Help with injured, pregnant doe

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MOGZZ

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Hi friends,

I would greatly appreciate any help with my pregnant Netherland dwarf doe. Here's the long and short of the story:

She is due for her second litter in 3 days and has been acting a bit defensive around her cage for about a week, with growling and general avoidance when I pet her or try to pick her up. She's normally the sweetest girl, but since she's due in a short time, I didn't pay it any mind. This morning I cleaned up her cage thoroughly in preparation for her upcoming litter, so despite her protest she had to get out of the cage and in a playpen while I cleaned things up. She is a house rabbit and has a long cage with an attached hideout that is large enough to place her nest in, so I clean and disinfect everything often and just before any litter because I won't do so for a number of weeks when her kits are unable to move in and out of her nest box.

When I placed her in the playpen, I noticed she was limping badly, not putting any weight on her left hind leg. I inspected her and saw no visible injury on the leg, her foot or anywhere on her skin. She is however showing signs of pain if I stretch her leg out. I don't believe it's broken since she lets me manipulate it and only displayed signs of pain when I stretched it, but can't be certain.

I have no idea how she might have gotten an injury. She wasn't dropped or hurt to he best of my knowledge.

Now I am torn as to what to do. I could bring her to a vet, but what are they going to do anyway? They can't X-Ray her since she's about to kindle, right? Even then, what would they do? I never heard of a cast on a rabbit. My inclination since she's eating well and seems to act normally in her cage is to wait and see how she recovers. If it's a sprain then it should go back to normal by itself.

My real question is, what else could this be? Any poisoning that can result in hind-leg pain? Any disease? Parasites?

Thanks for any help
 

MOGZZ

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Hi again,

I've just read about E. Cuniculi and it's effects on rabbits. I have bred her to a new buck so maybe that's it? She's not tilting her head, though.

I have no idea if it's toxic to the kits, so I won't be giving her the Fenbendazole (I have injectable Ivermectin, same as I use for the goats) until after the kits are born, but would love to know if anyone had something similar happening to them?
 
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Urine scald (looks something like sore hocks) can lead to favoring a leg, but it sounds like you checked for that and have impeccable hygiene besides.

If her nails are longer, they may have gotten stuck, leading to a sprain (or something similar) when she jerked herself free.

I've heard that rabbits with 'pinched' hind quarters (where there's less space between the back legs as normal, observed from the rear) can have leg problems. I haven't dealt with anything like that before though.

Has she been exposed to new rabbits recently? My guess would be that she just sprained it and will be okay. With how thorough your cleaning seems to be, and an assumed lack of exposure to new rabbits, it's unlikely to be bacterial or parasitic.

Keep us updated on what you find out!
 

WyoWool

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I don’t mean to be rude or terse, here.
That being said, quit messing with an at full gestation momma! Especially a dwarf.

If she’s growly at you, that’s your first sign to leave her the heck alone. You know she’s very close to kindling! So leave her be.

30 days gestation is an average. They can easily drop those kits as soon as 26 days. And to be picking her up and placing her elsewhere besides her den would seriously stress a momma out. They stay *very* close to their dens the week they kindle. Most won’t want to be out of sight from it. If she isn’t on wire and you can’t pull a pan or tray- spot clean only starting day 21 on. Do it daily, but that is preferable to moving a ND. They’re sensitive.

Have you ever been very heavily pregnant? Pregnancy hurts. Especially late term. Her back is taking strain from the extra weight, I’m sure her legs are feeling it too! Especially ND! They’re often 50% pregnancy mass by that late in the game. If I had to guess, the pregnancy and the shuffling her around is the cause of the limping.
 

MOGZZ

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Hello everyone,

Just wanted to update you on Eclipse should anyone be interested. She kindled with 5 healthy kits yesterday and is doing much better. It's a big litter for a Netherland, so she must have been very uncomfortable. She's still limping a little, but with the kits out, I'm sure she's feeling much better and will improve to full strength soon.

And yes, WyoWool, I know she didn't want to be messed up with in the last week! Lol, I have kids, too, and I would want to bite myself as well if someone picked me up and started to pull on my injured leg. LOL. I just wanted to make sure she didn't have some injury to her feet that would actually require an intervention.

So, all is well!
 

ladysown

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I'm sorry... but working with a pregnant rabbit, heavily pregnant or not, is quite doable and often not preventable. And whether pregnancy makes one irritable or not, life happens. I've raised a variety of rabbits over the years, and I don't care what stage of pregnancy they are at. if I have to move them... I move them. I take into account their weight and will carry/hold them with more care, but move they do.

I doubt it was the handling that caused the limp, and more suspect that she just managed to sprain it on something. What? I dunno. but she's improving so all is well.
 
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