Rabbits/Rabbit health


Coffee after birth
Coffee after birth  

Coffee before birth
Coffee before birth  
I have a 2 year old rabbit(Coffee). It was breeded accidentally. One day my mum left the door open and my other rabbit (which the pet store assured me was a female) 'attacked' Coffee for a few minutes but I guess it was enough. When the litter came I was surprised (1 stillborn, 1 died 5 days later and 2 healthy one now age 3 weeks). She built no nest but built one 1 week after birth.
I observed that Coffee has a noisy breathing since 1 month. Brought her to a vet(one of the rare one accepting rabbits in my country) at the early stage since she was having loose stool too but he did not even realise the rabbit was pregnant at that time and just gave antibiotics (which I did not use since Coffee gave birth that same night). I looked everywhere and there does not seem to be a rabbit vet on my island. So please can you help me?
The problem is that Coffee still has this noisy breathing specially when she eats and it sometimes get worse. Also she is eating a lot more than usual (around 4-5 times more which equates to around 3 cups of pellets +leaves,fruits,grass) probably due to feeding the babies..I gradually increased her feeding to that amount since she was always hungry.but I'm seeing her getting thinner even then . She was a very big rabbit (slightly overweight) but lost a lot of weight since giving birth. Otherwise she seems fit and playful, though staying most of the time resting near her babies. Her excrements and urine seem normal. She is a medium size rabbit (see picture) and from ordinary race. Is she sick? Why did her breathing become noisy and stay like that?
Thank you

Hello there!

I had to google Plaines Wilhems, Mauritius to even know where that was - I learned something new today. You surely are secluded, so it's not a huge surprise to hear that you're lacking in veterinary care for exotics. The weight loss is most likely due to giving birth. You should see her intake double, if not triple, as a natural thing. Milk production takes a lot out of anyone, much less a bunny. You can help her gain some of her weight back by feeding products heavier in fat content - Alfalfa hay is rich in these nutrients and may help her produce more nutritious milk for her babies. Not too much, and it should be taken out of the diet again once her babies are weaned.
I want to clarify - did the heavy breathing start one month after Coffee was pregnant? I'll be honest, I'm not really sure what would cause this. It's possible that it could be some sort of chest or sinus infection. Do you still have the antibiotics? If so, I would hold off until her babies are weaned off of mothers milk and then administer the antibiotics and see if that helps.


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Christine Whetstone


I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.


I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues


Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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