible to various forms of infections and illnesses which could easily end their lives if not treated with the right treatment plan. Rabbits are known to suffer from the following :

  • respiratory infections,
  • gastrointestinal problems,
  • and infectious diseases such as myxomatosis
  • rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

Note:The usual cause of this is an infection with the rabbit called calicivirus. This disease was released in Australia to kill large rabbits which in turn moved to the housed ones.

A vaccine to prevent this infection has been produced and so is the need to vaccinate pet rabbits once a year.

Trauma: handling Rabbits in an improper manner can be fatal because they can easily get injured. Also allowing your rabbits roam free when they are not being monitored can be risky. if your rabbit happens to sustain any injury like broken bones or rather they suffered from an internal bleeding they are likely to die.

Poisoning: Rabbits can act funny at times, they might roam about the environment trying to figure out things for themselves and they may ingest something poisonous without realizing it is dangerous.

That is why they should be supervise when they are outside. Some of the Common household poisons you should be worried about are cleaning products in your home, insecticides. All this can cause damages to the internal organs of rabbit. Lastly there are some plants your rabbits shouldn’t eat.

Heat stroke: Rabbits are sensitive to heat and can easily become overheated if they are kept in an environment that is too warm or if they are kept in hot weather. Heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.

4 Reasons Why Rabbits Died Stretched Out

Rabbit dies suddenly

Stretching out happens to be a normal position for rabbits to die, most scientists and rabbit experts described it to be a more relaxed and less painful way for them when death comes.

No wonder they put their bodies in such a stretched-out manner.

However, here are 4 ways why rabbits died stretched out:

• Staphylococcus

• Sharp Objects

• Poisonous Substances

• Gastrointestinal Stasis .


This is a familiar disease that causes serious septicemia. This is a normal rabbit flora that surfaces when they are stressed.

The bacteria enhances the growth of mastitis which causes their mammary glands to become swollen, painful, and changed color to red or blue. It kills them faster if it’s not properly treated.

Sharp Objects:

To begin with, rabbits generally are roamers, meaning they like strolling around which is also a sign of their healthy life.

They can not be confined into a certain place. If you have a cage or hutch where you keep them at home, you still need to slate a time to free them so they can roam about and fiddle.

During their course of playing around, they could come across sharp objects like broken glasses, metals, and the likes which could pierce their soft fur thereby causing them pains

and if not treated with immediate effect cost them their lives. Rabbits eat anything they see so they could swallow the objects too and this causes their sudden death.

Poisonous Substances:

Poisonous elements are not in any way different from sharp objects as both are a great life-endangering to rabbits.

This will be specifically valid if you are using pesticides and chemicals in your house or garden. While these chemicals seem fair and harmless to humans,

they can kill your rabbits when they come in contact with them. The only preventive measure that can be taken is to make your garden or house unreachable for them or stop the use of these chemicals and pesticides.

Gastrointestinal Stasis:

This is a familiar disorder in the rabbit community. It however happens to older rabbits. It is a disorder that develops from their younger ages and often spares them till they reach a certain older age before striking them.

It’s cogent to note that, this ailment slows or finally stops their immune system completely which causes gases to build in their abdomen.

This ultimately bloat and results in an eruption in your lovely pet’s stomach. Also this is one of the ways you can detect if your rabbits have this disease. You will notice them lying on their belly a lot as if to help them ease the pain.

Causes of this condition may be internal blockage, lack of exercise, dental problems, imbalanced diets, anxiety, food that is high in starch and low fiber.

Retaining a nutrient-rich diet plus consistent exercise is the best way to lower the possibility or prevent the disease completely.

In conclusion, as cute and lively as these animals are to keep as house pets, they are more vulnerable and prone to life-threatening dangers. And they also have a weird tendency one of which is their nature of dying in a stretched-out position.

Final Note:

Rabbits are soft, short tails, whiskers, and typically long ears animals with small bodies. They are from the same taxonomic, Leporidae family with Hares.

Rabbits have more than 50 species across the globe with many common behavioral exhibitions. 49 rabbit breeds were recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).

Some of their species are pygmy rabbits, riverine rabbits, Sumatran rabbits, Amami rabbits, bunyoro rabbits volcano rabbits cottontail rabbits, and the world’s oldest European rabbit also known as domestic rabbits.

Rabbit lifespan also varies. European rabbits live for 9 years while indoor ones can live up to 7-10 years If they are adequately taken care of.

Rabbits vary in size, while some are as little as a kitten, others are as big as a human baby. A small rabbit such as a pigmy is about 8 inches equivalent to 20 centimeters in length and weighs less than a pound,

while the bigger one grows up to 20 inches equivalent to 50 centimeters, and more than 10 lbs which are 4.5 kilograms. According to the Guinness World Records, the world’s biggest rabbit is a Flemish giant that measured 4 feet 3 inches (129 cm) and 49 pounds (22 kg).

Rabbits are herbivorous animals so their main diet consists of plants such as grass, clover, and other cruciferous plants. They also eat fruits, seeds, roots, buds, and tree husk.


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