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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in NE TX. I have a CA doe that has been a perfect easy rabbit. Given me 3 nice litters. The most recent were 9 babies on 11/6. She was fostering 1 extra kit for me.

Yesterday she seemed off. One of the babies was out of the nest box for the first time. I put the baby back in gave Big Momma her feed (16% rabbit pellet + a bit of animax (calf manna) and boss and gave her a carrot... standard morning fare. She nibbled the carrot slightly, but did NOT move to eat it really. She had NOT eaten much of the night before's feed so I just gave her a touch of fresh...

Yesterday PM she was in the same position and did not appear that she had touched any feed and her carrot was still there. We were due for a freeze so I had pinned around the new momma cages (hers is in the middle). I gave her a couple greens in her cage (standard PM fare)...

This AM she is in the SAME position. 2 babies are out cuddled to her and nursing... 4 babies were dead in the nest box and 4 alive.

Doe will not move not eat. She seems to be quivering/shivering... Her eyes look like no one is there... I almost thought she was dead already.

I took the 4 live babies in the box and divided them and bit them in with the other two mom's who kindled the same time (first time for me, 1 is a first timer). I left the two who are cuddled to her for now, but will check hourly... the 4 babies were cool and unfed. I did vanilla on the babies & foster mom's noses...

All my rabbits are from the same breeder. Big Momma and a few others were bought in May and the others in June.

I am new to rabbits since May.

Their diet before coming here was pellets, bread, and fresh... and I have done the same.

What might be wrong with Big Momma? Is there anything I can do? I really do not want to lose her and never expected trouble from her...

Thank you.
 

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okay, babies are 10 days old. Perhaps Big Momma has some sort of birth related infection, like retained placenta?

I would remove all the live babies and foster them elsewhere. And hope that someone here has some idea of what to do for the sick one.

sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will say until yesterday her babies were well fed and roly poly... I showed dh one big fellow just yesterday AM!

Good mellow momma...
 

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I'm very sorry. It doesn't sound good. Some more information would help.

Is she pooping? Are the poops normal?

Can she reach her water? Dehydration is going to make any problem worse and she certainly won't eat if she can't drink. Is there any chance her water bottle is clogged. First thing I'd do is try to get some fluids into her.

I know she doesn't want to move, but is she capable of moving? Does she seem paralysed as she might with a back injury? Too sick to be able to move? Is she grinding her teeth? This can be a symptom of pain. (Although in a healthy rabbit it can indicate contentment, like a cat's purring, I don't think we need consider that here.)

Have you examined her thoroughly? Could she have mastitis? The shivering sounds as though she may be running a fever, as she could well be if she has an infection. I think that something like mastitis is the most likely reason... or some other complication/infection from giving birth.

I've never had a case of mastitis and am certainly not the best person to help you if this is the problem. What I do suggest is that you find out if any of her teats are red, swollen, hot as they may be if they are infected. That way, when someone with experience comes online, you may be able to get some useful advice.

You could also google rabbits mastitis and run a search of this board using the search feature in the menu bar at the top of the page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you both...

when I went back out... she had moved 4-6" to the side

checked her teats per a friend...

no swollen areas...

teats all look normal, soft, & pink...

she still feels like she is shivering

she just laid in my son's arms while I checked...

gave her fresh hay, laid her in right next to the waterer and put a fresh feeder by her...

the babies did not have nice round plump tummies so fostered them out too..

Oh I had checked her waterer earlier and it was working...

There were a couple spots of clumpy poo.

More info...

my rabbits are in hanging cages in a hoop house so no trays... we raked out right before kindling and had not again yet as we don't like to bother the new mommas much... I will go rake under her so I will know if she poops...

Last weekend the other two does who kindled with her got scared by something (had a lot of coyotes howling) and freaked and threw out and killed some babies. We had had 26 from the 3 mommas... and lost 4 over 2 nights.... but big momma had not lost or killed any of hers... just the other 2 and in fact was fostering one. Both other momma's had settled down... we had not lost any in a week. So this takes us down to 18 if all I fostered out make it.

The 3 momma's are in one hoop house with 1 other rabbit... each in their own cage... the other rabbits are in the other hoop house...

Just giving all the info I can....

No teeth grinding...

I can also bring her in if I can put her in a tote....
 

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Thanks for providing the extra info. Based on what you say, it doesn't sound like mastitis. A uterine infection, as CathleenC suggested, seems a strong possibility. I'd bring her in... get her away from the other rabbits and where it is easier to keep an eye on her.

The clumpy poops could indicate a gastrointestinal upset, and her lethargy is consistent with that... but the shivering don't really fit the picture, at least not in my experience - which isn't a much where sick rabbits are concerned.

Keeping my fingers crossed that she gets over it, whatever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
brought her in... she was laying on her side....

as I carried her she IS grinding her teeth.... can a rabbit whimper?

I picked some fresh strawberry leaves after doing some reading... but she won't eat them...

I am not big on medications, but I have basic goat antibiotics and meds...

thank you so much for all the help...

going to try to syringe a bit of warm water in her...
 

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Does her belly seem distended, as though she is bloated? Infant gas drops may help... Many people here use them for rabbits and I can't see that they could hurt.

One of ourmembers, Danaus29 posted this about bloat:

Bloat
Symptoms, rabbit hiding in corner of cage. Swollen and distended abdomen and stomach area. Rabbit may be squeaking it's teeth due to pain.

Caused by unfamiliar food, ingesting fur, or rabbit eating too much green food at one time.

Simethicone, any brand infant gas relief drops can be used to treat bloat. Give a dropperful into the rabbits cheek a few drops at a time (allow the rabbit to swallow the drops) by lifting up a lip and dropping a few drops into the space between the teeth and cheek. Let go of the lip and allow the rabbit to swallow, repeat until dropper is empty. Give every couple hours until rabbit's belly is no longer swollen.


Here's some "house rabbit" links on GI problems. I haven't read them or at least not recently, but there may be something helpful there.

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/ileus.html

http://www.mybunny.org/info/gi_stasis.htm

http://www.bunnylu.org/bloat.html

These all came from a list of Rabbit References:
http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/morfz/rabrefs.html

If this goes on without sign of improvement and she is in a great deal of pain, you may have to consider whether it would be better to put her down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
no swollen or distended abdomen...

I was looking and GI blockage seemed to fit EXCEPT not swollen or distended...

she took some syringed warm chamomille tea

1st try did not seem to swallow
2nd try swallowed
3rd & 4th time fought me and seemed to have seizures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok I realized the tea had grown cold... just warmed it and she took a bit with no seizure and seemed to swallow some though some ran out...
 

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Good thought, the chamomile. It's soothing to the GI tract and they like the flavour. You could try sweetening it slightly to give her a little energy boost.

If you add 1/2 - 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt per cup of the tea it would make it a homemade electrolyte solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thank you! Will mix that in...

she just had a seizure without trigger... but is still alive and I gave her more tea...

weird... I am trying to keep her alive in the living rm as dh & my boys butcher 2 others in the kitchen...
 

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So sorry. You did all you could, but sometimes it isn't enough. :(

Will you autopsy to try to find out what the problem was? I know it's hard to bring oneself to do it, but sometimes if you can spot the problem it will help other bunnies you have that may exhibit similar symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks...

dh was already butchering today so he is doing her right now... I told him call me as soon as he is in so I can look and see if anything seems to jump out at me... this is the first female we have done... he says very different from the males. (I'd be doing it, but older dd is sewing today so I had the littles through all this...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK - report on internal....

there were light spots on 3 lobes of the liver... more on one... none on the fourth, but texture felt normal

stomach contents looked normal... green mush....

some fat around small intestines...

a lot of fat around the kidneys... not used to seeing any on the young males we have done....

nothing else that jumped out... really saw nothing I would recognize as infection

intestines looked and felt normal....
 

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Sorry you lost your doe. It sounds like the same situation as I had this past summer with my white doe. Totally happy one day, the next, refuses to eat, sits in the same position and won't move. She was pregnant and passed a premature litter but never recovered. I tried to keep her going with a syringe in the kitchen for a few days and I received a lot of advice and encouragement from many people on this forum. I didn't autopsy the body because she was stiff in the morning when I found her so I don't know what was wrong.

I lost a doe back in March also, I found that when they go into spasm like that they are pretty much only minutes from actually dying, all you can do is make them comfortable. until they pass.
 

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Good for you and DH for trying. She must have been eating something if there was green mush in the stomach. Doesn't sound like gut statis if the intestines seemed normal. Lungs? Did you think to check the colour? Should be bright pink, greyness could indicate a respiratory problem.

Well, even if you didn't get any answers, at least you won't have to wonder if you should have looked harder for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A friend suggested basically hypocalcemia..... the tremors and a fresh litter... makes sense to this goat person...
 
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