Thanks to Metaphorx for sharing this story on Imgur.
A mom of a friend of mine asked if it would be okay if she could put her female rabbit downstairs (caged) while she had people over that weekend. I said it was fine. I had two rabbits of my own upstairs, a neutered male and a female rabbit who I hadn't spayed yet. I had the space so I didn't mind. Anyways, we ended up letting the two female rabbits have a "play date" I guess you could call it. The other rabbit ended up mounting my rabbit and I told my friend that their rabbit had to be male. She told me that the vet said it was female and maybe it was just a "dominance" thing. Turns out I was right and it took that one time for my rabbit to get pregnant. Thing is, I didn't know she was pregnant.
My rabbit started ripping her fur out to make a "nest" so I googled why she was doing this and later found out that they do this when they're pregnant or think they're pregnant to get ready for the kits. I woke up to this one morning and walked in on her giving birth to the kits. There were 4.
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They were so small and I was afraid to handle them in my hands in case the scent from me would scare the mother away from them. That was the least of my problems at this point. She didn't mind me touching them and she kept feeding them for two days, until the worse possible thing happened. She died. I went downstairs to check on her and the kits and she was breathing heavily. Rabbits try and hide when they're ill because they're on the bottom of the food chain, so seeing her like that worried me. I rushed her to the vet ASAP.
As soon as I got there she died at the clinic. She had stillborn babies inside of her that made her sick. I felt horrible. I should have brought her there as soon as she had the kits, but for whatever reason I thought she would be fine. You know, let nature take it's course and all that, but I was wrong.
The vet told me they are one of THE hardest animals to nurse, and where we live we can't get rabbit milk or rodent milk so the closest thing I could get is KMR (kitten formula) mixed with whipping cream to make it thicker, adding acidophilus to keep a healthy gut flora.
It took me 2 hours to feed them each feeding. They wouldn't eat. They didn't like the syringe. I fed them in the morning and in the night. 2 hours each time, sometimes more but I tried my absolute hardest to get them to feed. I needed to do this for my sweet rabbit that I lost. Everyone told me they would die. That I'd be lucky if they made it a week. Then one died and I lost faith in myself. The one that died was the one that just wouldn't eat as much as the other kits. I tried everything.
I contacted Hoppy Homes Rescue and they wouldn't take the rabbits in because they were "full". I contacted farms that may have nursing mothers, who could maybe adopt the kits. I contacted friends and families to see if anyone had a rabbit that was nursing. I even tried getting them to nurse from a nursing cat, but it didn't work. They can't even pee or poop on their own. You have to stimulate them by rubbing their bellies and their surrounding area with your finger or a cotton ball dipped in warm water. If you don't do this they can also die. The female rabbit usually licks them either before or after each feeding. I was so stressed out.
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And then things changed. They started feeding from me. They started to grow fur.
They kept warm in their mother's fur and snuggled with each other. I had the heat on blast in the room they were in to keep them warm as well.
Every day they got stronger, and more and more energetic! They stole my heart.
Finally the hopping began, and the "binkys" because they were happy.
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I put them in a bigger box after and just used this one for when I took them out to feed them. At this point it's taking me less than 20 minutes to feed all three kits.
So the kits are 4 weeks old today and they've started picking at hay and pellets, and they're still drinking the KMR formula. I have to feed it to them until they're 8-10 weeks old.
They are my absolute favorite in this world and I never thought I'd be able to save one, not to mention 3 of them. I wish I could have saved all 4. I wish she never died, but I can't change what happened. But look at them. Look at the difference. I'm so happy to have gotten the chance to save them. Everyone told me I couldn't do it, that it was near impossible. But here they are, fighting against all odds and winning. They are true fighters. I have complete faith that all 3 of them are going to make it now. They are doing so well. I'm so happy.
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