New bunny with soft poop

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MistyBun25

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I recently added a new adorable member to the family. He is a 8 week old Holland lop and he is simply perfect! Added him to be bonded to my girl, who is almost 3 years old, once he is neutered! But we have a concern.
When we went to pick him up, we learned he was on a all pellet only diet. He never had a nibble of hay until he came into our home because the breeder explained that she tried to give it to the previous babies, but they all had wet poops. (I'm guessing she gave wrong hay because it wasn't alfalfa. But not sure). Since he has been in our home, he now has access to 24/7 alfalfa hay and limited pellets. But ever since the change, he is having soft poop. Not liquid but soft that sticks to his poor bum and hard to clean off. I have to clean him 1 to 2 times a day but he is also having great regular poop and he is drinking and eating normally. He eats about a hay stack the size of him a day or even more! He's a great eater. But I'm worried I'm going to stress him out too much with all the bum baths I have to give to unstick the poo so I really want to resolve the occasion messy bum. I feel so bad for the poor little guy because that has to be uncomfortable!
Also I did educate the importance of hay and a good diet to the breeder (she's a first time breeder and still learning and she welcomes any advice I have to give from research I do all the time about rabbits. )
Any advice on the messy bum and how to make it stop? Should oI He'scut anything out of his diet? He's on Mana pro formula pellets which is what the breeder had him eating and of course hay.
Please let me know any advice!!!
 

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Apollo’s Slave

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I’m not at all an expert but maybe just lessen the pellets until it starts to get better. The hay is good and should help with his digestion.
Is he having any stomach issues like gas?
Make sure that he’s eating all the time (as I’m sure you know).
Is he pooping a lot and it’s just soft?
Because I think that’s a diet problem not a digestive problem. Just keep him on hay and a small bit of pellets and you should see a result soon.
 

MistyBun25

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He's popping like normal and they are not soft except for that occasional soft poop that sticks to him. Otherwise, all other poop is normal and he's eating and drinking perfectly. So signs of gas. Tummy is soft and not hard. Not sure how else to check for gas. But if he didn't have that occasional soft poop, he would be doing absolutely perfectly.
 

Hermelin

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Maybe the soft droppings you find are the cecotropes. Which if you give less pellets it will often disappear. If it cecotropes it’s the dropping you should never see because bunnies eat it directly. But sometimes if the diet is wrong or too much of the good they will produce so much they won’t eat everything up :)
 

MistyBun25

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Yes. I really do think that's it. So since he is 8 weeks old, should I stop giving him pellets and continue giving him tons of hay until he is back to normal or lessen it. I already lessened his pellet intake but a lot. I only give him a pinch of it now instead of the 1/4 cup. But can baby bunnies do without pellets?
 

Hermelin

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Here’s a link about droppings: https://rabbit.org/the-mystery-of-rabbit-poop/

Because he’s just not fully used with the hay. Alfalfa hay have more nutrients and combined with the pellets, it can be too much.

Myself never fed alfalfa hay but that’s just because I go with alfalfa based pellets when my bunnies is a growing kit :3
 

Eve84

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Hi,
I had the same thing with one of my three Bunny’s three weeks ago, when they just moved in newly.

I think it was due to the new surroundings, new food and also a bit of stress.

What I did is: I left them to themselves as much as possible, so they won’t get stressed.
They didn’t really got any fresh stuff before, so I reduced the salad I gave them a bit but not took it away completely again.

I didn’t clean it off every day as that stressed him, so I left it a few days but checked it and cleaned it off occasionally completely. But I found out it’s quite hard to clean it off with water so I cut it off with scissors [emoji418]️ really careful.
It went away after about 5 days and he is well since then.

Good luck
Eve
 

Lauren Kiernan

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He's popping like normal and they are not soft except for that occasional soft poop that sticks to him. Otherwise, all other poop is normal and he's eating and drinking perfectly. So signs of gas. Tummy is soft and not hard. Not sure how else to check for gas. But if he didn't have that occasional soft poop, he would be doing absolutely perfectly.
We had similar situation with our Holland lop when he was a baby. It was his cecos. Sometimes he just didn't eat them and they smushed as he was too busy exploring. It decreased as he got older. He had baby rabbit ox bow pellets about 1/4 cup per day and Timothy hay as the baby Oxbow has the alfalfa. This was recommended by both the vet and breeder.
 

JBun

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So the problem is likely an excess cecotrope issue from too rich of a diet causing too many cecals being produced, the cecals not forming properly from excess carbs in the diet and so being left uneaten, or from being a baby in a new home and getting distracted from eating them as normal.

If the cecals are coming out looking like fully formed blackberry looking clusters before getting smooshed, then it's often caused by too rich of a diet, in this case the addition of alfalfa hay. The rich diet high in protein causes more cecals to be produced then the rabbit needs, so they leave some uneaten. I would either do a straight switch to a grass hay like Timothy or orchard, or transition gradually from the alfalfa to the grass hay.

I really dislike all of these rabbit sites recommending alfalfa hay for babies when they are already getting plenty of calcium and protein from an alfalfa based pellet. Feeding alfalfa hay usually leads to these types of problems, along with making very picky buns when it comes time to switch them onto grass hay when they are adults. Think of full bunny rebellion [emoji14]

The other possible cause if the cecals are coming out not fully formed and pasty, is too many carbs/sugars in the diet causing an imbalance of the delicate microflora in the cecum. This then causes the cecals to not form properly, thus not having the right bacteria and smelling 'wrong' to the rabbit, so they leave them uneaten. In this instance it is usually from sugary treats or grains in the diet, or from the pellets (contains too high a ratio of grains and sugars). Usually the solution to this is gradually transitioning to a healthier pellet and adding a good quality grass hay into the diet. In severe cases it's often recommended doing a straight grass hay diet until the problem corrects (ensuring the rabbit is eating the hay well and is maintaining a healthy weight.).
https://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/

Another possibility is the rabbit being young and being in a new home, if the cecals are fully formed but just being left uneaten and getting smooshed. Young rabbits are easily distracted and so may not consume the cecals as they should. Also being in a new home can sometimes distract them from eating their cecals like normal.
 

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