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Rabbit Cannibalism

This situation can be caused by a variety of conditions like when the does become excited by an environmental change or when the nutritional status (usually water) is restricted.

Eating young often occurs when varmints, household pets, rodents, or some other unusual visitor enters the rabbitry soon after the doe has delivered her young. The eating of young is an instinctive survival response of the doe. Restrict all animals and visitors from entering or roaming near the rabbitry. The problems often occur at night when rodents and varmints are more active.

Other concerns include a check of the water supply system to assure that adequate amounts of fresh, cool water are available and use vitamin/electrolyte supplements in the drinking water during hot periods. Adding electrolytes (salts) increases water consumption. If water is not flushed frequently from overhead water pipes during hot weather, the water may become too hot for drinking. The does may not drink enough water and cannibalism may result. All hot water in these pipes should be flushed at mid-afternoon.

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Christy Little, left, meets with Bridget Monk and her dog, Princess Paisley, at the Animal Emergency and Referral Clinic in Flowood. Monk received funds donated in memory of the Little’s dog, Gabbie, for those in need of help to pay for veterinary care. (Submitted photo)
Filed Under: Small Animals February 17, 2016

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

Flowood, Miss. -- Bridget Monk of Pearl has dealt with and overcome a great deal in her 16 years. But all difficulties were forgotten when her new puppy, Princess Paisley, was placed in her arms.

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Filed Under: Small Animals January 26, 2016

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Filed Under: Small Animals April 14, 2003

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Easter season often inspires people to adopt bunnies into their families, but these cuddly pets require attention and a long-term commitment.

"Rabbits can make great pets. Unfortunately, people often buy them impetuously as Easter gifts, and six months later, they are past the initial cute, cuddly stage, so they are put in a cage in the backyard and neglected," said Dr. Thomas Lenarduzzi, associate clinical professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

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