Very sick 6 week old Holland Lop bunny
My holland lop had 7 beautiful kits and they have all been super healthy this whole time, momma was good. They have rabbit pellets timothy hay and water is all they have been given besides momma's milk.
The smallest one about a week ago got a little bit of a red bum but was eating and drinking water and poo was normal little balls. I would pull one or two off her when I'd go to hold her some, yesterday she seemed her happy little self was still eating and drinking fine, but today I went in and she was limp and weak and loopy and not herself at all. She took water from me and let me hold her, I removed the other babies and just stayed with her and mom and 1 hr later she died it was terrible. :(
I checked all the other babies and 5 of them are strong and healthy and bums are fine but another white one was looking on the smaller side and her bum is also a tad red and inflamed nothing like her sisters but still small and seems weaker then the other but just like her sister has been doing wonderful until now, she's not as sick as the other one but I'm worried she's headed that way.
Is there anything I can do? They are six weeks they should be weened but would goats milk help? I've called 3 vets but none of them have much info on rabbits and tell me if they are eating and pooping fine and are 6 weeks they should be ok. I would like to help her if I can.
Thank you.***** Karen Sez *****
You're describing enterotoxemia, an imbalance of bacteria in the bunny's hind gut where the digestion takes place. If they get too many carbs or not enough fiber, then the numbers of toxic toxic bacteria can skyrocket. These will make toxins that get into the blood stream. Between the inflammation in the guts and the toxins, the bunnies can get really sick really fast, and can be dead within 12 hours. 5 - 9 weeks of age is the danger zone, though depending on diet, rabbits of all ages can and do get sick and die from enterotoxemia.
For now, you should withhold all pellets from the bunnies, and give only grass hay and water, all they want of both. This will help re-balance the rabbits' gut bacteria and can save their lives. The sick ones will get very dehydrated, and might need coaxing on the water intake, or a subcutaneous infusion of IV fluids (you'll need your vet to help with this).
It might be that you'll end up losing that second kit (though maybe not), but hopefully the extra fiber will ensure that the others stay healthy.