My bunny has a poopy Bottom. Why?

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I'm in GR and see Dr. Ritzman (an exotic & rabbit specialist) at Cascade. A physical exam & consult will run $65 over here, so you should probably expect something similar over there.

I agree with Preitler that an overly rich diet (for a rabbit) can lead to your buck not eating his cecals.

How's his weight and body composition? Obesity can lead to problems with reaching & consuming cecals as well.

Really, just seeing a rabbit-savvy vet is the best option :)
He eats Kaytee fiesta guinea pig food now. I sometimes try and mix rabbit food in too. He has unlimited Timothy hay but sticks to his pellets. His weight is really good. Hes more on the skinny side. That's why I worry that hes not eating enough. I dont feed him veggies all that often.
 

Watermelons

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You need to limit his pellets. Hes not eating hay because he is filling up on pellets. 1/4 cup per 5lbs of body weight max.
You also need to switch him off the crappy food. Hes going to keep eating it because you keep offering it.
There is also nothing wrong with feeding fresh grass. (Not lawn mower clippings)
 

JBun

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If your rabbit is producing normal round fecal balls, and it is the cecotropes that are mushy, the most common cause is a diet with too many carbs/sugars(usually from pellets and treats) and not enough fiber from hay, though occasionally a rabbit can be sensitive to certain veggies or hay.

Usually the reason to see a vet with mushy poop problems is if it's not the cectropes but the fecal poop that is runny, mushy, or odd shaped, which is a much more serious and immediately life threatening health problem. Or if you have already tried changing the diet and it didn't fix the problem, or you suspect there is something going on more than a simple diet issue. There are some health issues like arthritis, obesity, dental problems, liver problems, that can be a cause for mushy poop on the bum.

To correct cecal dysbiosis where it is normal round fecal poop and mushy cecotropes, it's recommended to reduce or cut out pellets temporarily(sometimes permanently), and free feed a good quality grass hay(not moldy, no noxious weeds) making sure the bun is eating the hay really well. You do have to be very careful to watch your rabbits hay consumption, and make sure your bun is eating plenty of hay. You don't want a rabbit going more than 12 hours without eating/drinking. If your rabbit won't eat the hay you have, try a different grass hay like orchard, timothy, bermuda, meadow, etc. Key is getting your bun eating lots of hay to help correct the imbalance of micro organisms in the cecum/gut, which is what causes the mushy poop to develop from too many sugars/carbs in the diet. If your bun won't eat the hay even with reduced pellets and trying different types of hay, then it's possible your rabbit could have a dental issue preventing hay eating, so you'll want to have that checked by an experienced rabbit vet.

Here's information on mushy poop from diet issues, and the diet recommendation to help correct it.
https://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/
https://rabbit.org/disorders-of-the-cecum/

ETA: If your rabbit is losing weight and not even eating pellets well, then yes you'll want to have a vet check your buns teeth and poop to make sure there isn't an underlying health issue causing the weight loss and mushy poop. It could be your bun has a dental issue that is preventing your bun from eating hay and eating well, causing the weight loss.
 
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If your rabbit is producing normal round fecal balls, and it is the cecotropes that are mushy, the most common cause is a diet with too many carbs/sugars(usually from pellets and treats) and not enough fiber from hay, though occasionally a rabbit can be sensitive to certain veggies or hay.

Usually the reason to see a vet with mushy poop problems is if it's not the cectropes but the fecal poop that is runny, mushy, or odd shaped, which is a much more serious and immediately life threatening health problem. Or if you have already tried changing the diet and it didn't fix the problem, or you suspect there is something going on more than a simple diet issue. There are some health issues like arthritis, obesity, dental problems, liver problems, that can be a cause for mushy poop on the bum.

To correct cecal dysbiosis where it is normal round fecal poop and mushy cecotropes, it's recommended to reduce or cut out pellets temporarily(sometimes permanently), and free feed a good quality grass hay(not moldy, no noxious weeds) making sure the bun is eating the hay really well. You do have to be very careful to watch your rabbits hay consumption, and make sure your bun is eating plenty of hay. You don't want a rabbit going more than 12 hours without eating/drinking. If your rabbit won't eat the hay you have, try a different grass hay like orchard, timothy, bermuda, meadow, etc. Key is getting your bun eating lots of hay to help correct the imbalance of micro organisms in the cecum/gut, which is what causes the mushy poop to develop from too many sugars/carbs in the diet. If your bun won't eat the hay even with reduced pellets and trying different types of hay, then it's possible your rabbit could have a dental issue preventing hay eating, so you'll want to have that checked by an experienced rabbit vet.

Here's information on mushy poop from diet issues, and the diet recommendation to help correct it.
https://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/
https://rabbit.org/disorders-of-the-cecum/
If your rabbit is producing normal round fecal balls, and it is the cecotropes that are mushy, the most common cause is a diet with too many carbs/sugars(usually from pellets and treats) and not enough fiber from hay, though occasionally a rabbit can be sensitive to certain veggies or hay.

Usually the reason to see a vet with mushy poop problems is if it's not the cectropes but the fecal poop that is runny, mushy, or odd shaped, which is a much more serious and immediately life threatening health problem. Or if you have already tried changing the diet and it didn't fix the problem, or you suspect there is something going on more than a simple diet issue. There are some health issues like arthritis, obesity, dental problems, liver problems, that can be a cause for mushy poop on the bum.

To correct cecal dysbiosis where it is normal round fecal poop and mushy cecotropes, it's recommended to reduce or cut out pellets temporarily(sometimes permanently), and free feed a good quality grass hay(not moldy, no noxious weeds) making sure the bun is eating the hay really well. You do have to be very careful to watch your rabbits hay consumption, and make sure your bun is eating plenty of hay. You don't want a rabbit going more than 12 hours without eating/drinking. If your rabbit won't eat the hay you have, try a different grass hay like orchard, timothy, bermuda, meadow, etc. Key is getting your bun eating lots of hay to help correct the imbalance of micro organisms in the cecum/gut, which is what causes the mushy poop to develop from too many sugars/carbs in the diet. If your bun won't eat the hay even with reduced pellets and trying different types of hay, then it's possible your rabbit could have a dental issue preventing hay eating, so you'll want to have that checked by an experienced rabbit vet.

Here's information on mushy poop from diet issues, and the diet recommendation to help correct it.
https://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/
https://rabbit.org/disorders-of-the-cecum/
I'm going to try reducing the pellets I also may switch them to something better. I do think it's more than a diet issue. His diet has not changed and he is developing this all of a sudden. It smells really bad so I'm guessing that's the cecal dysbiosis. I see him trying to clean himself, I'm wondering if maybe since hes older he has back issues. I've never taken him to the vet so I'm just gonna get him checked out to be safe. I'm also hoping they clean him up or shave his bottom. Do you know if guinea pig food could be the problem? I've also tried all types of hay and he wont budge. Hes so freaking stubborn.
 

Watermelons

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You are feeding a garbage pellet. It has seeds and other items that are no good in it. Get him off the garbage pellet and switch him to a timothy based ALL pellet type. Not "fiesta" no fun coloured bits.
Why would he eat hay if you are going to offer junk food? You also need to limit the pellets.
Kaytee makes a good rabbit pellet thay doesnt have garbage in it.
 
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I'm going to try reducing the pellets I also may switch them to something better. I do think it's more than a diet issue. His diet has not changed and he is developing this all of a sudden. It smells really bad so I'm guessing that's the cecal dysbiosis. I see him trying to clean himself, I'm wondering if maybe since hes older he has back issues. I've never taken him to the vet so I'm just gonna get him checked out to be safe. I'm also hoping they clean him up or shave his bottom. Do you know if guinea pig food could be the problem? I've also tried all types of hay and he wont budge. Hes so freaking stubborn.
You are feeding a garbage pellet. It has seeds and other items that are no good in it. Get him off the garbage pellet and switch him to a timothy based ALL pellet type. Not "fiesta" no fun coloured bits.
Why would he eat hay if you are going to offer junk food? You also need to limit the pellets.
Kaytee makes a good rabbit pellet thay doesnt have garbage in it.
Ok I didnt know it was bad. I also have a guinea pig that eats that. Should I switch her as well? Should I mix it in with new stuff or just give the new pellets to them right away?
 

Watermelons

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If you stick with Kaytee brand you can likely just give the new stuff with a 2-3day switch. The problem with the fiesta is the other crap in it. And that fiesta diet is alfalfa based and way to rich.
Kaytee makes a timothy pellet for rabbits and one for guinea pigs.
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/small-animal/small-animal-food-treats/small-animal-food/kaytee-timothy-complete-rabbit-food

Ideally you should switch your guinea pig off that food as well and get it onto a timothy based pellet too. There are many other brands out there depending where you are shopping. But labels can be deceiving. Where do you normally shop? Petco/petsmart both have healthy choices.

It sounds like your rabbits issues are diet related because honestly its not that great of a diet. Way to rich.

Force them (both the rabbit and g.pig) to eat more hay by limiting pellets and get them onto a better pellet
 

CharlieRae

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Ok I have an update. Vet said hes actually fat. Hes 5 pounds atm. Also it is diet related and his teeth are pointy. Hes getting them grinded now.
Glad to hear you have a diagnoses! I was going to suggest your bun was possibly too fat to clean himself. I adopted a rabbit that had a similar problem & once he slimmed down he did just fine. You are going to have to give him some tough love & get his food switched to rabbit pellets. I had to do that with my fat girl, too! haha. They can be so stubborn!
 

SharonLee

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Ok I have an update. Vet said hes actually fat. Hes 5 pounds atm. Also it is diet related and his teeth are pointy. Hes getting them grinded now.
Joscelyn, I am so happy that it doesn't sound like anything that is terrible. Hurray for Grandma for coming to the rescue!
 

SharonLee

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Hi Jocelyn, I just saw your message. You need to call the vet and tell the vet what is going on. Right away.
 

SharonLee

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Now hes refusing to eat anything
If he hasn't eaten in 12 hours, this could be very serious.
After you call the vet...
Jocelyn, there is something called Pet Assurance. It's not insurance, it's a discount card.
https://www.petassure.com/
or call 888-789-7387
For small animals it's 9.95 a month and it takes money off of the bill...25% in some cases. Can you work that out with your grandma?
 

mikenyny

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I'm so worried about my rabbit. He has had this problem for a long time. I wash him and try to cut it off, but it's such a hassle. He runs,grunts, and tries to bite me. I'm worried I'm hurting him, but idk what else to do. He cant sit and holds his butt up. I thought I got it all off but maybe not. I live at home and nobody will take him to the vet. I really dont want him to die. Just let me know if it's something I should be worried about. He never has eaten his Timothy hay too often, but he also never had this problem before. I heard it could be diet related but I give him everything he should have.
Yes, it is probably the "diet". I have read that "most" of the rabbits diet should consist of hay, but my rabbits are only really interested in playing with it - pulling it out of the tray as it they are uprooting it. I have exactly the same problem with trying to give them grass, so the diet I give my rabbits consists of:
Good quality pellets - on demand
Instant porridge oats - lots of water in the mix and cooled.
Kale
Carrots in restricted quantities
Sliced apple as a treat
Soya milk 50/50 mix with fresh water - on demand

One of my female rabbits (50% Lionhead) developed a "messy butt) at about 1 1/2 years. What I have done since then 4+ years ago, is this:
You need a plastic garden table and a chair, a plastic stool - same height as the chair, a round plastic bowl, 2x 6 litre water bottles (filled with luke warm water), a small bottle of washing-up liquid, 3 old towels and some rounded-end small scissors.
1/3 fill the bowl with water and place it on the table. Put the chair on one side of the table and the stool adjacent with the towels. Have the washing up liquid on the table. Collect up your rabbit, sit at the side of the table and lay it on your lap, with its butt facing the table (with the bowl on it). Gently lift your rabbit up and slide the bowl underneath its hind quarters and slowly lower the rabbit into the bowl so that its backside is in the water. Lift it out again and (with one hand) squeeze some washing up liquid on your hand and wash the rabbits butt gently by scooping up the water. You need to change the water at least 4 times and continue washing/rinsing the rabbits butt.
Now, it is time to dry the rabbits butt and remove any stubborn poo that didn't wash out - with the scissors. Needless to say, be careful not to cut the rabbits skin. Finally, dry the rabbit effectively.
I used to do this every 4 to 5 days until I dosed my rabbits with "Advocate" (don't ask).
 

Imbrium

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Yes, it is probably the "diet". I have read that "most" of the rabbits diet should consist of hay, but my rabbits are only really interested in playing with it - pulling it out of the tray as it they are uprooting it. I have exactly the same problem with trying to give them grass, so the diet I give my rabbits consists of:
Good quality pellets - on demand
Instant porridge oats - lots of water in the mix and cooled.
Kale
Carrots in restricted quantities
Sliced apple as a treat
Soya milk 50/50 mix with fresh water - on demand
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend that diet. I've heard of breeders/showers feeding oats (raw, though, not cooked) for coat condition and such but their rabbits are intact - oats are too rich in carbs to be more than the occasional treat for spayed/neutered pet bunnies.

Kale is high in oxalic acid and calcium. House Rabbit Society has a list of leafy green veggies, divided between those that are high in OA and those that aren't. High OA veggies like kale shouldn't be more than about a third of your rabbit's leafy green veggie intake.

I've never heard of anyone giving soy milk to a rabbit before, but I really can't see it being good for them since rabbits should have a very low-carb diet.

It took trying a whole bunch of different types of hay to find one my picky rabbits would eat and I have to order it online since they won't eat the overpriced pet store stuff or the cheap feed store coastal... but it's such an important part of their diet that I really recommend trying everything you can to get your rabbits to eat hay.
 

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I was going to say check for arthritis-that can effect his hind quarters and how he goes to the bathroom too.
 

Blue eyes

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Yes, it is probably the "diet". I have read that "most" of the rabbits diet should consist of hay, but my rabbits are only really interested in playing with it - pulling it out of the tray as it they are uprooting it. I have exactly the same problem with trying to give them grass, so the diet I give my rabbits consists of:
Good quality pellets - on demand
Instant porridge oats - lots of water in the mix and cooled.
Kale
Carrots in restricted quantities
Sliced apple as a treat
Soya milk 50/50 mix with fresh water - on demand
The diet described seems to explain why your rabbits only play with the hay.

It is recommended that adult rabbits (over 6 months of age) only receive limited pellets. A 5-7 lb rabbit should only get 1/4 cup daily. Too many pellets often prevent a rabbit from eating enough hay.
Oats are also high in carbs and should only rarely (if ever) be offered. (again, bunny fills up on the high carb, high protein stuff and so refuses hay).
Treats should max at 1-2 tbsp per day. So one slice of apple or 1" of carrot (not both in one day). Too many treats also can discourage enough hay eating.
Soy is not recommended for rabbits (though, unfortunately, many pellets contain soy as well). Here is info from the maker's of sherwood rabbit pellets (Dr. Sherwood has a PhD in molecular biology):
Some of the reasons why we don’t use soy are listed below:
  • Soy contains high levels of phytate, a molecule that binds to minerals so that your rabbit cannot absorb them. This causes stunted growth and poor health. Specifically phytate (phytic acid) prevents the absorption of phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc, all of which are vital to the health of your rabbit.
  • Soy is generally added as a source of protein but ironically it contains trypsin inhibitors that block the enzyme trypsin from digesting the protein consumed by your rabbit. This can cause stunted growth and may also lead to pancreatic disorders. What’s the point of adding it?
  • Soy contains significant levels of phytoestrogens that are potent antithyroid agents that lead to thyroid problems including hypothyrodism, cancer, and autoimmune thyroid disease. This causes problems with metabolism, energy levels, and weight gain.
  • Soy contains a vitamin B12 analog that replaces the good vitamin B12 in your body with a imitation that doesn’t work. This also causes problems with metabolism and energy levels.
You are correct that "most" of a rabbit's diet should consist of hay. That figure is often placed at roughly 80% (or higher). Trying to get them to eat that much isn't always easy with some rabbits and may take extra effort and planning. :)
 
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