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Pregnant Rabbit Trouble

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a dutch rabbit that is 20 days pregnant. She has given birth before, and now this is her second litter. This pregnancy was an accident as she and her nephew (sisters son) escaped at the same time and mated, so there might be some genetic problems. I palpated her about a week ago (Oct 1st) and I felt two or three babies, but today I palpated her and I felt them, but all but one were small and hard like rocks. Did they die inside her? Could it be problems with the genetics?

post #2 of 4

The mere fact that two rabbits are related does not by itself create genetic issues. Line breeding is done all the time, often with closer relatives than this, without any noticeable problems. If you took two animals with "perfect" genes and bred them together, their offspring would also be "perfect," even if the parents were brother and sister. The thing is, the smaller your original gene pool is, the more likely that any particular genes (good or bad) are shared by the parents, and thus will get "doubled" up in the offspring. (This is how strains of laboratory animals get created - by breeding close relatives together for enough generations, they wind up with a line of rats, mice or whatever that are so similar genetically, they are basically clones. That way, an experiment can be run, and they can be reasonably sure that any difference seen in the lab animals is the result of whatever was being tested for, rather than some random gene that just happened to be different between the two groups of test subjects)

 

If, by some random chance, there is something "wrong" in the genes of your two does, that also got passed by the one doe to her son, then it is possible that the fetuses died as a result of a genetic disorder. But it is just as likely that you caused physical trauma to the fetuses when you were palpating, and they died as a result of that. Or, it's also possible  that you are mistaking what you are feeling, and the doe is still carrying the same number of fetuses as she was a week ago.:idunno

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnylady View Post
 

The mere fact that two rabbits are related does not by itself create genetic issues. Line breeding is done all the time, often with closer relatives than this, without any noticeable problems. If you took two animals with "perfect" genes and bred them together, their offspring would also be "perfect," even if the parents were brother and sister. The thing is, the smaller your original gene pool is, the more likely that any particular genes (good or bad) are shared by the parents, and thus will get "doubled" up in the offspring. (This is how strains of laboratory animals get created - by breeding close relatives together for enough generations, they wind up with a line of rats, mice or whatever that are so similar genetically, they are basically clones. That way, an experiment can be run, and they can be reasonably sure that any difference seen in the lab animals is the result of whatever was being tested for, rather than some random gene that just happened to be different between the two groups of test subjects)

 

If, by some random chance, there is something "wrong" in the genes of your two does, that also got passed by the one doe to her son, then it is possible that the fetuses died as a result of a genetic disorder. But it is just as likely that you caused physical trauma to the fetuses when you were palpating, and they died as a result of that. Or, it's also possible  that you are mistaking what you are feeling, and the doe is still carrying the same number of fetuses as she was a week ago.:idunno


Oh cool I didn't know that!

 

Ok thank you!

post #4 of 4
I would give here some more time to see what happens. Be on the look out for any abnormalities like lethargy, fever, or just acting strange. If you see that, I would recommend a trip to the vet to check things out.

However, I will say that I had rabbits for many years and I always had trouble palpating. Heck, the only way I've been able to tell a COW was pregnant by palpation was when the calf was basically ready to pop out! So it takes a lot of practice and it is very likely what you felt was normal.

I also agree that being related generally won't cause too many abnormalities on its own. If you continually bred family members together you would be more likely to see things crop up.
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"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." ~Douglas Adams
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