Rabbit kindled 4 days ago...is now shaking/panting a bit. Should I be concerned?

by Sue

Hi, our 5 month old Holland Lop doe kindled 4 days ago. This is her first litter. She had 6 kits and all are doing well so far. She is taking good care of her kits from what we can tell. My concern is that she has been panting/shaking when she lies down. You can see her little body shaking more than what I consider normal (it looks as if she is hot, but the temp. here in the house is only 69-71 deg).

There are no other signs of infection or that she has retained any kits. She is eating and drinking normally and her poops are normal as well. Her cage is on the floor of our living room and there is a cage of 5 other rabbits near her as well as the buck (in another separate cage). There is a lot of activity around here as we have 7 children and homeschool.

Should I be concerned? Could she just be nervous with all the activity around her nest? This is our first litter (and it was not planned) and so I am a bit paranoid. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

***** Karen Sez *****

From your descriptions, the panting is the ONLY symptom, right?

I'd be tempted to simply wait it out and see how she does. A pregnancy and lactation is a strain and a stress on the body, so you're probably being smart to keep an eye on her condition. The fact that she is so young might be adding to the stress - she's still just a teenager. If you think you need to, you can always get a rabbit-savvy vet's opinion.

Maybe she is hot, even though the house is by no means 'hot' for a rabbit. Is there a way to do a little sleuthing by placing her in a 60F room? Or outside, and see how she responds? Heck, you could even put a frozen 2-liter bottle in with her. If she rests against it, stops panting and chills out, maybe you've solved the mystery.

The household commotion is no different before or after, so I'd think she should be acclimated to it.

Best of luck with it all, and have fun!

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Jan 17, 2013
by: Sue

Thanks for your comments! Chloe is still panting/shaking while lying down or resting. Her litter is thriving and she is showing no other signs of illness. Still eating and drinking normally for a lactating Momma. She is a wonderful Momma...very attentive to her kits, feeding sometimes twice a day. I'll try the water bottle trick, though I don't think she is hot. The room is kept at 68-69 deg. A side-question if I may: One or two of our kits is/are significantly larger than the rest, though ALL look healthy and well-fed. None were peanuts that I know of. From the looks of our Chloe, she is a "false dwarf" while her brother (the Daddy) is a true dwarf. While I do not know this for certain, I am going by appearance (her body is quite a bit "longer" as well as her ears. Anyway, I am probably just being paranoid as this is our first litter. :)

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