I Screwed Up and Need Help, Now.

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jaxmarblebuns

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Please do not attack me for this, I know it’s neglect, I know that it’s abuse I will never do it again and it happened because of a bad life situation atm.

Me and my brother are the only ones caring for our families rabbits at the moment. I have a rabbit at the moment that I care for, Keith, who is older and has had some weight management issues which I have kept in check with tweaking of his normal diet. Well, I have been busy with collage and some other personal issues the past month or so, and my brother has started collage along with me as well, so nether of us have had much time to devote to the rabbits......

I’ve been out to care for them (feed/water) maybe twice per week this last month, same with my brother. I went out tonight and Keith is maybe three pounds (he should be eight to nine) idk his exact weight because I’m honestly terrified to put him on a scale. I just need some guidance on a rehab diet, I packed his cage with orchard hay and gave him a small amount of pellets (1/3 cup maybe) for now as to not shock his system.

Idk what else to do, I’m scared to tell my parents (yes I’m an adult, yes I love them, yes I trust them, but my dad can be.... intense at times like these) on top of this Keith is of one my pets, not just another meat rabbit. I’ve never been truly sick to my stomach but I am right now, I feel like I’m gunna cry and vomit. I just need help.
 
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Please do not attack me for this, I know it’s neglect, I know that it’s abuse I will never do it again and it happened because of a shitty life situation atm.

Me and my brother are the only ones caring for our families rabbits at the moment. I have a rabbit at the moment that I care for, Keith, who is older and has had some weight management issues which I have kept in check with tweaking of his normal diet. Well, I have been busy with collage and some other personal issues the past month or so, and my brother has started collage along with me as well, so nether of us have had much time to devote to the rabbits......

I’ve been out to care for them (feed/water) maybe twice per week this last month, same with my brother. I went out tonight and Keith is maybe three pounds (he should be eight to nine) idk his exact weight because I’m honestly terrified to put him on a scale. I just need some guidance on a rehab diet, I packed his cage with orchard hay and gave him a small amount of pellets (1/3 cup maybe) for now as to not shock his system.

Idk what else to do, I’m scared to tell my parents (yes I’m an adult, yes I love them, yes I trust them, but my dad can be.... intense at times like these) on top of this Keith is of one my pets, not just another meat rabbit. I’ve never been truly sick to my stomach but I fucking am right now, I feel like I’m gunna cry and vomit. I just need help.
In my opinion, constant clean water is the first critical need.
Abundant hay is good, slow on the pellets is a good idea. Small amount of parsley, kale might tempt him.

Critical Care is really good emergency herbivore nutrition:
1682225290717.png
It shouldn't shock his system and it'll get some goods where they need to go. It comes powdered; mix it to a paste and see if he'll eat it (unless he's off feed, he'll probably like it). If he won't eat it, dilute it further and give it to him via syringe (you can get that at a drugstore/pharmacy if you don't have one laying around).

When I am rehabbing a malnourished animal, I like to also add Nutridrops:
1682225710463.png
My rabbits don't like it all that much, so I either give it to them directly into the mouth with a syringe/dropper, or mix it with Critical Care if I'm syringe feeding that. (I don't mix it with Criticial Care if they're actually eating the paste, because sometimes it makes them stop wanting to eat that.)
 

jaxmarblebuns

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I will look into these. I have herd of critical care and that it is very helpful for GI stasis, I have been wanting to get some for our emergency kit for a while, but have never had a need for it before so it hasn't been priority.
Yes made sure his crock was clean and full.
Luckily he is eating just fine, gobbled down the pellets the moment they hit his feeder.
 
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I will look into these. I have herd of critical care and that it is very helpful for GI stasis, I have been wanting to get some for our emergency kit for a while, but have never had a need for it before so it hasn't been priority.
Yes made sure his crock was clean and full.
Luckily he is eating just fine, gobbled down the pellets the moment they hit his feeder.
If he's got a good appetite, I'd say the prognosis is good. He doesn't need to gain weight fast, just steadily. Critical Care and Nutridrops would probably give him a good boost, but he may do fine with the pellets and hay if you can't get the former. Good luck and God bless.
 

ladysown

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May i suggest you get on a routine where you care for the rabbits in the morning and your brother in the afternoon, one feeds pellets, the other hay (or whatever else you feed). and switch out the cleaning duties. That way neither has too much to do and you know someone will be hands on with them twice a day.

As to Keith..... a regular diet of whatever he is used to is probably all you need. Just regularly feed him.
 

KelleyBee

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All fantastic advice.

I am just going to add that you should bite the bullet and get him weighed. Then, I would weigh him daily (if at all possible) for at least a week to keep an eye on him to know he is responding well and to know for sure it was a human induced issue and not another health related or parasite related issue.

When I had to put a few of my bucks and a doe on a "diet" last month, I weighed them daily to be sure I wasn't being too aggressive in my approach. My bucks lost the excess weight quickly. My doe, like any typical female (apparently), was much slower in her weight loss, so I had to continue weighing her until she finally reached her ideal weight according to the SOP for her breed.

It is good that your heart is so troubled by what has happened. It would be more concerning if you were not troubled by it. We learn the most from our mistakes. Your animal husbandry skills with be far more advanced now simply due to this event. Keep in touch! :) Let us know how Keith is doing over the next week or so.
 

Juci

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I hope everything goes well with getting Keith back to a good weight! 🐰💕

I thought I would add to Alaskasatin’s great advice about the critical care stuff. If you don’t have any on hand, there’s at least one YouTube video I’ve seen that shows you how to make it yourself with warm water and your rabbit’s hay/pellets. I think the channels called the bunny lady. You probably already have everything you need on hand, and it might get you through the days until you can get some critical care or nutridrops.

Collage can be overwhelming! Don’t beat yourself up, and I hope things get less stressful for you and your family too. 🤗
 

jaxmarblebuns

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Update: He is eating and drinking well. He does not seem as bloated as the first day. Obviously he has not visually put on weight, when i went to weight him the scale was dead so I'm waiting on batteries to charge. he seems a little wobbly, which I expected, but other than that he is ok.
My brother and I sat down and worked out a schedule, my sister is also making sure to remind us every morning before she leaves (we are usually up at the same time). I am trying to work out a day that I can sit down with my parents and be like "hey, this ain't working anymore" but we all have decently busy schedules (the rabbits are family owned, kind of? but only me and my brother are caring for them, but parents supply feed. who they actually belong to is a hot mess, which I will hopefully be clearing up when we talk.

Thank you all for the help, support, and kindness. I will keep you updated
 

Scooter1A

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Update: He is eating and drinking well. He does not seem as bloated as the first day. Obviously he has not visually put on weight, when i went to weight him the scale was dead so I'm waiting on batteries to charge. he seems a little wobbly, which I expected, but other than that he is ok.
My brother and I sat down and worked out a schedule, my sister is also making sure to remind us every morning before she leaves (we are usually up at the same time). I am trying to work out a day that I can sit down with my parents and be like "hey, this ain't working anymore" but we all have decently busy schedules (the rabbits are family owned, kind of? but only me and my brother are caring for them, but parents supply feed. who they actually belong to is a hot mess, which I will hopefully be clearing up when we talk.

Thank you all for the help, support, and kindness. I will keep you updated
I had a situation with a dog much like yours. Even tho I was the caretaker after she got old and couldn't run with them all anymore I was not allowed to put her down. When the vet came to do it she said why did you wait so long. I told her and she said oh. I still get angry about that when I think of it so I don't think of it haha. I had the dog for years so it wasn't like I just did it. She was a good dog. When my brother died I had his cat which by that time had cancer, but we had somewhat good times before I put it down. I'm not saying to put the buns down, just sharing how things can be tough for all with family involved gaaaaa. Take care.
 

MARICY

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Wow. I usually check my rabbits 3 times a day. If I’m busy and it’s only one check during the day, I feel guilty and can’t sleep. I’ll get out of bed at 2am with a torch and carry food & water around and top them all up. Thanks for posting, I hope your rabbits have gained weight and are doing better. Your post has shown me that I need to relax and stop obsessing with making sure their ok.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Wow. I usually check my rabbits 3 times a day. If I’m busy and it’s only one check during the day, I feel guilty and can’t sleep. I’ll get out of bed at 2am with a torch and carry food & water around and top them all up. Thanks for posting, I hope your rabbits have gained weight and are doing better. Your post has shown me that I need to relax and stop obsessing with making sure their ok.
You have good commitment
 

eco2pia

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Wow. I usually check my rabbits 3 times a day. If I’m busy and it’s only one check during the day, I feel guilty and can’t sleep. I’ll get out of bed at 2am with a torch and carry food & water around and top them all up. Thanks for posting, I hope your rabbits have gained weight and are doing better. Your post has shown me that I need to relax and stop obsessing with making sure their ok.
Definitely relax. I would say once a day is reasonable, but if I go on vacation I only require a sitter to check them every other day--of course I have automatic water, so that is one less thing to worry about, and I try not to be gone during sensitive times like when a rabbit is due to have a litter, or extreme weather.
 

Heartbased Homestead

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My brother and I sat down and worked out a schedule, my sister is also making sure to remind us... we all have decently busy schedules (the rabbits are family owned, kind of? but only me and my brother are caring for them, but parents supply feed. who they actually belong to is a hot mess, which I will hopefully be clearing up when we talk.
I have opinions. These are your rabbits, you have taken on the responsibility of posting here, you feel more emotionally connected than the others. Your sister should NOT be reminding the boys, this is unnecessary labor on her part and is not fair to her. Set an alarm on your phone and have your brother set one of his phone too, it will be more reliable. My biggest suggestion is to get a neighborhood kid to take on the daily responsibilities for a small payment. My neighborhood kids are very willing to do pretty much any job well and consistently for 10 bucks.

Please include in your family's plan someone not in the family who is paid to help, it's ok to have a busy schedule, it's ok to not have enough time. Face it, own it, handle it outside of these toxic family dynamics.
 

RabbitDad

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I'm truly impressed how this community is focused on helping without criticism.
I hope the mistakes made can be a lesson all of us benefit from.
I've rescued several horses in recent years, some I didn't think would survive... but they have!
The best diet I've found is alfalfa suplimented with a variety of grain.
However... had I tried that upon their arrival, the shock would have killed them.
I started them off with a normal ration of oat hay and all the field grass they wanted.
Provided salt and fresh water. I also made a point of keeping them as active as possible.
As the weeks progressed, I'd switch to alfalfa starting with about 10%, then the following week another 10.
By around the third week I started giving them a handful of grain each and increasing that weekly while decreasing the oat hay.
About the halfway point I felt it was safe to vaccinate & deworm them.
To my amazement, it didn't really take long for them to start looking like horses again.
It's been about a year since the last one has fully recovered. And... it turned out she was pregnant! She gave us a beautiful healthy colt last November!
Both mom & baby are doing fine btw. Even being close to death herself, she gave birth 100% by herself and has proven herself a superb mother! Her colt is barely a couple inches shorter than she is already.
I'm assuming rabbits are similar. Don't rush it! Careful monitoring & patience should pay off.
Avoid the temptation to make up for it by overfeeding!
I can't stress enough the importance of fresh water!
Good luck!
 
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