weight loss in my English Angora bunnies

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by spinnDrSandy, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. spinnDrSandy

    spinnDrSandy Active Member

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    Two of my English Angora Bunnies seem to be losing weight. Their eating habits have not changed and their droppings are normal. Does anyone have any ideas on what the cause might be. I have not seen evidence of any type of worms..i.e. pin or tape....
     
  2. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Hey there...

    Normally when an Angora starts losing weight it's because of wool block--But they've slowed down on eating too and yours are still eating.....What are you feeding them? How much protein is in the feed? How much and how often? Are you supplementing with hay? I'm going to check with a couple of the English Angora guru types and I'll get back with you....


    Suzi
     

  3. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Well....the general consensus is that you've probably got a case of intestinal coccidiosis going on or a case of rabbit pinworms--that aren't always easily detected just by looking...I'd be leaning toward the pinworms since they're still eating..Most feedstores will carry a good rabbit wormer. Just be sure you use a cold acid pack afterwards to restore the natural flora in the bunny's intestinal track.

    Suzi
     
  4. spinnDrSandy

    spinnDrSandy Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll deworm them for pinworms. How do they get pinworms? Is there something I can do to prevent them? What is a cold acid pack? I'm new to raising bunnies so there is lots for me to learn.
     
  5. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Where rabbits get worms is still somewhat of a mystery of me. I've had one case of pinworms and I don't know how she got them. My rabbits are all up off the ground and that's where the worms are. But as my vet said, they can get them if there's been fecal matter on the ground and you've put something on or around the dropped bunny poo..it just happens...I know of one lady who kept her Angoras in an enclosed front porch and her meat rabbits outside, her husband put his muddy work boots next to the Angora cage after he had been working with the outside rabbits...Yup, the Angoras wound up with pinworms--I've never gotten a clear cut answer as to where they come from; Not even from the ARBA higher ups.

    Managing a group of rabbits like yours is a bit different than taking care of a few, you'll need to establish a preventive plan. At the end of winter I usually worm if I suspect any problems and then and I put all the rabbits through a stint of sulfaquinoxaline--brand name Sulmete-- followed by an An Acid 4-Pak. Any problems I've had with parasites has always happened after winter...maybe because they're closed up for the winter. I don't know. Side note to this though! If I notice soft or pasty droppings at anytime and I know that feed is not the problem, I'll start a round of Sulmete. Coccidiosis needs to be dealt with before it starts spreading in the bunny herd. Right after Spring begins I give out a dose of Ivomectin--now before anyone gets into an uproar, yes I know it hasn't been approved for rabbits, but I also know every breeder I know uses it and we're able to control fleas and mites through out the summer. And none of us have lost a rabbit one due to Ivomectin. Note of caution though--never give meds to a pregnant or lactating doe. I will generally do all the preventive steps prior to breeding my does and the bucks I've chosen for them--or I'll wait until baby bunny season is over. The bottom line is that you have to safeguard the animal's health in order to get that glossy soft Angora wool :)

    This is a link that will tell you how much you need to give your bunnies for worms. For pinworms, you'll need something with Piperazine to get rid of the problem. If for some reason your bunnies don't improve after giving them the meds for pinworms, I'd go to the vet. I'm not a vet...I can only share what I've experinced.
    http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/morfz/rx/drugcalc.html

    Acid 4-Pak is a probiotic, it replaces all the good flora in the bunny's intestine and also loaded with electrolytes and vitamins. Just follow the directions on the package and you'll be fine. If you can't find it at your feed store, you can order it (and just about anything else bunny related!) from www.bunnyrabbit.com

    Since you're new to rabbits I would suggest checking into these sites...They're loaded with great info. Both authors are top Angora breeders.

    http://home.pacbell.net/bettychu
    http://www.angorarabbit.com/angora-rabbit-manual

    And I would recommend getting a copy of Completely Angora. It's more or less the Angora breeder's Bible :)

    Sorry to go on so long....hope it helps...

    Suzi
     
  6. spinnDrSandy

    spinnDrSandy Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I gave one of the bunnies a shot of Ivomectin this morning. I have the book Completely Angora and that is what they recommend for intestinal parasites. I will also try the Sulmete. I have used the Ivomectin for fur mites with good results so I am hoping it will help with this problem. I was finally able to get all of my bunnies off the ground last fall though I let them out into a rabbit run on nice days while I clean cages. She may have picked up the worms last summer or from the rabbit run, although my rabbit run is portable and I move it each time.

    Thanks again for your info....you should start spinning!!!!