Apathetic attitude as a sign of pain
An apathetic, listless, lethargic behavior can be a very good indication that your rabbit is in pain. As you get to know your bunny, you will notice certain traits that it displays when you enter the room. Domestic rabbits are a very loving creature and most crave attention. When you enter the room, does your rabbit come to the door of its hutch and stand up against the door? Does it love to explore, investigate, play and toss things around its hutch and playroom?
Couriosity, playfulness, and interest are normal activities for a healthy and happy bunny. An abrupt change in these behaviors warrants immediate examination. I have entered into many conversations with rabbit owners who have said that one day their bunny was alive, and the next morning it had passed away. They had no idea anything was wrong.
During these conversations, I asked them if they noticed any change in their bunny’s behavior prior to its passing. In many cases, the owners mentioned that their bunny did seem to be apathetic and listless. And many of them said the day prior to the passing, the bunny was sitting in its potty tray facing the back corner of the hutch, or just laying in the back corner and not moving much. It did not come to the door to great them, it did not seem interested in food, nor did it play.
These are classic signs of a bunny in pain and one of the first outward signs that a bunny has GI Stasis or some other internal pain such as kidney or bladder stones. It is extremely important that you do not ignore any change in your bunny’s behavior no matter how insignificant you believe the change to be. It is a survival instinct for a rabbit to hide pain. They cannot talk, rarely whimper or cry, and rarely display any other vocal signs of pain like a cat or dog. So when your bunny’s attitude changes, even slightly, contact a trained rabbit veterinarian immediately. Do not wait! With health problems like GI Stasis, immediate intervention can be life saving because a rabbit could pass away within 24 to 48 hours after GI Stasis begins if treatment is not initiated immediately.