URGENT: Week old bunny poop is light tan?

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tuggles

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My week old cottontail is pooping a very light tan color. I have provided additional information below.





A week ago my friend's dog chased their mother from the nest and killed her, along with two of the kits. He managed to save four, but didn't want to raise them, and there are no rehab clinics nearby, so I offered to take them. Unfortunately, 3 of them would absolutely not take any formula, and being inexperienced, I could not risk aspirating them by force feeding. They passed away. The fourth and biggest of the kits is an excellent eater and has been doing fine until just recently. Yesterday, his poop changed from a healthy dark brown color, to a strange medium tan. Today the tan is so light its almost white. He also pees very reluctantly but he has always done that. Everything else is normal, he's pretty plump and active, and his pee is a healthy color. I've been feeding him goats milk mixed with a tablespoon of heavy cream and two small scoops of benebac. He takes about 6 CCs of formula throughout the day with 3 feedings. He is a cottontail.
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tuggles

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Sorry. I made sound like I was talking about week old poo. My bunny is 1 week old. He used to have dark brown poop. Now when he poops it is very light tan. Does anyone know what might be causing this?
 

JBun

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Could maybe be due to the change from the mother rabbits milk to the milk you are feeding. I haven't hand raised kits, so not sure if that would change their poop color or not. You'll want to keep an eye on it and if you notice any mucous or watery diarrhea, get him to a vet right away.
 

ladysown

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suggests digestive upset.

are you over feeding? Kits left with mom often are left "wanting" a bit more. If you are over feeding it's not good for them (but underfeeding is also bad). You gotta leave him wanting a bit more.

OR the formula you are using isn't quite right for him.

You could start offering hay now as well.

Are the eyes open? Is he actively moving around exploring yet? Are you keeping him warm enough?
 

tuggles

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His eyes aren't open quite yet but they should be opening any day now. He is active in his little home, but I want to wait until he's a bit bigger to let him explore elsewhere. I was keeping his house over a heating pad, but he seems to have enough fur at this point to keep himself warm with just a blanket.

It could actually be overfeeding. I've been keeping him slightly full throughout the day to make him gain some weight. They were all very skinny when I got them. I'll start feeding him less and see if that helps anything.
 

tuggles

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Now his poop is light green and softer. He is still active and eating well. But I'm worried about him. I gave him some extra benebac today. Anything I can do for him?
 

JBun

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The only other time I can remember someone mentioning their rabbits fecal poop coming out light green, was when it had either e. coli or coccidiosis. Can't remember exactly which it was, and this was with an adult rabbit. Can't say for sure this could be wrong with the baby, but it might be a good idea to take a fecal sample into your vet and have a fecal test done right away, checking for cocci and bacteria. If this is the problem, you would luckily be catching it in the beginning stage and can treat with the right meds.
 

tuggles

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Do you know if doxycycline is safe for rabbits? I know it treats E. coli and many sites are saying it is safe but I want to be sure.
 

JBun

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Tetracyclines have limited effectiveness against e. coli, and though considered safe for rabbits, there is a risk of diarrhea. This just as easily could be due to coccidiosis. Trimethoprim sulfa would be a better antibiotic as it will treat both, but your vet should be able to determine if there even is a problem and which it may be, and prescribe the appropriate meds if needed. I certainly wouldn't want to risk treating a young rabbit with antibiotics, without being sure there actually is a problem.
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Bacterial/Colibacillosis.htm
 

tuggles

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Alright, thanks. Unfortunately he has stopped eating and has become very lethargic, and there's not much else I can do. Going to try to keep him hanging on until Monday when we can see the vet.
 

JBun

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You could try an emergency vet. They may not have a vet experienced with rabbits on duty, but they could at least prescribe some sulfatrim and administer some sub q fluids. Otherwise, if you don't think he'll make it, it may not hurt to try the doxycycline, or if you have neomycin on hand, it works for e. coli.
 

ChocoClover

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When my buns poop turned that color, he died a few dys after. I was heartbroken. If you find out what the disease is, please say; I'm still not sure what my little Otis died from.

I've heard cottontails are really hard to care for. You should probably get him to a wildlife rehabber.

Cows milk, I've heard, is better that kitten milk. If you haven't tried it, you should.
 

JBun

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I would suspect it is hepatic coccidiosis. It affects the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts, which in turn could affect the amount of bile in the feces, resulting in the pale colored feces from lack of bile, and green colored feces from too much bile. Just a guess though. If suspected, needs immediate treatment.

I hope the little bun is doing ok.
 

tuggles

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After my last reply, the same day, he developed diarrhea, stopped urinating, became severely dehydrated, and lost an extreme amount of weight. I decided to go ahead with the doxycycline, and administered a dosage according to his weight. I also bought some bovine colostrum for its high nutritional and antibody properties. Let me tell you, I have never seen him try to scarf formula down so fast. I even put pedialyte in it, which he usually absolutely hates.

Hours after the first dosage and feeding, he perked up again and began to act healthier. The next morning, his diarrhea was gone, he began urinating again, and he gained back two grams. Although most of the poop was still green, a few were brown. That day his behavior was back to normal and he ate very well all throughout the day. By night time, all of his poop was brown.

Today he is officially fully recovered. His eyes opened today, and his ears became erect. He is eating normally, has gained back all of the lost weight, and is fully hydrated. He is hopping around like a healthy baby bunny and trying to play with everything and everyone. Even if the danger of the infection slightly remains, which I now firmly believe was E. coli, I trust this colostrum to support his immune system until it is strong enough. I'm also going through with the full recommended 10 days of doxycycline.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their help, you truly saved this little bun's life. He got to see the world because of you guys. :)
 

JBun

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That's so wonderful to hear. It wasn't sounding very good with your last post. I'm really glad you ended up deciding to try the doxycycline. How lucky can it be for the e. coli that the baby had, to be one of the very few strains that doxycycline can effectively treat. Almost one of those meant to be situations. Glad you had it on hand :)

It sounds like he is well on his way to growing up to be a happy healthy bun. I hope you'll keep us updated on his progress. If you feel inclined, would love some pics of the little guy too :)
 

HarperBun

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Tuggles, this brought teas to my eyes! Post a picture of him!
 

Ana_The_Dreamer

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Cows milk, I've heard, is better that kitten milk. If you haven't tried it, you should.
Just to put it out there, rabbits should *not* have cows milk. (I've helped raise baby cottontails in a wild life shelter.) They can't have cow's milk because they can't digest it. KMR only maybe goats milk. :)

And I'm so glad your little cotton tail is thriving! Good luck! That doxycycline treatment sounds like it saved him. I'd love to see picture of the little guy.
 
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JBun

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What a sweetheart :inlove: I'm so happy the little guy is continuing to do well. Thanks for the pics :)
 

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