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Title: Severely swollen tongue

LoveYourGuts - February 24, 2010 01:57 AM (GMT)
I have a pregnant doe (3-4 days from popping) and when I went to feed this evening she was acting strange. I picked her up and she was very touchy with her nose. Come to find her tongue is swollen. Big time. I'm thinking allergic reaction (I gave them kale + carrots this AM 1st time)

What can I do for her? She is having trouble breathing normally. But everything else looks normal. Help

jodi - February 24, 2010 02:12 AM (GMT)
have you changed anything lately, such as food, hay, bedding, etc? If so then I'd remove that element and see if that helps.

HendricksHearth - February 24, 2010 02:13 AM (GMT)
I believe you can give Benadryl to rabbits, but I don't know the dosage and I am not sure about a doe that is just about to kindle. Can you call a local vet or an emergency vet in your area and ask them if it is safe for a pregnant doe and/or a dosage?

Best of luck,


LoveYourGuts - February 24, 2010 02:17 AM (GMT)
I came in just long enough to write you guys and she was flat out in her nest box. So I woke her up really quick and have her in my lap now. I fed them kale this morning and I think that might be it. Everything else is exactly the same. Her tongue is huge and starting to turn purple but all her body parts work and her mucous membranes and gums are normal pink. And she is shaking..

Does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to man handle her too much because she is bred but she is in obvious distress and think she might need to be put down.

OakRidgeRabbits - February 24, 2010 02:29 AM (GMT)
She needs Benedryl or something, but I don't know a proper dosage either. :(

Run Wild - February 24, 2010 02:31 AM (GMT)
I agree with the others, I'm thinking an allergic/bad reaction to the kale if it was the first time they have ever gotten it.

Call your vet/emergency # and ask if they know the proper dosage for a rabbit. Pregnant or not, I think I would try and save her life, if she loses the litter, you can always rebreed her.

jodi - February 24, 2010 02:35 AM (GMT)
I'd try it cause it can't be worse then if you don't try. if you don't try she dies and if you she might die and might make it. :hug: good luck. let us know

Keepee - February 24, 2010 02:47 AM (GMT)
Try 1/10 cc of Benadryl, watch and wait. If you need to, add in more a little at a time. We had to give it to our dog before his shots and Bear was around 5lbs at the time and got a capful before and then a capful after (a 2 hour time period)

HendricksHearth - February 24, 2010 02:55 AM (GMT)
I agree- if it were my rabbit, I would dose her with benadryl from the medicine cabinet too. I have been searching in the meantime and I did find a website that says that Diphenhydramine (active drug in benadryl) is NOT toxic to kits/fetal development in rabbits. It does cause dizziness and drowsiness in the mother, but that is to be expected with most mammals. I am still trying to find a dosage somewhere- did you get in touch with a vet office and ask yet?


EDIT: I found a formulary online for the drug for dogs and cats from when I worked for vets- it says basically:
4mg per kg by mouth three times per day or 0.5mg per kg in the vein or muscle twice daily as an antihistamine.

How much does your doe weigh approximately?

oakgrove - February 24, 2010 09:20 AM (GMT)
I hope she is okay. I wish I would have been on earlier. I would give her benadryl too, liquid for kids. With her being pregnant, I am not sure what it might do but the risk of doing nothing could be worse. I had someone tell me 1/2 teaspoonful for a holland lop. It seemed high, I gave a little less.

Let us know how she is

LoveYourGuts - February 24, 2010 11:54 AM (GMT)
Hey, I did what Keep said and gave her 1/10 cc of liquid benadryl, didn't have the childrens liquid. She seems to be a little better this morning... I will keep everyone posted.

jodi - February 24, 2010 03:50 PM (GMT)
I'm so glad she is doing better :hug: . I hope she continues to improve. keep us updated.

Keepee - February 24, 2010 10:59 PM (GMT)
I'm glad it helped! How is she doing?

LoveYourGuts - February 25, 2010 01:59 AM (GMT)

She is much more alert this evening and has been drinking and eating. The swelling is not completely down but it is better. Seems much happier! Now for the bad news. She is walking around on her front ankles... Back legs work, front legs to the ankles work, but her front feet are folded under and she is quite literally walking on her ankles. So I shoved her cage full of hay, lining the floor nice and thick and am crossing my fingers that it is just a side effect... I don't know if anyone has ever seen that particular fun fact but it is really off putting.

The rest of her seems happy and content, so I figure as long as she is alright no worries.

jodi - February 25, 2010 05:46 PM (GMT)
has she had her kits yet? I know you said she was close to being due. As for her front feet I would hope it was just a reaction to the alergy and meds. just keep a close eye on her for sores on her ankles.

Devoville - February 26, 2010 09:57 PM (GMT)
I think maybe the swelling has affected more than her tongue. Sounds like nerves are involved somewhere in the neck or spine. I would keep up the benedryl or an anti-inflammatory of some kind?

LoveYourGuts - February 28, 2010 09:14 PM (GMT)
She had four healthy babies and now her legs are fine. So I am wondering if the benadryl has something in it that caused the reaction or maybe if she was allergic to her babies? Can that happen...?

Keepee - February 28, 2010 09:49 PM (GMT)
Glad she kindled fine!! :wub:

I would think that if she were allergic to her babies, her immune system would have attacked them before now and they would have been born dead? I'm not sure though.

jodi - March 1, 2010 02:13 AM (GMT)
yay live babies :banana:
I'm with Keepe if she were alergic to her babies I highly doubt they would have made more then a week into gestation.

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