Stains on sofa - Is bunny sick?

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Good morning, rabbit friends

My apologies in advance for raising this yucky topic!

Our rabbit, who's acting completely well otherwise, left poop stains on the sofa last night (image below).

My daughter had fallen asleep on the sofa and our bunny - who's a total love slob! - jumped up several times during the night making honking noises and then she noticed the wet poop stains.

PXL_20220128_125346656.MP.jpg

She's 1 1/2 years old and due to be spayed in March.

I'd appreciate any insight before I reach out to my vet.
 

JBun

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Has she ever had poop or cecotrope issues before, where they've been mushy? Any new foods introduced into the diet recently, especially any high carb treats?
 
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Has she ever had poop or cecotrope issues before, where they've been mushy? Any new foods introduced into the diet recently, especially any high carb treats?
She's never had this before, although I suppose I might not have noticed if it hadn't happened on the blanket.

Her diet is very consistent -- mainly hay, plus a cup of fresh greens and 2 tablespoons of pellets at breakfast and dinner time.

EXCEPT- last night my husband gave her a single strawberry. Could that have caused the problem?
 

JBun

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Yes, a new food, especially a sugary one, suddenly intruduced into the diet could definitely have caused this. What it likely is, is the sudden introduction of sugars from the strawberry get into the cecum and affect the normal microbial balance. This in turn causes some abnormal cecotrope formation, resulting in some watery or pasty cecotropes. It looks like your rabbit had some watery formation as a result.

The rabbit digestive system

It could be a gradual introduction of strawberries, starting with a small morsel and gradually increasing to only a small slice over a week or two, could eliminate this from occurring as it gives the cecum bacteria time to adjust to the new food. Or it could be your rabbit has a sensitive digestive system and any high sugar foods will cause issues, or could also maybe just be sensitive to strawberries.

For now though, I would suggest not feeding them or any high carb foods, so the cecum will have a chance to return to normal. Then once things have been back to normal for a few weeks, if you want to try and reintroduce a treat into the diet, just make sure to start with only one, in a small amount, with a gradual increase. And this treat should only be fed in very limited portions.


If this watery cecotrope issue continues to occur, it may be you'll need to reduce pellets and/or greens, and/or go to a free fed hay only diet(plus a salt lick) for a while to get the cecum bacteria back in balance.

 
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It could be a gradual introduction of strawberries, starting with a small morsel and gradually increasing to only a small slice over a week or two, could eliminate this from occurring as it gives the cecum bacteria time to adjust to the new food. Or it could be your rabbit has a sensitive digestive system and any high sugar foods will cause issues, or could also maybe just be sensitive to strawberries.
Thanks so much for your input, @JBun.

Actually, up until recently we gave her 1-2 baby carrots and/or strawberries every night and lots more fresh greens. But we decided to eliminate treats and cut back on greens because she had a few bouts of gas pain and I didn't want to risk her health.

Maybe the strawberry was a shock after 2 months of healthy eating. It's probably best that we stick to the healthy diet plan.
 

SadieandJadie

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She's never had this before, although I suppose I might not have noticed if it hadn't happened on the blanket.

Her diet is very consistent -- mainly hay, plus a cup of fresh greens and 2 tablespoons of pellets at breakfast and dinner time.

EXCEPT- last night my husband gave her a single strawberry. Could that have caused the problem?
I have some on my carpet.. everything will work itself out, it was just from her cecotropes which she obviously probably ate.
 

SadieandJadie

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Yes, a new food, especially a sugary one, suddenly intruduced into the diet could definitely have caused this. What it likely is, is the sudden introduction of sugars from the strawberry get into the cecum and affect the normal microbial balance. This in turn causes some abnormal cecotrope formation, resulting in some watery or pasty cecotropes. It looks like your rabbit had some watery formation as a result.

The rabbit digestive system

It could be a gradual introduction of strawberries, starting with a small morsel and gradually increasing to only a small slice over a week or two, could eliminate this from occurring as it gives the cecum bacteria time to adjust to the new food. Or it could be your rabbit has a sensitive digestive system and any high sugar foods will cause issues, or could also maybe just be sensitive to strawberries.

For now though, I would suggest not feeding them or any high carb foods, so the cecum will have a chance to return to normal. Then once things have been back to normal for a few weeks, if you want to try and reintroduce a treat into the diet, just make sure to start with only one, in a small amount, with a gradual increase. And this treat should only be fed in very limited portions.


If this watery cecotrope issue continues to occur, it may be you'll need to reduce pellets and/or greens, and/or go to a free fed hay only diet(plus a salt lick) for a while to get the cecum bacteria back in balance.

Aren’t cecotropes soft period?
 

JBun

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