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Help! 4 week old kit trouble

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.
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Help! 4 week old kit trouble

Post Number:#1  Unread postby horseysale » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:37 pm


Hoping someone here has some experience with hand raising kits. I have raised a few by hand before over the years but those were already 3 week old kits so only had to supplement for a week or so till they were eating pellets and hay good. This time I was given a box of 7 kits maybe 2 days old after a cat had eaten a few of the litter. One of the 7 they pulled out of the cats mouth and had a pretty good cut on its chin .. he passed the next day. I ended up losing all but 2 (and learned a lot more in the process). 

These 2 here now are coming up on 5 weeks (born xmas or xmas eve - I got them on the 27th of Dec). Eyes opened up days 11 and 12... The one is doing great...full of energy...started eating pellets and hay a week ago and backed off himself on the formula. Runs around like crazy and full of energy. I am still hand feeding him 2x a day as he goes crazy when I feed the other kit (otherwise would back him off to 1x as he is eating plenty on his own). Growing like crazy and now 4x the size of his sister. His sister I am not sure if I can save. She will hop around but is in pain...digestive issues... has pretty normal poop and no diarrhea otherwise would think enteritis. Hunched up and grinding the teeth although will stretch out and flop flat out while laying with me and will hop around some when let loose in the room (inside buns). Never a good do'er eating but will eat some (pretty much enough to survive it seems as she never ate more than 9cc) and never had any interest in hay or pellets and that's really when her grinding started -- around the 4 week mark. I have had these guys on kitten milk replacer mixed with a drop of heavy cream. Tried changing the little one to evaporated goat milk with an egg yolk and nope -- hates it --so went back to the kmr and is hungry but only wants 6 if I'm lucky.. upped the benebac (which she LOVES...eats it right off my finger and will search out the tube and pick it up herself).... been giving simethicone (loves as well) which seems to help even though she doesn't 'look' or really feel bloated. The benebac and simethicone have helped her poop look better and more so hate to stop. Honestly not sure what else I can do for her. Maybe critical care? Thoughts? Phoned a few vets and they said at that age there's really nothing more to do so now reaching out. She easily ...at 5 weeks old...fits in the palm of my hand and maybe the size of an orange. 

Want to add she does drink water on her own was thinking of adding some pedialyte as well. I was going to get some yogurt for her (found googling) but yogurt is milk based so don't want to make her issues worse. No interest in old fashioned oats either....

Attached a pic of the 2. The dark one is the tiny one..this pic was taken a week ago -- the lighter guy has doubled in size whereas the dk brown is the same.

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Re: Help! 4 week old kit trouble

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:40 am


In My opinion you are doing about all you can do for her..
you might try a "very small" piece of green onion,
if she eats that..
it is possible her issues are related to coccidiosis.
If she does eat a small piece of green onion, then give her a little more , increasing the amount a tiny bit each day...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Help! 4 week old kit trouble

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:28 pm


I've never had this exact experience, but since it's close to being a "kill or cure" situation, there are a couple of things I can think of that I would try.

Old-fashioned oatmeal is great but since the bun won't eat it dry, try adding some KMR and maybe just a few grains of brown sugar as an attractant. It will make it smell more appetizing.

If you can find a willow tree (weeping willow is fine) cut some twigs and put a few in the cage. Most rabbits will happily nibble on fresh willow bark. The inner bark is good to relieve pain and willow is often helpful when a rabbit is not doing well.

Cut plenty of those willow twigs and keep the extras fresh by putting the cut ends into water. They should start sprouting after a number of days, making them even more appealing to the rabbit.

This little bun had a very rough start and you are doing all you can for her. They don't all make it. I can't guarantee that my suggestions will help, but at this point I don't think they can make things worse.

Good luck. :clover: :clover: :clover:
Sojourning in 1894 . . .

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