My rabbit suddenly died

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My rabbit just delivered 4 kits a week ago. She was healthy and feeding her kits. Yesterday I noticed that she wasn't pooping the normal amount of poop compared to my other rabbit that had also delivered a day before her. She also wasn't eating normally because I could see the hay and pellets was untouched. Today while I was cleaning her cage, I noticed that she acted sleepy and kept dozing off. While I was cleaning the other cages, she suddenly started to jump around furiously and started trashing the cage before falling down dead. What could have been the reason?
 

JBun

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It sounds like she may have had a heart problem and could have died from cardiac arrest. But this is just a guess.
 
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I now have 4 kits who are motherless. Another of my rabbit gave birth to 2 kits only. What I did was force fed the 4 kits using her milk. I held her gently over the 4 kits and let them feed for 3 minutes. I've put their nest box next to her cage. Did I do the right thing?

I
 
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Could it be lack of calcium? I’ve heard that many moms after birth need extra. That’s why I give it to my girls.
I fed her alfalfa hay, but that was what she was not eating. Maybe I should have given her a mix of Timothy and alfalfa? but she did not touch the pellets, so maybe there is another reason why she was not eating.
 

SableSteel

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If this was her first litter, look into "young doe death syndrome"
It's possible the thrashing was not related to her death. Sounds like she might have been going downhill earlier if she was sleepy. The thrashing might just have been death throes
 

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Could it be lack of calcium? I’ve heard that many moms after birth need extra. That’s why I give it to my girls.

Hypocalcemia has different symptoms(tremors, head bobbing, ataxia, and then becoming flaccid). The lethargy then sudden bolting in a panic followed by sudden death, would point to something causing acute pain and something that could cause a rabbit to pass suddenly.

I now have 4 kits who are motherless. Another of my rabbit gave birth to 2 kits only. What I did was force fed the 4 kits using her milk. I held her gently over the 4 kits and let them feed for 3 minutes. I've put their nest box next to her cage. Did I do the right thing?

Fostering them to the other doe will be the best way for them to survive. You just have to make sure she doesn't try and injure them while they feed, and also make sure there is time between feeding those kits and her kits, so that her milk supply is replenished and her kits are still getting enough milk.
 
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Hypocalcemia has different symptoms(tremors, head bobbing, ataxia, and then becoming flaccid). The lethargy then sudden bolting in a panic followed by sudden death, would point to something causing acute pain and something that could cause a rabbit to pass suddenly.



Fostering them to the other doe will be the best way for them to survive. You just have to make sure she doesn't try and injure them while they feed, and also make sure there is time between feeding those kits and her kits, so that her milk supply is replenished and her kits are still getting enough milk.
Let's say to be on the safe side, I'll continue to force feed the kits. How many times in a day should I feed them?
 

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Once or twice a day is usually how many times a doe feeds her kits.

If your doe is very calm and accepting, the easiest thing since the kits are close to the same age, would be to just add them to her litter of kits and then they can all nurse together. It can help to take some of the does soiled bedding and rub it on the kits so they have her scent on them. But you do have to be really careful with the introduction and making sure she accepts them and doesn't attack them and reject all the kits after that.

But if you want to just have her nurse the orphaned kits separately, that will work too. Just make sure her own kits are still getting fed enough milk.
 
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Hypocalcemia has different symptoms(tremors, head bobbing, ataxia, and then becoming flaccid). The lethargy then sudden bolting in a panic followed by sudden death, would point to something causing acute pain and something that could cause a rabbit to pass suddenly.



Fostering them to the other doe will be the best way for them to survive. You just have to make sure she doesn't try and injure them while they feed, and also make sure there is time between feeding those kits and her kits, so that her milk supply is replenished and her kits are still getting enough milk.
Can I foster them with kits of different sizes? My other doe who delivered 2 days before has only 2 kits but her kits are twice the size of the kits whose mom who just died. I was told that they are probably overfed and might hamper the growth of their legs. Would it be safe to put all of them together?
 

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Usually the problem with mixing kits is because of age. Older kits can push out the younger kits from nursing. But I don't think that size difference in kits that are about the same age, would be harmful or cause any problems. If it was me, I would give it a try. Closely monitor initially to make sure mom accepts them and doesn't react aggressively towards them, then check all of them for the first few days to make sure they all have full milk bellies and are nursing fine.
 
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Usually the problem with mixing kits is because of age. Older kits can push out the younger kits from nursing. But I don't think that size difference in kits that are about the same age, would be harmful or cause any problems. If it was me, I would give it a try. Closely monitor initially to make sure mom accepts them and doesn't react aggressively towards them, then check all of them for the first few days to make sure they all have full milk bellies and are nursing fine.
One more question, Is it a good idea to get a bigger nesting box at the same fostering the kits? Or should I foster the kits first, make sure the mother takes them, then change to a bigger nesting box?
 

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The nesting box size is based on the size of the mother rabbit. You want it just big enough that she can hop in there and turn around comfortably, but not so big the babies will get separated from each other and get cold. And you want sides high enough to keep kits in but low enough that mom can hop in easily. If the mom hasn't had any issues with the one you've been using. and it has enough space in there to fit the combined 6 kits so that they can nurse easily from her without being too cramped, then probably stick with the one you have. Plus if you were to change boxes, there is some risk you could upset the mother rabbit. Better not to switch if you don't have to.
 
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The nesting box size is based on the size of the mother rabbit. You want it just big enough that she can hop in there and turn around comfortably, but not so big the babies will get separated from each other and get cold. And you want sides high enough to keep kits in but low enough that mom can hop in easily. If the mom hasn't had any issues with the one you've been using. and it has enough space in there to fit the combined 6 kits so that they can nurse easily from her without being too cramped, then probably stick with the one you have. Plus if you were to change boxes, there is some risk you could upset the mother rabbit. Better not to switch if you don't have to.
Thank you so much.
 
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Another male rabbit was found dead in his hutch this morning. I don't know the history of the rabbits I have now, because they were saved by my brother in law. The rabbits were kind of an attraction at the tourist trap he was working at. They were abandoned when the place shut down due to covid.

I saw him feeding the remaining rabbits water spinach, and he told me that, that was what they were fed once a week since they were kits. The rabbits are about 1 year old. I read somewhere that spinach is bad for rabbits, is it also true for water spinach? If it is, what do I do now besides stopping feeding the rabbits water spinach?
 

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Another male rabbit was found dead in his hutch this morning. I don't know the history of the rabbits I have now, because they were saved by my brother in law. The rabbits were kind of an attraction at the tourist trap he was working at. They were abandoned when the place shut down due to covid.

I saw him feeding the remaining rabbits water spinach, and he told me that, that was what they were fed once a week since they were kits. The rabbits are about 1 year old. I read somewhere that spinach is bad for rabbits, is it also true for water spinach? If it is, what do I do now besides stopping feeding the rabbits water spinach?

Was they solely eating water spinach? Or was they also supplied hay?
 

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Only recently they were given hay, (the last 2 months) previously it was pellets every day with water spinach once in a while.

I’d give them unlimited Timothy hay. Maybe mix in some meadow/orchard if you can get any. Keep with the pellets and water spinach but lower the amount slowly other time max around 1 cup a day is a good guide. Can introduce other leafy greens and herbs like parsley, carrot tops etc to much spinach is not good for rabbits. These would have to be introduced slowly and you’ll need to monitor how they get on with them. They should be eating their size in hay every day so most importantly ensure they have 24/7 access to unlimited high quality hay.
 

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Your herd may have a disease and that is why two rabbits died. Do the other rabbits seem and act healthy? Just a thought...As it seems odd that both rabbits passed away in course of a few days.
 
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Your herd may have a disease and that is why two rabbits died. Do the other rabbits seem and act healthy? Just a thought...As it seems odd that both rabbits passed away in course of a few days.
Yes, that was what we thought and we have been monitoring the rabbits so far. The male rabbits are kept separately in their own hutch, because they kept fighting each other. While the females are separated because all of them seemed to be pregnant. All 6 does were nesting, 3 have given birth (1 has died) and the other 3 are still nesting. I'm suspecting they are all experiencing false pregnancy. It's been 40 days.
Each rabbit has been separated for at least 30 days.
 
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