Help! My doe has kits, not feeding, & sneezing. What to do?

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sabrinadionne

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I have had this doe for a month. I noticed she sneezed a couple time as I was feeding her about a week after I got her. I've been thinking it was the hay. She seems okay, eats, and acts normal. She kindled a week ago first time. 4 one morning and 2 the next morning all on the wire though she had a nest. I was able to save 4 of the 6. They are a week old today and she still will not feed them unless I force her. She has become extremely aggressive and has bitten me multiple times. I would like to terminate her and I am worried now after doing some reading about her sneezing. She doesn't sneeze a lot and so far no watery eyes but she does sometimes (rarely) have a small speck of mucus near her nose. So my question is. Can I take her kits and let another doe foster them or will they transfer snuffles (if that's what she has) on to the other doe. Right now I have been taking the babies inside after feeding and she stays in a cage away from my other rabbits. I plan on terminating her but not sure what to do with the kits.
Any ideas will be helpful as I am so confused on what to do in this situation.
 

Mini_stead

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Far as the sneezing it could be just a cold. Specially if it’s only effecting her. I had a doe recently sneeze while I was doing normal feeding chores. She also had a little “snot” on her nose. Research led me to giving her a little oatmeal (Quaker oats). Since giving Oatmeato her I haven't heard her sneeze or seen any mucus on her nose. She also had a litter around that time. I would try giving a little oatmeal to her if you haven’t already.

Far as the feeding goes. How can you tell if she is feeding her kits or not? Most time does will feed at night. Only way to truly tell (other than seeing her feed) she is feeding is if you check the kits bellies to see if they are round. It’s best to let her learn on her own and be patient with her. Specially if it’s her first litter. First time moms seem to be clueless on how to care for the kits. If they survived one week then I believe she is doing a good job.

Questions: how are you forcing her to feed her kits?
I’m assuming you put the kits in the nest box?

I don’t think you should cull her just yet.
 

Preitler

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Honestly, "not feeding until forced to " sounds like too much meddling to me. Some does will not feed or even go anywhere near the nest as long as anyone is around, a good and normal instinct, and it can take up to 48h for the milk to drop.
I would be disappointed if a rabbit wouldn't try to bite me when I force her to feed kits against her instincts.

Rabbits don't have a cold. But stress can trigger sneezing, many or most have something dormant that normally ain't any issue at all, and occassional sneezes aren't a big thing as long as it's not persistent and consistently combinded with discharge.

Not sure how much experience you have with different lines and different behaviours, but from what you wrote I wouldn't blame the doe for anything right now.

Not sure if she's able to pick up normal feeding when forced for a week, but I would give it a try. Keep her in her enclosure, make it rather small, so there's not much more than her food, resting place and nest box, give her peace and quite and leave her pretty much alone for 24h and see if the kits got fed. Wildlife camera with just the nest in view can help.

Showing the nest to her by putting her nose in there 2-3 times might help if she hasn't figured that out, but I would rather wait and see if she doesn't find it anyway to get rid of the milk, she did make a nest there after all.
 

sabrinadionne

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Hello all, and thank you for your response.
I would like to clear a few things up.
How do I know she isn't feeding?
I gave 72 hours. left her totally alone as I do all my rabbits. Check the babies and they were skinny. No belly and wrinkled. I waited until that evening, checked again and no sign of her feeding.
How long have I had rabbits? 4 years, I have 6 does and 2 bucks. And have had many litters. I NEVER mess with a doe and her kits. I respect them and only peep in. On day 3 I will count the babies and look for dead as long as temperature permits.
How do I force feed? I place her into her nest box (where babies are kept) and then she will feed. Before doing so I check the babies belly. Also, before I brought babies inside at night due to low temperatures I left her and babies together. I have researched on force feeding and this can be common practice. Hopefully you will never have to as I would rather let nature do nature BUT I will NOT let something starve. After all they are not in the wild to let nature do nature all the time.

So, hope that clears some things up.
I am hopeful about the sneezing after reading y'alls (some) comments.
I got to thinking last night I would see what she does with the babies now. So I placed her and nestbox (with babies inside) together in cage this a.m.. Her sneezing had gotten better , I took her hay away... yes I knock the hell out of the hay to release dust at least 100 yards from rabbitry. Maybe somehow she got some dust from feed? Or it could be anything, I keep a super clean rabbitry.
Today she looked to have fed her babies. HOWEVER, she had NOT UNTIL I reached in to touch the box. She jumped in and stayed about 5 min. I got them through a week now it's up to her and them. But again I will check tomorrow for full bellies and see if she is feeding.

I just want to add, I truly feel sorry for anyone new and asking a question. Though I am not new to rabbits you guys treated me as an idiot. And even tried to suggest I was abusing my rabbit. I would ask maybe next time you guys clarify then suggest.
 

arachyd

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I didn't see anyone treating you like an idiot. I saw people trying to help and to figure out the situation before giving advice. There is no way for people to know you have any experience at all and many people who are new to rabbits ask similar questions. I wish you luck with your litter.
 

Preitler

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I just want to add, I truly feel sorry for anyone new and asking a question. Though I am not new to rabbits you guys treated me as an idiot. And even tried to suggest I was abusing my rabbit. I would ask maybe next time you guys clarify then suggest.

Sorry, but we can only know what gets written, and you wont believe how often someone starts to feed kits without need, stressing the doe before and after giving birth, flipping her on her back and let the kits latch on when there isn't a real need, it does happen that too eager and well-meaning people actually make things worse. All with the best intentions.
 

sabrinadionne

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All is forgiven. Now if you read my post I asked a question. Only one person actually touched on the question. Maybe a better approach would be to answer the question that people come here to ask help on and if you have questions then ask and not assume.
As for as the rabbit, I did give her oatmeal and am still giving her vetrx as well as feeding her a lil fresh oregano. She eats it up.
She still sneezes occasionally but no runny nose or eyes though she does sound nasally at times.
As for the kits. When I put my hand in to grab the nestbox to check them she jumps in and feeds. So I guess she gets it now hopefully, as when I reach in after, their bellies feel full.
Terminating the doe. If she doesn't get worse and her kits do good I will keep her. I understand it is her first litter and some of my best does did lose their first litter.
 

Cosima

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It is good that she is getting better and I just want to add had when my doe had her first litter she didn’t have any milk and all three died after three days so it amaze’s my that our litter is alive so I would suggest to look on the bright side but i can’t help more than that I really wish I could and sorry is this post was more annoying than everything else.
 

Cosima

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She did but two months later she got killed by my dogs and two of her kits from her second litter died so I only have two left.
 

ladysown

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once kits are 17 days old it's super easy to save them. Goats milk/egg yolk/honey mixture. Pipette. That's all you need. once they hit three weeks they can drink from a plate and you can start giving them hay and oatmeal. once they hit four weeks oats/hay/pellets is all they need. They might be thin for a while but they'll come along just fine.

So in your case with a rabbit who sneezes. Let her raise them until just shy of four weeks. And then cull her. Seriously. Don't mess with respiratory stuff.

Leave the kits in their cage. Keep them away from the other rabbits if you can. and then find ways to stress them. MILDLY. don't be mean, but be serious about finding ways to stress them... take them for a car ride, bring them in the house, walk them around in a coat pocket, walk them down the street in a cage and a bumpy wagon. Watch them like a hawk. Any that sneeze or blow snot HARD cull immediately. First litter of any that you keep, watch for snot or weak kits. if you see anything...cull the line.

this is how you build a naturally healthy herd.
 

sabrinadionne

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once kits are 17 days old it's super easy to save them. Goats milk/egg yolk/honey mixture. Pipette. That's all you need. once they hit three weeks they can drink from a plate and you can start giving them hay and oatmeal. once they hit four weeks oats/hay/pellets is all they need. They might be thin for a while but they'll come along just fine.

So in your case with a rabbit who sneezes. Let her raise them until just shy of four weeks. And then cull her. Seriously. Don't mess with respiratory stuff.

Leave the kits in their cage. Keep them away from the other rabbits if you can. and then find ways to stress them. MILDLY. don't be mean, but be serious about finding ways to stress them... take them for a car ride, bring them in the house, walk them around in a coat pocket, walk them down the street in a cage and a bumpy wagon. Watch them like a hawk. Any that sneeze or blow snot HARD cull immediately. First litter of any that you keep, watch for snot or weak kits. if you see anything...cull the line.

this is how you build a naturally healthy herd.
Thank you so very much for sharing your information. You just don't know how much that gives me a direction to follow and relieves my anxiety. I've never had a rabbit with respiratory issues and I've been so worried on the best method. Your approach seems like something that will work. Thank you again!
 

ladysown

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I should have added.... pull the doe and her litter and move them into a new cage ONCE YOU KNOW she is feeding her kits well. That is the cage the kits will stay in until you decide what needs to be done with them (selling, hard cull, keeping). DO NOT sell anything you suspect might get sick and keep in mind to offer a TWO DAY only health guarantee in case the stress of moving brings it out. After two days NOT your problem.
 

ShadowJudy56210

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I have had this doe for a month. I noticed she sneezed a couple time as I was feeding her about a week after I got her. I've been thinking it was the hay. She seems okay, eats, and acts normal. She kindled a week ago first time. 4 one morning and 2 the next morning all on the wire though she had a nest. I was able to save 4 of the 6. They are a week old today and she still will not feed them unless I force her. She has become extremely aggressive and has bitten me multiple times. I would like to terminate her and I am worried now after doing some reading about her sneezing. She doesn't sneeze a lot and so far no watery eyes but she does sometimes (rarely) have a small speck of mucus near her nose. So my question is. Can I take her kits and let another doe foster them or will they transfer snuffles (if that's what she has) on to the other doe. Right now I have been taking the babies inside after feeding and she stays in a cage away from my other rabbits. I plan on terminating her but not sure what to do with the kits.
Any ideas will be helpful as I am so confused on what to do in this situation.
As for the aggressiveness, you can use Easy Does It. You can find it on chewy for I think $20, sometimes it's cheaper bcz of sales. Or you can use one of the other ones as long as it's for aggressive behavior. When I first got Judy she was being aggressive as well. She used to bite wires (destroyed 4 of them 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ and they were very expensive guitar wires. Lucky I was able to replace em. And I even kept them away, she kept going to them some how. Never knew how. Anyways...)
She used to attack people constantly. I did alot of research on how to calm her down but sitting on the floor for hours, having alot of toys and giving her (under 6m old) treats. Still nothing worked until I saw Easy Does it. For far it has worked even during her pregnancy. Its completely safe. The dosage for small animals and pregnant is 4 - 8 drops, depending how aggressive they are. I used 5 for the training days then when she gave birth i gave her 6 sometimes 7, depending how grumpy she was. And now I give her 8 bcz she became aggressive again due to the cat walking in and out.

(He has this weird schedule where he HAS to check every room from 7 - 10 to make sure no mice are around and everyone was present. If they weren't, he comes back from 11 - 2am if you're up. Idk... it's cute but weird. Does it everyday.)

But yeah. It's safe and very very useful.
 

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