Momma came to Wonderland on March 20, 2017. She was part of a forfeiture from a hoarder. There were 27 rabbits. ALL 27 rabbits were kept in a 4 ft x 4 ft square pen. Oh you read that right. 27!!! One homemade chicken wire and wood square pen. Males and females. When we first saw the 27, we noted not only how emaciated they all were but also all the males had severe injuries, most full of pus and needing antibiotics. All were scared and you could tell they had never been touched. We checked out a few and talked to the Sheriff about coordinating Rescue. We turned around and there was Momma, all alone in her pen with 3 tiny little babies laying on the newpaper. (They threw away her nest when they cleaned her cage). Apparantly she had the litter the day before. There had been 8 babies and only the 3 were left. That is so incredibly sad. We knew they would never live without a nest and with her being so stressed she may not feed. So we brought her and the 3 babies back to the Shelter.
We set her up in a pen in the Sanctuary and started cleaning the other bunnies. About 7 o’ clock, I reached in to give her more hay and I thought she growled at me. Jerry listens and says she isn’t growling. He pulled her out and she was mouth breathing. Grab her grab the babies and GO. 45 minute drive to the ER vet. They take her and the babies and put them in oxygen then took an xray. Her lungs looked like strings of white cotton candy. Pasturella is a killer of rabbits. While 85% of rabbits will test positive of Pasturella in blood test, most have immune systems that will fight it off and most will never get sick. It is HIGHLY contagious to ALL household animals. It is passed through the urine. It can be made active from the unsanitary living conditions, combined with being taken from the place, the stress of the shelter/pound, and then childbirth!
ER vet sent her home on meds with a warning that she may not make it and if she did, she could pass it to the babies. She could not have the best meds because she is nursing. We get home at 2 in the morning, move her into the Office (now referred to as Momma’s Room) and she will have to stay isolated (what that means for her future adoptability I am not sure). We remade a nice nest box for her and cut up lots of fleece and scrunched up blankets and nestled those babies in. In the morning one had died. The two black ones had made it but Marble, a little tiny white bunny with what looked like brown spots, couldn’t hang on.
After 5 1/2 weeks all are well. Momma has been back for a second x-ray and she is about 1/2 as congested as she was. Once the babies are weaned, she will go on the more effective antibiotics to see if we can knock the rest of the goo out of her lungs. Both babies are boys and are HUGE! We ask mom is she is feeding chocolate milk!!! We are trying to leave them all together for awhile. While we are torn knowing that by pulling them from her now they may not be infected. But if they are it will be easier to house them together at the Sanctuary.
All three are doing great so far and Momma is almost due for another x-ray and change in her antibiotics to kick her lungs back to health.
Any donations to our medical fund are greatly appreciated – can be paid to Southgate Animal Hospital.