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This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby GBov » Sun May 17, 2020 2:24 pm


Lost the first litter to a doe killing them at 4 weeks of age. One bite, through the heads and she then piled them up.

Culled her and no signs of anything really wrong, just some hive-like thickened spots on the flesh side of the hide, colored red/purple. Her fur looked rain spotted, fur just slightly shorter where the spots were. Her dewlap skin was also reddish-purple and thicker.

Everything else was fine, liver good, heart, lungs, gutty bits, all looked just fine. So the inflammation on the skin would have irritated but not, I think, have driven her to murder.

Next up was a doe (Alice) who had 7 kits, was a fantastic first-time mother and she lost 5 to rats before I figured out what was going on.

Her mother (Goldie) then had 6 kits, 3 died due to stupidity on her part, she was a lousy mother and, as Alice was overfeeding her remaining kits, I fostered the three remaining and they were doing fine as long as I brought them in at night.

Then the rats did a daylight raid - the day before rat proof cage wire arrived in the post - and we were down to four kits.

Then her sister (Mable) had her kits (7, my favorite number) was a fantastic mum for two days and bled out. All kits, despite attempts to get the one good doe to feed them, died.

Then Alice was dead in her hutch yesterday, no mark, no blood.

Two of her eyes-just-opened kits had eyes gummed shut so I gently cleared them.

This morning one kit dead, the other has eyes stuck back shut. :cry:

Goldie dead in her hutch. :cry:

Had a good look inside and nothing wrong. Everything looked fine and she was pregnant, about a week away from kindling.

So, now down to three kits, one that I firmly expect to be dead by morning and two bucks.

The last time I had any rabbits drop dead with no symptoms was in the Georgia farmland, surrounded by cotton, soybean, and peanut fields and all the chemical contamination blowing off the fields.

Am gutted, baffled and very upset.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#2  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun May 17, 2020 4:47 pm


I am so sorry for you, this is awful. My guess is that the rats brought in some form of parasite or desease or just stressed them to death.
For the eyes, you need drops for pink eyes, clean the eyes and give a couple drops every few hours. It's not life threatening, just needs to be cleaned out to avoid damage to the eyes.
For now if you can I'd try to think about bringing your remaining rabbits inside to watch over them and then clear the rat problem. Maybe try this one out:

After that make sure to desinfect everything and triple securise your setups before sending the buns back out. If all go well then, you can start considering buying a couple new does.
Again so sorry for your loss. I lost my favorite buck and a few babies to some mean raccoons last year so I know how terrible it can be.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#3  Unread postby GBov » Mon May 18, 2020 6:42 pm


I think it is agricultural drift off the surrounding fields that has done it but I can't prove it which is how "they" get away with it.

As the murder doe was culled instead of dropping dead I fried up her liver, heart, and kidneys today to have on toast and while they looked perfect they tasted well wrong. Watery and very little flavor. After a taste, I gave it all to the chickens and the ready to cook meat went to them as well.

My eyes are gummed shut every morning, mum has had scary bad breathless attacks, I hurt and have pins and needles in my arms and and and the list goes on. :evil:

Went back through mum's journals to track symptoms and this spring it is like something totally new is being used, new and very frighteningly strong.

Their deaths could be something totally unrelated to how we feel this spring but I don't think so, esp. as the only other time I have had perfectly healthy-looking rabbits keel over for no visible reason was when surrounded by big ag.

Learned today that "drift" can actually travel, with the right conditions, over 50 miles. Up to 90% of every chemical used on a farm promptly moves right off of it, either as runoff, drift, or blown away, that up to 600 THOUSAND birds a year die on farms due to chemical contamination, thousands of different chemicals are used in their tons every year, and yeh, it is so depressing. :cry:

I really thought that the tougher regulations over here would make a difference but poison is, and always will be, poison.

My eyes hurt.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#4  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Mon May 18, 2020 7:24 pm


That absolutly terrible, I hope you will be ok and wont have to go to the ER because of this. Although if you did and they proved it was related to this issue you could probably sue whoever is responsible if you wanted. Definetly bring your bunnies inside for now.... Also hoping your chickens will be ok. I wouldnt even have fed it to em if I felt something was wrong. Stay healthy!

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#5  Unread postby hotzcatz » Tue May 19, 2020 2:33 pm


Can you cover your house screens with something like a thin silk or other fabric to screen out the particles? Run an A/C just on fan to filter the air? We had volcanic smog several years ago from the Kilauea volcano and we were wearing N95 masks so we wouldn't get headaches from the vog (volcanic smog). The volcano had a massive lava flow and took out about 800 houses and then it stopped and no more vog since then. But, that's not gonna happen with the chemicals on the ag. Not to be political, but a lot of the EPA protections that had been in place were removed within the last few years, hopefully they will be put back in place pretty soon.

If you're in a rental, I don't suppose moving would be viable? I don't think big ag is gonna change their operations any time soon, so if you can't move, then mitigate the effects by some sort of air cleaning.

That's probably what took out your rabbits as well, especially as they have some of the same symptoms (gummy eyes) as you do.
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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#6  Unread postby GBov » Tue May 19, 2020 4:43 pm


hotzcatz wrote:Can you cover your house screens with something like a thin silk or other fabric to screen out the particles? Run an A/C just on fan to filter the air? We had volcanic smog several years ago from the Kilauea volcano and we were wearing N95 masks so we wouldn't get headaches from the vog (volcanic smog). The volcano had a massive lava flow and took out about 800 houses and then it stopped and no more vog since then. But, that's not gonna happen with the chemicals on the ag. Not to be political, but a lot of the EPA protections that had been in place were removed within the last few years, hopefully they will be put back in place pretty soon.

If you're in a rental, I don't suppose moving would be viable? I don't think big ag is gonna change their operations any time soon, so if you can't move, then mitigate the effects by some sort of air cleaning.

That's probably what took out your rabbits as well, especially as they have some of the same symptoms (gummy eyes) as you do.


:lol: Great minds! :D

We looked at the map and found a few places with no arable farming at all and are now waiting to hear back about a rental on the Isle of Coll. Fingers crossed we get it!

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#7  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Tue May 19, 2020 4:50 pm


GBov wrote:
hotzcatz wrote:Can you cover your house screens with something like a thin silk or other fabric to screen out the particles? Run an A/C just on fan to filter the air? We had volcanic smog several years ago from the Kilauea volcano and we were wearing N95 masks so we wouldn't get headaches from the vog (volcanic smog). The volcano had a massive lava flow and took out about 800 houses and then it stopped and no more vog since then. But, that's not gonna happen with the chemicals on the ag. Not to be political, but a lot of the EPA protections that had been in place were removed within the last few years, hopefully they will be put back in place pretty soon.

If you're in a rental, I don't suppose moving would be viable? I don't think big ag is gonna change their operations any time soon, so if you can't move, then mitigate the effects by some sort of air cleaning.

That's probably what took out your rabbits as well, especially as they have some of the same symptoms (gummy eyes) as you do.


:lol: Great minds! :D

We looked at the map and found a few places with no arable farming at all and are now waiting to hear back about a rental on the Isle of Coll. Fingers crossed we get it!


I wish you good luck!

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#8  Unread postby GBov » Tue May 19, 2020 6:50 pm


Mum has been fighting this fight since the 60s, I have been fighting it most of my life, nothing we do has made any difference so now it is time, in the words of Monty Python, to "Run AWAY!"

Finding anywhere to run to is not the easiest thing and during a pandemic, it is even harder.

If and when I find the one who cursed me at birth to "live in interesting times" I am gonna use a big stick on them. :lol:

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#9  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed May 20, 2020 8:01 am


As a long time "farmer", I have found that rabbits are "the canary in the coal mine" ,
they are the first to show me a "big problem" is on the way.
They show "mold" included in the feed issues, way before the other animals
They show damage from poor ventilation, [ammonia buildup]long before any other "farm animals"
When the hayfields down the road were sprayed for alfalfa weevil, the rabbits dropped dead.
The rest of the animals began to show some issues after a few more days, to 2 weeks.
I noticed the other animals issues, mostly because I was looking for abnormalities,
because of the dead rabbits.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#10  Unread postby GBov » Wed May 20, 2020 1:25 pm


M4G, why does nothing done against the use of these chemicals do any good?

Got word on the house today.

The word is "No!"

The island dr. told the owner not to rent to us in case we had the virus.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#11  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed May 20, 2020 2:57 pm


GBov wrote:M4G, why does nothing done against the use of these chemicals do any good?

Got word on the house today.

The word is "No!"

The island dr. told the owner not to rent to us in case we had the virus.


wow sorry ,this virus hype is way out of control.. that is just wrong..

Pesticides,
there is no oversight, anywhere..
Until random sampling, is a part of farm product marketing,
people will continue to spray at 5 to 20 times the recommended concentrations.
Until enforcement of wind-drift rules are actually enforced, there is almost no recourse,
as it is difficult and expensive to prove, it was pesticide that killed your animals.
Big businesses [like Monsanto] ,encourage the use of their products outside of "labeling" , in unsafe ways, for instance spraying food crops [like potatoes, wheat, soybeans, etc....] with roundup, for a top kill before harvest.
The fact that this crap make us all sick, is their last concern.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#12  Unread postby a7736100 » Wed May 20, 2020 7:47 pm


In my experience the best solution to rats is a barn cat. It can wipe out a whole litter of young rats in a day.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#13  Unread postby hotzcatz » Thu May 21, 2020 1:32 am


GBov wrote:M4G, why does nothing done against the use of these chemicals do any good?

Got word on the house today.

The word is "No!"

The island dr. told the owner not to rent to us in case we had the virus.


Can you offer to get tested before moving over and doing a two week self quarantine?
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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#14  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Thu May 21, 2020 3:46 am


GBov wrote:M4G, why does nothing done against the use of these chemicals do any good?

Got word on the house today.

The word is "No!"

The island dr. told the owner not to rent to us in case we had the virus.


Who are they going to rent it to that doesnt fall into that category? Try and discuss if there's any mesures you could take that would let them give you a chance.

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Re: This one has me baffled and almost out of rabbits

Post Number:#15  Unread postby GBov » Thu May 21, 2020 5:38 am


Thank you all, I love RTers, always thinking outside the box, which, in today's world, is wonderful.

The dr. frightened them by reminding them that they were in the "vulnerable" category (as are we) so they have said that, until Scotland lifts restrictions, they just won't rent it out.

We had planned it all out carefully, up to and including extra supplies to go into strict quarantine for two full weeks once there. And, as we have been isolating for 5 weeks longer than the actual lockdown, we are as safe as it is possible to be, virus wise.

I did tell the estate agent all of this but no good, all is on hold for no one knows how long.

Keeping positive gets harder all the time.

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