Bunny not eating cecotropes

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Adeline752, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Feb 28, 2012 #1

    Adeline752

    Adeline752

    Adeline752

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    I have an 11 week old Holland lop bunny that I have had since 8 weeks old. He is not eating his cecotropes and they are getting mashed into his fur. I have brought him to the vet and had a stool sample done- no parasites. He is on Oxbow pellets 1/2 cup a day and unlimited hay. That is it besides water of course. It has almost been a month now and I am not seeing any improvements. The vet says there is nothing else that can be done. Has anyone ever encoutered this problem before and is this just the way he will be forever? I know the breeder I got him from was giving him rolled oats mixed in a bit with his pellet food, but I did not continue this. I would think if it were the oats it would have cleared by now since it has almost been a month. I need advice please.
     
  2. Feb 28, 2012 #2

    gmas rabbit

    gmas rabbit

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    Have you tried feeding them to him as soon as you see him pass them. Maybe he doesn't know he is suppose to eat them.
     
  3. Feb 28, 2012 #3

    james waller

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    Adeline752 wrote:
    some cecoz are overlooked-due to an over abunance thereof--however this bun is very young--cecoz are considered night poops--it is conceivable that we don,t see the actual feeding directly from the bum--to carry this thought forward--what diameter are the day poops--the round ones,??--watch for their diameter to get smaller-this could be indicitive of a problem---orreal mushy poops,,--sincerely james waller--good job mom:big wink::wink
     
  4. Feb 28, 2012 #4

    Adeline752

    Adeline752

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    The round poops are normal size. They do not seem to be changing in size at all. He has been eating and drinking fine. He is also already litterbox trained (pretty much) which I am really happy about!

    I guess I could try to feed the cecotropes to him. I will try anything within reason! Has anyone had a bun with this issue that does not seem to be diet related?
     
  5. Feb 28, 2012 #5

    LakeCondo

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    There was another posting on this just about 10 days ago, but there was no real resolution. You could find it by searching for "cecals". Anyway, that was in a full-grown rabbit, so the reason may be different.

    With Cooper, he may not know to eat them, while with an adult it may be due to producing too many. I got Honey when she was an adult & can't keep in mind when rabbits are to be switched from unlimited alfalfa pellets & hay to timothy hay & limited timothy pellets, but you might check this out.
     
  6. Feb 28, 2012 #6

    oryctolaguslady

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    According to some studies, rabbits that are fed a concentrate food (pellets) may not eat as many cecotrophs, simply becuase they are receiving all the nutrition they need in the food. Rabbits often have an instinct to tell them when they need certain nutrients.

    It probably would not hurt to try and feed the cecotrophs to him, but if he is eating 1/2 cup of pellets a day and hay and seems otherwise healthy, I would not worry about it.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2012 #7

    tonyshuman

    tonyshuman

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    Some young bunnies don't eat all their cecotropes. It is gross and messy, but doesn't necessarily mean he's ill. You might consider putting him on the same food the breeder had--rolled oats and all--and doing a gradual switch to the Oxbow food. Is it the Oxbow 15/23 or Bunny Basics T? A bunny that young should be on 15/23 as it is alfalfa-based.
     
  8. Feb 29, 2012 #8

    Adeline752

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    Cooper is on the Oxbow Bunny Basics for young bunnies. When I did switch over the food I did a mix so it wasn't a complete shock to his system. He has been on the Oxbow for about 2 1/2 weeks. Are you saying that this is the wrong Oxbow food? I am confused. Should he be on a different kind?

    Yeah, I am thinking he isn't probably ill, the vet said he checked out okay. But the real issue I guess is that I was hoping that he would be a real house bunny hopping all around and with this issue it is a bit discouraging. Just hoping that things will get better. Has anybody heard of this? Someone mentioned another posting about this same issue. I will check it out. Anybody know if the problem resolved itself?
     
  9. Feb 29, 2012 #9

    LakeCondo

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    You didn't specify in your 1st post which Oxbow product you meant, so I thought it might be the pellets for adult rabbits.

    And whatever the problem is it probably will resolve itself after awhile. Be patient.
     
  10. Feb 29, 2012 #10

    tonyshuman

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    I'm sorry, I'm out of date on my Oxbow product names. They used to call their baby bunny pellet "15/23" and their adult pellet "Bunny Basics T." I checked and now they call them "young rabbit" and "adult rabbit" formulas. The young rabbit formula should be good. If you took about a week to switch his pellets over, that should be appropriate. You might look into getting him a probiotic to settle his system a bit. I use ProBios horse gel formula, but they also make pet formulas (found at the farm/feed store). There is also a pet product called BeneBac, found in the dog/cat medicine section, that is the same thing.

    It is not uncommon for young bunnies to not eat all their cecotropes, but they are good for him and I understand not eating them makes him messy. He's probably healthy, but a probiotic won't hurt.
     
  11. Mar 5, 2012 #11

    Adeline752

    Adeline752

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    Just wanted to update everyone ( or if anyone is ever doing a search with a similar problem) that Cooper seems to be doing much better. I am seeing less cecotropes in his cage and they seem to be sticking to his fur less. I will say he does a great job cleaning himself off after too. It has been four and a half weeks since I have had him and I am thinking it is just taking him some time to adjust to his new home. I also think changing his diet to the Oxbow food helped too. I will wait quite a bit before introducing any vegetables or fruit. When do you typically introduce veg and fruit? Read somewhere 12 weeks, but another reading said 6 months.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2012 #12

    Nancy McClelland

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    Doesn't sound like it's anything to be concerned about. Some of ours ingest "em immediately--by that I mean we never, ever see any. Others don't hardly eat any at all. One of those, Coal, will be 13 next month. We keep unscented baby wipes on hand for the cleanup if needed.
     
  13. Mar 5, 2012 #13

    tonyshuman

    tonyshuman

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    Sounds good. I would just start slowly with the veggies at around 12 mo. Start with a tiny bit--like the size of your thumb--and make sure it goes ok. You can gradually increase as desired. I'd stick with the best-tolerated stuff too, like parsley, romaine lettuce, baby greens, etc, until about 6 mo or when he eats veggies with no problems.
     
  14. Mar 6, 2012 #14

    LakeCondo

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    tonyshuman wrote:
    The 2 ages should be reversed, I assume.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2012 #15

    Adeline752

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    So should I start around 6 months and go from there slowly?
     
  16. Mar 6, 2012 #16

    tonyshuman

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    I meant 12 weeks, not 12 mo. sorry
     
  17. Dec 30, 2013 #17

    RobinLaska

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    I think I'm having a similar problem - my 2 babies are flemish giants, and they are 8 weeks old. I've had them for 2 weeks now (yes, I got them very young), and at first, the cecotropes didn't really appear, but now they're EVERYWHERE. We just cleaned their cage yesterday, and today I came in to a very stinky room with cecotropes smooshed in the floor, all over the water bowl and LOTS of them in the litter box itself.. it's also smooshed into the fur on their bellies.

    We did increase their food intake, as they ALWAYS seem to be hungry - I think maybe we are over feeding? They are getting Martin's Little Friends timothy pellets (same as our other rabbits have been getting for years), unlimited mixed hay/grass (from a local farmer) and water. I wasn't sure how much they should get as far as pellets went, as they are growing so large, so quickly.

    Any thoughts? They do seem perfectly happy and healthy - eating like savages, copious amounts of good sized, regular poops, lots of energy. Not sure what to do about the smelly, squishy cecals though..
     
  18. Dec 30, 2013 #18

    Imbrium

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    A common cause of excess cecals is "too many pellets"... however, babies are *supposed* to get extra pellets, so excess cecals is often par for the course for them.

    Also, babies have short attention spans and often simply forget that they're supposed to be eating their cecals - one of my two girls tended to leave them around even after I limited their pellets a bit (due to a chubby bunny/vet's recommendation, not because of the cecals); by 4-5 months old I only saw a random cecal on rare occasions and beyond that, I don't think I've seen them at all.

    You may wish to limit pellets to some degree if you find that they're not eating enough hay (it should be 80% of a bunny's diet regardless of their age), but they should still be getting at least 1.5x what their approximate adult ration is going to be *based on their anticipated adult weight, not their current weight* once veggies are introduced and at least 2x their anticipated adult ration before that.

    Flemishes and other large breeds eat ridiculous amounts of food as juveniles because they do SO much growing so quickly, though - as long as they're eating hay well, don't be afraid to give copious or even unlimited amounts of pellets and (at 12+ weeks and after a veggie has been gradually introduced) lots of leafy green veggies as well. Also, you can gradually introduce some alfalfa hay to their mix if you'd like.

    With flemmies, don't forget that the usual mark of 7 mos for switching to adult portions doesn't apply - they should be fed like juveniles until they're a year old.

    As for the cecals, you pretty much just need to stock up on paper towels and get used to holding your breath briefly ><
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  19. Dec 30, 2013 #19

    RobinLaska

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    Thank you for that! You've just made me feel 100% better about this whole situation. I think even though the mixed grasses we get from the farm up the road has a whole bunch of yummy stuff, I'm going to add store bought alfalfa to encourage more hay intake. Then just give them 2 or 3 generous "feedings" of pellets a day. That might encourage more grazing of hay throughout the day as well. The cecals are smelly and gross, but like you say... they probably will start eating them eventually. I'm so new to juveniles.. all my previous rabbits were older and, of course, much smaller and slower growing. Giants are a whole separate ball game! Thanks again!
     
  20. Dec 30, 2013 #20

    Imbrium

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    Jennifer

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    No problem, glad I could help :). Cecals all over the freaking place are never fun but they're at least less bad if you know they're nothing to be worried about! Give it a month or two and they won't be quite as prolific.
     

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