Monday, July 12, 2010

The Leading Cause of Heart Failure in Rabbit Owners

Treated myself to one of those new Flip video cameras, and they are quite easy to use. I bought it in order to make better videos of Mickey in action, although the boy beat me to this one. This is something that's hard to catch on video, so I hadn't tried it yet. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the "death flop"...

video

This is why some rabbit owners look so gray-haired and shaky after a while...at least until we learn to check for chest movements.

It's supposed to be a good thing when they do this; it signifies the rabbit's ultimate trust in you--they don't do it unless they feel completely secure. Having had two rabbits actually die in that position, though, I will admit that it took quite a while to see Mickey do that and not go into immediate heart failure/freak-out. My husband actually confessed to shaking Mickey's cage once--back when we first got him--because "It looked like he was dead, but I didn't want to wake you up and tell you he was dead if he wasn't, because then you'd be mad at me".

It's even scarier when he's out of his cage, because he very rarely does it then. Last night, I looked down and saw him like that next to my foot. For a few missed heartbeats, I thought I had run him over with my computer chair somehow--until he started licking his paw and I could breathe again. Now, when we see him like this in his cage, it's more "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, isn't he cute?" than "OhdeargawdCALLTHEVET!!!", but I still check the chest every time.

7 comments:

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well - Mickey does do it as good as we've seen!!! personally I think it is when they are being recharged with extreme disapproval from an unseen force.

Hef's Mom said...

Hef's never done this in my presence, but we have a dog, so I assume thats part of it. I've seen him getting up from the position, he always springs up when he sees me. Maybe his new cage will inspire flopping and heartattacks!

Michelle May said...

Love it! Love it! I got one of those flip videos a while back. I've been trying to catch the death flop as it happens. No success yet. So funny how all us bunny slaves love this and worry about it at the same time!

Lisa said...

Ohhhh noooo. Please don't tell me that. I always squee when my rabbits flop, now I will always be afraid they're dead.

SixBunnies said...

Mr. Cooper (the lop in my profile pic) sleeps stupid all the time! He must not be able to hear very well, either. I can talk to him when he's asleep, open and close doors, and talk to all the other buns, but he doesn't wake up until I touch him. Then, he acts like I hit him with a baseball bat, freaks out! I hate to do that to him. I'm afraid he'll have a heart attack, but sometimes I just have to move him or get into his condo and clean up and he's napping. His bun-wife can hop all over him trying to get my attention and he sleeps right through it ... but if I touch him, he flops and flips and jumps and loses a pillow full of fur ... crazy bun! :)

Karen M said...

Cute video.Weasley sleeps like that all the time, also. And he won't move even if he's about to be stepped on. And when he has a full long coat, it's very hard to see the chest moving. Bunnies always find some way to keep us on our toes.

Jade said...

Mickey's state of unconsciousness varies; there's times when we can walk around and talk near his cage and he doesn't budge and then there's times that he startles the minute you enter the room. The boy has a habit of waking Mickey up when he sees him flopped; I've discouraged him from doing it, though, because I don't want Mickey to ever feel that he has to be on his guard all the time. Even a bunny needs a good nap now and then--all that cute is so stressful and tiring. ;)