Trouble feeling pellets and greens

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pani

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Hey guys,

Might remember a while ago I was concerned about Felix leaving excess cecals around, and Clementine leaving some darker and soft poops around. I removed pellets and greens from their diet and have had them purely on oaten hay for about two weeks now, and it appears to have cleared up. I did try reintroducing parsley and while they LOVED it, after three or four days I noticed a small amount of soft poops so I removed it. Pellets also appear to have had a similar reaction.

I'm just sort of worried that while I'm testing out diets and what works with their tums, that I'm not giving them enough nutrition. :( What should I do?
 

PaGal

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I can't offer too much advice but hopefully someone more experienced/knowledgable will come along and help you before too long.

Does the oaten hay have seed heads on it? If so do you remove the? I believe I have read several times that the tops of oaten hay should be removed. If you are not then perhaps that could be causing issues with your buns, with the tops on and you giving them either greens or pellets it may be too much for their systems.

How much do each of your buns weigh? How much pellets have you been giving at one time and how often? What brand of pellet? How much parsley did you give and how often?
 

mobwort

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Just to chip in here - I often ask the advice of the breeder from whom we got our rabbit. He recommended Allan and Page (Alan and Page?) natural rabbit pellets - and the vet has recently recommended Oxbow meadow hay. The vet - this week - recommended we don't give him rabbit muesli or carrots :( So I think we will omit the muesli. The vet diagnosed Illias or something sounding like that which is a digestive issue. Reggie went very quiet for a few days and wouldn't eat anything. Was very worrying. Ok now though. Just ordered some oxbow to try it out.
 

selbert

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How old are they? Greens should be introduced when your rabbit is developed enough to digest them, I found this website incredibly helpful with food: http://rabbit.org/faq-diet/

Have you tried introducing the pellets again? I always introduce new foods (greens, treats etc) slowly and surely, a little to start off with so it doesn't upset their stomachs. I'm fairly sure that Clementine is a little too young for fresh greens, though I can't remember how old Felix is.

Hope this is helpful! All the best,

Selina.
:brownbunny
 

selbert

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Oh I forgot to mention, if you change pellets or hay you should transition slowly mixing old with the new.
 

BlueMoods

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Most rabbits get a day or two of soft stools on new pellets if you can't do a gradual change as they adjust. As long as it isn't totally watery and, they eat, let it go a couple of days and see if they don't adjust for you.

Also make sure you free feed the same type (timothy, alfalfa, mixed grass, etc...) of hay consistently, that doesn't need changed up. as for greens once old enough for them, one at a time and don't over do it. fresh greens have a high water content and, will lead to looser stools if over fed. I use max 1 TBS per 2 lbs of rabbit once a day.
 

JBun

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I wouldn't think that continuing with only mature oat hay would be too healthy as it would be very low in protein and nutrients. You need a green leafy hay if you are only feeding hay and no pellets. You want to start with only one thing at a time, and start off slowly. It would be best to get the pellets back in the diet, for the needed nutrients. Just start off with a small amount and gradually increase. Then see if any problems start to develop. If so, I would suggest getting a fecal sample tested to make sure there is nothing going on there that may be causing these problems.
 

missyscove

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How old are they and what sort of pellet are you using? Just hay isn't really enough to meet their nutritional needs. I'd try working in pellets slowly, starting with just a few a day and see how they handle it. If you're interested in a pellet-free diet, that's definitely something to discuss with your vet.
 

pani

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I don't want to have them on a pellet-free diet, I'd prefer them to eventually have hay, pellets, and greens.

Felix is about 4 and a half months old, and Clementine is around 11 weeks old. I gave them a small amount of pellets last night and found excess cecals in their hutch this morning, I suspected from Clementine, but then I saw Felix leave a fresh string of cecals so it looks like he's overproducing. Could this just be a reaction from reintroducing them?
 

selbert

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It sounds like they're just adjusting, I would continue with the pellets and if there's no improvement I would call the vets and get their opinion.

Keep us updated!
All the best,
Selina
:brownbunny
 

ladysown

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What kind of rabbits are they?

I wouldn't be worried about the rabbits producing extra cecals... it's not like it hurts them to. They eat what they need. They are just youngsters yet.

Find a good quality plain pellet for them (no junk in it). Feed that. Feed your hay as desired. Feed safe greens if desired.

Rabbits can be fed a pelletless diet, but then you need to be concerned about feeding the trace nutrients as well.
 

pani

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A Netherland dwarf, and a mini lop.

The pellet I feed them is Oxbow adult rabbit food, as due to my state's quarantine, we're unable to get the young rabbit food pellets here. Felix hasn't been leaving any excess cecals today, but Clementine has been having some softer and darker droppings. She's been eating TONS today - my partner suggested it could be that her digestion is moving faster due to more food, so the food is remaining in her body for less time, therefore having less time to have the liquid absorbed resulting in normal dry droppings. Does that sound like it could be the cause?
 

pani

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Clementine's droppings seem to be getting softer. :( She seems happy and not in pain, drinking and eating hay regularly. I'm hunting around for emergency vets and weighing up my options but none of the 24 hour places I could get to see rabbits specifically, so I'm unsure if they'd be able to do much. The rabbit-savvy vet I saw for Felix's neutering wouldn't be available until Thursday at the earliest.
 

pani

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These are her droppings. She's sitting still but not worryingly; still darts away if I try to pick her up. I offered her some hay just now and she wasn't interested but she's been eating all day. It's 3am and I'm just so nervous. Are these just unformed cecals?

My boyfriend reminded me that Felix has had nights like this, and he acted so uncharacteristically docile, which she's not doing.

uploadfromtaptalk1392749935145.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1392749952036.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1392749969134.jpg
 

pani

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Sorry to keep re-posting, I'd edit if the option were available.

I went and showered and then came back to check on little Clementine. She seemed more docile which concerned me at first, letting me pick her up and only struggling when I'd had her in a 'sitting' position for a few moments to check on her underside. I saw some red which really concerned me but then realised it was more than likely just the staining from some urine.

I found this quote on another forum about a similar/the same issue, which if accurate, would calm me down a lot -
Soft poops could actually be malformed cecotropes that should have been eaten directly from the anus by the rabbit. You will notice that the soft stools might have a strong odor and contain mucous like normal cecotropes. When the contents of the cecum are retained for longer than normal periods of time the cecotropes are eventually excreted in a more liquid state and it is impossible for the rabbit to eat them, which can cause a mess on the fur and in her cage. It could also be a defect in the diet, in that that diet could be too high in carbohydrates and/or Lilly is not getting enough fiber (hay)

Clem's soft poops do resemble cecals sometimes (sometimes they're longer) and when smooshed they definitely do have an odour. I've seen her eating cecotropes directly from her bottom several times since finishing my shower and checking on her again. I might finally head to bed soon and check on her in the morning, since my partner is fairly confident she's okay and she does seem to be better than earlier (in that her droppings are a bit firmer and less common, behaviourally she hasn't really had much of a difference).
 
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JBun

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Nothing to panic about. Though the poop doesn't look good, she should be fine til you can get her to the vet tomorrow. You may just want to continue with the hay only until you can get this checked out, as that sounded like it helped. You definitely want to get a fecal test done. You probably don't even need to bring her in and can just bring a poop sample in.

You can usually tell when it's unformed cecotropes, as there will also be perfectly normal fecal poop nearby. The top picture looks like fecal poop to me. And having mushy fecal poop as well, is more of a problem than just mushy cecals. So it's good you are having it checked by your vet.
 

RabbitGirl101

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I would try to add a tablespoon of pellets to their daily diet. Try that for about 3 days and if they dont have any runs try increasing the amount until they get the softer poop. They decrease it until it no longer occurs. You need to find the equilibrium to what they can consume. Its extremely important that they get the nutrients from pellets and/or greens because hay cannot provide it. Try switching your pellet that may help as well, make sure when you purchase it that the bag is fresh from the mill. I can't really help with the greens as I don't give my rabbits any of them

Just saw the pictures. The bottom pictures look like cecotropes to me the top picture of the poop doesn't look normal to me.
 

pani

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The rabbit savvy vets nearest to me are only available Thursdays, Saturdays, and Tuesdays. My partner and I both work Thursday and Saturday, so Tuesday may be the next time I can see them. :( I could see another vet sooner but I don't know how experienced they would be with rabbits.

I'll switch them both back to pure hay 'til then - oaten hay from the store and Oxbow timothy hay cakes.
 

juliemaye

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Hello There!

I am sure the vet visit is still a phenomenal idea (I would definitely forego it.) Don't be too fearful, though! Buster (my bunny) had a terrible time with greens and fresh foods when he was younger! He only really ate pellets and hay! Changing their food diet (as previously mentioned) can certainly cause a disruption in the digestive tract, and will generally clear up in a couple of days. Buster would be able to eat one or two chunks of carrots, or a half of a piece of romaine lettuce, but any more and he'd be leaving liquid poop everywhere! I had to remove and then very slowly re-introduce them back.

Using pure pumpkin puree (make sure it's organic or pet-specific) can work WONDERS on their digestive systems, and is actually recommended in a lot of digestive issue cases (my cat even uses it!) It's completely edible by humans, and pretty well everyone else. (Actually, it works wonders on human digestion, too! LOL)

I would suggest maybe trying to get them to eat half a spoonful a day type of thing? It might help their digestive tract calm down a bit. Otherwise, continue with the hay, and hang tight until your doctors appointment! I know the waiting can be torturous when we're so concerned, but it'll be well worth it in the end, and if they don't seem physically stressed or anything, it shouldn't be terrible. It's probably you stressing more than them, due to not knowing exactly what's wrong. :)

Cheers! Big warm hugs to you and your babies! :)
 

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