Hard/dry poops but everything else is normal, help!

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JBun

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I've never had to treat a yeast infection in rabbits, so don't have experience with it. If your rabbit is continuing to have odd poop and yeast was found, then that seems the best thing to try and treat, to see if it makes a difference.
 

lynne2809

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I've never had to treat a yeast infection in rabbits, so don't have experience with it. If your rabbit is continuing to have odd poop and yeast was found, then that seems the best thing to try and treat, to see if it makes a difference.
Thank you for your help. So, he seems to be doing better overall. He hasn’t had any of the totally mushy, wet poop anymore. He’s been on the Nystatin (anti-fungal) for 4-5 days now. He is still eating, drinking, peeing, and acting completely 100% normal. Here’s the strange part: his poops overnight are perfect. Literally flawless. However, during the day he seems to almost get “blocked up” by a mass of large cecotropes. He seems very gassy, but he will still eat and act 100% normal and does not seem to be in pain at all. He won’t poop all day and when he finally does, it’s these clumps of absolutely massive cecotropes. They’re definitely not normal fecal pellets because they look like cecotropes, just massive. After he passes this “clump” of cecotropes, his fecal pellets return to normal and they are wonderful overnight. I’m not sure if this is something that I just need to give some time, or if this is something that is dangerous for him. I’ve tried everything at this point: cutting out fruit, cutting out all treats, decreasing pellets, increasing hay, switching hay, etc. and I just don’t know what to do to fix this. I just really don’t see how this could be diet related at this point. Could this be megacolon even if he is a brown lionhead? How would I know if he had this? Below I’ve attached pictures of the huge cecotropes that seem to “block” him during the day, and then a picture of what his litter box looks like in the morning.
 

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lynne2809

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The specialist said that we could pursue further diagnostics (X-ray, CT, abdominal ultrasound) to see if we can determine a cause, which I am totally willing to do. I really have no idea what could be causing this at this point. I have reduced pellets, taken away treats, added some new hay, etc. and it’s still occurring, so I’m really scared that it will be something that can’t be treated.
 

JBun

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Those poops do look like how my megacolon buns poops looked, but all his fecal droppings would look like that and not just a few random ones. So it could be megacolon and a dysfunction of the nerves in the cecum and digestive tract, but also coccidiosis can cause poops to start looking like this. So those would be the two things I would consider. If it's mostly the cecal droppings that you are seeing the abnormality with, then it could mean the problem is in the cecum primarily.


 

lynne2809

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Those poops do look like how my megacolon buns poops looked, but all his fecal droppings would look like that and not just a few random ones. So it could be megacolon and a dysfunction of the nerves in the cecum and digestive tract, but also coccidiosis can cause poops to start looking like this. So those would be the two things I would consider. If it's mostly the cecal droppings that you are seeing the abnormality with, then it could mean the problem is in the cecum primarily.


He was tested for coccidia twice and both were negative, so I’m worried about the megacolon or dysautonimia. However, the specialist has said that she really doesn’t think that’s what he has since his poops are normal 98% of the time and those are just random strange poops. She said that normally rabbits with megacolon or dysautonomia usually have abnormal poops all of the time. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I feel like if he had either of those conditions, it would have been discovered by now between seeing 3 general practitioners, going to UGA, and seeing this specialist. I also found a picture in my phone from back in November 2021 that looked almost identical to what is happening now and it ended up totally resolving in about a week and everything went back to normal. Maybe he is sensitive to something in his diet? I feel like if it were something congenital or a problem with the cecum, it wouldn’t have resolved back in November and it would be getting worse? When the specialist examined him last week, she said that his cecum felt totally normal. I think I am going to repeat the x-rays though. If he did by chance have either of those conditions, are they essentially a death sentence or can they still live long, healthy lives and be managed? I’m just worried that this is something that I won’t be able to fix or treat.
 
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lynne2809

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Those poops do look like how my megacolon buns poops looked, but all his fecal droppings would look like that and not just a few random ones. So it could be megacolon and a dysfunction of the nerves in the cecum and digestive tract, but also coccidiosis can cause poops to start looking like this. So those would be the two things I would consider. If it's mostly the cecal droppings that you are seeing the abnormality with, then it could mean the problem is in the cecum primarily.


He’s also a brown lionhead, so I assume it would be very unlikely for him to have true megacolon because it’s a genetic condition? Today he is wonderful, he’s eating tons and having wonderful poops and I greatly reduced his pellets last night, so maybe that is helping?
 

lynne2809

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Those poops do look like how my megacolon buns poops looked, but all his fecal droppings would look like that and not just a few random ones. So it could be megacolon and a dysfunction of the nerves in the cecum and digestive tract, but also coccidiosis can cause poops to start looking like this. So those would be the two things I would consider. If it's mostly the cecal droppings that you are seeing the abnormality with, then it could mean the problem is in the cecum primarily.


These have been some of the poops lately, I don’t feel like this is likely megacolon, but I could be wrong? I read online that they usually don’t produce cecotropes with megacolon and he is producing them and the large majority of his poops look normal to me.
 

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lynne2809

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Those poops do look like how my megacolon buns poops looked, but all his fecal droppings would look like that and not just a few random ones. So it could be megacolon and a dysfunction of the nerves in the cecum and digestive tract, but also coccidiosis can cause poops to start looking like this. So those would be the two things I would consider. If it's mostly the cecal droppings that you are seeing the abnormality with, then it could mean the problem is in the cecum primarily.


Okay here are some that he just did. Today has been a great day for him. He’s eating, playing, pooping, etc. do these look like megacolon poops? I think they look much better than they have and looks like he’s on the right track. There are a few smaller ones mixed in, but they look mostly good to me? Again, I feel like if this were megacolon things wouldn’t be going uphill?I had him on a diet of primarily hay today with a very small sprinkle of pellets and I feel like that really helped, so maybe it’s just a dysbiosis that needs some more time to correct itself?
 

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Diane R

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Okay here are some that he just did. Today has been a great day for him. He’s eating, playing, pooping, etc. do these look like megacolon poops? I think they look much better than they have and looks like he’s on the right track. There are a few smaller ones mixed in, but they look mostly good to me? Again, I feel like if this were megacolon things wouldn’t be going uphill?I had him on a diet of primarily hay today with a very small sprinkle of pellets and I feel like that really helped, so maybe it’s just a dysbiosis that needs some more time to correct itself?
Those droppings really don't look alarming to me. If he is doing well I would just keep him on a hay only diet for a while (at least a couple of weeks) and then gradually introduce very small amounts of other foods. Wait two weeks between introductions of new foods and keep a food diary.
 

lynne2809

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Those droppings really don't look alarming to me. If he is doing well I would just keep him on a hay only diet for a while (at least a couple of weeks) and then gradually introduce very small amounts of other foods. Wait two weeks between introductions of new foods and keep a food diary.
Thank you so much for your reply. He is doing really really well today! No more sticky/mushy poops or cecotropes. He did have these poops (pictured) and some of them look a little bit more oval-shaped, could this be megacolon or likely just a normal variation in poop shape and size since there are lots of normal round poops as well? I’m having a hard time telling the difference, how would I know if it was? I’m scared that it’s megacolon, but I also know that it’s probably unlikely because he’s a brown lionhead (no genetic risk)? He is also eating and drinking perfectly and acting great!
 

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JBun

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If he had either of those conditions then the poops would be abnormal all of the time, not just a few here and there. A rabbit with one of those condtions can sometimes live a relatively normal long life, depending on the severity of the condition. My megacolon rabbit was on a strict no pellet/no carb diet, had to have at least a medium coarse cut grass hay, and a few select leafy greens. On this diet he did really well until he was 5yrs, when his condition suddenly deteriorated. But it doesn't seem to me that this is what's going on with your rabbit.

If you haven't tried cutting pellets out completely(sorry I can't recall if you did or not), it's possible your rabbit is sensitive to them and they're the root of the problem. Along with my megacolon rabbit being sensitive to pellets/carbs, I had another rabbit that couldn't have any pellets or high carb/sugar foods, or he would have odd shaped poop and start to exhibit signs of stasis. Once he was on a pellet/carb free diet with only free fed good grass hay and select greens(and salt lick), he did really well and no longer had digestive issues.
 
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Diane R

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Thank you so much for your reply. He is doing really really well today! No more sticky/mushy poops or cecotropes. He did have these poops (pictured) and some of them look a little bit more oval-shaped, could this be megacolon or likely just a normal variation in poop shape and size since there are lots of normal round poops as well? I’m having a hard time telling the difference, how would I know if it was? I’m scared that it’s megacolon, but I also know that it’s probably unlikely because he’s a brown lionhead (no genetic risk)? He is also eating and drinking perfectly and acting great!
Great! Droppings really don't look bad. Just keep doing what you're doing. And try to relax (easier said than done, I know), they pick up on our anxiety which doesn't help.
 

lynne2809

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If he had either of those conditions then the poops would be abnormal all of the time, not just a few here and there. A rabbit with one of those condtions can sometimes live a relatively normal long life, depending on the severity of the condition. My megacolon rabbit was on a strict no pellet/no carb diet, had to have at least a medium coarse cut grass hay, and a few select leafy greens. On this diet he did really well until he was 5yrs, when his condition suddenly deteriorated. But it doesn't seem to me that this is what's going on with your rabbit.

If you haven't tried cutting pellets out completely(sorry I can't recall if you did or not), it's possible your rabbit is sensitive to them and they're the root of the problem. Along with my megacolon rabbit being sensitive to pellets/carbs, I had another rabbit that couldn't have any pellets or high carb/sugar foods, or he would have odd shaped poop and start to exhibit signs of stasis. Once he was on a pellet/carb free diet with only free fed good grass hay and select greens(and salt lick), he did really well and no longer had digestive issues.
Thank you all for your help! I just wanted to give a quick update. Mickey seems to be doing very well- his poops are mostly back to normal and he is eating and drinking wonderfully. He does still have excess cecotropes on occasion, but I don’t think that’s something that I should be super alarmed about, I’m still playing around with his diet to see if I can adjust it so that he has the fewest amount of excess cecotropes as possible. His regular poops look perfect though, which does reassure me that he doesn’t have a chronic condition like megacolon or dysautonomia. I still feel like if he had either of these conditions, he would not be producing such normal poop during the day and throughout the night and he also wouldn’t have such a good appetite. He is really loving the Timothy and Orchard Grass hay mix, so I'm going to keep him on that. I’ve posted a few pictures of his poop over the last few days. Maybe this is simply an issue of him expelling all of his cecotropes at one time instead of throughout the day or maybe his diet still needs to be adjusted?
 

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lynne2809

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If he had either of those conditions then the poops would be abnormal all of the time, not just a few here and there. A rabbit with one of those condtions can sometimes live a relatively normal long life, depending on the severity of the condition. My megacolon rabbit was on a strict no pellet/no carb diet, had to have at least a medium coarse cut grass hay, and a few select leafy greens. On this diet he did really well until he was 5yrs, when his condition suddenly deteriorated. But it doesn't seem to me that this is what's going on with your rabbit.

If you haven't tried cutting pellets out completely(sorry I can't recall if you did or not), it's possible your rabbit is sensitive to them and they're the root of the problem. Along with my megacolon rabbit being sensitive to pellets/carbs, I had another rabbit that couldn't have any pellets or high carb/sugar foods, or he would have odd shaped poop and start to exhibit signs of stasis. Once he was on a pellet/carb free diet with only free fed good grass hay and select greens(and salt lick), he did really well and no longer had digestive issues.
These are his most recent poops from tonight. I can’t tell if they could be megacolon poops as some of them are oval/egg shaped, but I feel like most of them look normal and it could just be a normal variation in the shape of his poop and I’m reading too far into it? What do you think?
 

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JBun

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All rabbits will have some odd shaped poop occassionally. Megacolon rabbits will have odd shaped poop all of the time. Because your rabbit is producing normal poop most of the time, that rules out megacolon. I would suspect it's probably mostly down to diet then and you'll see continued improvement as you get the best diet for him sorted out.
 

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Update: we are going to start a course of nystatin to help with the yeast overgrowth, does anybody have experience with this or advice? Should he be ok?
You might do what my vet did and it worked. She made a slurry of other rabbits poops and fed it to the one having problems. Basically it reset her system and she was fine after that.
 
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