Lazy Bun or medical problem?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by itstaylorrxx, Apr 12, 2018.

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  1. Apr 12, 2018 #1

    itstaylorrxx

    itstaylorrxx

    itstaylorrxx

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    So I have a bunny, I'm not too sure of his breed, he's a Californian mix of some sort. Anyways, the past couple of months I've noticed that he lets his bottom get very dirty. It is matted poop, and I have to carefully cut it off. It doesn't take very long for it to get matted back in. I have even trimmed his hair down there hoping that it would help but nothing has helped. He's a super laid back bunny and has never really enjoyed playing with toys unless it was throwing something. So should I take him to the vet, or change his diet? I have another bunny on addition with him. So between them they get 1/4 cup of a pellet mix and 2 tablespoons of an extra feed that's supposed to help with coats and additional health related stuff. They get the usual fresh hay. I also get them fresh greens at least once every other day or so. The other bunny hasn't had any problems cleaning and is always pristine. Any opinions on what I should do? Thanks!
     
  2. Apr 12, 2018 #2

    Liung

    Liung

    Liung

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    Buns have two types of healthy poop: the normal droppings you see that look like cocoa puffs, which are very dry and don't make much mess unless you step on them and they crumble... and cecotrophs, which are very moist, somewhat stinky, and make a horrible mess. Ideally, you will never see cecotrophs, because bun is supposed to eat them directly from the anus, as part of their digestion.

    If you've got matted poop on your bun's bum, that's a big problem, because as stated their regular poop is dry and doesn't stick to fur. So if he's getting poop in his fur as consistently as you say, something's wrong. Either he's not eating his cecotrophs as he should, or his regular poop is too wet (diarrhea)

    This can be a health issue: he could have a disturbed gut, or other conditions that could cause diarrhea. I'm not the best person to tell you about this. It could be a diet issue, not enough fibre or perhaps a new food has shocked his system. Make sure you're always giving 24/7 access to unlimited amounts of hay!

    It could also be a health problem in the sense of, why isn't he cleaning himself? Do his joints hurt? Is he too stiff? Is he obese? Anything that could stop him from reaching down there will stop him from eating his cecotrophs as he should, and stop him from cleaning any diarrhea.

    That's some of the options, but ultimately: go see your vet. The way my prof puts it, if you ask yourself "should I go to see a vet about this?" The answer is always yes.

    Delilah gets GI stasis and as long as I catch it early I don't even consider going to the vet, I'm fully confident in my ability to handle it myself. I've had experience, I've got a supply of critical care in my fridge, I can treat that on my own. But the moment I don't feel confident that I know what's going on and how to treat it... go see a vet. It's always cheaper to go pay the exam fee now and a milder treatment sooner, than pay the exam fee and a major intervention later.
     
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  3. Apr 13, 2018 #3

    Liung

    Liung

    Liung

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    And since it sounds like you're fairly new to the bun community...

    MAKE SURE YOUR VET IS AN EXOTICS VET. A regular vet is SOLELY educated in cats and dogs. They have no flipping clue about rabbits. They might have touched on exotic pets briefly in a few of their courses and then the moment exams were over, as students everywhere do, promptly forgotten about everything they learned that they don't deal with regularly.

    You can't even just ask "do you take rabbits" and trust them if they say yes. It's highly unethical and they can absolutely lose their license over it, but so few people actually realize that most vets aren't qualified. I worked at a clinic and saw in the patient files that a regular client with a dog had asked if she could bring her rabbit in, and the vet agreed; symptoms included lethargy, lack of appetite, no water intake, no pooping, awkward posture... in other words, textbook GI stasis.

    The vet assumed it was a stomach bug and sent the client home with antibiotics. The client file didn't list a conclusion but I wouldn't be surprised if that rabbit died.

    So: do you take exotics, do you take rabbits, HOW OFTEN do you take rabbits, how experienced are your vets with rabbits. I like: do you have a rabbit surgeon. Because vets will not risk operating without expertise, and if they've got the expertise to operate they've probably got the expertise to treat.
     
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  4. Apr 13, 2018 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Each rabbit reacts differently to different foods. So it isn't unusual for one tough (digestively) bunny to do fine with a particular diet while another can't handle it. A poopy bum is an indication of something wrong. Often the diet is the culprit. Even a "healthy" diet can cause this. Some rabbits are very sensitive to greens and can't get too many without getting a messy bum. Some rabbits can't handle pellets.

    You'll need to figure out what is causing the issue. I'd start with cutting back on greens and see what effect it has. It may be certain greens, all greens, or just too many at once.

    Oh, but before that, I'd be concerned about this "extra feed." There shouldn't be a need or reason to feed anything extra if the pellets are good (plain with no colorful bits) and the hay is good. That "extra feed" would actually be the first thing I would cut out without question.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2018 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    What is the pellet mix you are feeding exactly, and what is the two tablespoons of extra feed? Those are going to be your likely culprits causing cecal dysbiosis, where the microflora in the cecum gets out of balance and results in improperly formed cecotropes. This is usually from excess carbohydrates/starches in the diet, from grains, grain by products in the feed, or sugary treats, especially if a rabbit isn't also eating hay very well. Rarely will veggies be the cause, though it's certainly a possibility, but I would be looking at the feed first.

    There are other medical causes such as arthritis, dental problems(causing reduced hay consumption), liver disease, etc, but diet is going to be the most common culprit.
     

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