6 Reasons your Baby Rabbits Keep Dying


6 Reasons your Baby Rabbits Keep Dying

How to Keep Your Baby Rabbits Keep Dying

Have you ever wondered why your bunnies are dying incessantly? Could it be as a result of your recklessness? Or is it because of a natural phenomenon? Well, here are four possible reasons why your baby rabbits are dying, that you can put preventions into practice to keep them alive.

Baby Bunny Death / Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sometimes you see this in Dwarf Rabbits. Many times you can see the reason for the death of your bunnies. For no apparent Reasons. here are some thoughts. Just like with our babies we just need to check and prevent the things we know to check and prepare for.

Why Do Baby Bunnies Die

  • Cold – If a bunny is accidentally out of the momma nest, they will get cold and eventually die – it takes a minimum of three baby rabbits to keep each other warm
  • Watch and see if the little guy is eating – they will not live – slowly die without milk – compare growth little guys getting nourishment will all be gaining weight.
  • If Mother has diarrhea – it can kill the babies – check mommas poop
  • By Time the babies eyes are open they should have some fur for warmth

Gastrointestinal Stasis in Little Older Bunnies

GI stasis stands for gastrointestinal stasis, and this is caused in the debt when the digestive system slows down or stops entirely in a baby rabbit. As soon as it stops or slows down, it begins to build up with harmful bacteria in the intestines, which then releases gas into their stomach.

When the gas is released into their stomach, it causes your baby rabbit to bloat. And, this is often painful for bunnies.

So, some of the things that can cause this common deadly disease among bunnies would be any underlying illnesses such as internal blockages or dental issues, a lack of exercise, lack of nutritious hay or hay in general, a very high starch low fiber diet and stress.

The common symptoms of GI stasis are that you will notice your rabbit not eating, drinking, not pooping frequently. Furthermore, you will see that they’ll become a little sluggish, and they also may be trying to lay down on their stomach so that they can push down on it to help relieve some of the pain.

Thus, as soon as you notice that your baby rabbit has formed the habit of staying on the ground and pushing their stomach on it, or they haven’t been eating or drinking, then you should know that there is every chance that they may have GI stasis.

So, as soon as you find this out, you need to immediately take your baby rabbit to an exotic vet or a vet that sees rabbits because it is imperative. If your baby rabbit doesn’t see a vet within the next 24 to 48 hours, they can die from GI stasis.

When you meet a vet, they are going to most likely prescribe you with a motility drug such as cisapride(Propulsid), which helps stimulate the movement of the bunny’s digestive system.  Other than that, your vet might also give it the IV fluid therapy under the skin and prescribe a pain medication to your baby rabbit to help relieve any pain because, as I said earlier, it is often excruciating for bunnies.

Additionally, they will also most likely be giving it critical care which is a powdered food. It is usually full of nutrients that are made by Oxbow. When that is mixed up with some water, they will probably suggest that you force-feed your baby rabbit every couple hours.

This will help get the nutrients back into your baby rabbit. Depending on the vet, he/she might also prescribe an antibiotic that you’ll have to give your baby rabbit; those like Pedro. 

However, before it even gets to the point of your bunny contracting this disease, you can prevent GA stasis from coming around. And to do this, you are going to want to make sure you have a proper diet for your baby rabbit. By that I mean, feeding them 24/7 with rich vegetables every single day while ensuring that they are eating them altogether.

Another way to prevent this deadly disease is by ensuring that your baby rabbit’s environment isn’t confined, and there’s not too much of change around your rabbit that could cause any stress.  Put differently; your rabbit area should be spacious enough for them to exercise freely and regularly.

2. Baby Rabbits Dying Cold

Another reason why your baby rabbits may be dying uncontrollably could be because you’re over freezing them, based on the temperature of the space they are being kept. Ideally, a bunny should be kept at a room temperature of about 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit

The highest you should go to should be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than 50 could cause them to freeze to death, and anything above 85 degrees Fahrenheit may likely result in stroke, which then takes us to our next point. 

If the baby gets outside the nest it will die of Hypothermia quickly. separated from

  • Nest
  • Moms Fur in Nest
  • Other babies for body warmth
  • From Mothers body temp
  • Wind Drafts
  • Freezing Temps
  • Out of Box – many rabbit nesting boxes have a lip on front so the mother can jump out but babies can not squirm out. Sometimes they can hang on the teat so well get carried out. They will die if they don’t stay warm.
Methods to Warm baby Bunnies

Baby Bunny Stops Eating

Many times baby rabbits, all babies get somehow squeezed off the teat. If they do not get fed, they will not get the colostrum they need to help them be healthy as they grow up.

If they are not getting the milk they need they will die quickly

here are some very easy observations that will giver you a heads up that something is wrong

  1. Too many babies – If the litter is very large that is great but can complicate things. The average litter size is 6 – 12 babbies per litter. But check the numbers for your specific breed of Rabbit because it varies.
  2. Water – for momma – probably 90 % of a mother’s milk is water. If for some reason the mother is not getting enough clean fresh, unfrozen water that will translate into lower milk production
  3. No weight Gain – one of the quickest ways to see that a bunny is not getting enough milk
  4. You can also allow the bulk of the babies to feed and then let the one not eating have a full undisturbed meal
  5. Make sure baby is warm
  6. Cleft palate – if the baby is born with this deformity it is not able to suck – it will die for lack of nutrition. It will not be for lack of trying, but the hole deformity will not allow the little guys able to be able to form a sucking action.

Baby Rabbit Has Diahrea

This is Life-Threatening in baby Rabbits. They can die within hours. Many times in younger rabbits it represents weaning too early for the rabbis

Here is an Emergency Protocol PDF for Baby Rabbits with Diahrea from Dana Krempels PhD

  • Weaning Too Early
  • Parasites – picked up maybe from Momma

Momma Rabbit Has Diahrea

If the mother Rabbit has diarrhea. it can be very bad for the newborns. Several things the bacterial contamination from the lack of sanitation. Also, the mother may be losing a lot of fluids that she needs for milk production. Here are something that might cause diarrhea in Momma

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Incorrect Diet
  • Lack of Fiber in Diet
  • Change of Diet
  • Dental Problems
  • Urinary infection
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Head Tilt

3. Rabbit Stroke

Rabbit stroke is another common deadly disease that often affects bunnies. Although it often appears as a less severe issue, it’s pivotal that you take your bunny to visit your vet whenever it shows any sign of neck tilt. You must do so because further delays could lead to the untimely demise of your bunny, and I’m sure no one would ever wish that to anyone. As soon as the issue gets complicated, no rabbit can survive stroke.

However, other than the main sign of neck tilt, you can spot an early symptom of stroke in them if they start suffering seizures or tremors, become facially weak, less motivated, start making nystagmus (side-to-side eye movements), or if their hind leg starts paralyzing.

Check for conditions where the Rabbit got overheated.

Rabbit Died Stretched Out

This is very common as a rabbit dies that it seems to be a common position when a rabbit is passing. Probably it is the most comfortable, least painful way for them as they pass.

Signs Your Rabbit is Dying

How to Revive a Dead Rabbit

  • If it is a newborn – tilt it upside down and see if you can get any drainage from the Bunnys Lungs
  • Get Him warm – put him in your armpit/ on your flesh to heat them up with your body heat – as hypothermia sets in, they become lethargic and slower and slower until they die
  • Slowly and gently give him mouth to mouth CPR
  • Check with a stethoscope, for a heartbeat

What to Do with a Dead Bunny

Whenever you find a dead bunny, babby bunny, or adult it is always best to remove them from the Rest. If what has killed the Rabbit is infectious then it could potentially hurt more of your Bunnies.

If it is an older rabbit then cleaning and sanitizing its cage, feed, and water bowls is also wise.

If it is a baby then removing it will help the doe concentrate on the rest of her babies. Otherwise, she may worry about the dead on so many hurts, or neglects the others.

Will a Momma Remove a Dead Bunny From its nest

No, Mother rabbits do not carry their kits. Usually, the little guys move to new locations on their own. Generally, the mother will not remove a dead little one. If you spot it you need to take the initiative and remove the little one, from the rest. That way the mother will not stress trying to lick and revive the dead one.

Mothers lick their newborns to stimulate breathing, to stimulate their pooping. It is very critical

What to Do with a Dead Bunny

I need to remove it quickly. Here are some thoughts

  • Bury the little guy
  • Properly wrap him for disposal in the trash
  • Create him
  • Wash hands,

4. Myxomatosis in Baby Rabbits

This is a fatal disease caused by the Myxoma virus, a poxvirus in the genus Leporipoxvirus. The myxoma virus is well known to cause life-threatening health issues to European rabbits mainly, where an acute form can kill a baby rabbit within ten days, while the chronic one can destroy the baby rabbit in two weeks.

Once a bunny contracts this disease, they could instantly get extremely ill, reddish, with some sets of runny eyes (conjunctivitis).

The fever could increase to about a rectal temperature of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Other than that, another symptom is that they could lose their appetite and become lethargic.

So, if you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll need to take the rabbit to your vet immediately. Failure to do so in less than 48 hours, and you can kiss your bunny goodbye.

All in all, baby rabbits do not just die for no reason. That’s why, whenever you’re raising a bunny, that is, a baby rabbit, always take a close look at them, and watch out for any of the early symptoms discussed in this write-up, to prevent the untimely death of any of your bunnies. We hope this article was helpful.

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