One of Phoebe’s 3 week old kits was dead in the back of the cage today. It was one of the two with the runs, but it was not the one who was worse off. We will likely lose the other one by morning. Still we are doing what we can on the off chance we can heal him. We were able to get 3 milliliters of Oxbow Critical Care into him at 4 p.m. In fact he scarfed it down, but didn’t want a second syringe full. We tried to force nurse him, but he didn’t want anything to do with it. We tried to get him to drink some water, he took a few sips and stopped.
We tried again in a couple of hours and he ate another 2 milliliters and drank some water. He can have 11 milliliters a day of the Critical Care based on his body weight. We cleaned his underside and backside and put some of that purple spray stuff on the affected area where the fur has worn to red skin. The purple spray is a painkiller as well as a wetness barrier. It shocks me how fast they can go from being perfectly healthy to this.
He fought when we were cleaning him, which is a good sign, but I know the likelihood of bringing a rabbit back after it gets the runs is very small, and he was very worn out after we put him back in the cage. Plus he has lost weight, from 8.5 oz to 7.7 oz. Still with the painkiller spray at least he will be comfortable. It also won’t lick off. We are changing the nesting box daily and inspecting all the healthy kits for signs. We are only feeding Phoebe fodder outside the cage. The change from nursing to eating solids can do this to a young kit even with just pellets, so we are making sure there were no greens for him to attempt to nibble on.
There is no sign of illness in any of the other rabbits. None of the other signs of illness in the one we are treating, either. No sneezing, no runny eyes or nose, no coughing, no matted front paws. Just the one thing. I did look up some other things we can do. If it gets worse we can give the bunny what they so genteely describe as a “butt bath.” This is where you fill your bathroom sink with about 2.5 inches of warm water and a small amount of hypoallergenic organic shampoo and bathe the butt and back paws of the bunny, gently rubbing the shampoo into the fur and then rinsing. Then you blow dry on low with a hair dryer. Right now we are just using a paper towel and warm water to wipe him clean.
There is also a dry bath method where you work cornstarch (no talc) into the fur and it helps you to wipe away the mess. That didn’t sound all that plausible to me.
We are in for a storm tonight. Already the wind is whipping around rather fiercely. I will have to take down the wind chimes as they are creating quite a cacophony out there right now. I have flashlights charged and ready and candles in case the power goes out. I hope it does not. At least it is no longer cold. 45 degrees is positively balmy after the last week. Although the chicken yard has thawed and it is a complete soupy mess. I almost slipped tonight as I have gotten used to the ground being frozen and not slick. Right now I am counting the days until spring, when it will be neither frozen or a slippery mess, but nice dry dirt.