Sick Bunnies

kailaeve1271

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I recently started breeding rabbits for the FFA. I am currently on my second liter and my female Dutch rabbit gave birth to 9 babies, however, I came to check on them and suddenly the nest was in pieces, the kits were peed on and looked starving. I cleaned the nest and added fresh hay. Two of the babies I ended up having to hand feed because they were too weak to latch onto the mom. After an hour the first one passed. The other lived much longer and late at night it died. While I was hand feeding these babies they would go through weird stages of being perfectly fine to sprawled out and stiff as a board. They would have their mouths wide open and would quit breathing momentarily. The one that lived longer began to spit out blood before it died. What would have caused these rabbits to suddenly become so sick? Could it be because the father was a mixed breed? I had no problems with the first litter. Also what could have caused the mother to destroy her nest? Was it because of the large litter?
 

promiseacres

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I would wonder about the doe getting scared or startled while feeding them and the 2 kits probably had internal injurues.
 

AClark

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Spitting up blood makes me think internal injuries too. Gasping for air kind of leads me to think rib damage (punctured lung?) and if the nest was destroyed, pretty good chance those two got squished. Did they get chilled at all? They tend to gasp and stiffen up if they are chilled, and with the winter weather and a messed up nest that might have done it too, especially if they were separated from the rest of the litter.
I'd say nothing to do with the father, regardless of his mixed breed status. Probably mom panicked out over something and stepped on the babies.
 

kailaeve1271

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They were with the other babies but when transporting them they suddenly felt slightly cold. I kept them on a heating pad under a fleece blanket to keep them warm but they didn't seem to be getting warmer. I thought it may have been because they were ill. They weren't stiff they whole time though. It would happen quickly. They would go from barely moving around, napping to suddenly stiff without a warning. The way they were stiff wasn't necessarily like a cold bunny or a dead animal, it was as if their muscles all tensed up and tightened at the same time and would stay this way until I rubbed all over them.
 

DutchBunny03

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It had nothing to do with the sire being a mixed breed. Genetic complications like that happen when two different species in the same order are crossed, and even then its usually just fine. All domestic rabbits, regardless of breed, belong to the same species. The variation in genetics between breeds is only skin deep, and just affects things like coat color, eye color, and size. Internally and physiologically, they are all the same. Thing like this can happen because of a mutation in one of the parents, but that is a random genetic problem, nothing to due with breed.
 

DutchBunny03

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The kits may have been causing the doe pain while they were nursing. That is what usually causes does to destroy their nests.
 

DutchBunny03

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The kits may have been causing the doe pain while they were nursing. That is what usually causes does to destroy their nests.
 

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