Baby Bunny, oh dear - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 05-07-2010, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Baby Bunny, oh dear

I saw my collie b!tch carrying something around in the yard this morning, I'd just let them out after a big rainstorm. My collies are tried and true farm dogs, they herd, hunt, and guard, but when it comes to baby animals of any kind, my girls go all super-maternal as can be. I retrieved what she was carrying, it was a tiny baby bunny. I know there's a nest around somewhere because my barn cats have been strutting and leaving me baby bunny feet as proof of their hunting prowess (Ew). I searched around in the tall grass areas of my property, but cannot locate the nest. This baby is well too small to be away from mama, eyes are still closed, ears down still, so it's less than 10 days old, the nursing blaze is obvious as can be, so she can't be weaned yet. She was freezing cold from the downpour this morning, so I brought her in, got out the old box with the heating pad etc. I've rehabbed a lot of wild babies over the years, but never had great luck with bunnies, they just rarely seem to make it past the initial shock for me, and especially because she got so cold. I called the local DNR rehabbers, but nobody has the ability to take another one on right now. Early spring and orphans abound and all that. Since most of them know me, they are pretty inclined to just leave it to me. Great.

Ah well, I'll give it a go again anyways, I suppose. I have her upstairs in a box with a heating pad and wrapped in warm dishtowels to try to bring her body temp up. If she seems more lively after she is warm, I'll heat her up some esbilac. Well wishes are appreciated, although I'm kind of pessimistic about it.

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post #2 of 43 Old 05-07-2010, 12:24 PM
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Good luck with her Indy, but as you said, wild bunny babies generally don't make it. The trauma is usually too much for them, and she's awfully young.
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post #3 of 43 Old 05-07-2010, 12:43 PM
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Baby bunnies are some of the trickier bunch - I do wish you (and the little one) the best, though!
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post #4 of 43 Old 05-07-2010, 03:09 PM
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Good luck. It's better then just leaving her outside I suppose. They are hard ones though...

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post #5 of 43 Old 05-07-2010, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. So far so good. She got warmed up and seems less shocky, though I'm keeping her very quiet and minimizing handling because they can be so stressy. I waited until 5 pm to feed her so she wasn't feeding on a shocked system. She was moving around in her box a little, and was "popping" when I went to pick her up and feed her a few minutes ago. I think she might be a touch older than I originally thought, because on looking at her closely when I fed her her eyes are actually mostly open, I thought they were closed this morning when I found her but it appears she was just keeping them tightly clenched closed *l*. So she's probably around 10 days old. I was able to get about 2 cc in her, fed with my tiny p-pod (1 cc preemie oral syringe) and got her to potty readily with the ol' paper towel. By the end of the feeding she was actively sucking off the syringe, so hopeful that this is a good sign.

Anyways, a couple pics.

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post #6 of 43 Old 05-08-2010, 12:24 AM
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Awww, so cute.

About 12 years ago my dog was after a baby bunny and I managed to get it away from her before she killed it. Unfortunately, I only managed to keep it alive a couple of days, but I do not have a knack for keeping truly wild creatures alive.

It sounds like that little baby is in good hands with you looking out for it.

Good luck!

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post #7 of 43 Old 05-08-2010, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Almost there, thanks, I'm willing to give it a try, though I don't have super high hopes. I have hand reared a lot of baby possum, raccoon, and groundhogs, but bunnies and squirrels have never done great for me.

That being said, for now she seems to be doing better than I expected. When I went in to feed her this morning, she climbed out of her towel and toddled over to the side of her box to greet me, and ate enthusiastically, I didn't even have to hold her, she just pushed her little feet against the blankets and sucked off the syringe. I've discovered she does have an injury on the inside of one of her hind legs, and a small section where the skin is gone, I went ahead and put ointment on it but the bone seems sound and she is walking on it. In trying to piece together what happened and how she ended up in my back yard I am guessing she was caught by one of my barn cats, was either carried or managed to escape and run into my back yard, where she probably spent a good part of the night getting rained on before my Bonnie discovered her in the morning. I wouldn't count on her making it through such a scare but she does seem to be rallying very well. Generally if they make it past 3 days you are okay, so one day down. She does seem very strong compared to bunnies I have raised in the past, so with luck that's a hopeful sign!

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post #8 of 43 Old 05-08-2010, 10:12 AM
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My sister and I nursed three squirrels that fell out of their nest. Two of them made it, and we still see them in the yard. Good luck!
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post #9 of 43 Old 05-08-2010, 04:31 PM
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Good luck! I hope the little fella lives. I had a cocker spaniel that was the best little hunter. You could tell her to "got get those rats/mice" and she would run off to the barn and be back in ten minutes with what you asked for, but that also meant that bunnies and other critters fell victim to her as well. She killed the mama bunny that was living in our back pasture at the time and we luckily had bunnies of our own at that time too. We rubbed the wild babies all over the domestic ones that our broodiest doe had and she raised them just fine. We had to fix up the cage though that they were in eventually. The wild bunnies kept spooking and getting their heads stuck in the wire of the cage. All of them lived until we let them go. Best wishes for this little one too!

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post #10 of 43 Old 05-08-2010, 04:45 PM
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Aww, what a great dog you've got! My border collie brought us to a crow once. He sat next to it and hollered his head off until we got there. We put the crow in a make-shift nest on the side of the garage and whenever it fell out, Louie would be there to bark for us. =]

Best of luck for your little bunny. It's probably in good hands. =]

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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