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Baby rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by angeef, Dec 18, 2007.


  1. angeef

    angeef PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all I am new to this site and fairly new to rabbit keeping. I acquired a baby bunny about 5 weeks ago that was around 6 weeks old. It was eating & drinking well and was active, then all of a sudden went very bony & died. What could cause this? It didn't show any signs of illness, no loose stools, no discharge from anywhere etc.

    Ange x
     
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  2. Leanne1989

    Leanne1989 PetForums Junior

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    I do think that 6 weeks is slightly young so your bunny may not have had thre best start and therefore not thrived asell as would be possible. What food was he/she on? and was he/she kept inside or out?
    Leanne x
     
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  3. angeef

    angeef PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Leanne,

    She was fed on Chudleys Rabbit Royal and they are kept in a shed at bottom of the garden - one of her hutch mates has just died as well. They seem to just give up

    I've got 3 more baby rabbits about 10 weeks old who did share a hutch with these 2 until 2 weeks ago, they are fine at the moment but I am going to take them to the vet & get them checked over just in case it is something thats spreading. My kids are really upset.
     
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  4. AnimalLoversWeb

    AnimalLoversWeb PetForums Junior

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    Sorry to hear about your loss, difficult to say what might have caused it from that amount of info but an infective cause would be very likely if the timescale was very short.
    I would also get the gender rechecked as, we had 3 rabbits who all turned out to be male, contrary to what we had been told, and they get on great until 4 months and then start fighting pretty viciously and had to be separted.
     
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  5. Benson67

    Benson67 PetForums Junior

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    Hi, I'm very sorry to hear about the babies! Around this age young rabbits commonly have digestive problems, as the Ph of the stomach acid is changing, and the bacterical balance of the intestines is easily upset. At 6 weeks they should still have been with the mother, as although does commonly stop feeding around this time, the young rabbits eat her cecals to ingest the bacteria they need for a healthy digestive system. Often the only symptoms are the baby will still looking uncomfortable, perhaps grinding it's teeth in the later stages and then die a day or two later. Being fed the same food as they were weaned on it vital at this stage, a change of food at this age is the most common cause of this problem. I think this is the likely reason, as you said the baby was bony and suddenly going "thin" is usually a sign of severe dehyration.

    Another possibility is a bacterial infection which can also be common in rabbits around this age. This has more symptoms though, and you would likely have noticed loose stools. Depending on the type, these can be spread so I'd suggest keeping any other rabbits away from the hutch of the sick rabbits. Keep a close eye on the rest of your buns, make sure they are eating/drinking and most importantly going to the toilet okay, not pooing is a real cause for concern!

    It is always good to have a tiny syringe for rabbits, as if they get a digestive upset they just stop eating, which is the worst thing for them! If you have a bun who looks uncomfortable or in pain and refuses to eat you will need to force feed fluids to them, they need a lot of water, and vegitarian baby food is good to help keep them going. You must syringe feed on a flat surface, and sideways into the mouth to avoid squirting down the rabbits throat as this could flood the lungs. Infacol is a great help to rabbits in times like this. A rabbit in this condition should be fed at least every two hours and taken to a rabbit savvy vet as soon as possible.

    I hope your other rabbits are okay.
     
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  6. IzzyTwig

    IzzyTwig PetForums Senior

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    Sorry to hear about your rabbits.
    6 weeks old is very young, rabbit shouldn't leave their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.
    Was the rabbit vaccinated as it could be VHD (Viral Hemorrhagic Disease) as that kills very quickly and is very contagious.
    The symptoms are loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, spasms and sudden death. Rabbits don't always show all the symptoms and they usually die within 48 hours of coming into contact with the disease if they're not vaccinated.
     
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  7. Benson67

    Benson67 PetForums Junior

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    Rabbits under 8 weeks old are rarely if ever affected by VHD, even if the mother dies of it.
     
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  8. angeef

    angeef PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

    It turned out to be coccidiosis, a parasite that lives in the liver (I think) anyway bought some tonic that you add to the water from Carr's website - all 100% natural & they are doing fine now.

    Thanks again everyone,

    Ange
     
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  9. mark dog lover

    mark dog lover PetForums Newbie

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    From the symptoms I am sure that your rabbits have some kind of worms inside their body.
     
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