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Mastitis...what to do??

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Injuries, Diseases, and Cures' started by AmberLops, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Jun 19, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I have a 1 year old Netherland Dwarf doe who finished weaning her kits about 2 weeks ago, and she was completely dried up until today.
    2 days ago I bought a new bale of hay that is full of blessed thistle, stinging nettle and a bunch of other 'lactation-promoting' herbs. I didn't think anything of it when I first got the hay.
    But it seems to have done it's job and my doe is completely full of milk and cystic mastitis.

    Her kits are done with milk and wont drain it for her and I called the vet and they said that, because it's cystic, I would have to treat it at home and hope it goes away or take her in and surgically remove her mammary glands...which I won't do. If it got to that point I would put her down, I just can't afford a surgery like that :(

    I've been putting a hot compress of echinacea and sage on it all day and I read that peppermint leaves help to dry up milk so I gave her a bunch from the garden along with some turmeric powder mixed with honey via syringe to help with inflammation.
    And she is pregnant again, due early next month.
    Does anyone know of anything at all that I could do to help her?
    I love her and she is one of my best mama rabbits...I really don't want to lose her.
     
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  2. Jun 20, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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  3. Jun 20, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I would think what you are doing should help...hope the others have more advice than I can offer :( :hugs
     
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  4. Jun 20, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    Her lower nipples seem a lot better today.
    But she has 3 up top that are just full of cysts :( I'm still doing the turmeric and the hot compresses today and I bought the old hay I used to get...to prevent that happening in my other does!
     
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  5. Jun 20, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    For tummy upsets and scours I used to take my rabbits off their feed and give them wood shavings. Eating the wood shavings controlled the scours probably because the shavings were nothing but roughage.

    Can you express any of the milk from the "cystic" nipples? She probably won't let anything nurse since they are painful. If you nursed your kids ad ever had an infected gland you would know what I am talking about. The "cysts" are probably plugged milk ducts in the mammary system. Since she seems to be getting better on the stuff you are giving her definitely keep it up, try to express some milk after using the hot compresses, and massage gently to break up the plugged ducts.

    By gently massaging the mammary ducts and possibly expressing some of the clogged milk you can remove some of the poison in her system. This will help with the mastitis infection. Do you ever use any antibiotics in your rabbits? They are tricky in rabbits so what you are doing seems to be working and I would continue it.

    Even if you could afford the surgery, removal of the mammary glands in a brood doe makes her worthless even if she could survive the surgery. You might as well put her down as to do that type of surgery. Also, since she is pregnant, she will lose the litter, and would not be able to raise any more kits. Vets are very into neutering animals (which is good for cats and dogs not being used for breeding purposes) but bad in any kind of breeding situation such as yours. (I had a vet advise me to immediately neuter a young Champion Weimaraner because he was over stimulated hormonally at the time, causing some bleeding from the penis! I ignored the advice and brought him home. He went on to win several more titles, and became a valuable stud dog. There were no bad effects from the situation and he is still alive and doing well.)
     
  6. Jun 20, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I definitely would not do the surgery for her...and I wouldn't spay her. The vet said I could either spay her or just remove the mammary glands...I won't do either one. She's not pet material and she is not worth anything if she can't breed. And I agree about neutering...I think it's meant for stallions and dogs/cats. I'm a vet tech and a lot of people ask me about spaying/neutering their rabbits when they buy one from me as a pet...I tell them not too in case they decide to breed it someday. I'm still in touch with one lady who did neuter a buck I sold her, but he has free run of the house and she treats him like a dog so I guess that was for the better since he started spraying all over.

    I have been massaging the cysts and it does help a lot. Now her lower nipples are pretty much all cyst-free but the upper ones are still an issue.
    I tried to put some older kits in with her that are still nursing age and they wanted nothing to do with her...
    So I put a 10 day old kit in an empty nest box and put her in the box, thinking it would trick the kit into thinking she's it's mom...it suckled for a little while but not long enough. She didn't seem like it was painful.

    As for antibiotics... I just feel like it's hit or miss when it comes to using them in rabbits because they're not tested or approved for them. Rabbits seem to do really well with natural remedies and I prefer to use it whenever possible for all my animals, unless it's necessary to use something conventional...then I don't have a problem with it!
    And the vet I called said he'd never thought of using a hot compress for mastitis...I don't see how that's possible!
    I thought it was a 'thing' to do a hot compress for it :hu
     
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  7. Jun 21, 2019
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos Herd Master

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    sounds like what you are doing is helping. Maybe you've tried this already, will the doe let you hold her on your lap belly up so you could use some of your 10 day old kits to nurse her?
     
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  8. Jun 21, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I've tried that with 3 different kits (10 days old) and a 6 day old kit too. They suckled for a little while but I don't think any milk is actually coming out because they gave up so quick :idunno
     
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  9. Jun 21, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    The problem with mastitis is that the ducts become impacted, and while the mammary systems looks full of mil it is the mastitis infection that is causing the swelling. I don't think trying to let kits nurse will work since like AmberLops says there is very little coming out anyway. The hot compresses, massage, and natural herbal remedies AmberLops is using seem to be doing the trick and it sounds like she will recover.

    He must be a small animal vet - they usually only know abut pet animals! A hot compress is always good for any infection to try to relieve the swelling and draw out the infection. We used it for any dairy goat with a possible case of mastitis. I had a bout with a blocked duct when nursing my second baby and the only thing that worked was a hot shower and expressing the milk from that particular location until it was clear. I had to change nursing positions because the way DS was nursing he wasn't getting all the milk from that side! Worst pregnancy ever! 6 months of morning sickness, huge baby, hours and hours of excruciating labor and then that! It is surprising that I love that boy! :lol: :hugs
     
  10. Jun 21, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    Oh no!! Sounds like an awful pregnancy :eek: I'm glad you made it through it!
    As for my doe...she is 99% better and i'm so happy! Now she just has one nipple that is blocked up but the swelling has gone down today. I gave her some oregano oil yesterday and that seemed to help a lot with the inflammation too.
    Thanks for the help and info everyone!!