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Problem with rabbits dying...please help!

 
Jen Starkey
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Hello all. I am new here, but I am having trouble with my rabbits and thought the best place to go would be to the people who have been doing this for a while..anyway, the problem I'm having is, my does about 2-4 weeks after kindling are dying! I have lost 5 does so far, and each time its almost identical. They are fine one day and the next are showing signs of GI stasis. They stop eating and drinking. My vet recommended pain relief with banamine, lactated ringers to keep them hydrated and mineral oil, but even after all of this they still die about 5 days after the onset. They get pellets , timothy/grass hay and fresh water daily. I am raising these rabbits for meat, but want them to be as happy and healthy as possible..for obvious reasons, but am becoming discouraged with my losses..I just don't know what the problem could be and would appreciate any help. Thanks so much!
 
Carolyn Loveland
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Hi Jen,
I am so sorry to hear this.. I am, by no means, a rabbit expert but your rabbits might be suffering from a couple of different things. (and I'm taking a shot in the dark without knowing rabbit breeds, feed content, rabbitry set up etc) The one that jumps to mind is "Young Doe Syndrome". What I am telling you is also coming straight out of "Rabbit Production" by McNitt.

When the doe is 4 to 10 days after kindling (or longer) they just unexpectedly die. Enterotoxemia or Staphylococcal mastitis can cause this problem.
If it is enterotoxemia a postmorteum will show an inflamed cecum. If it is the mastitis the toxins from the bacteria invade the blood and eventually kill the doe. The common denominator between both diseases is the doe goes off her food. And the enterotoxemia kills within 12 to 24 hours. The mastitis is slower.
Good news is both are treatable if caught in time.
Hope this helps or at least gives you a starting point on clues to look for. There are several other diseases that might be causing the deaths but these are the two that come to mind first. And you might have different things happening to each doe.
And not trying to be offensive, how much does your vet know about rabbits? Did they specialize in rabbit studies. I am really lucky because our veterinarian specializes in rabbits. They are worth their weight in gold.
Good luck.
Carolyn
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 98
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
greening the desert
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I can't tell you how right on the money Carolyn is about Vets. My wife & I currently have a Rex "House Rabbit." named Marshall. He is our 2nd, and boy did I learn a lot during the life of Murphy...our first one. I've had "Vets" give me oral antibiotics which is a quick way to kill a rabbit. Thanks to the internet, I knew this was wrong & quickly took Murphy to another Vet.
Stasis is so frustrating! It comes on so quickly.
 
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