Poopy butt and I don't want to hurt him, but he'll need daily baths and....Help?

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StormyB

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Hi, I'm back. I got another rabbit last night. He's a totally white, 2 year old, papered, Holland Lop. He is also not neutered. However, I discovered that because of that, or some reason, he has severe issues with poop getting stuck to his little testicles. I had to give him a full, putting him in the tub with warm water, bath. I just checked him again just a moment ago and he needs another bath because poop is stuck to him again. I don't neccesarily mind bathing him daily, but I still have to pull the poop off his little testicles and I don't want to hurt him, I mean its gotta hurt having someone tugging on his junk even if I'm trying to keep him clean. Any tips to help de-poop his underside or prevent poop from sticking? I am hesitant to neuter him because of several reasons. He's fully papered, he's showable and my main reason is there isn't a rabbit-savvy vet I trust to do the surgery without killing him. So, I WILL neuter him if it comes down to that and I find someone, but without giving him an unnecceasary surgery, any ideas?
 

JBun

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Your best solution is to solve the problem of the poopy butt, which is most commonly diet related. Correct the diet, correct the problem and no more poopy bum. In the meantime you could very carefully trim some of the fur around where it is sticking, and on any bare skin such as the testicles where it is sticking, applying a very light coating of petroleum jelly may help prevent it sticking on there. But you really need to work at correcting the problem so it doesn't develop into much worse health issues such as enteritis, bloat, and fly strike.

If he is producing normal round fecal balls, then it will be the cecotropes that are sticking and causing the problem. Normally cecotropes will be immediately reingested by the rabbit from the anus, but certain health issues can cause this not to happen. If the cecotropes are not fully formed into blackberry clusters, and are mushy or pasty at all, this is caused by a microbial imbalance in the rabbits cecum leading to the improperly formed cecals. This is called cecal dysbiosis. Medications, stress, new foods can sometimes be a cause of this, but most often it will be because of too many carbohydrates in a rabbits diet, from treats and/or pellets. The best way to correct this is to free feed a good quality grass hay like timothy and cut everything else out of the diet temporarily. When doing this, it's best if the rabbit is already a good hay eater as you have to ensure they are eating plenty of hay to make up for the lack of pellets or they could starve themselves. You also have to keep a close eye out for any decline in activity or eating/drinking, and any change of behavior, and also monitor the rabbits weight in case there are is any unwanted weight loss. If any of this happens then there could be a more serious health problem causing the poop problem and you will need to get your rabbit to a rabbit savvy vet right away.

Once on a hay only diet, usually within a week or two there will be signs of improvement, though in more severe cases it can take longer. Once the poopy butt clears up for at least a couple weeks, then other foods can gradually be added back in, one at a time and starting with small amounts, though usually you can't feed the same amount of pellets as before or the poopy butt will come back, unless the poopy butt is being caused by other foods such as too many sugary treats, or in rare cases a sensitivity to certain veggies.

If the cecals aren't mushy but are fully formed and just not being reingested, things like stress, too rich of a diet, environmental distractions, dental problems, obesity, and arthritis can be some possible causes.

The best thing is to consult with a rabbit savvy vet regarding the problem and how to go about correcting it, including any dietary changes. But when I start seeing poopy butt, this is usually how I go about trying to correct it.

http://sawneeanimalclinic.com/downloads/chronic_intermittent_diarrhea_in_rabbits.pdf
http://rabbit.org/intermittent-soft-cecotropes-in-rabbits/
http://rabbit.org/disorders-of-the-cecum/
 

3bunmom

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I totally concur that the first order of business is to resolve the poop butt issue.

Soft poop which is not cecotrope indicates the gut is moving more slowly than it should,and first efforts should be made with diet.

Hair built up in the cecum can also cause this: I was totally surprised when chewable strawberry acidophilus tablets which one of my does loved firmed her bowels, and initially they were quite furfilled!
 

StormyB

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Its not diarrhea and its not really very mushy, the poop is fully formed marbles, I think he's just sitting in it and smushing it right as it comes out of his butt and its getting stuck on him....He DID just get moved to my place and I know stress can change digestive habits....Speaking of baby wipes, can I use them on his bottom to keep his testicles clean?
 

StormyB

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Next time he gets a clump stuck to him, I'll post a picture.
 

Blue eyes

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Its not diarrhea and its not really very mushy, the poop is fully formed marbles, I think he's just sitting in it and smushing it right as it comes out of his butt and its getting stuck on him
If it's mushy enough to stick to him, then it isn't the right consistency. It is possible the stress of the move has affected his poos.
 

JBun

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If they are mostly or fully formed but just sticking to him because he isn't eating them and sitting on them, then you need to figure out why. Is he too fat or old and stiff with arthritis so he can't reach down to eat them, does he have a dental problem that makes it painful to chew them, is he distracted by stress or something else like being in a new environment.

If you can't pinpoint it to one of those causes, usually it will be from too rich of a diet(too much protein from pellets or too many rich treats usually), and this is usually corrected by feeding less pellets(or cutting out rich treats) so they will consume more of their grass hay(should be free fed), which you always want to ensure they actually are eating more of their hay whenever you reduce pellets.
 

Ivythelionhead

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My rabbit Ivy constantly has a poppy bum and I usually get my mom to help me with her I hold while my mom wipes away the pop with a warm damp cloth, I understand that testicles are more sensitive though then a bum but I'd try a damp warm cloth and just gently rubbing it away.
 

StormyB

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So I've been giving him one or two baths a day and wiping him with baby wipes[I feel like I have a second baby in diapers lol] but his area still smells horrible. I've got a vet appointment in a week, but I mean.....help until then? TBH, it smells like a skunk down there. I'm cleaning in the folds of his testicles and wiping his anus well and I've trimmed the fur around his butt away as best as he'll let me but....I mean....Idk what to do for the next week until he can see a vet.
 

JBun

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StormyB

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My other unneutered male doesn't smell like that...or at all. But that makes me feel better, though, I felt like I was doing a horrible job keeping him clean and I didn't know what else to do.
 

JBun

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It can depend on each individual animal, how hormonal they are, how territorial they are. I had an intact buck that I never noticed smelling, and another buck that was so pungent that I could barely stand letting him in the house to play, and he never had a dirty bottom. It was all scent marking and male hormones.
 

StormyB

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He just pooped again, and it was not round or firm. It was mushy, like soft baby-who-is-no-longer-on-formula poop. I actually had to wipe his butt like you'd do a baby's and he pooped on his wooden house, so I had to scrub that. He DID just move homes, though, and I've adjusted his diet accordingly......Hang on a moment, I'll post a pic of the poop.
 

flemishwhite

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I think there may be some confusion about "poopy butt." Two things come out of a rabbit's rectum. (1) One is poop, which normally consists of round relatively dry small pellets. For a healthy rabbit, these relatively dry pellets do not have a fecal smell or odor. They have a herbal smell with a onion or slightly sulfur overtone. (2) Two is a cecum pellet. A cecum pellet exits the rectum about once per day. It is soft and gooey and if you smooch it in your fingers, it has a vomitous smell. I do not regard it as being poop and your rabbit also does not regard it as being poop either. Rabbits, like cows, goats, etc, have a stomach that serves as a digestive brewry to convert cellulose to glucose. Cows, goats, etc, regurgitate the contents of their cellulose brewry stomach to their mouth to rechew, and re swallow. For a rabbit the cellulose brewry stomach is located at the juncture of the small intestine and large intestine...it's called the cecum. It's their major stomach. (In humans it's called the appendix) To dump the cecum, for rechewing, they cannot regurgitate the contents because of the cecum's location. The cecum's contents have to exit through the large intestine and out of the rectum. When a rabbit senses that it's going to poop, it runs to its litter box. When a rabbit is going to pass a cecum pellet, it does not regard it as poop, and will immediately bend over and eat the pellet. You can, like me, have a pet house rabbit for years and never know they are passing a cecum pellet every day! My two 6 months old Flemish white babies have absolutely clean butts because they eat their cecum pellets immediately. What can happen, is that with age, if your bunny becomes fat or develops spinal autheritis that makes it painful to bend over, the cecum pellets will be passed to drop on the floor/carpet or to clog up in the fur around their rectum. This situation existed with Bunny for over a year. We thought it was an incident of aging. Her cecum pellets, when stepped on, seriously stained out bedroom carpet. I also had to hold her in my lap upside down and clean her butt with damp tissues. Ultimately, I noticed she was becoming not very active, just laying in the floor. Then I noticed her licking her front paws excessively...I knew that was a sign of an animal in pain. I took her to the vet, and ultimately an X-ray revealed spinal stenosis. Flexing her spine was painful. The vet prescribed Metacam, an anelgesic, and she became a new active bunny! Very mobile and once again started eating her cecum pellets...NO MORE DIRTY BUTT, no more stains on the carpet.

The above is my anecdote. If you bunny has a dirty butt, certainly what I described above could be a cause. It's also possible your bunny has diaherrea so that it's normally dry poop is coming out runny. So therfore, it's possible this gooey stuff could really be poop.

The cecum pellet is a gelatinous mass of highly concentrated bacteria (that converts cellulose to glucose), pieces of cellulose that have been difficult to digest, finely chewed up vegetation, and liver enzymes. The enzymes give the pellet it's vomit like bad smell. It looks black, but if your bunny has been eating dark green vegetables, it will have a dark green color if you smooch it out and look at it. This dark green color can really stain your carpet! For a human being, the cecum pellet is not bacterially dirty. The cellulose to glucose converting bacteria in the cecum pellet is completely harmless to a human. By the way cellulose is a polysaccaride... a long hydrocarbon chain, If you cut it it off into small pieces at the right places, you create glucose molecules. The symbiotic bacteria in the cecum stomach are fed by this glucose they make from cellulose. Since they make more glucose than they need, the excess glucose feeds your bunny. Such a good deal for the bacteria and the bunny!
 
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StormyB

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Okay, that makes a lot more sense. All of my bunnies except Brady don't have poop/not poop issues, they're fine. Brady IS pooping out little hard pellets, he's got a pile in a corner, what he pooped out was super mushy, stinky and he didn't poop where he normally poops. He didn't eat it. He is two years old, so not really very old, He seems to be cleaning himself normally, he's not fat or anything, and he doesn't seem to be in any pain.
 

JBun

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Look at these links. They show what normal fecal and cecal poop should look like. If your rabbits poop doesn't look normally formed like the examples in the pictures, but your rabbits poop is more a mushy pasty consistency, there is a digestive problem that needs to be corrected. The stress of a new home can cause this, but measures still need to be taken to correct it regardless of the cause.

http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/rabbit-droppings.asp
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/drop/Drp_en.htm
 

ts786

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So I've been giving him one or two baths a day and wiping him with baby wipes[I feel like I have a second baby in diapers lol] but his area still smells horrible. I've got a vet appointment in a week, but I mean.....help until then? TBH, it smells like a skunk down there. I'm cleaning in the folds of his testicles and wiping his anus well and I've trimmed the fur around his butt away as best as he'll let me but....I mean....Idk what to do for the next week until he can see a vet.
Based on this, you may have a different issue at hand. If the smell is from the glands or ammonia-like, that's much more ideal than the poop itself causing the smell. A rabbit's normal (non-cecetrope) pellets should be firm, round, filled with digested strands of hay, and mostly odorless. If these, non-cecetrope pellets, are the cause of the foul odor, your rabbit needs immediate care because your rabbit may have a bacterial infection caused by the gut microflora getting out of whack. If the poop that is causing the smell are cecetrope pellets, then you need to figure out why Bunny is not eating them as they are paramount to health and survival. Another possible cause of stinky normal pellets could be from a diet that is poorly matched to a rabbit's system. For example, most of the rabbit food sold at Walmart contains filler ingredients that should not be in rabbit food because these fillers are known to cause gastric distress.

You can bathe rabbits when needed provided it is done right. A lot of people on YouTube make it seem that rabbits are like ecofoam in that upon contact to water, they fall apart. It's not that extreme. I've used this method for years and it works very well. I use a super mild soap or spray that does NOT contain alcohol, petrol-based moisturizers, degreasers, strong fragrances, petroleum, etc. Then I increase the temp of the bathing room - I usually run a hot shower for 10-ish minutes prior to bathing as it rapidly increases the room's temp. The water temp is matched roughly to that specific rabbit. Then I do the bathing - depending how much the rabbit likes or dislikes water, it may be thorough or it many be brief. After bathing, I towel dry, then blowdry using a warm setting (hot settings can burn skin), and continue until the outer and under fur coats are dry. Until the undercoat is dry, Bunny stays in the hotter room and this addresses the concern with rapid loss of body heat, as well as concerns of skin issues that can come from not fully drying the undercoat.

I want to emphasize the importance of a MILD soap, because using something like dish soap (even very diluted) is a degreaser and it will remove natural skin oils. This can cause major irritation, and even skin infections, and it partly explains the whole YT freakout on bathing bunnies. So when I do have to bathe, I try to take every possible step to minimize the loss of critical skin oil. If that bath comes about due to skin being infected or close to being effective, I use Provon with PCMX as it is an effective antimicrobial, and is less toxic than other common AMs.

For the irritated bum, Tuck's wipes are a Godsend. YMMV
 

flemishwhite

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StormyB, JBun, ts786, ..really enjoyed reading your posts.

When I was having the Cecum pellet clogging problem with Bunny, the vet said there could be associated problems. If the pellet masses are sticking to the hair around their vulva and rectum, and then drying, the dried mass can interfere with pooping and peeing. So there can be urine scalding issues and also in a worse case, the vet said, the dried mass could interfere with passing fecal pellets. He gave me a small bottle of Chlorhex to clean her vulva and rectal areas after I wet tissued off the semi-dried cecum pellet material....this was to prevent irritation. I did this all with her laying upside down between my legs while I was setting down. When bunnies are tuned upside down on their backs, they generally become very relaxed...actually I think they faint. I also had a small pair of cosmetic scissors that I used to trim off hair around her rectum that had dried clumps of the cecum pellet material. ...careful not to cut their skin!!

As I originally posted, all these problems went away for me and Bunny, when I started giving her 1 1/2 ml of Metacam every day. This stopped her spinal pain and she could painlessly flex her spin to allow her to begin naturally eating her cecum pellets again.
 

StormyB

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StormyB, JBun, ts786, ..really enjoyed reading your posts.

When I was having the Cecum pellet clogging problem with Bunny, the vet said there could be associated problems. If the pellet masses are sticking to the hair around their vulva and rectum, and then drying, the dried mass can interfere with pooping and peeing. So there can be urine scalding issues and also in a worse case, the vet said, the dried mass could interfere with passing fecal pellets. He gave me a small bottle of Chlorhex to clean her vulva and rectal areas after I wet tissued off the semi-dried cecum pellet material....this was to prevent irritation. I did this all with her laying upside down between my legs while I was setting down. When bunnies are tuned upside down on their backs, they generally become very relaxed...actually I think they faint. I also had a small pair of cosmetic scissors that I used to trim off hair around her rectum that had dried clumps of the cecum pellet material. ...careful not to cut their skin!!

As I originally posted, all these problems went away for me and Bunny, when I started giving her 1 1/2 ml of Metacam every day. This stopped her spinal pain and she could painlessly flex her spin to allow her to begin naturally eating her cecum pellets again.

I spoke with Brady's original owner and he's been primarily on pellets, hay was given occasionally, I've since switched that. He seems to pass the cecum pellet an hour or so before now, and I've been checking his butt and using baby wipes to remove it, I removed the last ones about an hour ago and it was still soft and not dried yet. He's getting a bath in a few minutes to remove any remaining dried bits on his fur. He somehow got some on the front of his hind leg today, not sure how, but I'm keeping him clean down there, making sure his anus and his little penis are not blocked and making sure he's peeing and pooping daily.
 
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