PLEASE HELP urgent question - big and mucus poops???

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bree1699

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Hey all,

Earlier this week I adopted to baby bunnies. I hadn't known when I agreed to take them, but they are only 4 weeks old and were pushed out when their mom had a new litter.

I've been trying my best but im a brand new and very paranoid bunny mom. Earlier today one of them had a couple of poops with a good bit of mucus mixed in and I panicked. Now one of them (not sure if its the same one or not) has had three really big poops. Like at least twice the size of their normal ones.

Should I be concerned?? I've been bawling my eyes out because I'm so afraid that one of them is sick. Right now they're both still eating and drinking and hopping around as normal. My parents won't let me take them to the emergency vet and I can't afford to on my own. PLEASE HELP.
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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It's usually a sign of a rabbit going into it out off GI stasis make sure rabbit is drinking normally and eating (Also I'm 14 and Also new to Rabbits best of luck
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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Baby Bunny s are VERY delicate make sure they are warm sorry I can't give you links but here are somethings to look up
- how to care for young baby Bunny s
- Signs that a rabbit is sick (lethargy, not eating, different poops, change in temperature (really hot really cold) ,mucus in nose, breathing hard, wet eyes ect.
I'll try to inform others about your bunnys
 

bree1699

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Baby Bunny s are VERY delicate make sure they are warm sorry I can't give you links but here are somethings to look up
- how to care for young baby Bunny s
- Signs that a rabbit is sick (lethargy, not eating, different poops, change in temperature (really hot really cold) ,mucus in nose, breathing hard, wet eyes ect.
I'll try to inform others about your bunnys
thank you so much for your help so far! I've tried to do a lot of research but sometimes it seems like I cant find a straight answer. I've calmed down a bit and im just monitoring them for now and making sure they act okay.
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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You're welcome I know it's hard to be a new bunny mom a great YouTube channel to subscribe to if you have it is Lennon the Bunny and 101 rabbits LOTS of information 101 Rabbits is more helpful Lennon the Bunny s is more intresting
 

Mac189

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They are eating, drinking, and pooping... That's a good start. What do you feed them? That is likely the root of the problem. Do they get unlimited hay? They are very young and very sensitive, so it is very important to only offer food safe for baby rabbits. I have just posted a link with access to Rabbits for Dummies, since you are so new to rabbits, it may help to give it a read and gain an understanding of a lot of rabbit care.

Keep offering unlimited hay and water, as well as post pictures of the poop that is concerning you... we may be able to answer better if we can see the problem.
 

bree1699

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They are eating, drinking, and pooping... That's a good start. What do you feed them? That is likely the root of the problem. Do they get unlimited hay? They are very young and very sensitive, so it is very important to only offer food safe for baby rabbits. I have just posted a link with access to Rabbits for Dummies, since you are so new to rabbits, it may help to give it a read and gain an understanding of a lot of rabbit care.

Keep offering unlimited hay and water, as well as post pictures of the poop that is concerning you... we may be able to answer better if we can see the problem.
I have been feeding them unlimited alfalfa hay and science selective junior pellets. I've also been giving them a bit of Timothy hay every day so that they're used to it. i took their pellets away for a little while so they could get more fiber. I've attached a picture of the one poop I still have lol, I cleaned out their litter box so I could see how they're doing now and i didn't even think to take pictures of them beforehand.
 

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bree1699

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I have been feeding them unlimited alfalfa hay and science selective junior pellets. I've also been giving them a bit of Timothy hay every day so that they're used to it. i took their pellets away for a little while so they could get more fiber. I've attached a picture of the one poop I still have lol, I cleaned out their litter box so I could see how they're doing now and i didn't even think to take pictures of them beforehand.
also regarding that picture - sorry its not great quality, my phone's camera is busted. it is dried out some now but there was a clearish, gelatinous substance in the poop.
 

Mac189

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No worries on the bad pic, it happens and I still can sort of see what's going on.

In general, I would offer unlimited timothy hay over alfalfa... Alfalfa is very good for young rabbits, however they are probably getting plenty of calories and calcium from the pellets you are offering (which are great quality). Do you offer any treats or greens? Rabbits in their age group are too young for those items and greens could certainly cause the poops you are observing.

I'm attaching a bunny poop chart, it may help you ID what the problem is. I'm really appreciating your concern here, let's see if we can figure out the cause of the issue.

 

bree1699

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No worries on the bad pic, it happens and I still can sort of see what's going on.

In general, I would offer unlimited timothy hay over alfalfa... Alfalfa is very good for young rabbits, however they are probably getting plenty of calories and calcium from the pellets you are offering (which are great quality). Do you offer any treats or greens? Rabbits in their age group are too young for those items and greens could certainly cause the poops you are observing.

I'm attaching a bunny poop chart, it may help you ID what the problem is. I'm really appreciating your concern here, let's see if we can figure out the cause of the issue.

Okay, thank you for that link! I also took a look at the rabbits for dummies book and I know I'll be going back to that pretty often!

I don't give them any treats or fresh greens, but I know that the people we adopted them from had been giving them fruits and veggies and i guess they had been doing fine with those, but i don't feel comfortable giving them since they're so young.

There wasn't as much mucus as there is in the chart. Since then, he's been having some really big poops that almost look like the large egg-shaped ones but don't have a very defined shape. Since I changed out the litter box they've gotten more round and consistent in shape/size, but they're still bigger than what he was passing beforehand. There were small, misshapen poops before this but i wasn't sure if that was just because he's a baby or if he was having some trouble, but they were smaller than his brother's. Is it possible that he had some minor GI stasis (i believe @Lucas the Bun talked about this) and he's getting over it? The poops he's having now are also pretty dark, so I'm thinking that maybe I will switch them over to Timothy hay for now and see how they do, would that be a good idea?

thank you so much for your help, sorry if this reply is kinda all over the place!
 

JBun

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The mucousy poop is from something called mucoid enteritis. It's from irritation in the digestive tract. It can range from minor irritation due to stress or food changes, to very severe digestive disease that can be life threatening. The fact they are so young and weaned early, with the stress and changes of a new home, makes them very susceptible to developing serious digestive problems because of a digestive system that's not fully adapted to processing solid food.
Medirabbit (mucoid enteritis in rabbits )

Did you take away the pellets before or after you found the mucousy poop, and are they eating the hay really well, particularly the timothy hay? Are you feeding the same food as they had in their previous place, same type and brand of pellets, did they have alfalfa hay or is this something new you started feeding?

If they are eating the timothy hay really well and the hay is good quality with no signs of mold or weeds, I would primarily focus on free feeding (never runs out, refreshed several times a day ) the timothy hay. If they aren't eating the timothy hay really well, you may need to add back in the alfalfa so they don't starve themselves . Grass hay like timothy, helps correct digestive issues by helping rebalance the guts microflora, though more serious cases will require immediate vet intervention and meds.

If their poop isn't more normal now, if you are seeing more mucous/gel poop or any blood in the poop, if their fecal poop becomes watery or pudding like (no normal round fecal balls ), if they start loosing their appetite or become lethargic , or if you have any concerns they aren't doing well, get them to an experienced rabbit vet immediately.

The baby with the odd shaped poop, does he happen to be a white rabbit with spots?
 

bree1699

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The mucousy poop is from something called mucoid enteritis. It's from irritation in the digestive tract. It can range from minor irritation due to stress or food changes, to very severe digestive disease that can be life threatening. The fact they are so young and weaned early, with the stress and changes of a new home, makes them very susceptible to developing serious digestive problems because of a digestive system that's not fully adapted to processing solid food.
Medirabbit (mucoid enteritis in rabbits )

Did you take away the pellets before or after you found the mucousy poop, and are they eating the hay really well, particularly the timothy hay? Are you feeding the same food as they had in their previous place, same type and brand of pellets, did they have alfalfa hay or is this something new you started feeding?

If they are eating the timothy hay really well and the hay is good quality with no signs of mold or weeds, I would primarily focus on free feeding (never runs out, refreshed several times a day ) the timothy hay. If they aren't eating the timothy hay really well, you may need to add back in the alfalfa so they don't starve themselves . Grass hay like timothy, helps correct digestive issues by helping rebalance the guts microflora, though more serious cases will require immediate vet intervention and meds.

If their poop isn't more normal now, if you are seeing more mucous/gel poop or any blood in the poop, if their fecal poop becomes watery or pudding like (no normal round fecal balls ), if they start loosing their appetite or become lethargic , or if you have any concerns they aren't doing well, get them to an experienced rabbit vet immediately.

The baby with the odd shaped poop, does he happen to be a white rabbit with spots?
I took away the pellets after the mucousy poop because I read that eating more hay would get them more fiber and help to settle things back down. I'm not sure what they are beforehand, I will try to get in contact with the previous owner tomorrow.

Theyre going after the Timothy hay like crazy. When I mixed it in with the alfalfa, they would dig through to find pieces of it, haha. I just checked and their poops are looking much better and more consistent, but I'll definitely continue to keep an eye on them. Should I add the pellets back in or wait until morning/later? And would it be a bad idea to look into giving them some probiotics since they were weaned so early? I've read about them but it seems to be a slightly controversial topic.

And both of them are solid black. I'm guessing you're asking because of megacolon, is it possible for a solid bunny to have that? I couldn't tell for sure from what I've read.
 

JBun

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Yeah, that's why I was asking. It's always possible, just more common in the white spotted rabbits. Maybe wait and see if a hay only diet corrects the poop irregularities.

I would wait on the pellets since they are eating the timothy hay so well. It's important that the digestive tract gets lots of fiber from the hay to help correct the imbalance of bad bacteria that causes the gut irritation and mucous. Pellets, though a good source of vitamins, can worsen digestive issues because of the added grains and sugars. Though I would suggest providing a salt and mineral lick, because they won't be getting the necessary dietary sodium from their pellets.

I would give it several days of grass hay only, by which point their poop should be back to normal. Then once it's been normal for several days, I would very gradually reintroduce pellets keeping a close eye out for signs of digestive upset. If all looks good, the pellets can be gradually increased over a 2-3 week period . If you started feeding them a new pellet that their gut wasn't adapted to when you got them, the sudden introduction could have been what set this off. Plus the stress of early weaning and a new home. Just not a good combination for baby bunnies.

I would only consider probiotics (benebac plus) if their digestive tract was still a little off (for only minor issues, moderate to severe definitely requires a vet). But if their poop is improving and back to normal in the next day or two, I wouldn't bother with it.
 

bree1699

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Yeah, that's why I was asking. It's always possible, just more common in the white spotted rabbits. Maybe wait and see if a hay only diet corrects the poop irregularities.

I would wait on the pellets since they are eating the timothy hay so well. It's important that the digestive tract gets lots of fiber from the hay to help correct the imbalance of bad bacteria that causes the gut irritation and mucous. Pellets, though a good source of vitamins, can worsen digestive issues because of the added grains and sugars. Though I would suggest providing a salt and mineral lick, because they won't be getting the necessary dietary sodium from their pellets.

I would give it several days of grass hay only, by which point their poop should be back to normal. Then once it's been normal for several days, I would very gradually reintroduce pellets keeping a close eye out for signs of digestive upset. If all looks good, the pellets can be gradually increased over a 2-3 week period . If you started feeding them a new pellet that their gut wasn't adapted to when you got them, the sudden introduction could have been what set this off. Plus the stress of early weaning and a new home. Just not a good combination for baby bunnies.

I would only consider probiotics (benebac plus) if their digestive tract was still a little off (for only minor issues, moderate to severe definitely requires a vet). But if their poop is improving and back to normal in the next day or two, I wouldn't bother with it.
Okay, thank you so much! I gave them timothy hay this morning and they've been loving it and their poops are looking healthy! A couple more quick questions though.

they're eating a LOT of the hay, which im assuming is normal because it's less calorically dense than the pellets, that couldn't cause any problems, could it? and should I add in some alfalfa since it has more nutrients or wait on that as well?

I cant thank everyone who has replied to this thread enough for helping me through this!
 

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You don't really need to add anything to the timothy hay, maybe a bit of alfalfa as a treat if you so want to. Huge hay eating is never ever a problem! Hay is most commonly number one solver of any suspicious intestinal activity!

Glad to read that they're okay!
 

JBun

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Grass hay is lower in protein and higher in indigestible fiber. So yes, that's why they are eating so much of it. Baby bunnies in particular need more protein, but this also means they are getting lots of indigestible fiber by eating the grass hay, which is really good. It basically scours out the digestive tract, which is exactly what they need to rebalance the microflora.

There are times when eating too much low nutrient hay can cause problems. It's when the hay is too coarse like overly mature grass hay, or straw, and they aren't getting enough higher nutrient foods like pellets, leafy hay, or greens to balance out the roughage. What it does is the low nutrients means the cecum isn't getting enough nutrient rich food for creating cecotropes, so this slows down the cecum and that can result in an impacted cecum. As long as the grass hay is a soft to medium coarse hay and not all thick stems, there shouldn't be an issue. If it is really coarse, then yes the diet will need to be altered to include nutrient rich foods.

I would wait at least two days on grass hay only, before attempting to add in the alfalfa hay. You want to make sure their digestive tract and poops are completely back to normal before attempting to add in a new food. Unlike most grass hays(non spoiled, no noxious weeds, non grain hay, too rich early growth hay) that rarely cause digestive issues and can usually be introduced into the diet suddenly without a problem, alfalfa can sometimes lead to upset when not introduced gradually. This is because it is a legume hay, and depending on the phase of growth when it is cut and if it is a good quality green leafy hay, it can be very rich in nutrients and protein and too low in fiber, which is what can lead to the upset.

If they are doing well and poop is completely back to normal when it's been two days, then I wouldn't think gradually adding in a little alfalfa would be a problem. I would start slow with a small amount then gradually increase the amount each day if no negative changes in digestion or poop occur after that first day. I would still have the timothy be the bulk of the diet, but they can still get a decent amount of alfalfa to add some extra protein and calcium into their diet.

Just monitor the poops. The alfalfa will make their poop slightly darker and smaller because of the protein. If they seem to be getting too small, I would reduce the alfalfa amount, but if the poop stays a healthy size, then all should be good and I would stick with that diet until and if they have been completely healthy for a week and you decide you want to try adding pellets back in. Honestly though,, if they are getting extra protein from the alfalfa, I wouldn't be in any rush to start up the pellets again. Pellets are a common cause of digestive problems in rabbits and it's debatable if they are even necessary if the rabbit is getting a balanced diet from other foods.

I would suggest monitoring their weight and body condition for steady weight gain on this diet, just to make sure they are doing well and growing well. If you have a food or postal scale, I would weigh them daily at about the same time each day. You can also run a hand down their spine, around the ribs, and over the hips to make sure nothing feels too sharp and boney.
 
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bree1699

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Grass hay is lower in protein and higher in indigestible fiber. So yes, that's why they are eating so much of it. Baby bunnies in particular need more protein, but this also means they are getting lots of indigestible fiber by eating the grass hay, which is really good. It basically scours out the digestive tract, which is exactly what they need to rebalance the microflora.

There are times when eating too much low nutrient hay can cause problems. It's when the hay is too coarse like overly mature grass hay, or straw, and they aren't getting enough higher nutrient foods like pellets, leafy hay, or greens to balance out the roughage. What it does is the low nutrients means the cecum isn't getting enough nutrient rich food for creating cecotropes, so this slows down the cecum and that can result in an impacted cecum. As long as the grass hay is a soft to medium coarse hay and not all thick stems, there shouldn't be an issue. If it is really coarse, then yes the diet will need to be altered to include nutrient rich foods.

I would wait at least two days on grass hay only, before attempting to add in the alfalfa hay. You want to make sure their digestive tract and poops are completely back to normal before attempting to add in a new food. Unlike most grass hays(non spoiled, no noxious weeds, non grain hay, too rich early growth hay) that rarely cause digestive issues and can usually be introduced into the diet suddenly without a problem, alfalfa can sometimes lead to upset when not introduced gradually. This is because it is a legume hay, and depending on the phase of growth when it is cut and if it is a good quality green leafy hay, it can be very rich in nutrients and protein and too low in fiber, which is what can lead to the upset.

If they are doing well and poop is completely back to normal when it's been two days, then I wouldn't think gradually adding in a little alfalfa would be a problem. I would start slow with a small amount then gradually increase the amount each day if no negative changes in digestion or poop occur after that first day. I would still have the timothy be the bulk of the diet, but they can still get a decent amount of alfalfa to add some extra protein and calcium into their diet.

Just monitor the poops. The alfalfa will make their poop slightly darker and smaller because of the protein. If they seem to be getting too small, I would reduce the alfalfa amount, but if the poop stays a healthy size, then all should be good and I would stick with that diet until and if they have been completely healthy for a week and you decide you want to try adding pellets back in. Honestly though,, if they are getting extra protein from the alfalfa, I wouldn't be in any rush to start up the pellets again. Pellets are a common cause of digestive problems in rabbits and it's debatable if they are even necessary if the rabbit is getting a balanced diet from other foods.

I would suggest monitoring their weight and body condition for steady weight gain on this diet, just to make sure they are doing well and growing well. If you have a food or postal scale, I would weigh them daily at about the same time each day. You can also run a hand down their spine, around the ribs, and over the hips to make sure nothing feels too sharp and boney.
Okay, thank you! They've been eating the Timothy hay right up. Is there any way to tell if the hay is too coarse? I'm on my first bag of hay ever so I dont have much of a baseline, haha. It's Kaytee brand, which was the only option our Rural King had. Had I known about the brands reputation beforehand, I would've bought something else.
 
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