Can I Put My Bunny on Its Back?

No! I saw this on the Bunny World Foundation’s Facebook page and it made me realize to never do this again! Here is what Bunny World Foundation wrote:

“Is it OK to put a rabbit on his back?

This is a reminder that this is not a good practice. When placed on their backs, rabbits go into a “tranced” or “hypnotic” state called tonic immobility. The rabbit can look comfortable and happy, but least one study has shown that “the physiological and behavorial responses of rabbits to TI are indicative of a fear motivated stress state” with potentially dangerous respiration, heart rate and corticosterone levels. In addition, there is the possibility that a rabbit can break the so-called hypnosis and, alarmed, jump up too quickly and hurt herself. Some vets, and some bunny groomers use this method to perform procedures such as nail clipping, but it is best to do so only as needed and for brief periods of time.

Yesterday, we witnessed a perfectly healthy, hoppy, and happy 4 year old bunny die while being groomed. Even the professional groomer didn’t know the danger of too long of a reclining position. It was heartbreaking. The bunny kicked, gasped, seizured and died – quickly and unexpectedly. Please share this … Thank you!

Atria are thin walled chambers that receive blood, while the ventricles are thick walled muscular structures that pump the blood out of the atrium, back into the blood system. When the left ventricle is not able to pump the blood out of the left atrium, or when the mitral valve is not working properly, the blood will accumulate in the lungs (left sided-heart failure). These become congested, leading to pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluids). As a consequence, the oxygen uptake and its movement from the lungs to the heart will be impaired, causing tiredness. It is often accompanied by labored breathing (dyspnea).

There is a lot on the subject, so please do your own research and don’t keep your bun in a reclining position for too long for the sake of not slowing his/her heart rate and causing the tragedy. You can read up on this here too: “

Sorry to bring some sad news to this post, but I think it is very important.

This just reminds me that although I think I know a lot about rabbits and taking care of them, I still don’t know everything. There is still so much to learn, not just for me, but even for the most experienced rabbit owner. I used to do this to Luna to cut her nails, but I will not ever anymore.

And rest in peace to that poor bunny who passed away during his/her grooming process. 😦

Go and “Like” Bunny World Foundation on Facebook! Great posts and very helpful information!

Have a hoppy weekend 🙂

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