Poop still a mystery

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by swarning1222, Aug 9, 2015.

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  1. Aug 9, 2015 #1

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

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    I posted before about my 4, now 5 month old female bun having odd poops. Her poops seem to just keep changing and I can't figure out how to keep helping her improve. She has all the symptoms of megacolon :/ I don't think it could be any kind of infection since this has been going on for months. Also she lives with her mother who has perfectly healthy poop (although she was on antibiotics for a uti). I'm going to take her to the vet as soon as I can but since she's been going on like this for a while and is otherwise perfectly healthy (super active, eats good, never any bloat or anything like that) it doesn't seem to be an emergency. After all the money I just spent on her momma, I can't put off getting my boy neutered any longer, so he's going first!

    First she had mostly normal poos and a few a day that were very large and oval. Then they started getting more frequent. Sometimes big footballs, sometimes the double poos. Sometimes huge odd shaped monster poops. Then all of the sudden all her poops were odd shaped. Some huge, some very small but basically none were normal. Most of them had points on them or flat sides.

    I was feeding her alfalfa pellets that were a lower quality. And unlimited Timothy hay that I did some research on and found out wasn't very great. I was giving her maybe 6 cut up pieces of romain lettuce a day I was introducing to her.

    So I switched (slowly) to oxbow Timothy pellets, and a higher quality hay and saw a great improvement in her poos. They got lighter in color, less stinky and less sticky.

    Now what I can't figure out is 1) the lettuce.
    I stopped giving it to her for a couple days and her poops seemed to get darker and mushier (which doesn't actually make much sense) and more oddly shaped, so I went back to the six or so pieces a day and her poos seemed better then. I tried to give her more since it seemed to be helping but it seems like just that little amount is helping, and more than that is not.

    And 2) sometimes throughout the day her poops look great and sometimes I still find the terrible piles with all shapes and sizes. She munches on her food and hay all day. So I'm wondering if maybe it's just when she eats more hay she's having these good poops. And I just can't control when/how much hay she eats?

    The latest change is that everytime I let her out in the morning/early afternoon she's been having these very soft, smelly dark poops. They're the size of normal poop, somewhat odd shaped, single, yet the consistency of cecals?! Now I don't know if this is just a coincidence or not, but this is around the same time I feed them their lettuce, and after she eats hers, her poops go back to normal? This morning this happened (more than usual actually) and about 20 min after I gave her lettuce she left this perfect pile of poops (yay! Lol) BUT there were about 3 or 4 very tiny poops mixed in with them?

    I'm wondering if maybe lettuce is part of the key here to fix this. Maybe I should give her a couple pieces throughout the day to keep things moving? Or are there other veggies I could add in that could help? It's hard since it seems like she can only have a tiny bit. And I'm nervous to see what a lot would do so I haven't tried to give her a bunch. Any advice is appreciated!! And she will be going to the vet very soon. And if she is a megacolon bun, am I looking for those perfect poops still? Or is there a different "normal" for megacolon? And what are these dark soft poos I'm getting all of the sudden?!
     
  2. Aug 9, 2015 #2

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

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    Now about an hour after she's had the lettuce is just found a couple HUGE softer poops. So I'm still skeptical is the lettuce is actually helping at all :/ also she's been leaving some small pee puddles, but I'm think that is probably just her hormones at the moment.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2015 #3

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I can't say that this will be the same for your rabbit as all megacolon buns are different, but hay and the type of cut it is, has made the biggest difference for my megacolon bun. He gets minimal pellets, a bit of leafy greens, and mostly hay, with a good amount of it being the stalky hard stems. And this diet has kept him healthy and at a healthy weight for about the 3 years that I've had him.

    You actually can control how much hay your rabbit eats to some extent. This is done by reducing pellet amounts. When you decrease pellets, a rabbit will make up for that by eating more hay. My 3 lb megacolon bun only gets about a half teaspoon of pellets, twice a day. The reason he only gets that small amount is that if he gets more than that, his fecal poop will start to get soft, moist, and sticky. I also used to feed him a lower quality alfalfa pellet that contained corn products when he was younger, and it was the same problem, mushy poop. He's now on oxbow timothy pellets and those seem to be the best tolerated by him, but again, only at a very small amount.

    The type of hay he eats also makes a big difference in what his fecal poop looks like. I started feeding a leafier timothy hay and noticed that his fecal poop started getting very large, moist, and log shaped. So now he is fed a timothy hay that contains a lot of hard stalky stems and this seems to help keep his poop as normal as possible. If the hay is too leafy it seems to not be digested very well and results in the large moist fecals. Plus he isn't getting enough indigestible fiber(which stalky hay contains a lot of) to keep his poop moving through well and looking good. Even when his fecal poop is looking good consistency wise, he still has ones that are football shaped, small, and irregular shaped, but this is just normal for him(and many megacolon buns) and is as good as it's going to get. The consistency of them is at least friable/crumbly and like normal rabbit poop, and that is what I'm shooting for. As long as I'm not seeing moist, sticky, or large log shaped poop, then I'm happy. With a megocolon bun, chances are you are never going to see normal fecal poop, as it is their digestive tract nerves that are malfunctioning. You are just trying to find a diet for them that helps keep their digestion as normal as it possibly can be, as this helps reduce possible digestive problems from developing as a result of their gut malfunction. The picture of my buns poop that I posted in your other thread, is what his poop looks like when it is good. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the large log shaped poop.

    As far as veggies are concerned, he gets a bit of celery, green leaf lettuce, parsley, and willow or apple leaves each day, and seems to do fine with these and I've never had them cause issues for him. I pretty much stick to the same foods and the same amounts, and don't mess with the diet since he does well on this. And I never feed him anything that is sugary or starchy, as these seem to always be the problem foods for digestive problems.

    I've also had another megacolon bun that couldn't have any pellets at all or his poop would start to look really bad and he would start to go into stasis. Anything high in carbs/sugars had the same effect. So as long as he was on a hay and leafy green diet only, then his poops were nearly perfect. So my experience with megacolon buns has been that pellets and things high in sugars and starches, have lead to increased digestive issues. I don't know if this will be the case for your rabbit, but this was just what I found for my two. It's going to be different for every rabbit with megacolon. I've read of some rabbits that have done better on a diet high in pellets, but that just wasn't the case for my two.

    The soft poops in the morning that you are seeing, if they are small they may just be uneaten cecals. And if so, you are only going to be seeing them at certain times of the day because they are only produced at certain times of the day. Usually they would just be eaten by your rabbit, but if she isn't eating them all, that is the only reason you are seeing some of them. Now if she is consistently leaving them uneaten then this might be due to too many pellets in the diet. There are other health issues that can cause it(and in which case you she would need to be seen by a vet right away), but very often the cause is too much protein or starches in the diet, and these are usually from the pellets and/or too many high carb foods.

    All you can really do to try and improve any bad poop produced, is carefully fiddle with the diet. That's how I figured out what foods work best for my megacolon buns digestion. Make sure you are only making one change or adjustment at a time, so that if there are any poop changes, you know exactly what caused it. And make sure to make gradual changes, especially when it comes to increasing anything(except hay). Also remember that the poop changes won't be immediate. It will be several hours before what you feed, moves all the way through the digestive system. If you are finding piles of bad fecal poop at certain times of the day, this could correspond to when you feed a certain thing several hours before or even the day before. If you are feeding pellets at a particular time of day, then maybe this corresponds to the bad poops you are seeing later on. If so, then reducing pellet amounts might help. But this would just be something you would need to try and see. If you do try reducing pellets, always make sure to monitor hay consumption, as you need to make sure your rabbit is making up for the reduced pellets by eating more hay.

    Also remember that when ever making any dietary changes, it's very important to monitor your rabbits body weight and condition, to ensure your rabbit is still eating well and getting the proper nutrition, and stays at a good weight.
     
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  4. Aug 17, 2015 #4

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

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    Thank you so much. My rabbit seems to be very similar to yours. After I posted this I did switch the hay, I found a farm store that sells fresher stuff that is much thicker and her poop has improved. They seem to love it too. They weren't small, they were the size of normal poops but close to the color and consistency of cecals. She's only had the soft poops once, and in the morning again, since I posted this (I'm assuming the hay helped since that's the only thing I've changed) and it wasn't nearly as soft as before. They're finally getting to be pretty close to the right consistency. I guess my next step is cutting down on pellets. I feed her before I go to bed, so if she's eating in the middle of the night or really early in the morning it would make sense the pellets are the culprit to the soft poos. Did you introduce the different types of veggies to him one at a time? Did they help with his poop at all? Right now all I'm giving her is romaine, I'm not sure if she needs anything more.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2015 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    If you are feeding pellets once a day, it can sometimes help to split the amount into two feedings instead of the one. That way they are getting less of the starches in them, all at once. You do want to make the change gradually though.

    When introducing any new food(including veggies) to any rabbit, it is always best to do it one at a time, and gradually increase the amount each day if there are no signs of it causing digestive upset.. The reason being is that if it does upset the digestion, you know exactly what food is doing it. I've never noticed that leafy greens or forage affect his poop at all, but he also doesn't ever get a whole bunch of them. Just a handful a day.
     
  6. Aug 21, 2015 #6

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

    swarning1222

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    Yea sometimes I have myself convinced that the veggies make a difference, then sometimes I feel like they make no difference at all in the poop.

    I do feed them the pellets twice a day. Other than switching the brand of hay last week, and the pellets a few weeks ago, they've been on the same diet, and always the same schedule, never any treats, yet sometimes she still has the softer poops (other than that they look great). But I just can't figure it out, it's driving me crazy!!
     

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