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Home Page Forums RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS Rescued wild cottontails becoming aggressive

This topic contains 1sd reply, has 2,992 voices, and was last updated by  jerseygirl 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • Steffanie
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    So a month ago, I became a mother to 6 wild rabbits. Their mother was hit by a car, and we watched their nest for 2 days, placing small sticks over the nest so the mother would have had to move them in order to feed her babies, so I’m positive the mother was not returning to feed them. (It’s a myth that if you touch a rabbit nest, the mother abandons them, so no nagging please.) Well now the 3 surviving rabbits are just about ready for release, and I’ve started noticing scabs on them. At first i was just seeing a couple small scabs, and I decided to move their release date to earlier than planned (they’re already completely on a fresh grass, lettuce, and hay diet, no more formula). 

    Just today I noticed a rather large area on one of the rabbits where it is raw and it was slightly bloody. These small scabs are just beginning to heal, and now they’re TEARING into each other. I have a two story outdoor hutch, but due to my location, there are predators everywhere and I don’t want to leave them outside to be eaten. I also have an indoor cage converted from a plastic tote. I’ve separated the rabbits for the time being but I’m not sure what to do moving forward. 

    All of he rabbits are behaviorally ready to be released. They’re weaned, curious, standing on their back feet, scared of people, animals, and strange noises, and they’re also beginning to bite me whenever I try to transport them from their indoor cage to the outdoor for a bit of exercise and exposure to the outdoors.

    Should I release the two rabbits which don’t have open wounds and wait for this one to heal before releasing? The open wound is larger than a quarter but NO LONGER BLEEDING and I’m afraid if i release the baby, it’ll get infected. This is my third litter of rescues, and I’ve never had cottontail rabbits in the past attack each other so I don’t know what to do. 

    As for care until release, should I apply Neosporin to the wound?

    I’ve attached photos of the rabbits when i got them (eyes closed, flattened ears, tiny in size) as well as a more current scale of size, and the wound (I didn’t want to stress the rabbit by holding it and messing with the affected area to get a better picture, but you can see that it’s quite large) PLEASE, any help is appreciated. 



    jerseygirl
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    Hi Steffanie

    I inserted the attached photos for you.

    You’ve done so well for these little guys! From what I understand, mortality rate is high when hand rearing cottontails.

    I hope other members who have experience are able to help.

    Maybe if you contact a wild life rehabber, you can get some direction on how to proceed?
    I found these resources through House Rabbit Society website:

    http://wildliferehabber.org

    http://wildliferehabinfo.org/Contact_A-M.htm

    http://wildliferehabinfo.org/Contact_N-Z.htm

    It seems unusal to me that they are fighting. Neosporin on the wound sounds like a good idea. Just be sure to use the one withouta pain reliever in it.


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