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About 6 weeks ago a doe about to kindle died in her cage. No signs of trauma, just dead. We figured it must have had some connection to her pregnancy, but she'd had 4 successful litters previously.

This morning I notice a doe hadn't drank any water yesterday, and it was over 95 here. I'd put frozen water bottles in their cages, and thought maybe she'd hydrated by licking the condensation off her bottle. When I checked on her this evening she was dead.

I've seen signs of rats in the cage area, even put out traps but not caught anything.

Any ideas what's going on?
 

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Could be contaminated feed due to the rat feces, could be GI stasis. If you see evidence of rat--you have a problem...use different types of traps, poison, whatever you need to do.
We had mice getting in cages and eating the feed spilled in the trays, eating out of the dishes ect...as soon as I noticed it I used traps and made sure no feed was left overnight and no feed was spilled in the bottom trays. Mice and rats will also stress out rabbits going into and out of their cages. Dump and disinfect all feeders now. Make sure your feed is in a mice and rat proof container.
For GI stasis and not drinking, the only thing that has worked successfully for us is noticing right away that they are not drinking, and giving Lactated Ringers 15-20 cc SQ over the shoulder area for hydration every 8-12 hours until they are drinking. We pull all feed and give hay and some wet greens (dandelion or willow) until they are eating and drinking. If you dont catch it right away they dont make it.
 

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How are you giving them water? Could their supply be stopped up?

Last week one of our bottles failed and we nearly lost my favorite. It took several days to bring him back and he was without water (in air conditioning) less than 24 hours.

Get rid of the rats by whatever means you have to use. Rats are bad news around rabbits.
 
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