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sick rabbit?

344 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SquashNut
Is a rattle in a rabbit always snuffles?
I had a little buck I was raising for back up and he started making a noise in his head and it got worse into his chest.
I have culled him and I am watching every one else.
He was the only one left in a pen of butcher rabbits that were butchered last week.
What do you usually do about rabbits with rattles?
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Not always. We had a Doe develop some of the symptoms of pasturella, but not all, nothing else fit what she was dealing with. Ended up she had congestive heart failure and died two years later. Never got pneumonia, always ate and drank, but was a bit lethargic. Even raised three large litters.

Did you check the Bucks organs?
There was no discharge though. Which could be a good indicator it was his heart.
Exactly. The Doe I mentioned earlier sneezed once in a while, but no discharge, no wet paws or nose, no coughing, droppings were fine, feed and water consumption absolutely normal, her usual friendly self, even raised two litters of 9 to weaning; we have reason to believe she was not in pain. But we could hear this rattle in her chest. Over the two year time period it grew worse to sound more like wheezing, until finally we had a heat wave coupled with higher levels of pollution than normal and she just wasn't strong enough to handle it. We wrestled with the idea of administering antibiotics, but not knowing with certainty what was going on, the ab treatment alone could have killed her. When we found her body she looked as if she died in her sleep.

Along with a couple other breeders, we are now watching this (very rare) breed for possible heart defects.
I'm new to Rabbits as of early this summer so I don't know very much at all about them so why would you have to check his organs? What kinds of things would you be looking for?
Examining the organs, especially the liver, one can see tell tale signs of health and health problems. Also the amount of fat and the color of it are something to take notice of. In the case being discussed, we are now paying close attention to heart size.
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