Friday, September 23, 2011

Four Sick Babies

So for the past week I've been dealing with four sick baby rabbits.

All housed with Stella. Everyone else in the rabbitry is unaffected. They all get fed the same.

Stella has been not the best momma for milk with her pups. She started strong but gradually decreased in her milk supply which meant her pups were forced to start eating solids sooner than they would have liked without the balancing act of momma's milk to help their tummies adapt.

I've been supporting them with oats, hay, probiotics, prickly lettuce, banana etc. All sorts of things that are good for bunny tummies. I've been encouraging them to keep moving as I've learned that bunnies that sit and sulk in illness generally die quickly. They are fighting against mucoid entropathy which is a dangerous and generally deadly disease for bunnies.

One has definitely rebounded, a foster from another litter. he's doing well. he's a bit on the small side but in time he'll be just fine I expect.

A second, not a foster, looks to be VERY weak at this point, but is nibbling grass and sniffing at the oatmeal this morning. Starting to drink a bit better... so I am hopeful.

A third lost the battle this morning.

The fourth I am still fighting with to support. It's been the strongest and the biggest of the bunch so has a bit more "oomph" behind it. Time will tell how it does.

Over time I've learned this illness has a genetic component to it. As I've weeded out rabbits that seem susceptible to it I generally don't have to deal with it. My last case was over a year ago so this came as a bit of a surprise. Stella is a new doe to the rabbitry as is Blaze. I've noted with Blaze in the past that while the kits are adjusting to solid food their poops get really sticky and I generally have to do a bum trim of hair to keep them clean. So my guess is that with Stella's milk issue and Blaze's tummy adjustment issue that the kits got hit with a double whammy. The changing weather patterns may have played a role as well.

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