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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11071
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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She is a cottontail rabbit that we have had weeks and has

Customer Question

She is a cottontail rabbit that we have had for 12 weeks and has suddenly began having difficulty breathing and is losing weight. No vets will see her without turning her over to a wildlife rescue.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cottontail rabbit's name?
Customer: Twitch
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Twitch?
Customer: I know they say you cannot domesticated them, but she is fully domesticated. She suffered a dog attack at 3 days old and we nursed her back to health. She has minimal use of her back legs from the attack. So release to the wild is not an option. Which is why we don't want her turned over to the wildlife rescue. She is so domesticated that she will roll over when she sees us so that we can rub her belly. And she crawls under our hands to be pet.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience breeding and showing rabbits. I have seen tame cottontails, so I believe you. You are in a very tough situation. Twitch definitely needs to be seen by a vet, but if none will see her, you'll have to do the best you can on your own. It sounds like more than one health condition is occurring. The breathing difficulty is probably due to a respiratory infection, often called snuffles. The best treatment is Baytril, available only from vets. I'm going to give you a rabbit supply company where you can get Terramycin to be mixed in the drinking water and nose drops. They are better than nothing. Both are on the following page, which you can copy and paste to your browser window: loss can be caused by so many different things that with out testing and an exam, no one can even guess at that. Possibilities include a dental problem, parasites, abnormality of the digestive system, or nutritional deficiencies. You may be able to have a vet do a fecal exam. Just take the n a fresh stool sample in a clean plastic bag, and tell them you want a check for parasites for your rabbit (don't tell them it's a cottontail). If something is found, they'll probably provide medication for it. Alternatively, the company I gave you above does sell worm medications.Make sure you are feeding Twitch an optimal diet. She should have all of the high quality grass hay she wants. I would also let her eat pellets as she wants to since she has been losing weight. Be sure to use plain rabbit pellets, not any of the gourmet mixes with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Rabbits cannot digest those things well. Greens are also good, but Stitch isn't used to them, introduce them gradual to avoid diarrhea.Another good food for a rabbit that is losing weight is Oxbow Critical Care. It is sold in larger pet stores and online. Klubertanz may have it available. It is mixed with water and fed by syringe as a supplement to the regular diet. Some rabbits will eat it from the edge of a spoon. I would also provide some probiotics. Because she was away from her mother at such a young age, she may have an imbalance of bacteria in her intestines. BeneBac is the brand I use. It is sold in many pet stores. You can't overdose it, so just give her some every day.If you have more questions, just let me know. These measures are not as good as what a vet could do, but they will be the best under the circumstances. I hoe they will be enough for Stitch to recover.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!
Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.
Sorry - autocorrect changed the name of the antibiotic. It should be tetracycline.
Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.
Hello again. I'm just checking to see how Stitch is doing. I hope you were able to get the supplies you need, and she is getting better.Anna

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