See Ya Next Time Sid

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This morning when I went out to feed the rabbits, I opened the door to the Rabbitry to find Sid paralyzed and screaming. I immediately pulled him out of his cage and laid him outside to inspect him for a cause. After checking his eyes, nose, ears, stomach, and vent I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with him. But there was obviously something wrong because he was very limp and was laboring to breathe. There were no signs of disease or illness or even the notorious wool block. That’s when I decided that he would need to be put down. It’s pretty horrible to see an animal visibly suffering. I turned around to get my pellet gun and when I turned back to Sid, he was already gone.

I fear he may have broken his back.

Obsidian had only been with us for four months, but he was already growing on us. We nursed him back to a healthy weight and even arranged for “dates” with the ladies. He was really turning out to be a good rabbit. Sid was a very spirited buck and I think that may have even led to his demise. Even a large breed like French Angoras are very fragile creatures.

As parents, Trevor and I are very open with Cami on the subject of life and death. Considering we grow and raise our own food, we feel that we need to be. But this is our first real encounter with the death of an animal on a personal level (excluding the hand-me-down goldfish that died last year). Sid was a “breeder” for the herd which meant that he was not meant for food in any way. This left me a little unprepared as to how to explain to Cami why Sid was not in his cage this morning.

She cried for a little bit and then decided that she would take care of his babies for him. I can’t help but cry a little as I type this just because I am so proud to have raised such a compassionate little girl. Cami realized that Sid couldn’t be there anymore and that she could be. She knows what death means, but she also knows what life means.

20 thoughts on “See Ya Next Time Sid

  1. Oh that really sucks Sarah! So sorry! I could not imagine seeing Casper suffering or for him to die, though I know he will one day and we have only had him a short time he is definitely part of our clan! I had a rabbit someone gave me when I was a kid she was a rew probably new Zealand but she was a free range rabbit on the ranch getting to the point I have NEVER seen rabbits that have personalities like the French Angora! They are for sure not JUST another rabbit!

  2. You noted you fear he may have broken his back. Is this an issue with rabbits? What are the main reasons for back breakage? Am so sad whenever I see any animal in pain and needing help, especially needing to be put down.

    • I took quite a few things into account before coming to the conclusion that he broke his back. 1) Sid was perfectly happy and active last night. 2) His water bottle was working fine. 3) He had no signs of illness like a snotty nose or crusty eyes or sneezing. 4) When I inspected his stomach and vent there were no blockages. 5) When I picked him up, he felt abnormally limp even though he was still alive. 6) His rear was wet as if he couldn’t move in order to urinate.

      From what I’ve read, rabbits can break their back simply from jumping around over-zealously or from getting scared. It was even suggested by another breeder that it could have been a heart attack.

  3. Oh man, I am SO SORRY!!!! Poor guy, I feel so bad. Unfortunately it happens when you have animals though. I guess it is a part of farm life, only offset by the special privleges of being able to have so many pets and animals around that most people don’t get to experience. So glad Cami is handling it well! Sometimes I worry because my boys (especially the oldest) has seen and experienced the death of beloved pets so much lately. He’s lost several special “pet” chickens due to old age or sickness, was there when my beloved aussie got run over by a car this fall and died within minutes, and lost a church friend “grandma” to cancer this summer, and his great-grandma this fall to stroke, plus we lost two of our pet cats this year to old age and an infection! (LOL, last year wasn’t great, huh, lol?!?!?) I guess they are more resilient than we think though, and have dealt with it surprisingly well, although I feel they have a much better idea of what death actually is compared to most kids their age. Hang in there *hugs*

  4. I’m so sorry about Sid. 😦

    My own English angora rabbit died rather mysteriously this past summer. I think she had wool block, she hadn’t been eating pellets. She ate all the hay, oats, and greens I gave her though so I was hopeful. After a week I decided to brush out any loose hair I could to help. When I got to her belly, she struggled enough that I let her up. The moment she was on her feet she collapsed and died within a minute. I don’t know if she had a heart attack or what, but I felt horrible that what I thought was helpful ended up being so bad for her.

    Things happen, and not always for good (or apparent) reasons. It sucks. 😦

  5. I am sorry, Sarah! Putting an animal down is rough. I once had a guinea pig that got its leg stuck in the wire and gave itself a compound fracture. I will never get that image out of my mind.

  6. So very sorry, Sarah, to hear about Sid. That’s such sad news. My heart goes out to you. Though as Melissa mentioned, he lives on through his adorable babies. They are beautiful. My sympathies to you, Cami and Trevor.

  7. I must share that my bunny is a nice reminder every of day of Dandelion’s sweetness and Thistle’s gentleness. He truly has his father’s calm demeanor. I so appreciated that I was able to see each parent when I purchased him.

    • That’s so good to hear. I will always regret trading Thistle; he was a fantastic rabbit and definitely the family favorite. But… we needed a rabbit less related to the others. 😦

      I am always happy to show off the other rabbits when people come just because I know that I would want to see the parents of a rabbit if I were the one buying. It’s always nice to see what the parents look like and how they are cared for. You can tell a lot about a Rabbitry within about 2 seconds of looking inside.

      Thank you for reading and your constant support Carolyn!

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