Rabbit Fetus Images: When a rabbit pregnancy does not go as planned, you may end up with no bunnies, dead fetuses, or malformed fetuses or bunnies.
On a few occasions we have discovered dead fetuses in or under the cage of a pregnant rabbit. We wanted to show you these pictures to help you identify what you might find with your own does.
Each of these dead fetuses is different in size. Apparently they died at different gestational stages. Each of them has what look to be neurologic malformations. We’re not sure the extent, but that big red blob at the top of the head ain’t supposed to be there! Our guess - these rabbit fetuses died between 10 and 17 days of gestation. On day 22, the doe aborted these dead fetuses. (31 days is the normal length of rabbit gestation.)
The doe that dropped the above rabbit fetuses aborted her
entire litter. But, the discovery of dead fetuses does not always mean your
pregnant rabbit is done with her pregnancy. More recently, a doe delivered a
healthy litter, but along with the live kits she delivered a partially
developed dead fetus, and a tiny fetus that looked exactly like the fetus
(A teaspoon or two of whole seeds or grains per day can contribute fresh whole nutrition that might be missing from over-processed or aged pelleted feed, nutrition that might help prevent fetal deaths or birth defects.)
This photo is of a full-term bunny that lived just minutes beyond birth. The little guy's guts were born on the outside of the body, and it was missing one eye.
Vitamin A toxicity and deficiency can cause defects in bunnies, especially neural tube defects such as hydrocephaly. Additionally, the more that genetically modified (GMO) feeds find their way into animal feeds, it is expected that we will see more disruption of fetal development due to the foreign (toxic) molecules produced by these GMO forages.
We had never experienced a birth defect that we knew of in our barn before this little kit came along. And since we had recently switched to a feed containing both GMO soybeans and GMO corn, we of course had our suspicions, and immediately quit feeding that particular feed. Indeed...no more birth defects, thus far (we of course cannot prove the cause of the kit's defects)....
If you are able to make an accurate determination of cause and then correct it, great. Otherwise, when the doe undergoes a miscarriage or has kits with birth defects, there is not much else one can do except to rebreed the doe and try again.
We really like the Sherwood brand of rabbit food, as it is soy- and corn-free.