From ~ L. Seeman, MSN  (January 2004) at 

From ~  ~ “Harelines” ~ the newsletter of the Buckeye HRS ~ Spring/Summer 2009 ~ Volume 13 Number 2 ~ By Dr. Barbara Oglesbee, DVM ~  Capital Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center ~ Columbus, OH

One minute your bun is eating, drinking, eliminating, and playing normally, the next minute he is depressed, moribund, and stops eating, drinking, and playing. Just like that.


Stomach becomes extremely hard

Stomach is grossly distended (like an over-filled balloon)

Extremely sudden change of behavior

Sudden, total refusal to eat or drink  

Suddenly lethargic

Acting like they are in pain ~ hunched up, loud tooth grinding

Drop in body temperature ~ a temperature less than 100 degrees F is always an immediate emergency

Rabbits often become non-responsive due to the electrolyte imbalances, pain and shock associated with this condition

 Meadow’s NOTE:  It is important to remember that rabbits are prey animals, making it necessary to hide any illness or injury which would cause a predator to notice them.  Thus, they are masters at pretending that all is well ~ even when something is horribly wrong.  It is our belief and those of our extremely rabbit-savvy vet that this is at least a large part of why they appear to be stricken so ‘suddenly’.  When a rabbit exhibits symptoms, it is because she/he is no longer physically able to keep them hidden ~ making every abnormal situation of an urgent nature.