Flemish giant possibly pregnant?

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Mommylife0924

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Hi I’m new here. Desperately trying to find answers online.

i have a female Flemish giant. I previously had a male Flemish as well. We got the female a month ago today which make it day 30. I know they mated on the first day as my male had a fall off. They also spent a lot of time together whenever they weren’t in the cages. I’m so uncertain if she is pregnant or not. There’s no fur pulling. She digs in her nesting box the past few days. Whenever I check it to make sure it’s not soiled with urine or feces. She always digs In it after I’m done cleaning it. She has been laying down a lot the past two days. I do see movement in her belly but unsure if it’s babies or gas. I noticed the past few days she has become very friendly with me as in being very playful, wanting her head rubbed and licking my nose when I’m cleaning her cage. She’s eating and drinking fine. Sometimes eats a little more or less the past few days. Unfortunately I can’t put my buck with her to see how she acts due to the family wanting to get him fixed and he died after the pre-surgery medication at the vet. I will wait a few more days before making a vet appointment but in the mean time can anyone point me in the right direction? I try to feel her belly but she nudges my hand away so I can pat her head.
 

Preitler

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Patience. It's just day 30 - one of mine consistently kindles at day 35. Feed her well, and don't stress her. Appetite drops sometimes 1-2 days before kindling, but that's not always the case.
Mine pull fur just in time, and sometimes continue afterwards. prepare a nestbox, you can even make a hay nest in there (leave enough room for more hay being carried in, provide unlimited hay, and wait it out.
Keep checking frequently, when the time comes you might be able to help, like putting kits born out of the nest back in, or help cleaning up (have gloves ready ;) )
If you find a kit cold outside - a kit is not dead until it's warm, and still dead. A pot of warm water (38°C, fever thermometer does the job) and a plastic bag to just submerge the kit in work pretty well. Just mentioning this because that was my most common difficulty with kindling does.

Good luck :)
 
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Mommylife0924

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Perfect thank you! Are these all normal signs? It’s my first time breeding rabbits. And google always gives mixed responses!
 

Preitler

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Sounds pretty normal to me. :)
EDIT: Noticed I edited after your response, read previous post again.
 

Mommylife0924

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Thank you! I’m so glad I found this forum!!

I do have a follow up question. I have my female Flemish separated right now as I got my males sister from the previous breeder. She recommended I keep the females separated until after she has the kits. When is a good time to introduce the two females and let them be in the cage together?
 

Preitler

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If those two never lived together before:

I never actually bonded does, my pairs are all mother-daughter pairs, so I avoided that. But to me that advice sounds about right. When they have kits their priorities shift somewhat, they don't care much about hierachy and stuff then and that could make all it easier, provided that they have enough space and opportunities to get out of each others eyes. In an cramped environment where the new doe could not get far away enough from the nest and out of sight I wouldn't garantee for anything. That's a quite ambitionous plan, I reckon.

I have two pairs of does, and the alphas normally instantly go into full out fight mode when they meet in the garden by accident - when there are kits around the encounters were way less hostile, but that's anecdotal experience from just a few accidents. I still would use neutral ground, and read up about bonding beforehand. And then I would follow my gut feeling.
 

Mommylife0924

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So glad I asked! I use to let my male and female out in the outside pen together. Obviously I know they are opposite genders. I didn’t know if I could do it with two females! I’m totally fine keeping them in separate cages as well. I ask for when I usually let them in the outside pen. I like to let them out in the pen or inside the house. They both are very social with my family and the kids love to play with them But I obviously wouldn’t want either to go in to fight mode with being around each other. Thank you for all your help! I’ll have more patience with my pregnant Flemish. I’m pretty sure I’m more excited for her to have kits then when I had my kids hahah!
 

JBun

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Like Preitler mentioned, bonded rabbits need space. You don't want to be putting two unbonded does in a confined cage, or even bonded does for too long of a period. Likely result, they will fight and injure each other. Rabbits need to be properly bonded first, which in most pet settings also requires getting them fixed prior, and providing a larger living space for them. If you're going for breeding colony type bonding of does, I would suggest doing some research on it first

This is some info on the bonding process for pet rabbits. Colony bonding will be similar, minus the spaying of the rabbits.

One thing I'll add is, I've never heard of pre surgery/neuter medication being given or needed for rabbits, and I've had over a dozen rabbits spayed/neutered over the years. I don't know what medication your vet would have believed was necessary, but it's something I've never heard of unless your rabbit had some sort of preexisting medical condition. So if you have any doubts about this vet, it might be a good idea for you to find a more knowledgeable rabbit vet for any future vet visits.

 

Mommylife0924

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Thank you for that. I can actually list the medication given to him as I asked for all documentation of what happened. He had no underlying health issues he was very healthy! They were the only vet local to me that fixed rabbits. They have fixed my other animals with no problem but for some reason something went south with my buck. I am desperately trying to find answers on what happened during the whole process. They did an exam prior and said he was healthy and then they gave the medication and he passed. They are trying to say it was an underlying heart issue.

Also for bonding my rabbits, I would never just throw two unbounded in the cage. I was just asking questions on it. It’s more for when I bring them to the pen outside. I didn’t know if it was possible for me to have both out at the same time with me.
 

JBun

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If you want to list the medications and info on what happened, I can see what I know about it.

With bonding, some people don't realize rabbits have to be bonded in a specific way to even be around each other, so I just share info based on someone not having experience.

The same would apply for putting both in the same pen at the same time, as in a cage, it starts the bonding process, so fights can occur. In almost all instances, rabbits can't just have casual playtime together. Rabbits in any proximity to each other, will want to sort out dominance and hierarchy issues. So any direct contact always becomes part of a bonding process, not necessarily working out. What happens is they will either start to establish who is dominant and who is submissive and start to bond, or they may both be dominant personalities and an all out fight could ensue.
 
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Mommylife0924

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That’s great too know! Thank you for that. I most definitely need to do some research. I don’t want either getting hurt! As for the medications I’ll list them now

Metacam (1.5mg/ml) 0.6ml PO
Butorphanol 0.2ml (10mg/ml) SQ
Dexmedetormidine 0.1ml (0.5mg/ml) IM
 

JBun

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Ok, so your rabbit had actually gone in for the neuter surgery then? If so, those would be the meds given prior to the gas anesthesia. Except the metacam. That should normally be given after surgery. If it actually was given prior to the anesthesia, that might be something that could in some instances cause a complication.

Anesthesia Protocols for Rabbits | House Rabbit Society


I had a rabbit pass away after his neuter surgery, because he had an underlying asymptomatic case of e. cuniculi that caused post surgical complications. So there can be underlying health issues that can be the cause. But it can also happen because of a vet being inexperienced with rabbits. Unfortunately there's no way to know without having a necropsy done to determine cause. I know it's hard though. I'm sorry you lost your rabbit.
 

Mommylife0924

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All those meds were given before. He never made it to the anesthesia or surgery. They said they gave it to him and put him back in his carrier. Checked on him 10-20 mins later and he stopped breathing. Tried to revive him but it didn’t work. I was going to do the necropsy but the place couldn’t get me in on time for it to be done. and thank you! It’s been tough on the kids.
 

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