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1 week old kits with diarrhea

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1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#1  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:34 pm


I have some 1 week old kits with what I think is diarrhea.

This is the second litter for this doe. The first she had 10 and raised them all with no problems. This time she also had 10 and I've lost 4. Part of this I think was my problem as she got sore hocks. I have 16 gauge floor wire, so not entirely her fault. I had also removed her resting board after the first litter because of mess. She resorted to resting in the nestbox. I thought that caused the loss of the first 3. I've returned her a resting board and she seems to be using it and her hocks are improving. The kits looks good but several of them have what appears to be diarrhea and irritation around the genitals. I have supplemented her a bit with BOSS maybe to much?

I really don't know what to think. Does anyone have advice?

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:59 pm


Mom getting too rich of feed won't typically affect week-old kits at all. Unless she went potty in the box or something.
Hmmm...

It sounds like a bacterial problem to me.
I don't even know if bacteria that sometimes aggravates sore hocks can affect kits? Or maybe...Spread to her teats? :shock: You may want to check for signs of mastitis.

Sterilizing the cage, nestbox, and changing nestbox material might help too.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#3  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:38 pm


Zass wrote:Mom getting too rich of feed won't typically affect week-old kits at all. Unless she went potty in the box or something.
Hmmm...

It sounds like a bacterial problem to me.
I don't even know if bacteria that sometimes aggravates sore hocks can affect kits? Or maybe...Spread to her teats? :shock: You may want to check for signs of mastitis.

Sterilizing the cage, nestbox, and changing nestbox material might help too.


I did check for mastitis right before I posted this. I will change out the nestbox and see if that helps. Thanks for the reply. This particular box does have wood in the bottom so it's possible there is something going on there.

-- Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:38 pm --

Zass wrote:Mom getting too rich of feed won't typically affect week-old kits at all. Unless she went potty in the box or something.
Hmmm...

It sounds like a bacterial problem to me.
I don't even know if bacteria that sometimes aggravates sore hocks can affect kits? Or maybe...Spread to her teats? :shock: You may want to check for signs of mastitis.

Sterilizing the cage, nestbox, and changing nestbox material might help too.


I did check for mastitis right before I posted this. I will change out the nestbox and see if that helps. Thanks for the reply. This particular box does have wood in the bottom so it's possible there is something going on there.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ladysown » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:26 pm


clean out the box..or just get them a new one.

if you have penicillin, drop ONE drop directly on their genitals and sometimes that will clear things up.

They may be getting too much milk.
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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#5  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:59 pm


I changed out the box to a sani-nest and I'm going to check them again in the morning

I don't have any penicillin bit I do have some comfrey salve I can try. Will do that in the morning.

-- Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:56 pm --

This is really odd. I've had another occurrence of this, different nestbox, different unrelated doe, different cage, different feed for that matter. The common denominator seems to be me and my kids. I did let my almost 5 year old hold one of the kits but I honestly don't remember if it was this litter or not. I've been really interested in what colors I would get out of this litter so I have probably handled them a bit more than the other litters but not significantly.

I kept a doe back from the first litter that had this problem and her kits have all been fine. She's had I think 4 litters now. Her dam has had several litters since with no recurrence.

I'm wondering if maybe the kids or myself had bacteria on our hands? If that is the case though why such a time distance in cases? Why this litter and none of the others? I have two more the same age without problems.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:09 pm


I don't blame you for wanting to get to the bottom of this! Horrid to lose kits that way. :cry:

Maybe it is a specific bacteria that you or the kids have on your hands only now and again, depending on what activities may have preceded the handling. Or maybe, in most cases, the kits immune systems are strong enough for it not to result in illness.

I think I'd put in place a hand-washing system and use it before tending any cages with kits. If you don't have running water, one of those 5 gallon camping barrels with a spigot, soap and a roll of paper towels should do the trick -- IF that is the cause of the problem.

I've always tended to think that diarrhea in nursing kits could be caused by cocci -- but it is just a hunch. It might be worthwhile to use ammonia on the nest boxes between litters.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#7  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:04 pm


I already use 409 to sanitize between litters. It's got a high PH and can be used as a disinfectant as well so I think it should be as effective as ammonia. I always wash rinse them well after use.

I agree with the hand washing. I was already thinking of implementing that.

It just blows my mind that I've had 26 litters since the first time and this is the first recurrence.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:31 pm


I don't know much about 409, just the name, but it sounds like you know what you're doing. :)

A lot of people use bleach, but I've heard that ammonia is more effective than bleach against coccidiosis, which is why I mentioned it.

Do you suppose it could be simply coincidence, the same thing happening again after 26 litters?
Last edited by MaggieJ on Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Clarity

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#9  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:40 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Do you suppose it could be simply coincidence, the same thing happening again after 26 litters?


I suppose it could be but I've never heard of anyone else having this problem. When I try to google it this thread is the one that comes up. :?

I'm assuming it's a rather rare occurrence?

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#10  Unread postby AmberRae » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:56 pm


I just had a littler of kits that got diarrhea at a few days old. They got very dehydrated and I had to bottle feed them. The diarrhea cleared up after a few days. I still have no idea what gave it to them. It was definitely frustrating! I have an idea that it might have been the heat. Is it hot where you are at?

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#11  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:58 pm


It's been warm but I my first litter that got this was born in February.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#12  Unread postby AmberRae » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:08 pm


It is definitely frustrating because until we figure out the exact cause it most likely will happen again. Do your kits look dehydrated?

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#13  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:19 pm


Not really, but one was dead this morning and I culled another that was almost gone. I cleaned them all up and sanitized the nestbox but at least 3 more are affected. I'm just kinda holding my breath at this point. I had a Beige (chocolate chin rex) in this litter =(.

I did check the doe for mastitis as well, but didn't feel anything unusual.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#14  Unread postby AmberRae » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:27 pm


That is disappointing. I hope whatever it is the rest pull through. I ended up loosing 3 but I think it was to dehydration.

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Re: 1 week old kits with diarrhea

Post Number:#15  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:02 am


After doing a bit of research, I think this maybe an E. Coli infection. It could explain why it has happened only twice and is probably related to my boy holding a baby after he's played around in the dirt or maybe even myself after I weeded in the garden or gathered forage. It's probably not enough to affect an older kit or us but it could affect a baby. I've already put some soap out at the rabbits, although with 26 litters between this one and the first, I doubt I'll ever really know if it makes a difference. At least I know it won't hurt.

This is all just conjecture on my part but It does make sense to me and fits the symptoms and why the doe whose litter was affected first, went on to have several successful litters with both myself and a friend.

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