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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11465
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hi my rabbit gave birth to 4 baby bunnies 4 weeks and 1 day

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Hi my rabbit gave birth to 4 baby bunnies 4 weeks and 1 day ago there was always 2 that were slightly smaller and 1 then caught up with the others the smallest one is always full of energy and running around but I have got home from work and it's very still it's eyes are not fully open and it's just sitting very calmly on my lap this is very unusual for this bunny. What could be wrong how can I help?

I'm sorry to hear your little bunny is not well. I have been raising and showing rabbits for over 30 years, and I'll try to help you.

Will you tell me what breed of rabbits you have?

If you don't know the breed, how big is the mother (how much does she weigh)?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There dwarf loop eared rabbits
Thank you. That's what I suspected. We call them Holland lops here in the States, and that's the breed I raise. When dealing with dwarf rabbits, there is actually a dwarf gene involved. Each rabbit has 2 genes to determine size; it got one from each parent. WE'll call the gene for normal size 'N' and the gene for the small size 'D.' Dwarf rabbits that grow up to be healthy adults have one of each gene, so ND. If a rabbit gets the N gene from both parents, so it si NN, it will be larger, with a more pointed face, and longer ears. If it gets a D from each parent, so DD, it is in trouble. Such bunnies will be smaller than the others, and among show breeders are often referred to as 'peanuts.' Because of how genetics works, when breeding dwarf rabbits, about 1/4 will be DD. Most of them die within the first week after birth. Once in awhile, one lives to be 3 to 5 weeks, then the health problems associated with having the double D manifest, and they will die. It is especially sad then because they are at their very cutest. Your little bunny is most likely a DD, or peanut. That clicking sound you hear indicates a breathing difficulty, probably pneumonia. Because of all t he circumstances involved, it si highly unlikely that he will respond to any treatment, but if you wanted to do everything possible, you could take him to a vet. This link will take you to a list of UK rabbit vets:

However, in all my years of rabbit breeding, I've never seen one of these little ones survive to adulthood. I'm so sorry to give you such unpleasant news, but I feel you deserve an honest answer. I feel bad for you, and wish I could give you a remedy, but I'm afraid there simply isn't one. If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. All you can do for this little one is let him know he is loved and keep him comfortable.

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Hello again,

Here is a link where you can read more about this, and confirm what I told you above:

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the information
You're welcome. I truly wish I could have told you something else, but I can't lie to you. When breeding dwarf rabbits, this is one of the facts of life. That doesn't make it any easier, but at least you know you didn't do anything wrong, and the mama rabbit didn't do anything wrong.

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