Last Updated: 10/22/05
One day, the neighbor called saying there was a domestic rabbit loose in her garage. It was a black and brown (like a Marten) Netherland Dwarf. We caught Ellie on 5/4/90. Later, we found out that a neighbor had dumped her and her siblings on the landfill nearby to suffer. Somehow, Ellie lived a year in the wild. She was a little fighter. Ellie was a real sweetheart for an unspayed doe. She also made all her pee in her litter pan from the first day we adopted her. Since we could not keep her in a bird cage forever, my father built a large hutch for her and Ricky to share (separate rooms). After a year with us, Ellie stopped eating. A vet diagnosed a digestive problem. She never resumed eating after treatment. A few days later, I discovered her profoundly gasping for air and called the vet. It was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen. She died that day of 6/27/91.
Since we had the appointment, we brought her body to the vet who had her lungs and kidneys sent off for an autopsy free of charge. We took the rest of her body back for burial. The autopsy showed that she had died when her lungs literally exploded. She had HUGE pasteurella growths on her lungs. Her kidneys had also failed (she was not urinating or defecating at all for the last week). It still makes me very upset to write this now. We go to a different vet, even though her diagnosis was correct, just not the main problem. More information on pasteurella can be found on my pasteurella page. No one should EVER release domestic rabbits into the wild. Most will starve or be killed by dogs or cars. A few will be found only to be ripped away from their loving owners by diseases picked up in the wild.
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