Rabbits/Possible Pregnancy of 4 month old Holland Lop doe
Expert: Dana Krempels, Ph.D. - 3/3/2015
Question During the week of February 15, 2015 I was on crutches and could not be in my rabbitry every day (Small with two breeding age does, one breeding age buck, and one 4 month old doe (born November 1, 2014). My boyfriend was helping me out by doing chores and at some point during that week (I'm thinking Feb 16) he found my buck in the cage with my 4 month old doe. Freak accident, the buck chewed out of his cage through the floor of my does cage and hopped up through the hole (my theory). I was in shock, but assumed that she would not have allowed him to breed her/she would not yet be fertile as she was still under 4 months at the time (she was supposed to get bred at 6 months to a different buck). Now here we are approximately 2 weeks later and I'm concerned she might have allowed/taken. Her temperament has changed slightly and she seems more territorial of her repaired cage. Buck has been moved to a completely wire cage for his unruly actions. My question is will she even be able to kindle? I believe shes sitting at about 3 lbs currently give or take a few ounces. I would never allow a doe that young to breed, is there a way to terminate her possible pregnancy? If there is no termination method should I induce her at 28 days from Feb 16 with Oxytocin and hope the kits are not already too large? Any help would be greatly appreciated as my number one priority is the survival and health of the doe with the interest of keeping her breeding potential.
Answer Dear Rylee,
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If the male was relatively small, this baby might be able to safely bear her young. But there are no guarantees. I would recommend that you take her to the vet for radiographs or palpation to see if there are fetuses, and how big they are now. The vet may be able to tell you whether she can safely bear these babies.
She might also be having a false pregnancy. I hope that's all it is. But it is not impossible for a baby this young to become pregnant, as domestic rabbits don't seem to have the natural "stops" that wild rabbits have for this sort of thing.
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
RULE #1: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology