Loose Stools

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About more than a week ago, my three-year-old holland lop's poops started getting really small, about less than half its usual size. I tried to give him some simethicone but that didn't really help. A few days after, he started getting loose stools along with the small poops so I decided to take him to the vet. She said she couldn't find anything wrong with him and sent him home with some oxbow critical care. After being on critical care for two days, along with his normal diet of veggies and hay, he now only has loose stools, no hard pellets in sight. In addition, he sometimes accidentally poops these large soft stools outside his litter box, which he never does. Does anyone know what's wrong with him?
 

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JBun

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When a rabbits fecal poop is no longer round but coming out runny or mushy, that is considered diarrhea, and diarrhea in rabbits is an emergency. It's usually caused by a pathogenic bacteria, which can be fatal very quickly, particularly if the clostridium bacteria is involved. I would suggest getting your bun into the vet today, as soon as possible.

Here are some links about enterotoxemia in rabbits and possible treatment. I would bring up your concerns about it being enterotoxemia with your vet, and request treatment for it. Usual treatment, at the very least, would be sub q or IV fluids, the antibiotic metronidazole, possibly another antibiotic like baytril, and cholestyramine to help bind the very harmful toxins produced by the bacteria. I can't say for sure that this is what your rabbit has, but it's a strong possibility because of the fact of no normal feces being produced, and if your rabbit does in fact have this, immediate treatment is essential to have any chance of it not proving fatal.


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JBun

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If your rabbit is a 'charlie'(white with a few spots) colored rabbit, there is the possibility that this could be megacolon. Though if you've had your rabbit a while and he hasn't ever shown to have irregular shaped poop on a regular basis, then it's not as likely, but still a slight possibility.

Coccidiosis might be another possibility, which I would also ask your vet about.
MediRabbit (coccidiosis in rabbits, contains graphic medical related photos)
 
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The thing is, I took him to the vet not even 4 days ago. He was still pooping small round poops before the critical care. Other than the mushy poops, he's been acting completely normal, still very food driven.
 

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You could ask the vet about the megacolon or coccidiosis then. These gastric diseases can slowly develop over several days, not starting out looking bad, but gradually worsening as the bacteria or parasite increases.

Though if he is eating and behaving normally otherwise, I would be less inclined to think it's enterotoxemia or coccidiosis. Because when those occur it will usually be vey uncomfortable and painful to the rabbit, and they will usually stop eating and become lethargic.

So I'm wondering if it might not be megacolon then. Is your rabbit a 'charlie' coloring? Has your rabbit ever produced odd shaped or oval shaped poop, happening fairly frequently?
 

JBun

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With no previous poop issues, it's hard to believe that megacolon would be the cause. But I wouldn't completely rule it out. Because the poop has worsened while on the critical care, I personally would stop feeding it for now as long as your bun is eating his other food normally. Is there a reason your vet wanted you to feed the critical care? Is your rabbit not eating normally? Do you only normally feed hay and veggies? Do you feed pellets or any sugary/high carb foods like treats, grains, fruit, or carrots?

It might be worth phoning your vet and asking if you could drop a fresh poop sample by to have a fecal float test done to just rule out possible parasites like coccidiosis.
 
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I think it was because my rabbit's poops were abnormally small, the vet decided to give him the critical care. I normally feed him hay and veggies, but my parents probably give him more sugar/treats than what is good for him. He is eating completely normal, but is a little more disinterested in his hay. Do you think I should put him on a just hay diet?
 

JBun

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A few more questions. What kind of hay do you normally feed him? Did you happen to start a new bag or bale just prior to all of this happening? Also, when this first started with the small poops, did you notice that he was having any issues eating, like food dropping from his mouth, not eating as much as usual, drooling, odd chewing motion like raising his head in the air when eating?

I can't say what you should do, but just what I would do in a similar situation. When ever my rabbits have had GI problems, grass hay has always been the best thing to help correct the problem and getting them feeling better again, provided they were eating the hay well. I go by the evidence. You fed critical care, he got worse, not better. That tells me the critical care is not helping but contributing to the problem. I would also suspect that the gas drops you gave may have started the mushy poop problem. Before he was just having smaller than usual poop. What this tells me is that your rabbit has a very sensitive digestive system. All of my rabbits that have had this same problem, were all sensitive to sugars and carbs. As long as I didn't feed those things they did well.

This is what I would do. I would stop the critical care. And free feed grass hay(which ever one you usually feed and that he eats well). Then with veggies it depends on the ones you feed. I prefer to stick with leafy greens. I would definitely not feed carrots, fruit, grains, or any other high carb/sugary foods. Which means it's also important that nobody else does either. Then I would keep a close eye on his eating, drinking, poop, and body condition(making sure he maintains a healthy weight). In my experience, sugary/high carb foods are very often the cause of digestive problems in rabbits. So hay and maybe some of his usual leafy greens is what I would stick with.
 
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I normally feed him the timothy hay from Kaytee. I think we did open a new bag around that time. There were no other issues that I can remember. Thank you, I might do just that!
 

JBun

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Was the texture of the hay different than usual(soft leaf, mix of soft and crunchy stems, or coarse and all crunchy stems)? Does it smell different than usual, any musty or sour smell to it? Or is your bun shedding right now? Did the vet check his teeth to make sure dental problems causing difficulty eating, weren't the cause of his poops getting smaller? I'm just trying to see what might have caused the small poops to start to begin with.
 
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The texture of the hay is pretty much the same, a mix of soft and crunchy. It smells fine to me, maybe a little musty? She said his teeth were fine, just a little bit longer than it should be. She couldn't really figure out the cause of his smaller poops either. He isn't shedding, that is more of a problem during the summer.
 

JBun

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If you find after stopping all sugary/high carb treats and the critical care, he doesn't seem to be eating the hay as well as he usually has before this all started and/or his poops aren't improving, it might be worth buying a new bag of hay that is from a different batch than the one you have, or try a different brand, just to see if maybe it is that batch of hay that there is a problem with. If there is something off with it or he maybe doesn't like the taste of it, and so he wasn't eating as much as he usually would, that could be the cause of his poop getting smaller. Or if the hay has developed any mildew in it, that could have caused the smaller poop and now the mushy poop problems.

Good hay will have a sweet grassy smell or possibly smell a bit like tobacco. Should be a nice green or greenish yellow color. Moldy hay can have a sour or musty smell, have white or black spots on the hay, have a white dust coating the hay, or may be damp. Moldy hay is toxic and can cause organ damage. If there is any chance at all that you think the hay is bad and might have mold, stop feeding it immediately and get new hay that is not from that same batch.
 

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Just a suggestion, you can get pro bios in the horse section at tractor supply. It comes in a tube in the horse section. Give a pea sized amount daily. No pellets or greens for 3 days and hay only. Should correct the issue. I️ have found fresh veggies give my Holland loose stools and so do excessive pellets. So he only gets his pro bios and rationed pellets plus unlimited hay.
 
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