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I'm downright pissed.

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I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Sun May 28, 2017 12:18 am


Hopping mad? Hell yes I am. It dawned on me that I need to cull my entire herd. Buffalo Bill, Poker Alice, and the two bottle babies.

Why? Snuffles. Where from? Bloody cotton-picking blue Americans! :evil:

So lets go back to the beginning, y'all know a little of the headache I've had with the American venture but I'll lay it all out from the start. I got excited about the prospect of getting some blue American buns and after some research I put out a feeler in the groups that I was looking. Someone mentioned that a big time breeder of Americans who was south of me in Oklahoma was downsizing most of his stock. So I reached out to him and he agreed to sell me three does and one buck, with full pedigrees for $50 each. At this point I was still kind of new so I didn't know you needed to get the pedigrees up front prior to exchanging money or you may never see them. We met, I saw pretty blue rabbits and happily hocked over my $200. We get them home and guess what I see? White snot and sneezing from the buck and one of the does. I had barely heard of snuffles so it was enough for me to send the breeder a message about it with pictures attached. Apparently none of his rabbits in any of his barns are sneezing or have white snot, and none of the rabbits he's sold to other people recently have shown these signs. Must just be stress and an irritant to hay because he doesn't feed them hay. (Attached is a picture of the buck that I sent the breeder)

Whatever. Okay. He's a big time breeder and I'm pretty new to this world so sure. Then I request the pedigrees be emailed to me. And again. And again. Finally he stops responding completely. Fine. It's not that big of a deal. Obviously these are American rabbits because that's all he sells and he has shown them in many different locations.

During this time I had a lovely Cali / NZ meat mutt who was a great producer, and she had 5 kits about a month old with her in her pen. Within the month of getting the Americans she dies for unknown reasons. We kept one of her kits (Snow White, Alice's mother). I had to cull my other three meat mutts to make room for the American rabbits, which I thought was the right decision at the time.

I tried to breed all three of the American does after a week of purchase and only one doe takes. She gave birth to 9 under developed kits and may have had a stroke of some sort. Tried to hop but wasn't balanced. Wouldn't eat or drink so I ended up 'syringe' feeding with the outer shell of a ball point pen a pellet / molasses / water slurry to get some nutrients in her. Did this for two to three days before I culled her.

After getting a litter out of Snow White I sold her to a lady starting up with meat rabbits. Now I worry that I may have given her an infected doe!

Tried to breed the americans. Tried to breed. Tried to breed. Tried to breed. Nothing. Purchased a new meat mutt buck (Bill) and tried to breed. Tried to breed. Finally Clover took with my meat mutt (the American buck turned out to be pretty useless) and she gave birth to 6 kits and died in childbirth. Tried a few last attempts to breed the remaining American rabbits and finally dispatched them to freezer camp.

Now we're here, Buffalo Bill, Poker Alice, and the two bottle babies left. Yesterday Alice started sneezing, and initially I thought it was due to being inside the house and the freshly painted hutch (I let it air outside for almost a week to make sure the toxic fumes were gone before letting anyone stay for an extended period of time in there) so I moved on. Well she hasn't really stopped. Don't misunderstand, it's not a continuous sneeze since yesterday, but she's definitely still sneezing here and there and now she's been sneezing and rubbing her face with her paws. She kindled this morning and overall seems to be in really good health....... except for the sneezing. At this point I'm assuming it's been dormant in my herd and is showing up in times of stress, AKA kindling.

I had seen the possible connection earlier but I guess I was holding on to hope and trying to be positive that maybe, just maybe it wasn't snuffles. Maybe my meat mutts didn't catch it? Maybe..?

Maybe I was naive and willfully ignorant. :( So yeah, this is my fault for not culling my American dreams right away and starting fresh and now down the road here I am. Needing to cull my bottle babies and my Alice dear. Culling my interesting astrex project when I might even get some astrex coated babies! :angry:

So yeah. I'm pissed. Pissed at the breeder who infected my herd. Pissed at myself for allowing my herd to be infected. Pissed at the situation.

Here I am, looking to add some really great standard Rex stock to my rabbitry and I absolutely cannot do that with the risk of infection. Everyone has to go. So I'm waiting for the fall when their coats are prime and then everyone goes to camp. :cry: UHG. Late night rant, I just had to get all this off my chest because I was just laying in bed, pissed, and couldn't sleep.

OH! And my husband will probably try to convince me to stop this rabbit venture because of all the hassle. So that's a discussion I'm not looking forward to having.
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Sun May 28, 2017 5:58 am


I am so so sorry What crushing news to hear. I cannot even imagine it. My heart goes out to you during this disappointing and difficult time. Sending hugs from South Africa :group-hug2:
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun May 28, 2017 7:51 am


So sorry to hear this, Crazy. :cry: Every rabbit breeder's nightmare. I want to do some thinking about your situation before I reply more fully, but will post again in a day or two.

I know you say Alice is sneezing a lot, but is she blowing white snot? There's just the off-chance that this might not be snuffles. I remember one sitation where a rabbit had something caught up it's nose (a bit of hay? can't remember off-hand) and it turned out to be a false alarm. I don't want to raise your hopes, but if no one is acting sick you can afford to postpone a final decision, as you are planning to do.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Random Rabbit » Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 am


So very sorry this happened to You !

We had a similar experience when we returned to the rabbit raising hobby. :( I was enamored with an extremely rare breed... and beyond excited when we located stock "only" 3+ hours away. We raced out to pay and pickup the stock. As the seller was In his car ! and starting to pull away... he hollers to us " oh...by the way... the buck has been sneezing"... and races off. We ended up culling that expensive car load of rabbits.
( just want You to know that You are not the only person who has been done wrong. Some people are very unethical.)
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Sun May 28, 2017 8:04 am


I am so sorry this happened to you. You're not the only one to let your guard down to the right rabbit at the right price from the right breeder only to get burned.

My story is eerily similar. Bought the most beautiful NZ whites from a nationally-ranked breeder who lives close to me. Couldn't get them bred. Buck dies. Buy another buck. Try to breed. Buck dies. Buy another buck, try to breed, buck dies. Try to contact the breeder I bought from and he stops replying.

Get a Cali buck from a different breeder, find RabbitTalk before I expose him to my does and their latent snuffles. Cull all my other rabbits and start over with Cali's from a backyard meat producer. Success.

It sucks, but we just can't let our guard down. Best to you and your next beginning.
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby UFCreel » Sun May 28, 2017 8:49 am


Sorry for what you are going through. I would keep the rabbits. Put them away from any others. I always quarantine any rabbits i bring in. I had a black New Zealand doe i got from a very good show line. She developed the snuffles. She was bred when i got her. She had 6 kits. Not a one of them developed the snuffles. I culled her after weaning the kits. After a six month quarantine. I introduced them to my stock. No snuffles. Some rabbits develop this some don't. A good cage cleaning with plenty of bleach is also called for. Hope this all works out for you.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby BlueHaven » Sun May 28, 2017 9:17 am


Yeah, I shipped a youngster from a national breeder and it never made it out of quarantine last fall. Just sniffed and sniffed and sniffed for like three months. Then one day clear snot everywhere. I just could not risk exposing the herd. So he had to go. That was a pretty expensive lesson about not shipping youngsters. I shipped one of mine two states away but the baby was in rout for 4 days. She did catch a bug but the owner took her to the vet and it was mild and she is fine now. I say shipping youngsters is just to stressful and I won't ship any more under 12 weeks. It may raise to 16 if I ever find out there is another problem.
My husband is in love with all our rabbits and he is even leery of going to shows anymore. He takes it so hard when we even sell one. Big sweet lug.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun May 28, 2017 9:47 am


Oh noes D: I am soooo sorry.
If you're bottle feeding the kits give em a chance they might not have caught it?

Only time I had to deal with snuffles was when I started out and it was by choice. My friend, had an epidemic in her 100+ rabbits herd after getting a new doe. Me, I didn't have rabbits yet at the time. She needed to cull all the sick ones and many of em were small babies wich we felt was a waste. So as soon as she'd find a sick adult, she'd cull and as soon as she found a sick babie she'd give it to me. I raised all the babies to however how old they made it or until they reached 3 month old. That way at least they were big enough for meat or pelts and not purely a waste. It's why my bad pelts all have paws wounds, they're from that batch. She didn't have to cull her whole herd only maybe a third, but it was still a lot to lose on her part. I think I raised 14 babies for her?
Back then my dad though I wasnt being unlucky having to deal with snuffles as I started out like that. In my opinion I was insanely lucky. It made me aware of the dissease, how to recognise it, how to deal with it BEFORE I ever had any actual rabbits of my own for reals.
In my case, my bad deals with breeders were with vent disease, activated no less, but at least that can be cured.

If we lived closer to each other I'd give you my little astrex girl, she's a lionhead sure, but you could use her to restart your astrex meatmutt project. :/

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby alforddm » Sun May 28, 2017 10:10 am


Don't jump the gun just yet. You obviously have either a non lethal strain or rabbits that are highly resistant. You can work with what you have by just keeping back kits that show no symptoms. You will probably not be able to sell live animals for a good while but since you were planning on raising for meat that may be ok.

I've got some links bookmarked on dealing with this so I'll post them as soon as I can. I'm on a different computer atm and don't have access to my bookmarks.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby hotzcatz » Sun May 28, 2017 3:33 pm


Snuffles is a bacteria thing. Isolate the affected rabbits, keep them out of drafts, give them a good diet and maybe even echinacia (goldenseal) leaves or tea to help their stuffy nose and immune systems. If they get better, then you've now got rabbits with antibodies against snuffles.

Culling all rabbits as soon as they get any disease means they'll never become resistant to it, but I'm not a vet so this is an uninformed opinion, YMMV.
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#11  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Sun May 28, 2017 3:54 pm


Thank you so much everyone, I'm feeling better about it this morning. I've pretty much made my decision and have come to terms with that.

MaggieJ wrote:I know you say Alice is sneezing a lot, but is she blowing white snot? There's just the off-chance that this might not be snuffles. I remember one sitation where a rabbit had something caught up it's nose (a bit of hay? can't remember off-hand) and it turned out to be a false alarm. I don't want to raise your hopes, but if no one is acting sick you can afford to postpone a final decision, as you are planning to do.


I have yet to see white snot but I really haven't had a good opportunity to look for it. I'm definitely looking for it now next time she sets to sneezing but she also sounded a little "wheezy" a few days ago so I'm thinking the debris stuck up the nose is likely not the culprit in this case.

I am planning on waiting until fall to cull the herd but I think my best shot is just to start fresh with some healthy rabbits after a cleaning and period of sterilization has gone by. I cannot be investing into standard Rex with even the possibility that there is snuffles in my herd. For my long term goals, everyone has to go. It sucks, I'm sad about it, but I'm no longer pissed. Just resigned I suppose. I am glad I get to keep them for quite a few more months though, and these new babies are really brightening up the morning, lol. Who doesn't like new kits? :oops:

SoDak Thriver wrote:It sucks, but we just can't let our guard down. Best to you and your next beginning.

That sucks SoDak! You's think purchasing from these people and the reputations they have in the rabbit world would be more of a safeguard against something like this. :(

Random Rabbit wrote:We had a similar experience when we returned to the rabbit raising hobby.

Oh my gosh! WOW. Yeah, I think I'm done with the "rare" breeds, give me some well established plentiful rabbits that I can find many different breeders to choose from.

BlueHaven wrote:it never made it out of quarantine last fall. Just sniffed and sniffed and sniffed for like three months. Then one day clear snot everywhere. I just could not risk exposing the herd. So he had to go.


I'm sorry that you guys have all been in my shoes, I really wish you hadn't. These are all such expensive culls!

UFCreel wrote:I would keep the rabbits. Put them away from any others.

I simply do not have this sort of space. I have a dog who will eat through privacy fence to get what she wants, who will easily scale chain link fence, and so if I want any more space to keep them I would have to build another privacy fence in another section of the backyard (there are no more shade trees either, so they would be in the full direct sun) and run electric wire around it. We're planning on moving this fall so that'd be a lot of work just to leave for the renters to go, "Uh.. so what's this for?" I have quarantine for 1 rabbit, maybe 2, but not to keep all four of these and add 4 more separately.

KimitsuKouseki wrote:If you're bottle feeding the kits give em a chance they might not have caught it?


I don't think any of the bottle bunnies that I sold were infected as they were not out living with the rest of the rabbits until the last week, and even then they are isolated from the pen beside them (large piece of cardboard between them and Bill) and the other side is also semi blocked with more empty cages (grow out stack). Plus, Lady G had been transported all over the city, living in a new environment with new people and a dog, and then transported back to me and showed no sign of any respiratory infection even with all that stress.

KimitsuKouseki wrote:If we lived closer to each other I'd give you my little astrex girl, she's a lionhead sure, but you could use her to restart your astrex meatmutt project. :/


Awe, thank you so much Kimitsu, it's the thought that counts. :love: It's not that big of a deal, it's just been a really neat side project and an easy way to market the mutts on my website without just saying, "Meat rabbits! I eat these!"

alforddm wrote:Don't jump the gun just yet. You obviously have either a non lethal strain or rabbits that are highly resistant. You can work with what you have by just keeping back kits that show no symptoms. You will probably not be able to sell live animals for a good while but since you were planning on raising for meat that may be ok.


Well that's the thing, I'm gearing up to buy some really good, papered standard Rex rabbit stock and I flat out cannot do that if we have snuffles. I do think the snuffles effected the Americans and probably had a lot to do with why they would never breed and never wanted to breed. I'm sure Bill has to be infected since he was all over the American does ever since purchasing him because I bought him due to the American buck not being interested in breeding. The doe that showed the most symptoms was Clover, who finally took by Bill. We never had sores show up on the rabbits, but Clover and the American buck did sneeze a decent amount over the time span they were here. Looking back now I believe it lessened when I had Apple Cider Vinegar in the water, so I'm assuming their immune system helped suppress it with the added help of ACV.

hotzcatz wrote:If they get better, then you've now got rabbits with antibodies against snuffles.

Culling all rabbits as soon as they get any disease means they'll never become resistant to it


I totally see where you're coming from, and if I had the space I would do exactly this. However I'm in the city with meat rabbits in my backyard, isolated in Rabbitry Fort Knox from my dog. I don't have the space to try and go the direction I'm wanting to with the stock I have.
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#12  Unread postby alforddm » Sun May 28, 2017 4:02 pm


Here are the links.

http://www.dutchrabbit.com/articles/hea ... ffles.html
http://www.raising-rabbits.com/pasteurellosis.html

It is thought that a large percentage of rabbits are carriers (some sources say 20-60%) without showing symptoms. You may end up with new clean rabbits, and then maybe not. You may have the new rabbits for several months and then bam one of them starts sneezing.

I'm not sure I would cull rabbits that you obviously love on the chance you can get some that are 100% clean.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#13  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Sun May 28, 2017 5:24 pm


Thanks so much for the links! I'll check them out.
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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#14  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun May 28, 2017 5:39 pm


If we lived closer to each other I'd give you my little astrex girl, she's a lionhead sure, but you could use her to restart your astrex meatmutt project. :/

Awe, thank you so much Kimitsu, it's the thought that counts. :love: It's not that big of a deal, it's just been a really neat side project and an easy way to market the mutts on my website without just saying, "Meat rabbits! I eat these!"


If you ever visit quebec, let me know. I decided to keep her, called her Mei. So I could see if I can get her to pop you a astrex baby by the time you visit.

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Re: I'm downright pissed.

Post Number:#15  Unread postby UFCreel » Mon May 29, 2017 7:17 am


Seems you have had some very good reply's on what to do. I used to show and do obedience with dogs. Do not show anymore. I would suggest getting an electric collar for the training of your dog. To stop the behavior you are experiencing with it towards your rabbits. I now have a Golden Retriever and a 10 month old Rottweiler. They regularly go in the morning and greet my Red New Zealand's. Heck they both lay down by the rabbit cages like they are protecting them from some unseen threat. Just the other day as i was checking my grow out pen one of the 5 week old kits hoped out. As fast as lightning my Rottweiler grabbed it and handed it back to me. Not one mark or puncture. It does seem from your posts that you have your mind made up on what you want to do with your rabbits. Good luck

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