HELP! baby bunnies keep dying!

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
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Peaks Island, ME
I had 6 seemingly healthy 2 and a half week old mini rexes being raised by a proven doe, woke up this morning to find one almost dead. It was laying on its side and opening and closing its mouth like it was gasping for air. it would also do this thing where is would start pedaling its front legs and stretching out. Literally six hours before it was running around and seemed perfectly healthy.

Now another one looks like it's seconds away from dying, I noticed it kept falling over when it was walking around and it was leaning so far forward it was almost tipping over. I picked it up and put it under heat about 20 minutes ago (just trying to make it comfortable) and it looks just as terrible as the first did just in a different way. Twisting around and furiously pedaling all four legs. As I'm writing this he just started opening his mouth really wide, not like the first, this time almost like he's screaming, and then grinding his teeth. His eyes are open super wide. I'm so upset because it seems like he's in pain. This one was also the runt of the litter, and has a little bald spot on his head and under his chin. He has also has had a small eye problem where his left eye was a little crusty and sometimes shut, but I would just use a hot compress and it would clear up.

I'm writing this very quickly so I'm not sure if i'm leaving out relevant information. They live inside, haven't seen any diarrhea. the bedding in their nest box is dust free paper bedding and some hay, I did research before she had them and thought this was fine. Could they be eating the bedding? would that cause this? I've seen them nibbling at it sometimes but it didn't seem like they had any interest in eating it. It seems like the two babies are suffering from different causes because the first baby looked as if he couldn't breathe at all, second can breathe just fine but is twisting and convulsing.

any help would be appreciated, I'm just worried about my remaining four babies. If you need more information I will provide it I'm just a little freaked out, this is my first litter. Thanks in advance
 
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AltonaAcres

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Jan 13, 2019
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Is the doe that is raising them their mother? Why do they have a heat source when they live inside? Are they being fed by their mother? Is there mother healthy?
 

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
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Peaks Island, ME
Is the doe that is raising them their mother? Why do they have a heat source when they live inside? Are they being fed by their mother? Is there mother healthy?
yes the doe is their mother, they don't have a heat source I just put the little baby under a little heat because it felt a little cold but it is generally warm in the house. I caught her feeding them once a few days ago but otherwise I'm not sure how to tell. I check them every morning to see if their bellies look full and they always do. I only got her a few months ago but she seems perfectly healthy, she has hay and greens and I feed her the oxbow food for nursing moms and babies
 

AltonaAcres

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Jan 13, 2019
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everything sounds ideal. Is this the mom's first litter? You usually don't see the kits nursing. They only nurse morning and night, usually when it's dark outside. You would know if they weren't being fed. Are they inbred at all? could just be birth defects or a fatal mutation. I had a baby goat die that way 😢 runts do die pretty often. I wonder if the mom accidentally trampled them or such. It just seems like they are old enough to get out of the way at this point.
 

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
242
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Peaks Island, ME
everything sounds ideal. Is this the mom's first litter? You usually don't see the kits nursing. They only nurse morning and night, usually when it's dark outside. You would know if they weren't being fed. Are they inbred at all? could just be birth defects or a fatal mutation. I had a baby goat die that way 😢 runts do die pretty often. I wonder if the mom accidentally trampled them or such. It just seems like they are old enough to get out of the way at this point.
The breeder told me she's had litters before and as far as I know her and the buck aren't related at all. I was wondering the same, they've just started hopping out of the nest box and running around and sometimes they go up to her and try to nurse and she hops away or kicks them a little but it doesn't seem like anything that could actually hurt them. For now I've covered up the nest box so they can't get out because I just want to do everything I can to avoid anything happening to the others. They are housed in a large dog pen on top of some sort of plastic liner that is meant to go under tiles or something, it's thick enough that she can't really pull it up and eat it, although she's chewed it in places (I know, not ideal) but she doesn't seem to eat the pieces and I sweep them up when I see them. it's the best I could do under the circumstances because she is not litter box trained and sometimes pees on the floor. I haven't seen them try and chew it at all, could that be something to worry about?

thanks for all the help<3
 

AltonaAcres

Crowing
Jan 13, 2019
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I don't think she'd actually eat the plastic, she probably just chewed on it. Is there a chance the babies could have ingested some and choked on it? How is the one who's ailing right now? Are the babies eating the mom's food yet? I've never heard of babies getting bloat, but maybe it's worth researching it. All the rabbits I have had die have fits like the one's you are describing, so that is pretty normal.
 

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
242
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Peaks Island, ME
I don't think she'd actually eat the plastic, she probably just chewed on it. Is there a chance the babies could have ingested some and choked on it? How is the one who's ailing right now? Are the babies eating the mom's food yet? I've never heard of babies getting bloat, but maybe it's worth researching it. All the rabbits I have had die have fits like the one's you are describing, so that is pretty normal.
I don't think they could have ingested any but it's possible. The first one did look like it could've been choking on something. They have been nibbling on her food and the hay and they have had some fresh grass (no chance of any pesticides)
 

AltonaAcres

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Jan 13, 2019
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My best guess is your doe accidentally trampled the babies. It happens every once and awhile and doesn't mean your doe is a bad mom. It's just an accident. The fact that the runt had bald patches could mean he had some issues. What is the water situation? Bowl, bottle? It's hard to know with bunnies............Keep me updated!
 

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
242
291
141
Peaks Island, ME
My best guess is your doe accidentally trampled the babies. It happens every once and awhile and doesn't mean your doe is a bad mom. It's just an accident. The fact that the runt had bald patches could mean he had some issues. What is the water situation? Bowl, bottle? It's hard to know with bunnies............Keep me updated!
She has a bowl, and now I don't think it was trampling because another one died... 3 in one day. I removed literally everything from her pen and replaced it, made a new nestbox, cleaned the floor with vinegar. I'm really hoping that fixes whatever the problem is/was. Fingers crossed the bunnies are okay in the morning.
 

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