Register

Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
Posts: 24
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 148.00

Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:23 pm


I have noticed my doe digging ferociously under my dresser. The first time she did this she had a stillborn litter the next week. The second time she had the kits who are now 17 days old today a week later. Could she be pregnant again?! The male was neutered on October 13th, she got pregnant that day at the vet's office. I had her separated from him for a week or so after his surgery. If she has kits in a week, they would have been conceived 3 weeks after his neuter and in the third week of her pregnancy. Is that something that can happen? How long before his neuter is effective? Am I going to be buried in baby bunnies?

Posts: 9
Joined: November 29, 2017
Location: South of Boston
Female
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 60.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby KHoward » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:34 pm


I've got some bad news for you, "...Males remain fertile for 2-3 weeks after castration...". So, let us know how it goes!

Posts: 24
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 148.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:42 pm


KHoward wrote:I've got some bad news for you, "...Males remain fertile for 2-3 weeks after castration...". So, let us know how it goes!


So, he would have been neutered for 4 weeks by the time she had the current litter. Could she have conceived again while pregnant during the third week after his neuter?

I'll definitely keep you posted if she has another litter.

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16653
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 774
Thanked: 2451 in 1896 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,108.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:37 pm


Thought on this issue has gone back and forth over the years, but I don't think it is possible for a doe to conceive when she is already pregnant. The confusion arose because does have two horns to the uterus and for a long time it was thought that they could have litters of different ages in each. Another of those persistent bunny myths, to the best of my knowledge.

Your doe is quite possibly experiencing a false pregnancy. If the buck mounted her, her body may trick her into feeling pregnant even though she is not. Digging and nesting around the 17-24th day of the false pregnancy is a common behaviour when this happens.

The following user would like to thank MaggieJ for this post
jenniferlanes

Site Supporter
4 years of membership4 years of membership4 years of membership4 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 689
Joined: February 15, 2014
Location: Austria
Austria
Thanks: 89
Thanked: 212 in 169 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,799.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:57 pm


:yeahthat:

Imho pregnancys are hormone controlled, 2 uterus horns do not change that. So, no chance of getting pregnant a second time.

Uhm, I'm no expert, but isn't it said to keep the buck seperated for at least 6 weeks to be sure that he's not fertile anymore? Would keep Romeo off Julia for some more time...
"Sometimes I stand by the door and look into the darkness, then I am reminded how dearly I cherish my boredom, and what a precious commodity is so much misery"

Posts: 24
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 148.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:04 pm


Preitler wrote::yeahthat:

Imho pregnancys are hormone controlled, 2 uterus horns do not change that. So, no chance of getting pregnant a second time.

Uhm, I'm no expert, but isn't it said to keep the buck seperated for at least 6 weeks to be sure that he's not fertile anymore? Would keep Romeo off Julia for some more time...


I am a rabbit newbie. I wish I had chosen a more knowledgeable vet that had warned me against this. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since his neuter. Do you think it is safe now?

Hopefully the digging is nothing. I separated them when I saw her building a nest, and they were separated after her litter was born for a week. That would make him 5 weeks neutered when they were back together. So, sounds like I could be expecting another litter, but probably not next week unless conceiving while pregnant is possible.

-- Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:04 pm --

MaggieJ wrote:Thought on this issue has gone back and forth over the years, but I don't think it is possible for a doe to conceive when she is already pregnant. The confusion arose because does have two horns to the uterus and for a long time it was thought that they could have litters of different ages in each. Another of those persistent bunny myths, to the best of my knowledge.

Your doe is quite possibly experiencing a false pregnancy. If the buck mounted her, her body may trick her into feeling pregnant even though she is not. Digging and nesting around the 17-24th day of the false pregnancy is a common behaviour when this happens.


Thank you, I hope it is a false pregnancy! I had no idea what I was getting into when I got these rabbits. I've been given wrong information from the petstore and the vet which has resulted in this litter. I was trying to be a responsible bunny owner and instead the poor thing had a stillborn litter at 4 months and now this litter. She is scheduled for a spay after she weans these kits, will that prevent the false pregnancies?

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16653
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 774
Thanked: 2451 in 1896 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,108.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:15 am


Unfortunately, most vets are not experts on rabbits. And pet stores are often more interested in making a sale than they are in the future of the animals they are selling. Pet store staff often simply do not know the answers.

I honestly do not know when, after a neuter, it is safe to house a male and female together. Nor can I say for sure if the pregnancy behaviours will disappear after a doe is spayed. It would seem probable, since they would remove the ovaries as well as the uterus.

If you continue to hang out with us here and read a variety of posts over a period of time, you will gain a better understanding of your rabbits and will enjoy them more. I know you are frustrated right now -- and no wonder! -- but the learning curve will flatten out before too long and you will feel a lot better about them.

I am adding here a link that I think will enhance your enjoyment of your pet rabbits. Since apart from the occasional grunts, squeals, and murmurs, rabbits don't vocalize much, it is useful to know how they do communicate. Much of it is through body language. You can learn their "language" and even use it yourself to influence their behaviour.
http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

The following user would like to thank MaggieJ for this post
jenniferlanes

Posts: 24
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 148.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:57 am


MaggieJ wrote:Unfortunately, most vets are not experts on rabbits. And pet stores are often more interested in making a sale than they are in the future of the animals they are selling. Pet store staff often simply do not know the answers.



I found this out the hard way, but I have learned a lot, so far. I am enjoying them, and am obsessed with the babies... They are adorable! I guess I'm a little mad at myself because I would never purchase a dog from a pet store, but for some reason I thought it was OK to get rabbits there. The vet seemed knowledgeable during the consultation, but the staff put them together in the same cage immediately after his neuter & now I have 5 babies to find homes for.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. They seem like they hate me a little less each day, so that's good!

Site Supporter
3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 2753
Joined: August 11, 2014
Location: Idabel, OK
Thanks: 58
Thanked: 675 in 561 posts
BunnyBucks: 14,942.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:09 am


If he had been neutered 4 weeks be the time she had the last litter, it's very unlikely that she is pregnant. The testicles are no longer present so any sperm would have to have been hanging around in the tubes. The figures I've found says males remain fertile for 2-3 weeks after neutering. Could it happen? Possibly...is it likely to happen? No.

Out of an abundance of caution, you can give her a nesting area but I seriously doubt she'll need it.

The following user would like to thank alforddm for this post
jenniferlanes, MaggieJ

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6960
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 1010 in 897 posts
BunnyBucks: 35,850.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby akane » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:49 pm


Superfetation (yep there is a term for developing embryos from eggs released at different times) may be hormone driven but whether it absolutely can't happen with one uterus is not scientifically proven/disproven. It's definitely not known to consistently or even frequently happen in any mammal so it's hard to study for certain. So far it has only been disproven in rabbits with no double pregnancy holding up to scrutiny. Breeders insist it has been proven to rarely occur in guinea pigs but no one actually has that proof. Scientifically proven superfetation only happens in animals with multiple uteri like sugar gliders or other marsupials so they are growing and have contractions for birth from 2 separate places. It's often for animals with really short breeding seasons despite not having long gestation. Otherwise, when birth happens the alterations to the uterus tend to expel everything or result in the death of anything still remaining. Even if eggs were somehow present to get fertilized after others were growing current science says they could not survive birth of the older embryo(s).

It's far more common for rabbit hormone fluctuations to cause behavior changes and false pregnancies. It's a frequent issue with does and I suggest spaying any I sell as pets because rabbit hormones can cause all sorts of issues for non-breeding does. 2 weeks is about the average I'd see false pregnancy behavior after a failed breeding or giving birth. The hormones seem to take that long to change when any eggs are released due to those events and they display nesting behavior despite no pregnancy. If they are nesting around that 2 weeks after mating I'd go ahead and assume it failed.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
Failing might just mean you are trying to climb instead of swim https://youtu.be/evathYHc1Fg

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
jenniferlanes

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 506
Joined: July 12, 2016
Location: houston. tx
United States of America
Thanks: 4
Thanked: 124 in 110 posts
BunnyBucks: 2,660.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby shazza » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:47 pm


i've read somewhere that rabbits can retain sperm to allow fertilization at a later date, which may have perpetuated the 'two pregnancies' myth. it seems VERY unlikely though. it's always confused me that rabbits are the animal this myth focuses on because MANY animals have two-horned uteruses, dogs and cats included. likely because more people are breeding rabbits than cats and dogs, but i found it interesting. i've also seen rabbits seemingly abort but not absorb fetuses so they'll give birth to say 5 live, normal kits, and 4 dead, undeveloped fetuses at various stages of gestation.

i am also in agreement that you probably won't get kits this far after his neuter. spaying her should help curb false pregnancy and hormones. does can be grouchy and short with you depending on hormones. they call it 'bitchy' for a reason :p you will need to call around to exotics vets specifically and ask if they do rabbit spays. some vets will only do neuters on rabbits, for some reason.
Image
mini lop, standard rex, meat mutts
tumblr: @babbits | facebook: @frithyeer.rabbits | ig: @frithyeerfarm

The following user would like to thank shazza for this post
jenniferlanes

Posts: 24
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 148.00

Re: Can a doe get pregnant while pregnant?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:13 am


shazza wrote:i am also in agreement that you probably won't get kits this far after his neuter. spaying her should help curb false pregnancy and hormones. does can be grouchy and short with you depending on hormones. they call it 'bitchy' for a reason :p you will need to call around to exotics vets specifically and ask if they do rabbit spays. some vets will only do neuters on rabbits, for some reason.


I'm glad to find out this is a myth! The vet that did his neuter has agreed to do her spay at no charge, since the vet tech placed them together resulting in this litter 31 days later. I plan to take her in after the kits are 8 weeks and should be off to new homes (I hope).

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest