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Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Merrrrrr » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:56 am


I have meat rabbits. We have had them for about a year and a half now with no problems. We harvested some rabbits recently and we always look closely at the organs for safety reasons. This time we found some of the rabbits who were about 12-14 weeks old had what looked like air bubbles in the kidneys. They eat free feed 2/3 pellets, 1/3 black oil sunflower seeds, and all the alfalfa hay they can eat. (We live in the south so we cannot get timothy hay) We also have some greens like parsley, kale, arugula, butter lettuce, Brussel sprout leaves, broccoli leaves and occasionally spinach, apples and carrots although over the past month our garden has been ravaged by back to back frosts and there isn't much growing right now. We have no less than two and in some cases three bottles per cage of water that I clean and refill daily or every other day...I do not have a water system) and I add a dash of apple cider vinegar to each bottle. None of the rabbits have any symptoms of illness. They are all acting normally. No head tilt, no bloody diarrhea, all seemed as perky as always. There was some spots of sticky poop on the cage floor that did not fall through but not much. I clean out any soiled hay and mess every day. I researched as much as I could online but there isn't much I can find out there about kidneys that look like they have air bubbles in them. There were no white spots on any of the organs. There aren't many vets that handle rabbits nearest me (I found one over an hour and they quoted ridiculous prices...I think so that we won't go there...they were borderline rude once I told them they were meat rabbits. I think there is some "disapproval" of raising rabbits for meat. I tried posting on another site that offered free veterinary help online and of course when I posted that it was meat rabbits they recommended to go to a vet. Easier said than done. Has anyone here had this show up in their meat rabbits and do you know what it is and how to treat it? I am desperate for help.
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Sagebrush » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:30 am


Would you be able to send me a clearer picture? I can ask at my job, what might cause such an issue. I can also ask some of my instructors what they might know about such things going on in meat rabbits.

Edited to add: Have you opened any of the kidneys themselves? If so, do you have pictures of them you would be willing to share?

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Merrrrrr » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:00 am


These are all the pics I had. I threw them away but there are still two more rabbits in the litter that were not up to weight. The bumps are slightly raised. I included the pic with the livers too. It might help with scale. I would really appreciate the help! There is a little white stuff on one of the kindneys in the pics but that is just some fat from around the kidney. Also for added info...not all the rabbits in the litter had these but most of the ones from this litter did have them. Also we thought it might be coming from the mother and we culled her. Her organs were completely clear. We are at a loss for what is causing this issue. As for these pics unfortunately I only had my phone for pics and it is a samsung and it is terrible for taking pics. Thank you so much for your help. :)
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#4  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:51 am


not exactly the same- but close- I had some issues when i had some bad feed, it was about this time of year too, --the mill used some milo in the feed that was mouldy from being in the silo too long, -and, i found out the mill was also using recycled restaurant cooking oil that was old and rancid... when i switched feed companies the problem went away-- [I don't know if any of this applies to your situation]... the only other thing i noticed when this happened was-quite a few rabbits took an extra week to reach shipping weight. -- [and the fat inside the rabbits was extra soft, a little discolored, and had a slight "off odor" when cooked ] so -check your hay, and feed closely for any signs of off smell, or off color-- and manufacture dates on your feed....
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Merrrrrr » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:24 pm


I will throw out what we have now and try something new. I am using Country Rabbit made by Purina....because that is all I can get at our local feed store. I found a new brand I'm trying out anyway. I sure hope you are right. This has been a bit scary to tell the truth. We did bleach half the rabbitry this weekend and will do the other half next weekend. What a mess. We are so careful with them. I figured it had to be rabbits peeing or pooping on thier hay or bad feed. I'd like to know for sure. We will try this. Hopefully we will never see it again.

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:44 pm


Merrrrrr wrote:I will throw out what we have now and try something new. I am using Country Rabbit made by Purina....because that is all I can get at our local feed store. I found a new brand I'm trying out anyway. I sure hope you are right. This has been a bit scary to tell the truth. We did bleach half the rabbitry this weekend and will do the other half next weekend. What a mess. We are so careful with them. I figured it had to be rabbits peeing or pooping on thier hay or bad feed. I'd like to know for sure. We will try this. Hopefully we will never see it again.

did you check the manufacture date on your feed? it might not be a "bad brand " of feed but just old rancid feed. and check your hay real good- this time of year hay has been in storage a while... [i'm not a fan of purina]
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Merrrrrr » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:05 pm


I did check the manufacture date on the feed. Are you ready for this..??? It is Dec 8th 2004!!!!!! I buy it once a week from our feed store. I had a half a bag plus the new bag we bought just a few days ago. I am not a fan of Purina either but I can't get anything else here. Unbelievable!!! I had to drive 3 hours away to buy a different brand of rabbit feed for meat rabbits. I'm so disgusted. I bet that is the same pallet of rabbit feed the store bought when it opened. :evil: I never even thought to look at the date. we have been giving them fresh stuff from our garden which is why I guess we did not start having trouble until the frosts began killing our garden a month ago.

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MeadowView » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:44 am


As I was reading... I was wondering about 'country rabbit.' I was thinking 'well, you know, it's been a long time since I fed purina, maybe they've got new stuff out.' Nope, they don't even seem to make it anymore. That's crazy, I can barely believe that... Where are you located? Are there no other feed stores near you?

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:33 am


I used horse pellet feed for awhile when I couldn't get rabbit. It works if you feed hay with it because horse feeds are rarely formulated to be fed without constant or nearly so hay, pasture grass, or beet pulp. Some of the senior feeds might be. They are also higher in fat so you need the hay to offset it or caged rabbits will get chubby. It works great to put fat back on the colony rabbits that were always healthy and muscular but too slim looking for shows. Other than the reduced dried grass/hay/beet pulp fiber ingredient that lowers the fiber and raises the fat compared to rabbit pellets it is pretty identical and other than fat cage rabbits worked just fine. The stupid small town feed store kept giving all the bags they got in to a big breeder that supplied the pet stores even when I reserved 2-4 bags. I'd go to get my bags and she'd have been there first thing in the morning to take everything they'd order even when she didn't order it. When we moved closer to a big town with multiple large chain feed stores I was able to get manna pro and our local stuff is always clean without corn. Unfortunately they are inconsistent about the 18% grow instead of 16% formulas but good enough.
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#10  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:43 am


Merrrrrr wrote:I did check the manufacture date on the feed. Are you ready for this..??? It is Dec 8th 2004!!!!!! I buy it once a week from our feed store. I had a half a bag plus the new bag we bought just a few days ago. I am not a fan of Purina either but I can't get anything else here. Unbelievable!!! I had to drive 3 hours away to buy a different brand of rabbit feed for meat rabbits. I'm so disgusted. I bet that is the same pallet of rabbit feed the store bought when it opened. :evil: I never even thought to look at the date. we have been giving them fresh stuff from our garden which is why I guess we did not start having trouble until the frosts began killing our garden a month ago.


Some feed stores don't know how to check manufacture dates [most regular employees don't know that they exist]...
"Warehouse / distribution places routinely send the old/ bad feed to the small outlying community stores, betting [ correctly] that they won't know the difference.
But,- through these bad experiences we learn to check our feed. and feed dates ourselves, and not trust "others" with the care of our animals. Most of the time the "others" are looking at profit and loss, way before they are looking out for our animals... Almost no one [including most Vets] knows how sensitive rabbits are to mold toxins... In my opinion, -it would help your local store , and maybe prevent animal deaths, if you explained this to them .
I will guess -- that you have discovered the source of the kidney damage you found in your rabbits...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Merrrrrr » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:42 pm


I had no idea MeadowView. I live in Louisiana about thirty miles from New Orleans. I don't know anyone else that has rabbits. It isn't a big thing here. There are two feed stores within fifteen minutes of our house and all they carry are Purina products. There is another feed store that is a little better about 45 minutes away but its the same thing. Purina seems to have cornered the market here where I live. I've been doing some research and found a store in Mississippi that is only an hour away so that is great news. I can't believe they sold stuff this old. They have to know its been there a long time. :(

-- Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:42 pm --

I will let them know MichaelsForGardens. I do not hold out much hope that they will do anything for me. I once pointed out that their seeds were out of date and they got really prickly about it as though I had insulted them. I had bought the seeds and none of them germinated. I checked the date and they were over a year old. Those seeds are still on the shelf for sale and they are now going on the second year out of date.

I don't think they are going to care about my loss. It is a small store. There is no way they don't realize how old that feed is...I'm sure they were thinking..."great someone is finally buying that stuff". They ought to care because I spend a ton of money in their store.

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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#12  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:14 am


I will let them know MichaelsForGardens. I do not hold out much hope that they will do anything for me. I once pointed out that their seeds were out of date and they got really prickly about it as though I had insulted them. I had bought the seeds and none of them germinated. I checked the date and they were over a year old. Those seeds are still on the shelf for sale and they are now going on the second year out of date.

I don't think they are going to care about my loss. It is a small store. There is no way they don't realize how old that feed is...I'm sure they were thinking..."great someone is finally buying that stuff". They ought to care because I spend a ton of money in their store.

Merrrrrr,
there are people still in business who just don't get it- no customer satisfaction= no customers = no business = no money...... if you have tried to work with them and failed.. just move on-- I do hope you don't see these rabbit troubles again-- best of luck,
Michael...
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#13  Unread postby akane » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:55 am


If it's the only option they don't have to care. Where I grew up a 45min drive for anything else was standard. An hour if you wanted to have options. Some people didn't even have a vehicle who could make that trip and many of the rest can't afford the gas to make more than their periodic trip into the small town that has 1 feed store with 1 brand from 1 source while also buying their groceries from the 1 small grocery store and picking up medication from the pharmacy only open 4days a week until 7pm. No competition means no customer satisfaction doesn't lose you more than the odd person who manages to put together a deal with someone who can travel. You end up having to get creative sometimes living in those areas and really the overlap of what a true herbivore, an omnivore, or a carnivore needs is pretty big. Now that we can get rabbit pellets everything actually eats them. Guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, and added to the feeder rodent mixes along with hog feed, cheaper dog food with grains, and chicken feed for the omnivore part. I just use vit c supplements for the guinea pigs. Same for carnivorous cats, dogs, and hedgehogs if you watch the taurine for cats and extra insect protein sources for hedgehogs. Oddly crested geckos and sugar gliders have extremely similar diets with a reconstituted powder from fruit, egg, and insects as the base of both diets.
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#14  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:41 pm


[quote="akane"]If it's the only option they don't have to care. Where I grew up a 45min drive for anything else was standard. An hour if you wanted to have options. Some people didn't even have a vehicle who could make that trip and many of the rest can't afford the gas to make more than their periodic trip into the small town that has 1 feed store with 1 brand from 1 source while also buying their groceries from the 1 small grocery store and picking up medication from the pharmacy only open 4 days a week until 7pm. No competition means no customer satisfaction doesn't lose you more than the odd person who manages to put together a deal with someone who can travel. .[/quote]
I have lived in areas like that also- but in time the "need/ market" brings business competition closer, I had to deal with a business like that many years ago [for some members on here the name will ring a bell] "Bucke's Feed & Grain, Orland, CA" -- they were the only option years ago- [they are the ones that substituted moldy milo for the corn i had paid for, in my custom hog feed ration], - when i confronted Jack Bucke about it,- he told me i could not prove it- and that i had no choice but pay him -or he would not make me any more feed. - I was a member of a "producers organization" and we talked it over- So, one of the members had a son in law who was wanting to go into business competition with Bucke's, - we guaranteed him all of our business- he got the financial backing and built a mill a few miles south of town in Artois -- wasn't long till Bucke didn't sell custom bulk feed at all. Now days, I hear customer service at Bucke's is quite good...
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Re: Help*Air bubbles in kidneys of meat rabbits

Post Number:#15  Unread postby akane » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 pm


Well I'm 33 now and it's still the same as when I was a kid lol My husband was saying how if we move back there we are contracting everything we need done to someone in the larger towns/small cities nearby we've lived in. Although my mom got $10,000s in free concrete poured because the only guy in the area couldn't read directions and blueprints so she refused payment until he fixed it. The legal time limit to collect her bill expired without him doing anything. It's not entirely correct and water does not drain from anywhere like it was supposed to but it's a large stable, 2 other outbuildings, and 2 garages worth of concrete free.
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