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!URGENT! How do I dispose of Stillborns/Deformed Kits?

22 9:47:45

      My rabbit is due to give birth in the next 2-3 days and I want to know what to do if she has a litter of stillborns or deformed kits.
Q1:How do I dispose of stillborns?
Q2:How do I humanely dispose of deformed kits?

ANSWER: Dear Lilly,

Laws about disposing of dead animals vary across the globe.  But if there are stillborn babies, they could probably be given a decent burial in the garden.

As for "deformed" kits...what exactly would you classify as "deformed"?  There are many congenital abnormalities that might not be considered perfect, but a bunny can live a perfectly happy life even with such disabilities.  We have three-legged bunnies, blind bunnies, and bunnies with many different types of disabilities, and some of them are the most wonderful little people you could imagine.

Take for example our little Rusty (a.k.a. "Mr. Bippity" because of his rollicking, happy gait).  He was found in a park as a baby, sitting in one spot for several days before the woman who first spotted him saw him being kicked around like a soccer ball by some evil teenagers.  She intervened and saved Rusty.

When he came to us, we found he had congenital hip dysplasia, which caused his legs to splay outwards.  It was not only the reason he could not move from that spot she first saw him, but probably also why he was dumped.  He also suffered a bad tibial/fibular fracture that had healed badly before we got him.  What to do?

Well, we devised leg braces for him so that his little legs are now parallel, and he gets around as fast as can be.  He can climb steps, run around with his friends, and he enjoys life as much as anybun.  He is also one of the most gentle, intelligent individuals I have ever met.  He is a PeaceMaker:  he can get warring clans of bunnies to get along and play together, just be being with them and showing his affection to both sides.  It's truly amazing.

So unless you have babies with deformities that are life-threatening, I would seriously caution you against wanton euthanasia.  There is a home out there for even special bunnies.

If you do have bunnies with life-threatening deformities, then contact a local veterinarian about humane forms of euthanasia.  Some breeders will tell you that putting them in the freezer is humane, which could NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.  If you have ever been cold, or gotten frostbite, you will know that it is one of the most cruel, painful, horrible ways to die.  Those breeders simply have an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that truly makes me sick.  (I think they should be subjected to some time in a freezer, if they disagree.)

An overdose of barbituate, administered by a veterinarian, is the only humane form of euthanasia I would recommend, and only if the babies have no chance of survival.

If you have multiple babies with life-threatening deformities, then there may be a problem with inbreeding or developmental environment of the mother, so do take such an event as a serious message.  Please also read:

I hope this helps.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Butters - Wry Neck
Butters - Wry Neck  
QUESTION: Thankyou. I would never consider euthanasia for a rabbit with disabilities if they weren't life threatening. I own a lovely Netherland Dwarf with Wry Neck and I love him to death. I have attatched a pic of him. His head is leaning on the beanbag so his head doesn't look oso tilted. I would also never even consider the freezer option. Thankyou for your help.

Dear Lilly,

I'm glad you love your bunnies!  :)   Butters is adorable.

I just was not sure where you were coming from, so wanted to be sure that you hadn't heard about the freezer thing from someone and might think it was safe and humane.  Many people--unbelievably--do think that.  

Have a wonderful holiday, and good luck with your bunnies.