Bunnies dying ... don't know what to do!!!

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Jessie21287, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    I need some serious help. In the past month and a half, 5 of my 8 rabbits have died. Know know what's causing it. There were no signs of any sickness at all. They are in a heated shed. I feed them mostly pellets, and sometimes timothy hay and alfalpha hay. I would really appreciate any help.
     
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    More info Jessie,

    What kind of pellets, brand name protein content, age of feed. Is they hat dust and mold free.

    Heated shed, what about air flow, ventilation?

    Ages of rabbits? Any predator problems? What breed of rabbit and are they related?

    How long have you had rabbits and did you buy from a reputable grower?
     

  3. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    The kind of pellets I use is Producer's Pride that I buy from TSC. The protein content is 16%. The feed is less than two weeks old. There is no mold or anything like that. In my shed I keep a door open. There are no predator problems and the rabbits are not related.

    Here is a list of the rabbits's Ages, breeds, and how long I've had them.

    Age, Breed, How Long I've Had
    4 yrs, Holland Lop, had for approx 6 mths
    2-3 yrs, Mini Rex, had for approx 6 mths
    3 years, Dutch, had for approx 3 yrs
    8 mths, Holland Lop, had for approx 6 mths
    8 mths, New Zealand, had for approx 6 mths
     
  4. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    Had you moved them at all, any changes in the environment, do they have salt/mineral licks, have you given them anything special - you know, treats of any kind? More importantly, does anyone have access to them? It may be a horrible thought, but if you've never had problems, them bam, they died, there is a possibility that someone is poisoning them.
     
  5. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    Haven't moved them, no changes in environment, no licks, and no treats. I live in a quiet neighbor hood and no one knows that I have them. The shed is in my backyard, and so are my loud labs in their kennel, so if anyone comes in the backyard, my labs start to bark loudly. Anyways, I think that if anyone would poison something it would be my labs.
     
  6. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Hi Jesse...

    You may want to check your hay...someone on a bunny list I belong to reported losing healthy rabbits and round that their hay had "curled dock" in it and was killing the bunnies....

    Just a thought...

    Suzi
     
  7. Sheryl@KY

    Sheryl@KY New Member

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    I am not sure but I understand that rabbits are happier with it cool. I am in KY and have mine outside in the 20-30 degree weather and they are happy. In the summer they are stressed with the heat but we have shade for them. I would look at ventilation and how hot it is. They could have a winter coat on and get too warm. I also wormming may be helpful.
    Good Luck, Sheryl
     
  8. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    Other than checking the hay as suggested, the only thing I can think of is it may be too hot in the heated shed...they don't tolerate heat very well. What is you ambiant temperature in there? Is there ventillation, does the air circulate in there???
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    I've never herd of curled dock hurting anything. There are many poison plants that end up in a hay bale. I eat it every year, and it is sold in many places.

    If anyone knows where there is an article that states curled dock is poisonious to rabbits or anything else, I would surley like to have the URL.

    I am not disputing your word at all, I am just curious, thanks ray
     
  10. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't mention rabbits specifically and it doesn't say
    "poisonous". It could be that rabbits are very sensitive to the
    plant compared to larger species. Other sites might give more detail.
    This just happened to be one of the first I ran across.

    Isn't yellow dock (is that the same as curly dock?) used by herbalists?


    PDF file: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/curldock.pdf.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Hi Linda, No yellow dock is not curled dock, the curled types have the more sour taste like sour dock, only not so strong. Yea I knew about that effect which in extreemly high amounts could cause problems in cattle but shouldnt be fatal, it causes gas and has a slight laxitive effect. I have eat every kind that grows within a 100 miles of here, and they are quit good.

    I have fed my rabbits fresh dock many times and they love it, but Ive never fed any that was in hay to my knowledge, but wouldnt have guessed it could kill them.

    I know alot of purple nightshade gets into hay and is deadly to most anything in small doses. another, Poison Hemlock grows abundantly around here and 99% of the folks dont even know what it is, those that think they do are mostly wrong they think it is Queen anns lace and poison, but queen anns lace is wild carrots and fine to eat, the poison hemlock looks almost exactly like it except queen anns lace has a very small colored flower, about the size of the head of a pin right in the center of the flower head. If it doesnt have that tiny colored flower in the center it is the deadly hemlock. its everywhere around here. Ray
     
  12. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    How close are your neighbors? I lost[ died] a rabbit once when the neighbor painted his fence with wood sealent, my rabbits cage was in a shed on other side and fumes were bad when I discovered it. If not that are they molting? could be wool block[ yes short coated rabbits can get it to].Well cant stay on this forum hope you figure out whats up.
     
  13. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Let me clear this up just a sec---I said it was reported on another list and my suggestion was to check her hay for anything that doesn't look like it belongs in the hay...

    As to curly dock, I'm glad you've used it with success, my general rule of thumb is that if it's not good for the goats and sheep, I'm pretty well going to avoid it with the lot of my livestock...Now some common sense is applied there--but it's a simple guideline I use...

    As to where I go for information....this is the most reliable link I have...

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp

    Suzi
     
  14. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jessie, do you give them clean fresh water daily? When you purchase or get new rabbits, do you keep them quarantined from the others for a while to be sure they aren't carrying a communicable disease? It's really hard to figure out what could be causing it, but might be worth having a necropsy done if you lose another one. Hopefully, you won't! Sorry, I know it's difficult to lose critters! Jan in Co
     
  15. Glenys

    Glenys Member

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    Jessie, I know I live a lifetime away from you but have you thought about what else might like a warm rabbit hutch to sleep in? I'm sure my loppy was bitten by a white tail spider and died quite quickly afterwards. They love being in warm, dry places. Not sure if you have those but something else perhaps?
    Would be worth having an autopsy done I agree, with having lost so many.
    Very sorry.
    Glenys
     
  16. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    I've never kept any of my rabbits inside... They have always been in an open air shed, or on the porch. Since your feed sounds good, I would suggest that perhaps they are in direct 'wind' line, and dying from sudden chills. Rabbits suffer more from heat than from cold, and a strong and solid draft will kill them.

    Another thing you can do is to feed fewer pellets and more hay. You might find it less expensive to go with COB (cracked Corn, rolled Oats and Barley) with plain alfalfa pellets. That is the best feed I've found, and if you can get the COB pre-mixed, has also been the least expensive.

    I've never given mineral supplements, nor vitamins, and my rabbits are show quality.

    Another thing might be that they are being frightened - yes - you CAN literally scare a rabbit to death... Is it possible that you have a dog that gets too nosy, or perhaps some other critter that can't get in but can still cause a major ruckus?? I can't see this as being the case, but it is possible...

    Sue
     
  17. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    Well, I haven't had anymore trouble. We figured it must have been a raccoon or something that had scared them because when I went out one morning about three weeks ago, 1 of my rabbits was dead, and another was half dead. The one that was half dead was crawling around the cage, like he was paralyzed in the rear. I had that happen about 3 years ago, so I figure a raccoon was just outside the shed and it scared them. I moved my labs a little closer to the shed, so I haven't had any problems. But thanks everyone for all the advice. I'll keep in mind about the hay. :p