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2010-2011 Winter Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club

2010-2011 Winter Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club

The Medicine Cabinet –

The Medicine Cabinet – What to Have on Hand for Winter Litters By Sally Turner Winter is a good time to take stock of what you need to have in your rabbit medicine cabinet. Preparing now could be very helpful when litters arrive. The following are tips from a few District 9 rabbit breeders on what they think are the most important items to have on hand, and what type of nestboxes they use: Breeding Tips! “Critical Care by Oxbow is one thing I will never be without. It has gotten many a rabbit that went off feed back on track again, even from what appeared as near dead! It works miracles.” – Joyce Holton “I keep Terramycin ointment on hand for any trouble concerning open wounds or eye issues. Sometimes you get a baby that has an eye that looks irritated or puffy and putting that on helps a lot, or with weepy eye usually showing up during winter. Wormer and Corid are also a must have!” - Morgan Turner “A syringe of K-Y jelly is ready and Oxytocin on hand when I am expecting litters. We keep Critical Care, infant gas drops, Baby Imodium, dry tail, Benebac, banana baby food, Albon, Nutrical, and a 4-Way Acid Pack on hand. Ciprofloxacin eye drops are the best I've used. Too much Terramycin can yellow teeth. We also mix our own electrolytes : 1 cup clean water 2 teaspoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/16 teaspoon salt (take some out of a 1/4 tsp. or use a rounded 1/8 tsp.) We also keep a heating pad (used on low setting) and clean box ready for kits that need some extra warmth. We keep 1/2 and 1/4 inch Styrofoam sheets which can really help warm up a box if placed underneath where rabbits cannot chew it. Always give the babies an area to escape heat if it is too much, (i.e. heating pad under only half of the box.) There are some good articles on the net about herbs for rabbits. Raspberry leaves can be hard to come by but can help labor. Parsley is also good for does, but can also work to dry milk supplies so timing is important. As due dates approach, I prepare a curved blunt-tipped syringe (no needle!) of KY Jelly for moms that may need assistance with large kits. That lubrication can make delivery much easier and my vet says you cannot over do it. It is important to follow the natural curve of the birth canal (learn it) and never force the syringe. I also keep a syringe of Oxytocin. I can't give recommendations since I am not a vet, but 1/4 cc, sub-que, when a doe is pushing without success has worked for us. We use this as a last resort and never give it unless the doe is in active labor but cannot get the job done. I do recommend contacting your vet for more information. Getting syringes from your vet would Winter 2011 Dwarf Hotot News Page 43

probably be your best bet. You can order them online but shipping would exceed the cost - unless you have a combined order.” - Donna McGraw “Vaseline is good to have around in your medicine chest when you are expecting litters. Dwarf Hotots are known for their large heads and small pelvises- kits often get stuck on the way out and you can aid the doe by rubbing Vaseline around the kit in order to help it out of the doe. Also, we breed 2 or more does at the same time so that if a doe does not take care of her litter or dies, we can foster the kits to another lactating doe. If you foster, always remember to rub the kit on the new doe ‘s fur so her scent is on the kit, or she may hurt them, even eat them.” - Sally Turner Don’t Forget the Nestbox! “We build our nest boxes out of leftover lumber or plywood around the house and small size cage wire for the bottom. That way the droppings don't make a mess on a solid bottom, which can lead to health problems. I use straw during winter for nestbox material. The only thing is you have to keep putting more in because they tend to eat it! After the babies are born, I usually clean out the nestbox and check to make sure no dead babies are in it. Make sure you keep as much hair as possible when doing this and put the hair back with the kits since warmth is a must!” - Morgan Turner “We pack nestboxes with hay or straw (whichever is cleaner at the time) and cut angora wool (1" length) for warmth. I save second grade wool from the does -the buck smell upsets some moms. You have to check the babies often to make sure they have not spun the wool which can tangle legs or necks. Long strands wound with hay should be cut. We clean nestboxes immediately after birth and every 3 days after that. “I am trying something for the second time. A friend of mine has good success with plastic storage boxes – sweater size for her angoras and shoe box size for Jersey Woolies which also fit Dwarf Hotots. We gave one to our DH doe that was due in November and she made herself right at home. Unfortunately a large fetus clogged up the works and we lost the litter so I don't have conclusive results from using the plastic box. Since the plastic boxes stack, they are easy to store and they are easy to disinfect. I use horse cooler/blanket clamps to keep them in place.” - Donna McGraw Winter 2011 Dwarf Hotot News Page 44

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