Poopy Butt

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I’m looking for some input on what might be going on with my bun. First, Naji always has a poopy butt. I give a butt bath but the next day it’s the same or worse. Also, I can never seem to get the butt fully clean, seems to be matted. My next question could be part of the problem. Why does my bun scoot instead of hop? I have built a cage but let Naji free roam when I’m home. Not sure of the breed but I believe it is part Lop and part Flemish. I have area rugs everywhere. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Catlyn

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The right picture makes it look like your bun might have splay legs, not exactly sure but the left one makes me believe it couldn't really be paralysis?
In either cases, if your bun cannot control their hind legs, that's how you get chronic poopy butt. I'm not experienced with that nor do i know how to help, but here are two articles i found on splay legs that might be of help:


It would be the best if you could find a good rabbit-savvy vet near you for better instructions.
 
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JBun

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How long have you had your rabbit, and have her hind legs always splayed out like that? If not, I notice that she is on a slippery floor in the picture where her legs are splayed. Does it only happen on the slippery floor or does it happen on the carpeted floor as well?

Depending on the cause of the splay leg, the poopy butt may or may not have anything to do with it. Poopy butt usually has to do with improperly formed cecotropes due to an imbalance in the rabbits diet, provided the fecals are still the normal round balls and they aren't mushy or watery as well(true diarrhea, which would be an emergency). If you've been able to see the cecotropes before they get smooshed, are they coming out looking like properly formed cecals(looks like a blackberry cluster) or are they coming out pasty and mushy? What is her exact diet(type of hay, pellets, veg, treats, etc, and amounts per day)?


 
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I adopted Naji February 22. He was rescued from a cat. The rabbits were kept outside with a large free roam area. The owners were not aware there were little ones as they would have moved them in. A cat got into the pen and tried to take off with it. The owners heard the cry and rescued it. I took it in the following week. I took it to the vet right away and everything was fine. Naji has always kind of scooted instead of hopping. More than one person has noticed one of the back legs looking funny when he moves. I do have a lot of slippery floors. I have added lots of throw rugs. He seems to scoot no matter the surface. I believe, after reading the articles that I have been giving too many carbohydrates . Too many treats! In the AM he gets 1 T pellets, 1/2 cup organic mixed baby lettuces and 1/2 t apple in his lettuce. I repeat this in the evening. Alfalfa and Timmothy hay available at all times. Then several times a day he will get a treat. His poops, if anything are too small. Everything else I read in the article seems fine.
 

JBun

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If he was born this way, he has genetic splay leg. If he wasn't born this way but has been this way since you got him, then it's possible he incurred an injury from the cat attack. Either way, slippery floors could be difficult for him to manage on. If he is able to hop or walk pretty well on non slippery surfaces, then it will probably help him to not be on slippery floors. But if he mostly scoots even on the carpet, and he can scoot easily on the slippery floors, then smooth flooring may actually be helpful to him. I guess see which flooring surface he does best on.

Here's some info on splay leg and some ideas that might prove helpful. If your bun has perfect function of his front legs, some disabled rabbits do well with a cart that can support their body and hind legs. Might be something to consider for your bun.

.


The splay leg is not likely correctable at all at this stage, though a good rabbit vet can help show you how to manage issues that could arise from the scooting, such as leg sores. If a messy bum from urine or poop, continues to be an issue, having the vet clip the fur around the butt would probably be a good idea. It will help in keeping the bum cleaner, which is essential with the coming warmer months. You will need to regularly check his hind end, as a wet butt from urine or mushy poop, will attract flies and put him at risk of developing flystrike, which can prove fatal to rabbits in less than 24 hours.




For the poopy butt, I would start with removing the apple and any other high carb/sugary treats. If that doesn't resolve it after a couple weeks, next I would remove the alfalfa hay, which would need to be removed anyways if he's getting close to or over 6 months old. Though in removing the alfalfa hay, you'll need to make sure he's eating the timothy hay really well from the start. You just don't want to pull the alfalfa, then have him not eating hardly any hay at all. If he's not eating the timothy well, then you may need to do a gradual reduction of the alflalfa over time, so he gets used to eating more of the timothy. Then monitor body weight and body condition to make sure he doesn't experience any unhealthy weight loss from the diet changes.

Then see if the poopy butt improves after that. If not, it could be a sensitivity to the veggies, too many of the greens, or even a sensitivity to the pellets. I've had rabbits in the past that couldn't have any fruit or very many pellets, or only certain types of pellets. Even some that couldn't have any pellets in their diet at all. So it's just a matter of seeing what your rabbit is sensitive to.
 

PeanutsPlace

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How hot is your room? When my room gets over 80 degrees f (26.67 C) My bunny tends to get poopy butt, I was worried at first, but as soon as my room cooled down it went away.
 
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How hot is your room? When my room gets over 80 degrees f (26.67 C) My bunny tends to get poopy butt, I was worried at first, but as soon as my room cooled down it went away.
The bunny room does not get hot. We keep the temp around 75. I’m fairly certain it’s too many carbs. I’m trying to cut them out for now to see what happens. I’m fairly certain butt baths will be a common occurrence. The scooting just makes things worse. What is used for treats that isn’t full of sugar?
 

Catlyn

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Fresh bits of veggies can also be used as treats if your bun can tolerate them.
 

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Since you're trying to sort out his diet to reduce the poopy butt, best not to start any new foods. Just skip all treats completely until his diet is sorted and there's no more poopy butt. (Don't offer fruit, veggies [other than his normal greens], or extra pellets.)

As @JBun explained, there are a number of possible causes of the mushy poo. Eliminating carbs from treats is step one. Reducing (and eliminating) the alfalfa is step two. If doing those clears it up, great. If not, then you'll need to see if he's sensitive to either the greens or the pellets.

Once everything is cleared up, only then should introducing any other greens/veggies or fruits be even considered-- and then only in small amounts, with caution, and looking for any reaction.
 
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Thank you! I cut the treats out yesterday and Naji has a bunnytude (my word for bunny attitude). I made an appointment with the vet and will see him Thursday. I’m wondering how often I should give the butt bath. When we see the vet I’m asking if they could shave it for me but it is so matted I‘m not sure they can. I feel sorry for the little one but he seems to be content scooting everywhere. It’s taking all the will power I have not to give him treats. I’m about to throw them out just so we won’t be tempted!
 

JBun

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A butt bath is just done as it's needed. If there is just a bit of dried on stuck poop, I wouldn't worry about it. But if it's getting messy or you think it's risking flystrike occurring(especially with moist stuck on poop), then a butt bath may be needed. Though I would make sure to thoroughly dry at a low speed and temperature. Being very careful not to stress your rabbit.

One thing you may want to ask your vet about. I've just been reading about how vitamin E deficiiency can cause muscular dystrophy type symptoms in young rabbits. It looks a lot like splay leg. I can't say if it might be the case with your bun, but maybe if xrays don't show a cause for the splay leg, a blood test can be done to check vit. E levels. Or maybe the vet will want to try some vit. E supplementation for a short time to see if it helps. Though at this stage, I don't know if supplementation would help at all.
 
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Mixed emotions! I took Naji to the vet. They did X-rays. Nothing found. The vet suggested Naji be hobbled. No guarentee it would help. I felt like if it might help, we should try it. It was a disaster. My poor little guy just drug his self around. Not really much different that what he was doing before except his legs were bound together. Not once did he sit up. The tech at the office said he was fine with it there. Not so when I got him home. My husband said, take it off, it didn’t take any convincing, off it came. I’ve come to the realization that I am now taking care of a disabled bun. I don’t mind, he is so very good! I do feel guilty not leaving the hobble on. Naji gets a butt bath every other day. I’ve tweaked his feeding as recommended and the wet poop only happens every now and then. Thank everyone for their input and concern.
 

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