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Rabbits/General questions about my stray rabbits


Hi, just two days I was diving home on the gravel roads alongside the railroad tracks when I came upon two stray rabbits hunkering down from the truck. I managed to catch them and brought them both home since we have other rabbits already with all the supplies we need.

The one looks like she was bit around her vagina which we cleaned up. But her white coat is stained both yellow and orange and we have no clue how to clean her up. She is a short haired white with a large black stripe (it's sunfaded right now) down her back, black ears, black circles around her eyes, and 2 small black spots on her hind legs. Just today we gave her a bath with rabbit shampoo but that didn't help at all. She cleans herself all the time but I'm afraid the neighbors are gonna see her and call the authorities saying we are animal abusers. And I was wondering if it is normal for a rabbit to have both eyes be half blue half brown? She has this and it looks so beautiful yet haunting at the same time.

The other one look wise is in worse shape. She is a brown Vienna marked mutt with one blue eye and one brown eye. Her short hair is matted up and has many patches where her fur was pulled out, she's covered is sores, and she's beyond filthy, she's heavily yellowed just like the other one. What would be the best thing to do to clean her up? And is there a way to tell if one or both are pregnant since they look like they've been on the run for awhile?

Thank you for taking some time to read this. We've never had rabbits in this kind of shape before. Hopefully I'll get a shot of them for ya if your interested.

Hi Syd,

I am going to try to answer some of your questions.  First, do you have a veterinarian that treats rabbits?  You said you have other rabbits so I am hoping that you have one that can help you when you have emergencies.  I would take both of these rabbits to the vet.  I would get written confirmation that they were found in this condition and that they had been treated for their wounds.  If your neighbors are nosy then put the rabbits in the house and keep them there.  My personal opinion is that rabbits should live inside the home.  It is safer for them and they are social creatures so the more interaction you have with them the better.  Unless you are housing 200 rabbits in filthy conditions, I wouldn't worry about the 'authorities'.  Animal control cares about only a few things.  Do they have food, water, adequate shelter which provides cooling in the Summer.  Do they have vet care when needed and are they living in an acceptably clean cage.  They are not going to care if the rabbits have hutch stains.  Rabbits are notoriously piggy, especially un-neutered males.  White rabbits get dirty and if you tell them where they came from and that you saved their lives, they are going to understand.  

You should never give a rabbit a bath unless it is medically necessary.  Bathing a rabbit just because its fur is stained can be dangerous for the rabbit.  Not only can they get hypothermia if they aren't dried completely but they can literally have a heart attack from the stress of it.  Rabbits will clean themselves.  You are not going to get those stains out until they fade or molt out on their own.  Please do not bath them.

Are you sure they are both females?  There is a possibility that they could be pregnant. It is unlikely that they were out in the wild for over 30 days.  Domestic rabbits just do not survive in the wild for any length of time.  Since you don't know where they came from it is best to just give them a nesting area and wait for the next 30 days.  If there are no babies after 35 days then they aren't pregnant. You can do a Google search on how to palpate rabbits for pregnancy.  If you have never done it before you are probably going to have difficulty with it.  If your vet is familiar with rabbits, they may be able to tell you.  Their gestation length is so short that for the safety of the babies you should probably just wait and see.

You clearly understand a bit of genetics since you called the one a vienna.  If a rabbit carries one normal gene and one vienna gene they can get funky colored eyes and really funky markings.  This can also happen with the Dutch gene.  It is actually very common for rabbits that carry this gene to have partial blue in their eyes.  

I really think that these animals need to be seen by a vet.  Their wounds may require vet care so they do not develop fatal infections.  I will also suggest that you purchase a product called HealX Soother Plus.  As of right now it is not being sold on Amazon but there are a few places overseas that you can get it. You can find it on the web-site of Harrison Pet Products.  It is an amazing product and it promotes healing.  In my opinion it is FAR superiors to any other creams.  It will help their wounds to heal faster.

I hope I have answered your questions.  If you have any more please let me know.



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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