OMG Ginger has died!!

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Bunny Mum

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Our doe (dwarflop)who gave birth yesterday to 6 healthy kits has died over night. We are devastated.How did this happen she seemed well yesterday no bleeding was eating,drinking? How do we keep the kits alive?? I am so sad.........
 

Rattiemattiesrattery

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OMG I am so sorry to hear this!
:tears2:

Well I am not an expert or anything but I would make sure the babies stay in the nest so they stay warm, and get some KMR *kitten Replacer Milk* and try to make sure the babies stay well fed and warm and clean, and to make sure and wipe their lil tushies to stimulate peeing and pooping.

In the mean time, you may want to see if there is another mum somewhere that can take the babies in, to rear as bun raising is rather difficult sometimes.

Good luck!
 

Bunny Mum

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Thank you all advice is very welcome. I wonder what the success rate is for hand rearing? How many times a day do i feed them. Oh boy this is daunting but even if I can save one !:tears2:
 

Pipp

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I'll wait for Randy to tell you the best formula to use -- that's the tricky part -- but they only should get it I think twice a day at most.

sas :clover:

PS: I don't think the kitten formula is the best one, so hold off on that and hang tough for a few minutes.
 

Rattiemattiesrattery

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I tend to over feed my hand reared animals :embarrassed:

But I would say check on them every two hours at least, and make sure they are warm *maybe place a heating pad over/under half the nest to ensure warmth,* and clean them, try to feed them just a lil bit then too.

Me personally I offer food to new babies every hour until they are older when I start to move to every hour and a half, then every 2 and so on.

I know alot of people that have a high success rate:D, others not so well. :(

Yeah I have heard people saying Kitten replacer milk until another formula can be used, as the puppy is bad.

I usually make my own formula, of Goats milk, Egg yolks *or is it whites...*, Corn syrup, Yogurt and something else I can't remember off the top of my head.
 

Pipp

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Here's an older post from Randy...

ra7751 wrote:
WARNING: ESBILLAC PUPPY POWDER SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT THIS TIME. The latest batches of powder can be deadly.

Pet-Ag has made a change in the way they produce their formula which has resulted in some major problems both with the nutrition level and with the high levels of copper (a heavy metal). It causes "blow out diarrhea" and death. We have lost more wildlife this year due to formula problems than we ever have. KMR or Goat's Milk does not contain proper nutrition. The formula we use for cottontails is Fox Valley 32/40 http://www.foxvalleynutrition.com It can be mixed with Fox Valley's Ultra Boost Powder to make a suitably nutritional formula. We also use Bene Bac (a probiotic) as well as BioSponge....this helps manage any bacterial toxins during the GI conversions at wean.

"Pinkies" should be fed 8-10% of their body weight 4X per day. We start reducing the feeding times about 5 days old (maybe a little longer for domestics) and eventually go to 2X per day. Formula should be warm to the touch (100F). They should be fed on their back. Rabbits are difficult to hand feed and we usually "tube" the true pinkies to prevent aspiration. Your major problem is establishing the bacterial population and managing the pH conversion just prior to weaning. If you have any wildlife rehabbers in the area that work cottontails, they might be a good source of information and help to you (we routinely assist with domestic babies). The only real difference in hand raising a cottontail vs. a domestic is that the cottontails weans faster and more violently. And some breeders will allow you to place your babies with a lactating doe....and that makes things much easier. And make sure you stimulate them for the potty stuff.

They also can't thermo-regulate until after their eyes open so they should get supplemental heat.

Good luck.

Randy
 

aurora369

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At first while you are sorting out the best formula to feed, you can feed plain unflavoured pedialyte to keep them hydrated. Keeping them hydrated is most important right now. Babies must be well hydrated before they can digest food.

Tinysmom has a formula recipe that she is using to supplement her flemish giant litters due to the death of one mother. I can't find it so hopefully she'll see this thread and post it for you.

-Dawn
 

TinysMom

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I have been successfully been "supplementing" my babies with this formula recommended by Dana Krempels - but I don't know if you can get it over there.

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 105[sup]o[/sup] 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.


I went to the feed store and bought powdered goat milk - along with the powdered kitten milk and the powdered colostrum.

I've been using a 1 cc syringe a lot - Cyrano has graduated to a 3 cc syringe and may move onto the bottle tonight or tomorrow.

I had to do this because I had two litters - with a total of 17 babies - but one mama's milk did not come in.

We're down to 12 babies now - but I'm still supplementing the smaller ones.

MAKE SURE TO VISIT THIS link.
 

Erins Rabbits

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Hands down, the best thing to do is try to find a breeder in your area with about the same age kits and get them to foster. You won't have much success hand raising kits, the fatality rate for orphaned newborn rabbits is VERY high.
 

Bunny Mum

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Imade contact with a breeder but no luck have spoken to a vet who advised us on hand rearing them. Have some formula now to start hand feeding wish me luck. Please dont hesitate to add any advice that may help us.
 

Pipp

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See if anybody on these lists is close enough to you and has any does who have just kindled...


http://www.petlink.com.au/Classifieds/Small-Animals/Rabbit/

http://onlypets.net/pet-classifieds/rabbits-11.html

http://www.adpost.com/au/?db=au_pets&search_and_display_db_button=on&results_format=headlines&query=browse&&state=Victoria

http://www.mypets.net.au/clf_prod_list/classifieds/853/rabbits-for-sale.cfm

http://www.hotfrog.com.au/Products/rabbits/VIC

http://www.ockalist.com.au/129/posts/10_Pets-Animals/154_Rabbits-for-Sale-Accessories/

-------

I'm sure there are breeder directories around somewhere, and rescues and pet stores may have information.

Please let us know if you need help putting out ads or transporting or whatever.



sas :clover:
 

Pipp

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What formula did the Vet recommend? Is the Vet experienced with orphaned rabbits? Breeders and wildlife rehabbers are often a better bet seeing as Vets are not taught that in Vet school and they often don't have much experience. I personally trust TinyMom and Randy, they are getting good results.

But we've had people on this board do everything 'wrong' and the kits make it while others do everything 'right' and they don't; it just seems to be the luck of the draw.

I hope they make it. You've been such a great caregiver and just had such bad luck in the past, Its really not fair. You deserve some good luck for a change.

:clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover::clover:
 

Bunny Mum

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Di-Vetelact is what breeder and vet recommended. Vets own bunny is due to give birth soon so she will ring me when that happens to see if her doe can play surrogate Mum.
Yes im feeling a little disillusioned over our bad luck with bunnies. Im not sure if anyone remembers most of my precious bunnies all getting myximatosis(unable to vaccinate for it here)
I think Ginger may have had a heart attack?? Seemed perfectly fine then had what looked like a seizure??? Anyway we will do our best on this side of the world even if 1 out of 6 survives.
 

Pipp

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Ah, I think that's an Australian formula, I'm sure it will get them through until the vet's bunny gives birth or you find another doe.

So glad to hear your vet has a bunny! Finding rabbit-savvy vets is such a challenge, especially in Australia, where rabbits seem to be a challenge, period. I remember your Myxi losses, you had taken precautions and still lost them. :(


You seem to have it well in hand, but here's an excerpt from a website that talks about raising orphans that mentions Di-vetalact: (You may want to ask your vet about supplementing the formula with something like Nutri-Cal if you have it there, which will provide extra fat and vitamins).

http://www.practical-pet-care.com/archive.php?2004101819445164

Hand Raising

If this is not an option either; if for example your doe has died, she is infected with pasturella, or her milk has dried up, you may need to raise the kits yourself. If possible, liase with breeders or rehabillitators in your area for advice on how to care for your newborn(s). They may be able to advise you where best to obtain products required, and explain their own proven methods in hand raising rabbits.

Firstly, you will need to provide your rabbit with a nest box; a wooden, metal, plastic or cardboard box will do, and provide a hot-water bottle or heat pad at one end, covered by a cotton towel. Make sure there is enough room in the box for the rabbit to move away from the heat source, in case he or she gets too hot. Full rabbit litters require less heat because their bodies, and fur plucked from the doe, generate enough warmth. Other bedding to include could be a thin layer of dust-free shavings, hay and/or straw. Make sure you change the bedding in the box every few days, and remove it after a maximum of 3 weeks; an infection is the last thing you want at this point. Keep the box in a warm, quiet room with little noise or disturbances.

Make sure the formula you are using is recommended, or has at least been successful in hand rearing rabbits. Rabbit milk replacer is by far the best substitute for a doe's milk, but kitten formula is OK if the rabbit stuff is unavailable. Other, low lactose, small animal milk formulas are Ok - I use divetelact. If the formula is deficient in vitamins, particularly vitamin E, you may need to include vitamin supplements with the formula (hand raised bunnies often develop diseases such as floppy bunny syndrome; a lack of vitamin E causing paralysis and loss of muscle control). You could also add Pedialyte (an electrolyte replacer designed for human infants) and a probiotic such as Protexin or Benebac, in with the formula. You should ask your rabbit vet about this first. If the rabbit has gas or diarrhea, mix in a little simethicone (Infacol - 100mg simethicone/kg of rabbit) with the formula too (this will help relieve the pain of gas). I have heard of human baby formula being used for orphaned rabbits but I am sceptical of its healthiness, as rabbits need very little lactose. You should warm the formula before feeding it to your rabbit by placing a bottle of formula into a saucepan of hot water - this way the vitamins will not be destroyed by excessive heat.

Special teats will have to be obtained from either vets or rehabillitators to be placed over the end of bottles. Kits' mouths are too small to suckle on most teats, so the correct size must be bought. Or, if these teats can't be obtained, a syringe can be used to squirt milk around the mouth, which is then lapped up by the kit (but this is NOT the method of choice. Often, milk will end up all over the kits' mouth and nose, and may enter the lungs causing pneumonia. A pipette, or ear syringe from pharmacists may be more effective). Kits should never be force fed milk or they can drown, choke, or their lungs can collapse.

Newborn kits should be fed upright, as the doe would stand over them in the nest, and they would need to reach up for a meal. Older kits should be fed more on their backs, (at a slight vertical incline) as this is the natural position they would be in out of the nest, clambering to suckle beneath the doe.

Feedings should take place at most 3-5 times a day; anymore than this is not recommended. Overfeeding is actually a significant cause of hand-rearing deaths. Kits will only feed for a few minutes, and will turn away when full. After feeding, to simulate the actions of a doe, use a damp cotton bud to wipe the kits' genital region, to stimulate defecation and urination.

Weigh the rabbit every day to monitor your rabbit's progress. If your rabbit's weight goes down, see a rabbit competent vet immediately. After your rabbit appears to have stabilised, cut back on the formula feedings to once daily. Your rabbit will need the formula until about 6 weeks of age, or possibly earlier if diarrhea develops and a vet advises you to cease with the formula. Between 3-5 weeks be sure to provide hay, water and pellets to nibble on. At about 6 weeks he or she should be fully weaned and you will have passed the most dangerous stage. Be sure not to stress your young rabbit as he or she will no doubt be suceptible to stress, nutrutional, and weaning related illnesses such as floppy bunny syndrome and mucoid enteropathy until about 4 months of age; that means no unnecessary car trips, loud music, over-handling etc.
 

Blaze_Amita

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Not to rush the other doe or anything, but I hope the vet's doe kindles soon and the mommy will surrogate the babies. it will make things a lot easier on you. I tried hand rearing Nethies and Holland lops before and despite doing everything the vet told me, we lost both litters(two different times, before I joined here)
Sorry aobut Ginger *Hugz* I'll be watching to see what happens with the little ones .. .
 

Jenson

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I'm so sorry about Ginger, that is just about the worst thing that could happen! I'm keeping everything crossed that these babies will make it. Hope the surrogate doe works out, if not best of luck with hand rearing.
 

EileenH

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Can you try to find a wildlife rehabber near you? They won't take these babies as they are domestics, but if they've raised orphaned cottontails they canteach you learn how to feed these; it's our slow season somost rehabbers have time at the moment.
 

DeniseJP

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Sorry to hear about Ginger - best wishes with your orphaned kits.

I know here my does nurse in the AM and PM... the kits had big round bellies full of milk despite nursing twice a day.

Hope you can find a doe to foster the kits... I worked with a wildlife rehabilitator at the veterinary clinic and the wild baby bunnies were the hardest to get to nurse - I had better luck with the squirrels, raccoons and opposums.

There is an article on the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club website on orphans and spinach babies... I have posted it below in case it might help.

Orphans & Spinach Babies

by Terry Pierce

ORPHANED BUNNIES: Do not over handle babies or try to feed too much too frequently. Try giving a small amount about every 4 hours cutting back to twice a day (morning & night) when they are eating well. You can successfully raise a two week old and will feed It until about 5 weeks when it will start to refuse feedings - at this time you will have water, pellets, & oatmeal for the baby to eat, also possibly a little grass hay or clean straw.

You will need to gently swab the anal area with a warm water soaked cotton ball to stimulate urination and defecation for the first week or two if the baby is very young.

It takes a lot of time and patience. The greatest dangers are aspiration (forcing liquids too fast and causing the bunny to choke or get into its lungs), pneumonia, hypothermia, and diarrhea.

You can use a small bottle from the vet or feed supply house or a baby nursing kit (Linda & David Pett of CA also carry these) which also has instructions and works real well.

Keep the baby in a box with shavings and warm soft material (or even some of the nesting material). Keep it out of drafts. You may want to put a light over the box for extra warmth the first few days. Keep the box size relevant to size and age. Obviously an older bunny needs more room. When my baby out grew its box I put it in a larger box with shavings and cut the front down on its little box and set it in for a bed. Then it graduated to a carrying cage with the dividers removed, feed dishes, and a small "blanket" to lay on. "Sweet Pea" now runs around the house with our Cocker Spaniel, Buffy, and is 8 weeks old. Tender loving care can save that little one, and you will have a fun little friendly bunny.

SPINACH BABIES: Suddenly you have an orphaned bunny to raise; or you have a 3 week old that sits in the back and seems to be wasting away; or you realize a doe's milk is not good while she is still feeding a young litter; or maybe you have a large litter and one or two babies just aren't getting enough to eat. When you can't foster to another doe, what do you do? Baby food spinach to the rescue. Several of us have successfully raised young babies two weeks of age and older by patiently feeding baby food spinach with a syringe (without the needle). Put a drop on the baby's mouth and let it lick it off; another drop and so on. It takes time and patience to feed at first. The baby has to learn to like the spinach and get used to eating it.

You will need to feed several tiny amounts a day the first day or two, then as it eats more at one time you can cut back the frequency until you feed just two times - morning and night. As the sole source of food or drink a lot of us have successfully raised several babies that would have otherwise died into healthy youngsters, with no diarrhea problems. The additional bonus is how sweet the little bunny becomes.

It is messy so have a soft tissue handy to wipe your little green piggy with. It is sure funny to watch the baby beg for its goodies as it gets used to the spinach, and how fast and how much they can eat at a time. If you can get the baby to eat the spinach you can usually save it. So keep a jar of baby food spinach on hand. You never know when you may need it!

ORPHAN MILK FORMULAS

FORMULA 1. Sharon Sprague via Dr. Stephen Kinney:

1 cup milk
3 Egg Yolks
1.25 TBSP Light Corn syrup
1 Drop oral multiple baby vitamin
Pinch of Salt
Place in Blender and Blend. Warm 95 to 100 degrees.


FORMULA 2: Vet Book "Orphan Rabbits, Hares, and Pikas" pg 175

1 Egg Yolk
240 mi Canned Evaporated Milk
240 mi Water
5 mi Honey
5 mi Pediatric Vitamins


FORMULA 3: Vet Book "Orphan Rabbits, Hares, and Pikas" pg 175

120 mi Can Evaporated Milk
120 mi Water
15 mi Karo Syrup (Light)
1 Egg (optional)


This one I used on a 2 week old successfully:

13 oz. can Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula
5 oz. can Evaporated milk
5 oz. Water
1 TBSP Honey
2 Eggs Beaten


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HLRSC Official Guidebook - 5th Edition 2002

Hope that this might be of some help...

Denise
 
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