Help - Newborn kits, mother just passed away. - RIP

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Tammy B

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Hi my bunny Meadow just had babies on monday.
She's now not wanting to drink or eat anything much and is grinding her teeth just laying there in her cage...She's going in and out with her babies and they seem ok so far but i'm a lil worried about mom :(

Can anyone tell me what's going on?
 

Tammy B

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Yes i have contacted the vet..they said sometimes they can get a lil depressed in an older bun when they have babies ...I have not had this before and i am scared i'm going to loose her...I took these guys in from a bad home and didn't know she was pregnant so i am not prepared..I have tried to put food in my hand she won't take it and she won't drink...Her belly seems a lil uncomfortable and she grinds her teeth when i touch her :(
 

ladysown

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not eating or drinking and grinding her teeth... that's a rabbit in pain and not doing well.

She could have ingested some fur in the process of kindling and now has wool block.

I would strongly suggest you do what you can to get her eating and drinking again. Treat her as though she has gut stasis. You could offer her some tums in case she's short on calcium.

FIND a foster doe for those kits ASAP. You want to reduce the physical load on that doe.
 

Tammy B

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Thank You so much for the advice everyone but she passed away on the way to the vet ...
I have some formula that i am going to try and feed the babies myself to try and give them a chance.
Meadow went through alot of stress and trama before i got her here with me and i think that contributed to her death.
She was a very old bun the vet figured and that she shouldn't have been bred at all but she was and here i am with 4 two day old kits...Gonna try my best to see what i can do for them...It's worth a try...I miss her so much already :(
 

Tammy B

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Thank You for updating my post ...I'm not sure how to edit my posts once i have them updated...At the time i posted this she was still alive.
 

woahlookitsme

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I'm so sorry for your loss :( good luck hand rearing the kits. I never have good chances with it so I'm not any help. If I have a litter That still needs to nurse I find a foster doe quick. I imagine this is not very possible with your situation :/ I hope the little ones make it
 

Tammy B

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Thank you ....I'm not sure if i can or not either...I think i have someone on here who's going to try and help me out and try to get some supplies shipped to me....I really loved her in the short time we spent together and i can't bring myself to sit back and do nothing as her babies die :(

So i'm gonna try and see what i can do and if they don't amke it at least i can say that i tried.
 

Bindi

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The best of luck to you.

Is it worth ringing around local vets/animal shelters etc to see if anyone knows of a nursing doe? The shelters may have some in foster? Or even a local pet shop might know of local breeders?
 

Tauntz

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Bless you & the person trying to help you to save those babies. I know everyone will not agree with me but I believe life is a very special gift & that all life should be given every chance to survive. I hope those sweet babies of Meadows will survive & I know you will do all that you can for them. Prayers for you & Meadow's kits.
 

JBun

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You just need to be very careful syringe feeding, and do it very slowly. Usually they end up dying from aspiration pneumonia, from breathing in the milk when syringe feeding. So you want them to lap it off of the tip, and NOT put in their mouth. I'm sure there are all sorts of youtube videos showing syringe feeding babies, that you can look at.

If I find any good links for you I'll post them.
 

3willowsbunny

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So sorry about the loss of Meadow, I love that name. I wonder if she had a unborn kit stuck in her or something. I pray you can save the babies, please keep us up to date! (((BIG HUG!!!)))
 

3willowsbunny

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You just need to be very careful syringe feeding, and do it very slowly. Usually they end up dying from aspiration pneumonia, from breathing in the milk when syringe feeding. So you want them to lap it off of the tip, and NOT put in their mouth. I'm sure there are all sorts of youtube videos showing syringe feeding babies, that you can look at.

If I find any good links for you I'll post them.

Just curious, do you have to help the kits go potty after a feeding like with baby rats or hamsters (I had to handfeed two 1 week old baby hamsters at one point and had to rub their bottoms with a damp cottonball to help them go potty) are baby bunnies the same? We tried to save some 2 day old bunnies when I was about 8 years old (they all died) but I can't remember if we did anything to help them go potty..
 

Tammy B

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Yes you do have to help them go potty i haven't dealt with that much yet..i gave them a small feeding this afternoon but they didn't eat enough i don't think to do anything...I'm goona try here in a few minutes to give them some more and see what happens...I am pretty much broke after traveling an hour to the vet and paying for that that i can't afford the lil bottle that they had there..I am dropper feeding them and yes it scares me to feed them that way but i am using what i got ...I am so distraught over losing Meadow that i am really not together yet but hopefully tomorrow will be a lil better.I have a homemade formula that i am using for them right now stuff that i had around the house that i found online not sure if it is much good for them or not but it's all i got.

1/2 C Evaporated milk
1/2 C water
1 egg yolk
1 TBSP corn syrup

:in tears:
 

JBun

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You don't want to use that recipe if at all possible. Corn syrup is not a good thing to be giving baby rabbits. The best recipe I've found is here:
http://www.2ndchance.info/bunnies.htm

3 parts powdered KMR
3 parts water
1 part heavy cream(unsweetened)
plus a pinch of probiotic powder

The info is for raising baby cottontails, but the feeding part does apply to domestic bunnies as well. You could use some goats milk temporarily if you can't get the KMR right now.

It's horrible when we lose one of our buns. Just focus on helping the babies. They need you.
 

lovelops

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I just sent you a package Amazon but it wont' get there until Monday. It has Kitten Replacement Milk and Powdered Kitten Replacement Milk. Once you get that you should be good to go.

You've got to keep those babies alive until then and that is where checking around some local stores come in. One, ask your vet if they have a bottle or powder of the kitten replacement milk to GIVE TO YOU until mine comes in. My vet did that for me when Chico and Chica's mom died and I had to start feeding them. They should knowing what you just went through and might be able to help show you how to feed the babies, if not, try to get one can for now so they won't starve. It will be $10 or under. If not call another vet in your area and see if they can help you out with the kitten replacement milk for now.

In the meantime you can use Goat Milk. Go to the grocery store and if they have Meyenberg Goat Milk you can start feeding that to them until the Amazon package gets there. That package should do you for a while.

Please go to you tube and see people feeding bunnies. I never videoed myself feeding Chico or Chica and I fed them from 4 days old.. I always put the eye dropped to the side of their mouth and took care to keep it away from their nose.

GENERAL FEEDING OF ORPHANS Age + Amount (This WILL vary depending on type of rabbit.) Use KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) for domestics and Meyenberg Goat Milk, regular not low fat for wild ones,or KMR. Add a pinch of acidophilus (AKA Probiotic capsules) to all formula to promote healthy gut flora. Other formulas vary depending on the region of the country. Avoid using Esbilac or any puppy formulas or cow's milk. Do not add Karo syrup. FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY.
You can use the Goat Milk also I saw on other rabbit sites..

Newborn to One Week: 2 - 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings).
1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings).
(depending on bunny..may be much LESS if smaller rabbit).
2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Bunnies whose eyes are still CLOSED need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate before or after each feeding. Again, seek a professional on this. Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Then start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones--dandelion greens, parsley, carrot tops, grated carrots, all fresh, watered down). See below for detail.
3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings--again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail will take so much LESS--about half of this!.)

Here is some more info:

Feeding the Babies

Formula and feeding supplies

You will need:
  • plastic sterilizing steam bag (available at most pharmacies, these are used by women to disinfect breast pumps and other nursing materials)
  • very small nursing nipples
    • There are many different types, and unfortunately few pet supply stores carry the smallest nipples that are best for baby rabbits. If your local pet supply store doesn't carry nipples suitable for baby squirrels and rabbits, then the ones for kittens are the next best thing.
  • nursing bottle or syringes
    • The type of bottle or syringe you buy will depend on the nipples available in your store. They usually are paired. A variety of feeding supplies are available online from The Squirrel Store. Order them while you use the kitten supplies locally available, and you'll have better nipples and syringes in a few days.
  • Formula recipe
    • fresh, whole goat milk - 1/2 cup
    • KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer by PetAg) - 1/2 cup
    • lyophilized (freeze dried) colostrum - contents of 10 capsules, or 1-1.5 Tablespoons
      • This is available at most high-quality health food stores, either in bulk powder form, or in capsules. It's expensive, but will give the babies their best head start.
    • heavy cream - 3 cc (a cc is the same as one ml, or milliliter), equal to about 1/2 teaspoon
Mix ingredients together in a lidded container, and shake very well until colostrum is dissolved. It's best to mix this a few hours in advance so that the colostrum has time to soften and suspend easily.
Heat the formula to about 105o Farenheit (you can gauge this with a common, quick-read plastic rectal thermometer (unused, or fully sterilized!) from any pharmacy.) and keep it warm in a water bath while you feed the babies. They are generally more eager to accept warm formula.

Feeding Procedure

The most important thing to avoid is aspiration (inhalation) of formula by the babies. The smallest drop of formula in the lungs can cause fatal pneumonia within a few hours.
  • 1. Steam disinfect all syringes, bottles, and nipples as per instructions on the disinfecting bag. 2. Sit or lie on the floor to feed the bunnies, using a towel as a lap cushion for the baby being fed. Baby rabbits are wiggly, and unpredictable. They jump suddenly and unexpectedly, and you must be on the floor so that they don't hurl themselves off a chair or table and injure themselves. A drop of only one or two feet can be fatal, especially if the baby has a stomach full of milk.
    3. Hold the baby horizontal in one hand, and the bottle/syringe in the other. If you wrap the bottle in a washcloth or cotton pad, allowing a fold to drape over your hand with the nipple protruding, the baby will be able to "paddle" with his front feet, as he would his own mother's breast.
    4. Babies often resist feeding at first, and you must overcome the temptation to force feed. If the baby spits out the nipple, then simply wet the baby's lips with a drop of warm formula so he'll lick it off. Once he's swallowed that, repeat the procedure over and over. Be persistent and gentle. If you can keep him hydrated and fed--even against his will--for a few feedings, more often than not, the baby will start to lap or sip at the drops you provide, though he may not do this on the first feeding. (If you're lucky, the baby will quickly learn the Turbo Sucktm : this can empty 15 cc's of formula in as little as 9 seconds!) 5. DO NOT SQUEEZE TOO MUCH FORMULA INTO THE BABY'S MOUTH! It's better to err on the side of caution than to have the baby inhale milk!
    6. Baby rabbits may lose the suckling reflex in only a day or two. If the baby grabs the nipple and begins suckling, allow him to do so without adding any pressure yourself. DO NOT squeeze the nursing bottle or put pressure on the syringe plunger. The baby should be able to suckle with enough strength to empty the bottle or syringe (as long as the plunger is adequately lubricated in advance with a bit of pediatric simethicone suspension) without any help from you. If you provide extra force, the baby may accidentally aspirate formula that's coming in too fast!
    7. If the babies do not suckle, it's not a major problem. Most will learn to lap/sip from the tip of the nipple, and this is actually safer, in terms of reducing the risk of aspiration. Try to hold the nipple sideways or downpointed, relative to the mouth, to further reduce the risk of aspiration.
    8. IN CASE OF ACCIDENTAL ASPIRATION. We hope this doesn't happen, but if the baby does aspirate formula, it can completely block the airway and cause the baby to pass out. This does not have to be a death sentence, but the following "Bunny Heimlich" maneuver is the only hope of saving the little one. And it's scary.
    • hold the baby very firmly between your palms, one on each side of the rabbit
    • stabilizing the back and neck firmly so they do not move at all, raise the baby above your head, so his nose is pointing skywards.
    • with a firm, downward motion (not too fast!), swing the baby downwards towards your feet, (being very careful not to come too close to the floor!)
    • repeat the procedure two or three times, as necessary. The weight of the baby's internal organs pressing against the diaphragm when you swing downwards ususally provides enough pressure to expel air from the lungs, as well as the drop of milk blocking the airway.
    • Once you feel the baby begin to move, STOP THE MANEUVER IMMEDIATELY.
    • Consult with your veterinarian about whether or not to place the baby on prophylactic antibiotics to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
    9. Until they open their eyes (at about the age of 10-12 days), handle the babies as little as possible when you're not feeding/grooming.
 

lovelops

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GOOD NEWS! I Called Halifax Animal Hospital. They have 2 cans of Kitten Replacement Milk and are sending it overnight express to you TODAY! I explained your situation and that you were in Economy and needed this asap and they agreed to help out and allowed me to pay over the phone with card so I could get around US Customs on this package and get it to you asap. The two cans they had should be ok for now for the little guys if they are the taller ones until the package comes from Amazon on Monday! PHEW... I feel better.. So keep a look out at your door for this package from the Halifax Animal Hospital !

Vanessa
 

lovelops

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Hey here is the tracking number but they said you would have the package tomorrow morning at the latest you may even get this package later on today since it was mailed out this morning...and the vet said that the kits should be ok until tomorrow if you don't receive the kitten replacement milk until then.

cleardot.gif

0386197000458508 Canada Post Tracking

Let's keep our fingers crossed. You can track this online or on the phone..

Vanessa
 
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