Persistent poopy butt after eating pellets even in little portions

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Oct 13, 2021
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I've been taking care of a Holland Lop aged around 2-3 months. I've noticed that every time I gave him pellets, even just a little (not more than 15-20 grams) a day in two serving time (morning and around evening) he always starts to have mushy poop/cecals.

This is not the case for the other bunny with similar age that I'm also taking care of, she's plump and well with clean bottom all day

I noticed that he's been fine for around a week after I've stopped giving pellets and just started to have mushy poop again after I tried introducing pellets back to his diet in very little portions (not more than 5 grams a day). I've already try to transition to 3 brands, the latest one is from Burgess (for junior and Dwarfs) and he still got sick after... Which baffles me since it's marketed as best for baby buns

Recently I also started to give him Benebac since I read somewhere that it's good for digestion, don't know if this is true tho but I'm just hoping it'll help

Is it okay to stop giving anything other than timothy, oats and alfalfa hay? He seems to reaally love oats which is still high in fiber so that's a good thing I suppose? My buns don't like timothy much unfortunately

He seems to be doing great without additional pellets but I'm just afraid he'll start to get worse later on or get his growth stunted. Is it okay only to feed more alfalfa for now to substitute the nutritional loss by the lack of pellets?

I'm tired of worrying about him every day... He's very playful and give kisses all the time it breaks my heart when he looks hurt when having his mushy poop episodes (I noticed he hunch when there's some problem with his tummy)


Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
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Sep 10, 2012
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Utah, , USA
A pellet free diet is sometimes necessary for certain rabbits with a sensitivity to pellets. And when done right with the right balance of protein, fiber, and nutrients, a rabbit can be perfectly healthy. After all, wild rabbits don't live on pellets.

I've had a few rabbits that had digestive disorders and couldn't have any pellets or high carb/sugary foods in their diet at all, or it would make them very sick. They were on free fed grass hay(usually timothy), select leafy greens and forage, and a salt lick to provide the dietary sodium that would usually be in pellets. On this diet they did really well, were healthy, and maintained a healthy weight.

So a no pellet diet can be done when it's needed for health reasons, but you do have to give a good variety of greens and veggies(and rabbit safe forage if available), along with unlimited hay and a salt lick, to provide the necessary nutrients needed for good health. It's also a good idea to regularly monitor your rabbits weight to make sure good body condition is maintained with the diet change.

Because oats are also a high carb food, they may contribute to causing the mushy cecotropes too. If the mushy poop is still occurring when pellets are no longer being fed, but you are still feeding oats, then you may need to remove the oats from the diet as well. But if there aren't any mushy cecals when feeding the oats, it should be fine to keep them in the diet, fed in limited amounts.

Some alfalfa is ok for now because they are still young. But as your rabbits become fully mature at around 6 months old, you will really need to have them transitioned off of alfalfa and onto a soft to medium coarse grass hay(not too coarse of a cut). Alfalfa is just too high in protein and calcium for adult rabbits that aren't does that are nursing kits. It can also create health issues like bladder problems, kidney problems, excess cecotropes, and obesity. So I would suggest working on gradually transitioning your rabbits off alfalfa and onto a grass hay like timothy, orchard, etc, by the time they reach 6 months of age.

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