Getting Friendly With Your Rabbit’s Poop

litter box

A litter box works best when filled with fresh grass hay for your bunny to graze on. It encourages good litter box habits and gives busy bunnies something to do.

I thought I would start the new year by getting into a subject that all but a true bunny lover will find strange, your rabbit’s poop. People who don’t know much about rabbits may at first feel like us bunny lovers are obsessed with this topic. This is because when you truly are aware of your bunny’s health and well-being, your first and most obvious clue that something is amiss are his fecal droppings.

Rabbits are well-designed eating and food processing machines. They have evolved to where they have extremely efficient digestive systems, otherwise how could they live with such verve and energy on a diet of just grass (which is most of a healthy rabbit’s diet). As grazers, they need to be constantly eating. It can actually be fatal if their insides stop processing their food for even a day, which is a condition known as gastrointestinal stasis or GI stasis for short.

Cecotropes (cecal pellets)

Cecotropes (cecal pellets)

Cecotropes

Cecotropes (Cecal pellets)

Knowing how your rabbit’s insides work are very important to keeping your pet bunny healthy. It is critical to understand that they are fermenters and that their food is digesting in their intestines by bacteria located there. This is why rabbits can often die when given the wrong antibiotic, because all the important good bacteria in their gut are killed. This is why you should never give any kind of antibiotic (or medicine) from another pet to your rabbit, without your vets express approval, but I digress.

Adding anything different or new to your rabbits fermentation system can cause an upset, until their body adapts to processing it. Us humans get a similar condition when we get Montezuma’s Revenge. Things like sugars and starches, which are not a natural part of a rabbit’s diet can cause this problem. I saw this when after not having been given fruit for many months, I gave some to my buns. They all got sick the next day. If they are getting sugars every day, then they do not get this reaction, but then that leads to other issues and problems, such as fatty liver disease and being overweight.

The best barometer of your bunny’s intestinal fortitude, so to speak, is their poop. It should be consistent and any daily variation with it is very telling. I recommend that you become very familiar with your rabbit’s little droppings daily. Every good bunny lover does this.

You want to see lots of firm but not rock hard round droppings each day in your rabbit’s litter box. They should easily smash between two fingers when fresh. It is a good idea to clean your rabbit’s box each day, because it gives you a chance to see how he is feeling by inspecting his poop. If you clean his box and there are not any in there, you now have a big red flag that should not be ignored. Rabbits are eating and pooping all the time, except for when they are sleeping. If you were to discover this, I would watch him for a couple hours to see if he goes, but if I offer him a treat or some green salad and he is not interested, it means that you have a sick bunny. Steps must be taken immediately or you possibly risk a very bad outcome. When it comes to GI stasis, time is of the essence.

If you are not cleaning your rabbit’s litter box every day, then it becomes a lot more difficult to know if he is using it or not. It is hard to tell if the piles of poop in the box are from today or yesterday or the day before, if it is not cleaned daily. Besides that, rabbits are very clean pets and tend to avoid a dirty box, not to mention that they eat more hay if you give it to them fresh in a clean box each day. Most people who have house rabbits put their rabbit’s hay into their litter box to encourage it’s use and to promote more grazing on the fresh hay.

One of the most important things you can do if you love your rabbit, is to learn to recognize when they are ill and take immediate steps to help them survive. Rabbits tend to have a very low survival rates for a lot of very common issues, simply because their owners are not paying enough attention to how their pet is feeling on a daily basis. When you think your rabbit is sick, almost 99 percent of the time HE IS.

You should familiarize yourself with what healthy good poop looks like and the difference between that and their cecotropes. Rabbits eat all of their food twice and the first time through their system, it comes out as cecotropes (or cecal pellets). They eat these and if your rabbit is healthy, you should very rarely find these, if ever. Finding cecotropes laying around or in his box are a sign that he may be getting too many treats or too much nutrition. This causes your rabbit to not feel the need to eat his cecotropes. Therefore,
finding cecal pellets from your rabbit on a regular basis should also be a red flag warning for you. I recommend taking appropriate action right away, should you begin to find these in your bunny’s area.

The most common reason for finding cecotropes is fruit, too many treats or too much green salad, or too many pellets. I would reduce the amount of these things that your rabbit receives until the problem goes away. I would start with the pellets and fruit first, since they are the highest calorie items. Rabbits do not ever need either one of those things and a very small amount goes a very long way, especially if your rabbit is of the smaller variety. A teaspoon or two is all that most bunnies need of pellets and I never give mine fruit, as I explained earlier.

It is possible to give your rabbit too much salad. He should only get an amount no more than twice the size of his head daily. That is the most he should have and he can certainly have less. Treats are also usually highly caloric and many store bought rabbit treats should never be given.

Never give your rabbit yogurt treats or anything with dairy, seeds, nuts, corn, beans, peas, legumes or popcorn. They are bad for your rabbit. Many of the rabbit treats sold in stores have one or more of these items and so beware. Just because a pet store sells them, does not mean that they are good or ok for your bunny. I would say that half of the items I see in our local pet stores should not even be sold to rabbit owners. I suggest that you give healthy green treats and compressed timothy (not alfalfa) hay cubes to your bunny. You can find some relatively healthy rabbit treats online, but avoid those that the main ingredients are flours and sugars, such as molassas or honey.

Timothy Hay Cubes

TImothy Hay Cubes are a good healthy treat for your bunny. Do not confuse them with Alfalfa Cubes, which are not the same.

One problem that you can see by looking at your rabbit’s poop is something called Mega-Colon. It is a deformation of your rabbit’s colon that causes his poop to become misshapen and egg-shaped. I have a rabbit who has this issue and her poop is sometimes small and sometimes very large, but very rarely round. This condition allows for a rabbit to easily get a condition called bloat, which is similar to colic in a horse. Bloat can be quickly fatal for a bunny. It puts intense pressure on their heart and lungs if it occurs high up in their intestines which can stop their heart or breathing. I have heard of
this happening in as little as 8 hours.

Bloat often appears to novices as GI Stasis, but can be more serious and more quickly. Your rabbit will appear to be in discomfort and will stop eating and pooping. He may keep shifting his position in an effort to relieve the gas that is building up in his abdomen. He may show signs of pain which is clicking his teeth loudly or sitting up hunched over. These are all signs that he is feeling discomfort.

To check for bloat, squeeze your rabbit behind his ribs in his belly area, gently. It should be squishy and soft, not hard and blown up like a balloon. You should do this when your rabbit is feeling fine, to acquaint yourself with how it should feel, normally. I check my Mega-Colon rabbit’s gut, every day to make sure that she is not experiencing any gas buildup, because I know that she is prone to it.

Mega-Colon poop.

Mega-Colon poop. Notice irregular size and egg-shape.

Mega-Colon poop.

Mega-Colon poop. Egg shaped and irregular.

You should not have to normally do this, unless your rabbit is having signs that something is amiss. Lack of poop in his box or signs of discomfort are good reasons to check for bloat. Not wanting his regular daily salad or a bunny treat are also signs that it would be good to check your bunny for gas.

Because they are fermenters, they are producing gas all the time and so a blockage or GI Stasis can be the reason for their bloat. It is not something to mess with and it requires an immediate visit to the vet. Do not wait, because hours can be life or death in a severe case.

Hopefully, you will already have a relationship with a rabbit specialist vet for your rabbit. When your bunny is dreadfully sick, is not a time to be out searching for the proper vet for your bunny. It is a waste of precious time. If you need help locating a rabbit specialist, visit the House Rabbit Society website (www.rabbit.org) and go to their recommended veterinarians list for your area.

The final thing I want to mention is the “string of pearls” that we often find from our buns. This is a sure sign that your rabbit is ingesting a lot of his (or his partner’s) fur and this issue will usually go away if you groom your rabbit by combing him. Rabbits cannot throw up fur balls, like a cat can. In fact, they cannot vomit at all and so once they have swallowed fur while taking one of their many daily baths, it must pass all the way through their system.

"String Of Pearls"

“String Of Pearls”

Generally, their system was designed for this, but they can get blockages if they swallow too much. This is especially true if they have low motility in their gut, which is slower than average movement or speed at which things move through. Low motility in a rabbit’s gut makes them more prone to fur blockage. It is best to regularly groom your rabbit and if you are finding these “string of pearls” in their litter box, then it is a sure sign that you need to “step up your grooming game”.

Every good bunny parent spends a lot of time examining and appraising their rabbit’s poop. It is part of doing it right. To the uninitiated, it may appear as if we are all a bit crazy for being into our bunny scat, but it is only because we truly love our buns and we care.

If you want to stay on top of what’s going on inside your rabbit, you too will want to learn about his poop. When you see that there is a lack of it or is has chanced in any way, you will want to find out why. Do not hesitate to call your vet and keep some of it for a sample. I have even gone as far as to email pictures of my bunny’s poop to her doctor. A rabbit’s poop tells a story, if you are savvy enough to understand what it is saying.

125 thoughts on “Getting Friendly With Your Rabbit’s Poop

  1. Hi, what does it mean when the rabbit poops are small… half the size? This just started happening today… wondering if there is cause for concern. She is a regular size Rex rabbit. Thank-you

    • It generally does not mean anything when a bunny makes smaller poop. It is good that you are keeping an eye on your rabbit’s poop. That is what good bunny parents do.

      What you want to be on the lookout for is a total lack of poop or a drastic reduction in volume. These could signal GI Stasis issues. It helps to feel your rabbit’s tummy each day for bloating or backed up poop inside. Gently squeeze your rabbit just behind his ribs, while he is standing on all fours. It should be soft and squishy and give easily. If it feels tight, hard or blown up, you may have a serious issue that requires immediate vet assistance. You should do this regularly and get used to what their tummy is supposed to feel like, so that you can easily tell the difference when something is wrong.

      Rabbits are famous for their proclivity to have intestinal issues and the easiest way to monitor their health is to check to make sure they have pooped, eaten and drank water on a daily basis.

  2. My rabbit, Charlie, is almost four months old and has been passing a lot of cecotropes since he got neutered a few weeks ago. We haven’t changed the amount of pellets he gets, however, we let him out in the garden a week after getting neutered and he managed to get at a few buttercups. As soon as I saw him at the buttercups, I took him away as I know these are bad for rabbits. I wondered if this was maybe the reason for them and if so, how do I get them to stop? He doesn’t get any treats yet as many sites have advised not to give them until he is 6 months old and he doesn’t get more than a handful of pellets a day. We always have plenty of hay available in the cage and he always eats and drinks well.

    • Hi Stacey

      It is not unusual for a rabbit to leave some cecatropes after a stressful surgery like neutering. Just be sure to check his surgery area for signs of swelling, redness or discharge. The crustiness should go away within a week or two. New seepage after a few days is cause for a vet visit to have it looked at.
      I am not familiar with buttercups and rabbits, but it is quite possible that they could have upset his tummy. I definitely would not allow him to eat any more.
      Juvenile bunnies can have pellets for young rabbits until they are six months old. They need the added protein that young rabbit pellets give them to grow. Rabbits grow very quickly and are 80% of their full grown size by six months.
      If the cecatropes persist for a while, you may want to ask your vet about them. Having them all the time is a sign of something that needs to be checked out.
      The Bunny Guy

  3. Hello,

    My rabbit Ruban was neutered 3 weeks ago. His surgery went fine, but three days after his surgery he bit his bottom and made himself bleed. Since then we have been up and down the vets for daily and over night visits. He has been on metcam, critical care, worming, infacol, wind medicine and digestion paste to help him.
    He stopped pooing for around 1 week and then done 2 poos, he then stopped pooing for another week and he wouldnt drink anything either. All he would eat was his greens and grass.
    I have been massaging his tummy every day for around 40 minutes and keeping him company. He started to go to the toilet again last week and they have been very runny and he hasnt been using his litter tray. ( as long as he is going, i dont mind )
    Then, he became very wet around his back side and smelt very bad of wee. When i watched him, he kept using the toilet and then just sitting back down in it.. he never done this before..
    I have been cleaning him and drying him twice a day and he seems to have dried up a little bit, however, he now has not been to the toilet very much since last night and has only done about 6 poo’s. ( they have been harder ) I really do not know what to do to make him better or to stop the endless upsets as the vets do not know what to do next either….he is losing a lot of weight and you can feel all of his bones through his fur, which isnt like him. Also, he is very cuddly and falls asleep on me at night – usually he is fiesty and only cuddles for 10 mins max!
    I am adopting another rabbit this weekend (female and neutered) to keep him company when I am at work. I am hoping this will cheer him up and they will be able to keep him company.
    Do you have any ideas that could help?? He is not eating many pellets, but he is drinking okay now and has been to the loo a bit more reguarly.
    Please help! I do not know what to do next… :(

    • Sorry to hear about your little boy having so much trouble.

      I am not a vet, so I cannot give good medical advice, but one thing I would highly suggest is that you find another vet ASAP.

      It sounds to me that your vet does not have enough rabbit experience to understand how serious these problems are for your boy and how to fix them.

      He is obviously having digestive problems, probably from pain or infection. Something has gone wrong with his neutering surgery and he is depending on you to help him get well. That is why he is clinging to you.

      Please locate your local rabbit rescue or House Rabbit Society chapter and ask them what vet expert they would recommend in your area. They may even have a list of recommended vets on their website.

      We need to get your boy eating and pooping normally. When he does this you will know that his other problems are gone. Meanwhile, you will want to find the underlying problem that is causing him not to eat and poop.

      He probably needs antibiotics (special for rabbits), pain meds, critical care and his greens and lots and lots of water. If he is not drinking normally, he may need fluids under his skin with an IV a couple times a day. A good vet will have you doing these things.

      All the things that you described are symptoms that something is not right and needs to be addressed ASAP. If your vet does not know what it can be, then you need to find a vet who does.

      That is what I would do.

      Good luck and let me know how things turn out.

      The Bunny Guy

  4. Hi. Last week I took my daughters bunny to the vets for a check on his teeth, nails etc. The vet said his teeth were fine, clipped his nails and gave him his mixi injection. Bob (the bun) has always left some cecatopes lying around, but today he seems to have passed quite a few, I cleaned up his normal poo this am, but am feeling concerned by the amount of cecatopes he has left. He dosnt seem quite his normal self, hiding away under a desk. He has pellets,hay, dandelion leaves, and those treats that hang on the cage. Have been in touch with vet who basically said to keep an eye on him. Am worried though, what would you suggest? Thank you Liz.

    • Hi Liz
      There are several reasons a rabbit will not eat his cecotropes and have the symptoms you mention. The most common reason is too much nutrition, usually from pellets, fruit or treats.

      The next most common will be an upset tummy or some kind of pain. Since you just had him at the vet, you must also consider stress or something caused by that visit.

      It is rare, but some rabbits will go into a mini GI Stasis from stress. I have a rabbit like this and vet visits, especially those during which he is being injected, probed and then the car ride can induce a mild case of stasis. It is not real common and other problems are usually the cause, but since you mentioned the very recent vet visit, I think it would be wise to consider it as being a possible cause.

      The one thing you mention that is of a slight concern is that you say that he always leaves cecotropes around, just not so many. It is not good or normal for a rabbit to be always leaving them. I would highly recommend taking a look at the amount of pellets or treats that your rabbit receives daily.

      The things with the most calories and nutrition are the first things I would examine. If you are not giving daily treats such as fruit or treats, then the pellets are the most likely culprit. I find that adult rabbits do not need them at all and that vets often advise that too many be given.

      I have had vets say 1/4-1/2 cup per day. That is way to many for most bunnies. I recommend more like a teaspoon for each four or five pounds of bunny. That is about 1/8 cup for a very large bunny (8-12 lbs) and just a teaspoon or none for the smaller buns. A variety of veggies are much healthier and lower in calories and can replace all pellets for most rabbits.

      Many of us rabbit lovers advocate very minimal pellets because they are actually toxic if too many are given. They cause fatty liver disease in the long term and can dramatically shorten your rabbit’s lifespan. A very small difference in the amount of pellets can create dramatic changes in weight and health in a bunny. For this reason, many people completely remove them from their rabbit’s diet, especially for Rex breeds. Rex breeds gain weight very easily because of their genetics. I recommend that if you have a Rex rabbit to not give any pellets at all, once they are adults.

      Hope this helps a little. I know it is hard to figure out these kind of issues. It is good that you are seeking out the answers.

      The Bunny Guy

  5. Thank you soO much for your reply. I am very grateful. I shall definitely try reducing his pellets and see what happens. X

  6. Hi Bunny guy, I sent you an E mail on June 24th regarding our bunny. This morning I took him to the vets as he had not eaten or drank over night and had not passed any poops at all ! The vet thinks some thing he has eaten too much of could of caused his problem. She gave me some sachets of recovery mix and a syringe. We have been trying to get him to take it, but most of it ends up down him, as he just dosnt seem to want to know. He does seem a bit brighter, and isn’t hiding as much. I’ve given him a good brush, as the vet mentioned his coat moulting, and the fear of a hair ball accumulating. Wish he would get back to normal. I have wrapped him in a towel wrap style, to give him the recovery. Poor bun, just feel so helpless! Sniff!! : (

    • Hi Liz
      Sorry I missed your response two days ago. Hopefully your bun is eating and drinking normal by now.

      When you have to syringe feed a bunny water or food, you hold him firmly and grip his head. You insert the syringe at a 45 degree angle behind his front teeth and in front of his rear teeth. There is a space in there. Do not give it too fast or he can choke.

      Sometimes, they will allow you to give it to him without a lot of fussing and others it is an all out battle. Do not feel bad about forcing him to do this, because you are saving his life.

      Most of the time when my buns have this issue, it is due to them shedding fur. They may be prone to it from some other issue, like a strange new food or stress, but then the molting seems to always set it off.

      Sounds like you have a good vet and I hope things have improved.

      Thanks for giving me an update.
      The Bunny Guy

  7. Hi,

    this morning i went to check on my bunnies and there was absoloutely no poop for the first time in forever. I gave them a small amount of spinach and they ate it as usual but i am worried. I am at work and havent yet seen if they are ok. is this normal? i am EXTREMELY worried :(

    • Hi Christie

      No, it is not normal for there to be no poop. Since you are not home now, I would check immediately when you get home to see if there is any.

      If not, your bunny could be in stasis. It is possible that this can happen from new food or being allergic to certain foods. Also, stress or over-feeding can also bring this on.

      If you bunny has not stopped eating yet, you will want to feed him lots of hay and wet romaine lettuce. You will also want to check his water intake. When bunnies stop eating, they usually stop drinking, too. Water is important for them to be able to resolve a stasis issue.

      Should you find that your bunny has not pooped all day, I would contact your rabbit vet specialist. Make sure that he is a rabbit vet and not a dog and cat vet. It takes special expertise to solve these kind of rabbit problems.

      Let me know if you need further help or advice, such as how to locate a good rabbit vet.

      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  8. I love your website, you are very knowledgeable and well written! I am glad I joined the newsletter and look forward to more.

  9. I have been having a lot of problems with my bunny over the last few weeks. Her brother died suddenly about three weeks ago and shortly after this she wouldn’t eat. I took her to the vet, who gave her a thorough check up, and couldn’t feel anything wrong, but gave me some emeprid syrup in case her gut was gassy or blocked. It worked initially, however, a day or so after her last dose she wasn’t pooing at all. I was told to give her some more syrup and within three quarters of an hour of that she had done a big pile of poo. We experienced the same thing a couple of days later and again, gave her some syrup and again she pooed within 3/4 hour of having it. Took her back to the vet and she was given another thorough check up and 5 days worth of syrup (1.5ml three times a day). The vet thought that she had possibly made herself ill through the stress/ grief of losing her brother. She finished that on Friday evening and ate and pooed fine all of yesterday. This morning there wasn’t much poo in her hutch, and I think she has done a little bit this afternoon but not much. She’s going back to the vet tomorrow. I think I’m going to have to give her another dose of syrup to get her gut moving, and am worried about her. Could something be blocking or obstructing it for it to not be working properly? She has had gut stasis on two other occasions this year but has bounced back from them fairly quickly. She seems fine in herself apart from the not pooing. She is meandering about and eating and drinking. Since the gut stasis has happened she has gone off hay, although she will happily eat grass. I have been told that her teeth are perfect, and so the vet is not sure why this has happened. Any ideas?

    • Hi Rosie
      Sorry that your little girl lost her brother. Do you know why he died? Could be the same problem affecting both bunnies.

      That is the first question that comes to mind.

      Also, your vet could be very correct about her pining for her brother, because rabbits do get very lonely when they lose a partner. You might need to bond her with a new neutered boy of her choosing. (best to wait at least a month after neutering surgery before attempting any bonding or introductions)

      If she was having stasis issues previously, then you must learn what the trigger is for her. Stasis is not a disease but a symptom of some other problem. You have ruled out teeth, but diet, being over-weight, infections and stress can all be the root cause.

      I would start ruling out these things one at a time. It is easy to examine diet and weight. Rabbit owners tend to over feed their bunnies and treats can quickly add up. Pellets are another notorious root of trouble.

      Stress is not as common as diet issues, but I have a bunny who gets stasis from stress. It can happen, but I would look at the other things, first since it is not as common.

      One final thing could be food allergy. I have heard of bunnies who are allergic to certain greens. This is difficult to determine, but if they seem to get sick the day after eating broccoli or parsley, then you might have to adjust her diet that way.

      Hope some of these suggestions are helpful
      The Bunny Guy

      • I do not know what he died of, but it was very sudden. He seemed a bit quiet one morning (although he was still eating) so took him to the vet (who I did not know at the time were not brilliant with rabbits). She said that he seemed fine but had a slight temperature. He was given something to bring his temp down and something to keep his gut moving. I went to work for the afternoon, came back and he still did not look right. Took him back to the same vets but saw a different vet who was very unpleasant and made me feel like a terrible pet owner. He said he thought he could feel some sort of tumour in his tummy, and sent me home with a view of x-raying him in the morning, I gave him things to eat, and he didn’t seem too bad, but by the morning he had died.

        He was not vaccinated at this point, because I had not long inherited the pair of them from my sister, and no one told me how important it was. As soon as I looked into it all I worried that it could have been RHD and took Luna to a different, much better vet to get checked over. She does not think that it was RHD or anything else contagious because she thinks that if it was, Luna would have probably got it too. So we will never know, and I will always be racked with guilt that it was something that I could have prevented He was only two years old, so I thought he was a bit young to have had a tumour, but obviously it can’t be ruled out.

        I can’t think of anything specifically that links the stasis now to the other two times. The first time it happened, they were getting cabbage every other day which I have heard can make bunnies gassy, so I cut that out. We then didn’t have a problem with it until a couple of months later, and we were given some emeprid syrup which cleared it up. This time I did think it might be related to stress but it wouldn’t add up with the past two times.

        She was on hay and grass with a handful of pellets in the morning and small amount o veg at night, but since she has stopped eating hay, I was told to give her what ever she would eat so she has been getting another handful of pellets in the evening. She is not an overweight bunny, in fact she has always seemed a bit skinny, although I have taken her to the vets about this in the past, and they have assured me that her weight is fine and not to worry as long as she is eating.

        It’s very confusing, because asides the not pooing very much, she seems fine (I’m in the garden with her and she just sprinted around her pen and culminated this with a binky).

        The thing that has been playing on my mind is that about a week after her brother died, I noticed a couple of spots of blood on the floor of the run. I could not find anything on her to indicate where it was from or that she was ill. I took her to the vet and mentioned it and they did not seem overly concerned. But I am wondering if it could be anything to do with the fact that she hasn’t been spayed yet? It might be insignificant but it has been playing on my mind since it happened.

        I have been looking into getting her a new friend and keep getting very mixed advice on the subject. A woman I spoke to today from a rescue told me that she can bond any bunnies together and has a 100% success rate as long as they are both neutered, and other people have warned me that they can be very fussy. So I am a little confused by it all.

        Sorry for the very long post!

  10. think I have had a mini eureka moment with the rabbit (although I could be completely wrong!) It was triggered by what you said about stress being a factor. I think that her stasis etc has been caused in part, largely by stress. Well, this lot has (not sure about the last two times).

    I think, that initially, she wasn’t eating because she was pining and confused and upset by Neville not being there. Then she went to the vets because she seemed down, which was very stressful, and then I had to give her medicine three times a day which was even more stressful, especially as she doesn’t much like being handled. Then when she didn’t seem to be getting better, (probably because she was stressed out) she was taken back to the vets and given another week’s worth of meds. I have been checking on her more often, so she’s probably confused and a bit stressed by that, and every time she sees me is potentially a time when she could be forced to take medicine, so she’s on constant alert. And because I’m constantly thinking that she needs to eat/ poo ‘x’ amount of times per day, some of that stress is probably rubbing off on her.

    She hasn’t had any since saturday, and she does slowly seem to be getting calmer (culminating in her finally eating some hay and doing some sprinting and a binky today) and she has come up to me for food a couple of times today and even ‘chinned’ me a couple of times.

    She’s just done a slightly bigger pile of poo, and eaten a bit of hay from my hand, so I am really hoping I am right. The only problem is going to be when she gets spayed, as she will be in the vets for half a day and will come round in a strange place, which will obviously be very stressful. But I’m guessing that we will just have to try and cope with that as best we can.

    • Hi Rosie

      For my bunny who gets stasis from stress, he always gets it the day after he is stressed out. So for him, it does not happen the same day that he would be upset.

      I used to take him to educational events for the HRS as a spokesbun. The next day I would notice that he would not be eating or pooping. It was usually almost exactly 24 hours later.

      It may be different for your buns and he is the only one I have ever seen this stress induced stasis happen to. My vet said it could be the stress when I took him in and I discounted it since he had been going places for years before it started.

      I am sure it is a correct diagnosis, though because my bun has not had stasis in over a year since I stopped taking him out of the house. He had it five times in six months before that. Each time it was the day after something like a trip to the park or an educational event.

      I agree that you should be extra cautious when getting her spayed. The anesthesia alone, can cause stasis. Add stress to that and you may have to discuss this with your vet prior to the surgery. You might possibly give her the motility medicine before doing it to try and be proactive. I would let your vet decide.

      Good luck
      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  11. when my rabbits stop eating my vet prescribes me with emeprid or metaclopramide it gets the guts working you usually have to give it to the bunnys 3 times a day at first but it usually clears a fur ball which can be life threatening but if bunny is showing any signs of a gut slowdown you need to get hold of metaclopramide tablets which can be crushed in a little water then syringed in their mouth or the emeprid which is an oral liquid as soon as you notice bunny not eating or no poops hope this helps

  12. my rabbit just had an operation due to fly strike and the wound is healing fine though she is still on anaesthetic and at the vets however, she wasnt eating a lot one day and wasnt pooping either and was bloated, i dont know how she was the next day but if she does get any more bloated is there any chance for her to live? I NEED a truthful answer PLEASE

    • Bloat is very very serious because if you let it go too far, it becomes irreversible. Pain medication is very important for recovery from surgery and to get your rabbit to keep wanting to eat and drink. If they are in too much pain, they will lose the will to live and stop eating and pooping. Is your rabbit getting pain medications three or four times a day? She may also need some help with a motility drug to make her start pooping again. Usually, rabbits will not eat willingly if they are not pooping. Has your vet seen her since the flystrike operation? He needs to be consulted on these things or there is a very real possibility that this bunny could die. Your biggest concern is getting fluids into her (either through subcutaneous IV or by syringe), getting her to eat (Critical Care) and pain management. Gas drops can be used to help relieve the bloating, if that is happening. These things must happen quickly and several times a day to save her life. I hope that you have a vet who understands these problems and is working with you. The next 48 hours will be critical. I hope it works out well for your bunny.

      The Bunny Guy

  13. Pingback: Getting Friendly With Your Rabbit’s Poop | Bunny Stuff

  14. Your website has been so informative. I am not sure why I did not see it earlier. We have an indoor bunny that is doing so many Cecotropes both day and night that we are constantly having to clean them out of her cage. Reading your info, I believe we are giving her way too many pellets. Should we stop cold or ween her off. Can you tell me what her daily diet should look like.

    Thank you so much!!!!!

    • Hi
      Pellets can end up being toxic for rabbits. We call it “bunny crack”.\

      They were actually designed for farmers to get bunny fat quickly so you can eat them. Many people who have pet rabbits never give them after the bunny is six months old. They DO need them when they are young, but not after that.

      Better than 80% of your rabbits diet should be grass hay. Grass hays are Timothy Hay, Orchard Grass, Oat Hay (can be fattening) or Bermuda Grass (an inferior grass).

      Alfalfa is not a grass hay and should only be given when you want to put weight on a bunny or if he is a juvenile.

      Fresh hay is best and many rabbits will refuse old dried out hay that you usually find in a pet store. You can often buy just a flake of hay from a bale at many feed stores.

      A daily green salad twice the size of your bunny’s head should be given. If you give it twice a day, cut that amount in half. This is where they get the necessary vitamins, so they should receive a variety of greens. For a list of greens see my book or visit the rabbit.org website. Not all veggies are good for bunnies. Some of them like carrots have too much sugar. Carrot tops are healthier for rabbits than the actual carrots. Carrots are like candy bars for rabbits. I never give them more than one baby carrot per day (not a whole full size carrot, that is enough for a week).

      Never feed your rabbit any seeds, nuts, dairy products (including the yogurt drops sold in pet stores), corn, beans, or any other starchy foods. All human treats are also off limits such as cereal, crackers and bread. They will eat all of those things, but they are terribly bad for them.

      I suggest that you slowly reduce the amount of pellets to avoid having your bunny get upset and go on a hunger strike. As the pellets are reduced, they will get hungry and eat their fresh hay. It is best to put their hay inside their litter box because bunnies like to graze and it helps to litter box train them.

      Eventually, once you reduce the number of calories in your rabbit’s diet, you should stop finding the cecotropes. Whatever you do, do not allow your rabbit to become fat. It dramatically reduces their lifespan and causes lots of health issues for them, which means lots of expensive vet visits.

      There is a lot to learn about having a pet rabbit and unfortunately, what you don’t know WILL hurt them. This is why I wrote my book. This information needs to become common knowledge for pet bunny owners. Too many people keep their rabbit inside cages that are too small, fail to give them enough of “run time” out of their cage (2-3 hrs. per day) and feed them a pellet diet. Sorry to say, all those things are the norm, but are also the reason that most pet bunnies do not live much past five, when their true lifespan should be 10-15 years.

      If you have any more questions, I will do my best to help.

      The Bunny Guy

  15. We have had our rabbit for over 3 years. I was not aware that her main diet should be hay. I would say her main diet has been pellets. She always has access to hay and water. We use wood pellets for the litter. How should we change her diet? She is a fat bunny but i would not say majorly over weight.

    • Hi Tanya

      A fat or chubby bunny is very sick. Their lifespan will be dramatically less than a normal weight bunny and they will constantly be in and out of the vet.

      Better to adjust the diet and weight than to deal with the consequences of a fat rabbit.

      Often, bunnies get spoiled by too many pellets. They are lazy eaters and will always chose the highest calorie food available. When given a choice between pellets and hay the obvious choice will be the pellets.

      Fresh hay is imperative when weaning a rabbit off pellets. Fresh hay smells and tastes good to a rabbit. Old dried out powdery stuff from pets stores is usually very unpalatable to a bunny, so make sure the hay is fresh from a bale and not been in a bag for a year.

      Slowly reduce the number of pellets until the bunny is only getting about a half to a whole teaspoon of them. Have lots of fresh hay available and they will usually lose weight. You can take a couple weeks to get to that point.

      Watch your rabbit’s litter box to insure that he keeps pooping each day. If your rabbit is not used to getting some green salad each day, you should slowly introduce those into his diet to replace vitamins from the pellets. Be careful not to give too much (no more than twice the size of his head per day).

      You also need to make certain that you do not introduce too many strange new greens at once. Sometimes, rabbits can be allergic or have bad reactions to new foods. Only give one new green at a time and then wait 24 hours to see that they are OK. This means eating drinking and pooping normally. Watch and feel for gas.

      There are many places to find lists of healthy and safe greens for your bunny.

      In the long run, your bunny will be healthier, live longer and you will spend a lot less time at the vet.

      The Bunny Guy

  16. Hello,
    Can you please provide some advice. I have a mini lop who was mated 29 days ago. For the past 2 days she has dramatically cut her pellet intake. She is still eating plenty of hay and drinking but now she has started leaving cecal droppings around her cage. She has never done this before, is this simply related to her possible pregnancy? She has not started building a nest or pulling fur. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks!

    • Hi
      A rabbit’s gestation period is only 28 days, so she is probably not pregnant. The symptoms sounds more like some other issue.

      If she does not start eating and pooping normally very soon, I would take her to the vet.

      Usually, leaving cecal droppings are a sign of too much food or nutrition. Most of the time this will be from too many pellets, but it can also indicate other problems, too. Pain will cause a bunny to lose interest in food and their cecotropes.

      This is why a vet may need to be involved in order to make a proper diagnoses. Just don’t let it go too long.

      The Bunny Guy

      • Thanks so much for your reply. She has finally given birth today (32 days after mating!) so I think she was not eating her cecal droppings perhaps because she couldn’t reach them? I shall watch her with great care now and see if they are still left around but I think the problem has now been resolved with the arrival of her litter.

  17. hey, I got a new rabbit a few days ago, she is 9 weeks old and so far I haven’t noticed her producing any cecotropes. I have spent a lot of time with her as she has free rein to my room so I don’t think it’s that she is eating them before I see them, is this a problem or is it just that she is still settling in to her new home?

    • Hi Kelly

      If your rabbit is healthy and eating properly, you should rarely see his cecotropes. If you see them that usually means his diet is not right, he is sick or some other issue. Not seeing them is a good thing.

      The Bunny Guy

  18. Hi! So my rabbit got spayed yesterday and she obviously hasn’t been herself. She has taken only a few bites of food, only has like 7 droppings in her cage from yesterday and none from today. Her poops were a little weird like they were squeezed out. I also have seen her urinate only once. What should I do? Is this normal?

    • Hi Connie

      I would consult your vet because she may need some help getting things moving again. It is common for a bunny to stop eating and pooping after surgery, but it is a dangerous situation. Hopefully, the doctor gave you pain meds for your girl. Do not underestimate the importance of pain medication for a rabbit following surgery. Any kind of pain can send a rabbit into GI stasis which is when they stop eating and pooping. There is also medication that can stimulate their need to poop (kind of like a bunny laxative). If you do not have these medications, I recommend speaking with your vet ASAP. GI stasis can become very serious very quickly and so she needs help now, not in a couple days if things don’t get better. Better to medicate her and then not have further problems than to wait and see and let things get out of control and more difficult to fix. It is normal for their diet to be a bit off after surgery, but within a day of surgery they should be eating normally. If they are not eating normally it is usually a sign of pain, which can be fixed by administering pain meds. Hope this helps.

      Thanks for writing and give her a big hug for me
      The Bunny Guy

    • Hi

      Usually when a bunny does these nasty soft poops (called cecotropes) it means that they are getting too much nutrition.

      Your rabbit should be eating these pasty poops that you are finding. Instead, he is leaving them laying around and that is because he is not hungry due to too much nutrition.

      Is this a pellet fed rabbit? Pellets will cause this all the time in rabbits.

      Did you know that pellets are not the right food for pet rabbits? Pellets were designed for farmers to get rabbits fat quickly so you can eat them. They were not meant for a pet who will live over ten years. Pellet only rabbits usually will only live about five years. That is less than half his normal lifespan, so it is very important to learn the proper way to feed a rabbit, especially since most people think that is just giving them pellets. I have even had vets tell me to give them unlimited pellets, but they were very wrong to tell me this.

      A rabbits main food is grass hay (not alfalfa). At least 80 percent of their diet should be grass hay. There is a lot of info online and in my book about how to correctly feed a rabbit.

      If you are already feeding your rabbit hay and very little pellets, then he may be getting too much fruit or some other treat. I never give my rabbits fruit (too much sugar) and very limited treats. Never corn, beans, peas, popcorn, crackers, bread and any human treats.

      There are some medical problems that can cause this, but you will usually see some change in behavior when these problems are present. This leads me to think it is most likely too much food.

      When it comes to rabbits, what you don’t know WILL hurt them, so I highly recommend doing some reading on pet rabbit diet. Get a copy of my book and I have a complete chapter on how to feed your bunny and what not to give them.

      Hope this helps.
      The Bunny Guy

  19. Hi
    your newsletter, book and website are fantastic. exactly the kind of info owners need. i am rather sad to think after reading this article that my beloved rabbit may have mega colon…..sometimes her poops are that elongated egg shape which you describe….although there are also times where it can be ages since i have seen an abnormal poop and all her poops are rounded.
    She has had a number of bouts of a gassy tummy/GI stasis and the vet always just says she is prone to it.
    She is a massive hay eater, she never stops eating it and I get through lots. She is a house rabbit, from a rescue kept with the neutered male rescue bun i bonded her with.
    She is almost four. Is there any other advice you can give about how to prevent any more poorly episodes or is it going to just be something she is prone to?
    Seeing this on your website is the first i have heard of it so i am really grateful to you for the info. Should i be worried about her getting worse as she gets older? will her life span be shortened by it.
    Are the mis-shapen poops only a sign of mega colon? or could it mean she doesn’t necessarily have this?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Lisa

      Megacolon in rabbits is not widely understood, but I will share what I know about it with you. It comes from some kind of a distortion in the lower part of a rabbit’s colon. Normally the colon will allow for their poop to roll on through, hence the perfectly round shape of their poop. For some reason in a megacolon rabbit this distortion allows their to be space around their poop as it is passing through. This is why they are prone to gas.

      In rabbits, gas begets more gas. It is a vicious circle that can quickly spin out of control. The serious fact is when a rabbit gets past a certain point of having too much gas, it becomes irreversible. It is a horribly painful way to go for which there is no known cure, if it gets to this point.

      For this reason, I stay very in tune to my megacolon girl. I monitor her extremely closely for any lack of appetite or gas. I keep lots of baby gas drops on hand and give them at the drop of a hat if I suspect any kind of tummy ache in any of my bunnies. I give one full dropper of the simethicone mixture (gas drops) every 30 min. for 3 or 4 doses. Then another dose every two or three hours after that.

      If I get to the point where I have give three doses of the gas drops and there is no improvement, then I kick in with some pain medication to help things pass. If I notice pain at any point prior, I will treat for it even sooner. If things are not improving shortly after that, I am escalating even more… either going directly to the vet or if it is a weekend and a vet is unavailable, then I am starting fluids and liquid food (because at this point, we are most likely taking about six or more hours of not eating or pooping).

      The best thing with a megacolon bunny is to be very aware and stay in tune of possible gas and then treat immediately.

      It is good that she is a big hay eater, because that is her best defense. My girl is also allergic to some foods, on top of the megacolon. I had to remove all greens except romaine lettuce to give her the bunny version of a bland diet to help keep her tummy working well. I also have a special blend of herbs that I give her each morning to help keep her tummy balanced. I sell it on the site and it is Bunny Bouquet. She gets a pinch each morning in place of pellets. She never gets pellets and only gets hay and hay cubes, then a small romaine lettuce salad each day. It has gotten her poops to be the best they have ever been.

      The egg shape poops is almost always a good sign that a rabbit has megacolon. You can see it in an x-ray if an experienced radiologist who is experienced with rabbits reads it. My vet who happens to believe in megacolon (many vets don’t believe it even exists) did not diagnose it, but a rabbit specialist radiologist up in LA saw it and reported it. I had suspected it all along which is why I ordered the x-ray.

      There is no treatment for it and so all you can do is be aware of it and watch your girl for bouts of gas. Hope this helps.

  20. Hi, I can not believe how much I am doing wrong with my bunnies! Your site is an absolute bunny lifesaver. I have a four year old neutered, mini Rex. He is prone to “poopy but” and it is getting worse and worse. I bath him several times a week now, but he chronically has fecal matter stuck to him. Please help. I so desperately want to fix this for him, I love him so much. Thank you.

    • Hi Pamela
      I can see your problem right away. Rex rabbits are highly prone to weight gain and these issues. They were originally bred to gain weight very quickly and so that trait was passed along to the breed when they were made into dwarf bunnies.
      Rex rabbits should probably never have pellets, once they are adults due to this genetic proclivity to gain weight easily. Pellets are just too dense in calories for them. The same goes for fruit and all kinds of high calorie treats.
      Poopy butt is a symptom, not a problem in itself, YET. Given time, you are going to spend a lot of time in the vet office and eventually cause early death.
      If infection or parasites have been ruled out by the vet, then it is almost always too much food and treats that cause the poopy butt.
      Food allergies can also cause this and I just wrote about this a couple months ago in my newsletter because one of my rabbits is allergic to some greens and foods.
      Thanks for trying to learn about how to better care for your bunnies. Education is the key to success and enjoying having pet rabbits. You are just beginning your journey. Believe it or not, I still learn new stuff about them all the time. We have so much to learn about these amazing creatures.

      • Thank you so much for the help and advice. I am now only feeding him organic Timothy hay. The symtoms of his state are becoming less frequent, is there limits to the amount of hay I should be giving him. I was feeding a pellet diet with some greens. I learned some time ago the starches and fruits irritated it worse, I am not a pet owner who ever gives “treats”. That is what is killing the human race slowly. He is free of parasites and infections, including being checked for urinary tract infections. His room mate is a spayed mini lop ear, with no problems. Is a hay diet adequate enough for her also? Thank you again for all of your help. Pamela.

        • Hi Pamela

          It sounds like you are on the right track. 80-90% of your rabbit’s diet should be grass hay. Timothy is great, but you can also use Orchard Grass as a substitute. It is just as good as Timothy for a bunny hay.

          The rest of your rabbit’s diet should be a daily mix of fresh greens. I suggest four or more different kinds in an amount equal to twice the size your rabbit’s head. Too many greens can be harmful, so once again restraint should be used. The variety provides different vitamins and minerals that they might need.

          It is important to be careful when introducing new greens into your rabbit’s diet. An amazing number of rabbits have food allergies to different kinds of greens. When trying a new green, just give a small amount of only one new green and then wait 24 hours to see if they can tolerate it. It is important to know the signs of a bunny tummy ache, because rabbits hide the fact that they do not feel well from us.

          There are some greens that are very high in calcium and oxylates, such as kales and dandelions, so they should not be given daily. Some greens such as cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts can be cause gas, so you should be sure that your rabbit can tolerate those well before giving them.

          When it comes to feeding our bunnies, there is a lot to learn. I am glad that you are seeking out the knowledge.

          The Bunny Guy

  21. Wow so glad I found your blog! My son has recently in the last two months gotten a lop eared bunny he weighs about 2 lbs. He gave him some of the treat mix we bought. He gets about a cup od fresh greens each day from our garden and a carrot stick from tbe grocery store every so often. Since he’s got the treat he has been passing large stools not watery or loose just larger and still the normal rabbit poop balls he should. H e hops around his cage and eats his greens passes a ton of poops and always has Timothy hay available which he loves. My question is passing a larger stool normal at times? He is happy and seems to be fine likes to be held and his stomach is soft and squishy. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He sure is a curious little guy too!

    • Hi Wendy
      Thanks for visiting and writing. Wow, at 2 lbs. either you have a very small boy rabbit or he is still a baby. That is a tiny bunny.
      It sounds as if you are doing a lot of things right with this little guy, including not overdoing it with the carrots and fresh greens.
      I would be very suspicious of the treat mix that you mention. All those store bought pellet mixes are very unhealthy and should not be given, especially if they have corn, beans, nuts or seeds in them. Basically, they are making something that is already not so great for your bunny and making it a lot worse by adding all the junk. Pellets do not need to be given to adult rabbits if they are getting a nice variety of fresh salad each day. If your little guy is under six months old, he needs pellets to grow. As a matter of fact, there are special high protein pellets that we give younger rabbits for this purpose (they are higher in alfalfa).
      The size of his poop changing to be larger could mean that your little boy is growing up. The size of a rabbit’s poop is directly related to the size of his intestinal tract. Little poops mean a very tiny intestinal tract, so he could be growing, especially if he is a maturing bunny. They grow so fast, it is amazing.
      Other than that, I cannot think of any medical reason for this, but then again I am not a vet. I does not sound like something to worry about.
      There is a condition where a bunny has egg shaped poop called megacolon. Not all rabbit vets agree that this condition exists and there is no medical treatment for it. But the way to spot this problem is from large unround poops. They look like big eggs instead of nice round balls. It does not sound like this is your issue.
      I would simply monitor his eating and pooping to see if they stay regular. That is your first sign that something is amiss. Sick bunnies rarely are in the mood to eat, so the first thing we usually notice is lack of appetite. If they have a good appetite, you can usually feel pretty sure that they are healthy.
      You are being a very good bunny mom by being concerned about him. Make sure that he gets neutered and he will live a long time as your friend and companion. Single boy bunnies can be so sweet and loving, especially the loppies.
      You will not go wrong getting a copy of my book and keeping it on hand for a reference. So much of what you are about to experience with your bunny will be new to you. With rabbits, it is what you don’t know that ends up hurting them. I am glad that you are already embarking on your journey to learn about bunnies. After dozens of years, I am still learning about them all the time.
      The Bunny Guy

      • Thanks for your response he is an adult bunny we got him from someone. He may be more than 2 lbs I’m not real good at guessing weights. He is fat and healthy and so sweey eben knows the sound of a lettuce bag! He likes to cuddle too. He has been going good since my post amd great since we have stopped the treat mix too.

  22. Hi there – I had two bunnies until about 3 months ago when the Rex died. We dont know what caused it. He was almost 8, so could have been old age? So we have his mate who is a female mini lop. Recently i have noticed her ‘off colour’ and finally took her to the vet when i discovered her bum covered in what looked like runny poo. We think she had a bladder infection due to weeing on the vats table and there was blood in it. So – i have taken her back every 2 days for a injection of ABX. last one in 2 days time. Does the ABX affect their poops… she is not pooping much and when she does, its a cluster of very small poops. She is only eating greens, which might explain it, and i will give her fresh hay each day to see if this helps. Any other ideas? i hope the course of antibiotics is ok on her gut. Bit worried it might cause GI statis?

    • Hi Tracy
      I sure hope that the vet you were visiting is a rabbit specialist vet. Dog and cat vets do not have the knowledge or experience to help you with your bunny.
      Many antibiotics will kill rabbits because they upset their gut inside and cause irreversible damage to the function there.
      Eight is very young for a rabbit to pass away. Since he was a Rex, I suspect that his problem could have been related to diet. Rex rabbits are predisposed to gaining too much weight, especially if they are pellet fed. We never feed adult Rex rabbits pellets for this reason. It gives them lipidosis.
      Clusters of small mushy poops are called cecotropes. Your bunny should be eating these. Reasons for not eating them are many, but usually it is because they are receiving too much nutrition and calories. Is this bunny eating pellets, too?
      You are right to worry about GI stasis but remember that it is a symptom, not a condition unto itself. Rabbits go into stasis due to being overfed or sick or for many reasons, such as being given antibiotics. This is why I recommend that you be very certain that the vet your rabbit is seeing is very experienced with rabbits. You want someone who sees five or six rabbits a day, not a year.
      I know this because I have lost a couple of bunnies by taking them to the wrong vet. When it comes to rabbits, what you don’t know WILL hurt them!

      The Bunny Guy

  23. My rabbit just gave birth. She have been eating and drinking well. She also poop everyday. After 6 day, she seem to be having difficulty to poop. She also smaller than before. So,I was worried if she do not eat. Her bowl full with pellets and hay. She ate a little then start to the toilet. She been there for awhile but only small amount of poop. When I cuddle her, she is weak. She also sat at one place for a long time as if she want to poop but there’s nothing. Please help, I’m worried about her.

    • I forgot to mention about the poop. It’s not round, different size, and very hard. Cannot crush it.she ate alfafa. She doesn’t eat hay or pellet much

  24. Hi.

    Great website and some great advice, so hoping you can help with my current bunny issue. We recently went on holiday for a week and paid a pet sitter to come in and look after our two bonded, male (brothers) lionhead x English rabbits who are just under 2 years old; we got them from a rescue almost a year ago to the day. We left really explicit instructions on what they needed and when, but since we’ve got back 2 days ago, one of the boys seems really off and I don’t think our instructions have been followed – he’s eating, although not at the same times/same amounts as normal; he (& his brother) have definitely put on weight, and we were told they had been given biscuit treats every day (we said they could have half of one each in total during the week we were away); he’s become really skittish and a little quiet sometimes (he’s always been very confident, dominant and ‘in your face’ until now) although we’ve had the odd binky still; he’s cuddling up with and asking to be groomed by his brother more than normal (which fortunately his brother seems happy with!); his butt’s a bit poopy, which it never has been before; and one of them (although we can’t tell which) has been doing small poops. We found out that the one who seems off colour actually got out of the hutch/run a day or two before we got home and the sitter ended up chasing him round the garden for 20 mins and repeatedly tried throwing her coat over him to catch him before she finally managed to shepherd him back into the run, but she told us they had been fine and eating apart from that. Our other boy seems entirely his normal self (other than the query about which one’s doing small poops), but we’re obviously not happy with how they’ve been looked after in our absence.

    My concern is that something’s wrong with his gut (small poops) (although we know he’s still eating at least something, grooming (& being groomed by) his brother) caused by a hair ball (they both have very long hair/full winter coat at the mo), stress, the fact she’s over fed them or something else – but I don’t know if I’m overreacting since we lost our last two bunnies to E.cuniculi very suddenly after we put them in a rabbit specialist boarding kennel when we went on holiday just over a year ago (it’s why we used a sitter this time, since we thought it’d be less stressful or risky for the two boys). My other thought is that it’s stress causing his odd behaviour, caused by the change in his normal routine and/or his being chased around the garden by the sitter.

    They normally get unlimited hay, a handful of veggies and a handful of pellets each day, with a very occasional biscuit treat, although we’re pretty sure it’s not happened like that this last week.

    We’ve got them at the vets on Friday for their annual check up and boosters, but I’m worrying myself sick in the mean time about him and thought I’d send you this message on the off chance you can provide any insight, since I thought it was probably easier for someone detached from the situation to make more sense of it.

    Sorry for the long message, seasons greetings and thanks for any feedback.

    • Hi Claire
      I have experienced all of the same problems that you have described. I think your current boys are telling you that they did not like whatever happened to them with this new petsitter. I have been through this before and better to let your intuition decide that the last one cannot be used again.

      Your boys are showing signs of stress. I have a bunny who does this and goes into stasis whenever he gets stressed out. From what you are describing, it sounds like you have one like that, too.

      The story of the other ones developing EC at a kennel is so very sad. You would think that being an experienced rabbit boarders, that they would have had more impact on the development of the symptoms. The only time I have heard of them passing away that quickly is when they are left alone and no one notices their symptoms until it is too late.

      Are you sure it was not myxomiotosis that got them? It sure sounds a lot more like that than e. cuniculi. That is transferred from infected rabbits to others and is 100% fatal. It was released in the UK in the 70′s to kill the domestic rabbits who were running loose. It does not kill wild rabbits, only domestic ones and it is transmitted by fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. I am sure you already know about this, but just in case.

      Back to your original question, I would start keeping an eye on that one boy who seems prone to stress related tummy issues. My boy like that will get tummy aches at the drop of a hat, so I am always looking for the symptoms and keep the medication around to give him that helps.

      It may be too soon to go that route, but if he continues to have problems after being stressed, you may want to talk to your vet about how to self treat and then keep the stuff on hand so that you can be prepared. It is what I do.

      Hoppy Holidays
      The Bunny Guy

      • Hi there,

        Thanks very much for your reply, especially over the holidays! We definitely won’t be using the sitter again and at least we’re at the vets on Friday anyway for their boosters, so we can discuss it with her then – having any necessary meds at home would def give us peace of mind and give us the option to start treatment ASAP if it ever proves necessary – still doing small poops today but he’s produced a few bigger ones too and seems a tiny bit happier/closer to his typical cheeky self, although definitely still not right, but fingers crossed it’ll settle down now that we’re back home and it’s back to their normal routine. The more I think about it the more it seems to make sense that it’s stress related – my parents are going to have to come to stay to look after them from now on if we’re away since we know the boys like them and Mum and Dad know exactly what we want them to do!

        We’ve always had our bunnies vaccinated against VHD and myxomatosis and we’re as certain as we can be that it was EC with our last two unfortunately, since we ruled out all other likely causes – one (Biscuit) got head tilt and we started treating him immediately (our vet’s really good with rabbits, which isn’t too common around here and tried everything she could to save him – I know of so many others that would have immediately just euthanised him but she gave him every chance to fight it) and he started to show a little improvement, then a week later his girlfriend had a seizure and died suddenly and after that, Biscuit went rapidly downhill. Really sad, but you could tell he just didn’t want to carry on without his partner and gave up fighting it completely. No signs of myxy (eye issues, swellings etc) at all and we’re unfortunately pretty used to seeing it around here in the local populations, hence always making sure their vaccinations are up to date.

        Fingers crossed everything gets back to normal quickly and we’ll be making sure they have a few quiet days which will hopefully help to sort out the current issues – amazing how such a short term change or incident can take so much longer to put right though. Thanks very much again for your reply – much appreciated.

        • Hi
          Your vet sounds awesome. Our local rabbit vets are having great success with treating head tilt in our area these days using modern treatment. It is not the death sentence that it used to be, if the vet is up to date and rabbit savvy. About half of the bunnies will recover or survive without issues, but I think the onset is also stress induced.

          We are just seeing cases of Mxyo around here in the last few years and the vaccine is illegal, like in Australia. Luckily, it is not as common as you describe.

          Yes, when they go quickly like that, the treatments don’t have a chance to do much. Sometimes they are many months trying to bring the buns back with the antibiotics. I have to say I am so blessed to never have had to deal with it with any of my buns. I just know about what I have heard from friends and my reading on the subject.

          I think your boys will be fine. It may be a blessing in that you will now be prepared in case he gets stressed out in the future. I keep lots of motility drugs, pain meds and new needles and saline solution for hydration on hand to treat any time he starts showing symptoms. I have a protocol I follow, but best to let your vet tell you what to do. He sounds like a good one and will know what to do.

          The Bunny Guy

  25. My rabbit got the top off his bin when he was staying with friends and he ate too much of his food. He was not eating yesterday and his poop was very small, he ate a Brussels sprout after I hand fed it to him last night. This morning his poop is larger and he ate some hay and more Brussels sprout. Hes not drinking much water. Do you think this is gi stasis? It seems like he is getting better, he seems much more responsive and friendly. Thank you so much

    • Hi Madison
      It sounds like he was having a mild case of GI stasis. It passed as soon as you stopped letting him eat more pellets.

      I don’t think I would have given him Brussel Sprouts while he was in stasis, since they can cause gas. Gas is the most deadly thing with stasis, so I would suggest to give something more benign such as Romaine lettuce or celery that has lots of water in it, the next time this occurs.

      You would not regret downloading a copy of my eBook to learn more about bunnies. People tell me all the time that they cannot believe how much that they didn’t know. I totally understand, because for decades I was the same way. That is why I am on a mission to share what I have learned with as many people as possible.

      Thanks for writing
      The Bunny Guy

  26. Hi

    I have a 2 year old male mini rex called Harley. He hasn’t eaten anything since yesterday- The poos are very slim on the ground as well. I bought him in to a indoor hutch last night so I could keep my eye on him and so far today he hasnt done anything- eat, drink or poo’d. Yesterday, I tried giving him parsely, fresh cabbage and celery but he’s not bothered. Just one thing, on saturday night Harley pinched a piece of pear! and since then he’s not eaten etc.
    This is not the first time this has happened. The Vet didnt mention it could be GI statis went he was treated last time.
    He is quiet and last night he sat on my knee for 1/2 hr – my husband is going to try to give him some water in a syringe at lunchtime which is no easy job :-)
    I have managed to get him into the vets later today but am panicking I have left it too long!
    Helen

    • Hi Helen

      This is definitely GI stasis or even worse bloat. He needs a vet visit ASAP. When a rabbit does not eat or poop for 24 (or even 8 hrs) it is an emergency and it is a life or death situation. Rabbits can die in less then one day in this condition.

      He is going to need to be checked for blockage and then given medication and a GI stasis regimen, which will consist of force feeding liquid food and water to get his system moving again. If this is not done quickly, it can become too late.

      Be certain that you bring him to a rabbit specialist vet and NOT a dog or cat vet, since a dog or cat vet will not have the experience to know what to do. You MUST seek out a rabbit specialist in order to help this boy.

      BTW Rex rabbits are prone to these problems due to their breeding. They should not be feed rabbit pellets, fruit or a lot of treats or they can develop fatty liver disease and have these kind of problems all the time.

      The Bunny Guy

  27. I think one of my rabbits might be dying. I feel like a bad owner but I just noticed last night that he seemed really light when I picked him up, and he’s doesn’t seem to be earing his pellets. I gave him carrots, and he ate them but really slowly. Also, when I took him out of his cage, he didn’t really explore much like he usually does. I have two rabbits Oreo and Lucky. Oreo is the one losing weight. He is black and white and he may be a lop because he only keeps one ear up. I got him from a coworker over 3 years ago. I never knew how old he was. My husband found Lucky maybe a year ago or less outside our apartment. We think someone abandoned him. Anyway, I gave both of them carrots and Lucky seems more excited about them and eats them a lot faster. I felt Lucky, and he seems to still have his normal weight. I don’t think I can afford to spend a lot at the vet to figure out what’s wrong but I can’t bear watching him die if there’s something I can do. I’m really scared.

    • Hi Christina

      It does sound like your bunny is losing weight. This can be from many things. I think you need to get him into the vet right away. A common cause of this problem is teeth problems. Imagine having a tooth ache and trying to eat a carrot or hard rabbit pellets or hay. They lose weight very quickly when they have a tooth ache.

      Tooth problems are very common but it could also be many other things. Only a vet will be able to help him.

      Please find a local rabbit vet (do not take him to a dog and cat vet because they will not be able to help him). If you do not have a rabbit vet that you know of, contact your local rabbit rescue and ask them who the best and nearest rabbit vet is. This is very important and it should be done TODAY.

      You should not just let this bunny die. Whatever his problem is, is most likely curable and able to be fixed with vet care. Having a pet is a responsibility and that means we are their care providers. It is our obligation to get them proper medical care when they are sick. Anything less is irresponsible and cruel. Please take the time to find a good vet for this bunny and get him in to see him today. It is important and a matter of life and death.

      The Bunny Guy

          • My vet gave me antibiotics for him but said it might be his time. I’m supposed to bring in a stool sample, too. The vet said he is definitely underweight. I’m also supposed to give him more vegetables and hay since he isn’t eating his pellets. I hope he will be ok. I love my rabbits so much. I cried after I read your message saying I would be cruel not to take him to the vet. I would give all my money to help him. I just thought maybe I was being too worried and someone would know another solution. You weren’t the only person I asked for advice. Everyone told me to take him to the vet. I’m glad I had a vet that he’s been to before. He’s never been unhealthy before. I just hope he’ll get better.

          • Hi Christina
            I hope your boy is hanging in there. I know how heart wrenching it is when they get sick and there is almost nothing you can do about it.

            Just comfort him and love him. If it is his time, he needs you now.

            Rabbits are such delicate fragile creatures.

            Sending you lots of healing thoughts!

            The Bunny Guy

  28. Hello! You have a wonderful article I must say and I had a few questions.
    I like to give my fuzzy lop treats for training purposes .
    I don’t buy the treats from the store because I heard they can be dangerous.
    I use raisins, carrots, tiny tiny pieces of banana, and cilantro.
    I feed him romaine and spinach as main diet
    I give him a high quality pellet only 1/8 cup because hes 2.8-3lbs
    And of course timothy hay.
    Should I stop giving him fruity treats all together?and go to the cubes and the cilantro he likes?
    Also he got neutered today and his poops were kind of sticking together and than I flipped him over and he had it stuck to his long fur ! Not liquid just sticky. Rest of his poops seemed normal for him.
    Also when i got him he was matted and molting and I do see “string of pearls” sometimes.
    I groom him everyday and got rid of the matting .
    I also give him a papaya supplement to help digestion.
    When should I stop seeing hair in his poop?
    Should I be worried ?

    • Hi Joyce
      Raisins, banana and carrots are very sugary and are not very healthy treats, as well. Cilantro is a good healthy treat. Of course, your bunny is going to prefer the higher calorie treat such as banana to cilantro, any day. That is just the way rabbits are.
      Since your rabbit is a fuzzy lop, he may need a special diet in order for him to maintain healthy fur. This can mean finding the delicate balance of providing enough protein for his coat to be nice, but not too much so that he gets unhealthy. I have not seen his fur, but if it is angora like, then he will need alfalfa based pellets his whole life. An 1/8 might be a little too much if he is that tiny. You might only need to give him a big tablespoon per day.
      Finding those soft mushy poops is a sign to back off on SOMETHING in order for them to eat those, the way they are supposed to. If they are getting too many calories from treats or other foods (there are virtually no calories in hay), they will not feel the need to eat those poops and you will find them laying around.
      You should not be seeing hair in his poop very often. That means that you need to do a lot more grooming. We will find it occasionally, and it should be a reminder to get out the comb and de-fur your little guy.
      Long hair rabbits need to stay especially trim and eat lots and lots of good hay. The hay is the only thing that is going to keep him from getting a serious fur ball someday.
      Papaya does nothing for rabbits, according to my reading. It is a myth that it helps rabbits and is another source of dense calories that can be avoided. Papaya works in HUMAN stomachs with HUMAN enzymes. Rabbit gut chemistry has nothing in common with ours. Their whole intestinal tract does not even resemble ours hardly at all.
      What actually helps rabbits’ digestion is canned pumpkin (with no added sugar). Many rabbit enthusiasts who have bunnies with sensitive tummies will give a teaspoon of that daily.
      I recommend doing some more exploration on rabbit diet, because while you are beginning to see the picture, I think you need to do some more study on the subject. The key thing is that less is more. We want our rabbit munching on fresh hay all day long… lots of it. Every pile of veggies, every bowl of pellets, every piece of fruit or treat reduces the amount of hay that your rabbit eats during the day.
      This is an important concept to master.
      In order to keep our bunnies’ guts moving at the optimal speed to prevent fur balls and blockages, we need to have them eating mostly hay (80+% of their diet). This will be the key to longevity for your long hair bunny.
      A good diet, lots of regular grooming and a close relationship with a good rabbit vet are the secrets to having your lop live to be fifteen years old or more.
      Thanks so much for posting.
      The Bunny Guy

  29. Hello! My male bun, Judah, has recently been leaving cecotropes in his pen. The only other time he has done this was when I had him neutered, and I believe it was simply from the stress of the surgery. I have not given him fruit or salad recently, and since I noticed the cecotropes I’ve limited his pellets to every few days. I am giving him plenty of hay, and the rest of his feces is normal. The ceco tropes are not in his litter box, and I usually discover them after he moves from laying down. I am extremely worried!! I have brought him to the vet for an ear problem a few months ago, which seemed to have been resolved with some medication. . . I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. Please help!

    • Also, he is currently shedding. I have been trying to keep up by grooming, but it is still quite a lot. It doesn’t look like irregular shedding, but I’m just trying to say everything I can think of. I’m starting to panic!

      • Hi
        Shedding by rabbits will happen two or three times a year. It usually happens as warmer weather is approaching.
        It is best to keep him combed (get a HairBuster comb) and make sure he is eating lots of hay. The hay will assure that any fur ingested will get pushed through his system. This is why rabbits need to eat a diet of mostly hay.
        Not having enough hay does not matter to a rabbit until he gets to shedding and then needs the extra motility in his gut to move the fur through.
        One of the main reasons rabbits visit vets is fur obstructions inside their intestines. Eating a diet of mostly grass hays is the preventative measure that you should have in place to prevent medical issues. This is important.
        Most of the fur blockage issues will occur during a heavy shed or molting. All you can do is groom as often as possible to remove as much of the hair as you can to avoid his eating it.
        Thanks for writing
        Stephan

    • Hi Heather
      If you have just found them one time, it is not a problem. Rabbits will occasionally leave them, but it should not happen every day. If you find them once a week or so, then it is different. It was probably just an accident.
      When you find them every day, then you are probably over-feeding him.
      It is really good that you are keeping an eye him and should you continue to find them, then I would start looking for the reason. If you don’t find them again for a week or two, then I would not worry. He probably just had a little accident and missed a few.
      Hope this helps
      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  30. Hi there!

    I have a bunny who I think is either pregnant or is having GI Stasis. I need help to decipher the mysterious bunny ways. She has been around an un-neutered male (who is her bestie) and I did try to mate them, but he never ‘fell over’. A week or two after I saw the hump with no fall, I decided to get him, and my other female bunny (the vet only had time for 2 that day, which is why the bunny in question did not go for a spay) spayed&neutered. Anyhow, if she was pregnant, she would have conceived between Jan 8th-Jan 20th- So, she would be either 2 weeks along or very close to kindling.

    Her symptoms (which are ALL unusual) are:
    -digging for hours in corners and piling hay, and throwing hay around
    -flopping on her side, where I CAN SEE CRAZY MOVEMENT (so freaky!)
    -she bites when I try to touch/examine her tummy
    -she is eating and pooping regularly, but her tummy is firm?!
    -she is shedding like crazy, all over her body, and her nipples are protruding more
    -(this is what is leading me to believe Stasis is a factor?) and her tummy is hard. No gassy noises, or gurgles when I press lightly, but it’s rather semi-hard. Not like a rock, but firm enough where it’s concerning.

    I am wondering if these symptoms are signs of discomfort from stasis, or pregnancy? I have the male out of the cage and put lots of hay in just in case, but it’s at the point where I need to know if a check up is in order, or just to wait it out.

    Please let me know soon!!

    • Hi Sovhan
      Your bunny girl sounds pregnant. I cannot help you much with info about pregnant rabbits.
      My job of educating people about rabbits includes coaching them to get them spayed and neutered. Female pet rabbits who are not spayed have more than a four out of five chance of getting a tumor or cancer by the time they are four years old.
      I would recommend getting her spayed after she delivers this litter. If you do not want eight or ten baby bunnies, I suggest that you do the surgery right away to also abort the babies. Otherwise, you are most likely about to have baby bunnies.
      A rabbit delivers babies in about 28 days from conception.
      Good luck with your bunnies. I recommend buying a couple books about them so that you can learn more.
      With rabbits, it is what you DON’T know that ends up hurting them. They tend to be fragile and sensitive to their environments.
      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  31. I had two rabbits.
    One of it died in three days i bought from a dealer.
    For remaining one i bought two more rabbits. They all enjoy playing.
    Yesturday i bought packaged apple juice. But now one rabbit is okay. Poops are watery brown color. Everyday he use to eat cabbage and carrot. But now i am worried.
    You suggest me what should i do?

    • Oh my, watery poop is very serious. It may be because you are feeding them the wrong foods. Rabbits need pellets when they are young to grow but then after they are mature, they need unlimited grass hay. This should be most of their diet.

      Sweet stuff like apple juice and fruit will make your rabbits sick.

      Watery poop usually means more than poor diet, though. There are parasites and infections that can cause this and we immediately take rabbits with these symptoms to a rabbit vet specialist (not a dog or cat vet).

      Usually the proper antibiotic can save them, but you need to be very careful because most antibiotics and medicines are poisonous to rabbits, even if they are OK for dogs or humans.

      You need to worry about infecting your other bunnies, since they are dying from something? Is the dealer is selling you sick bunnies? Are you feeding them poisonous food? I am concerned about your rabbits since there are some serious problems involved here.

      I recommend spending some money to buy a couple books about rabbits BEFORE you spend money to buy more rabbits, so that you can learn more about them, such as what to feed them and how to know if they are sick. With rabbits it is what you do not know that will hurt them.

      • Thank you so much for your reply.
        let me tell you how we deal with rabbits everyday since morning.
        first we go in their room, we check they finished food we gave last night and of course water.
        since two days I started taking them downstairs to have fresh air and to have green grass.
        we use to give them cabbage. But now we started giving one in a day.
        my worry about rabbits is they are not giving dry black color poops.
        the poops they are giving like brown color and it smells really bad. It is not completely watery nor dry.
        I found back from where they give poops is always watery.
        Give me email address or contact number so I can send you poops picture by email or WhatsApp.
        it is my kind request to you sir.
        Please help us sir giving healthy life for our pets.

        • Hi again.
          Here is the best article with pictures about bunny poop that I know about. You can compare what your rabbit is doing to the pictures in this link.

          Then we may be able to better tell what is going on. MY guess is that your rabbits are leaving cecatropes due to eating the wrong foods.

          http://imgur.com/a/5N4lD

          Stephan
          The Bunny Guy

  32. hi bunny guy.
    i have two rabbits from a rescue center from over a year ago.then on sunday day humphrey the boy rabbit was wobbling when he walked he head was all tilted.we rushed him straight the vets which the female vet said she though was stastis,which we thought it was has he had been caught eating dried lavender,he had to stay in. two days later we could go and pick him up.then they said he as a ear infection.we have sectioned him off from the girl in another room from.he is on baytrill and emeprid and a daily wormer.he eating not as much as he usually eats,he as perked up loads. i know beauty the girl is the domiant one and she always humps hes face and head before the nightly feed of broccoli do u think this as caused this,as she passed on any bacteria from he ear.he had been sneezing a lot as well which i have now read this is not normally for a rabbit.
    thanx gina
    england liverpool

    • Is the one with the ear infection a lop ear rabbit? They are prone to ear infections. The head mounting most likely did not cause this. The sneezing or coughing could be related to the ear infection, though. Rabbits can catch upper respiratory infections from each other. I am not sure if viral lung infections can spread to their sinuses and ears the way they can in humans, but that would seem like a possibility. Just make sure that they get their full time on the medication because these kind of infections are very stubborn in rabbits. When you think they have gone away, they suddenly return again stronger than ever. Much better to knock it out of their system the first time by completing the antibiotic regimen given by the vet. I hope they get better.

      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  33. hi bunny guy
    no hes not a lop,but thanx for replying feel better now.one last question,i have been having to turn him on hes back to give hes meds but hes really hard to do.is ther another way so he dosnt struggle.thanx

    gina

    • Dried apple or willow sticks without any coatings on them, old phone books, empty toilet paper tubes, paper bags filled with hay, cardboard, newspaper and of course, lots and lots of fresh grass hay.

  34. This is super helpful, thank you! I’m concerned, though. My rabbit’s poops are larger, lighter in color, and misshapen. About half the time they look like logs or eggs. However, he’s still eating and does not seem to be in any discomfort. I felt his belly and it was not hard. Should I be concerned?

    • Hi Megan
      Yes, you should be concerned. If your bunny does this every day then it means that your rabbit was either born with this slight genetic deformity or was injured at some point in his life and this is the result.
      Either way, it just means that you should pay attention to your rabbit’s diet and poops every day. If you notice that certain foods increases the softness or changes the consistency of his poop, then you should monitor or remove that food. You want to keep their poop flowing as close to normal as possible.
      They can go for years and years without any problems at all. My understanding is that this condition just makes them more prone to gas or other intestinal issues. Ironically, my megacolon bunny who has this problem is the healthiest of all my rabbits and has had the fewest bouts of stasis and tummy aches of all my six bunnies. Maybe that is because I pay the closest attention to her diet and poops, because I do keep a very close eye on her, each day.
      The Bunny Guy

  35. Hi, you have a lot of very useful information on here. My rabbit of 12 years is currently experiencing gas problems. I have been giving him an appetite stimulant along with simethicone as well as numerous critical care force feedings. He is also receiving tramadol and metacam( pain meds ) as he also has arthritis( he also receives laser treatments to help with arthritic discomfort). He had recently lost over 100 grams. GI problems pop up from time to time. This time however due to probably his age as well, he is not recovering very quickly. He is putting weight back on now primarily to the fact of giving him critical care. He is still pooping and peeing(so not really gi stasis), but is still lethargic. Today I noticed his poop was egg or oval shaped. Last night he seemed to be snapping out of it, as he started eating a little more as well as using the litter box more frequently. Today he regressed a little with being lethargic and back to not eating a lot. Me and wife are keeping a close eye on him, and are hoping he snaps out of it , so we dont have to euthanize him. That would kill us. My question is, what is normal recovery time from gas bulidup ? I experienced full blown gi stasis on numerous occasions which is a long drawn out process.

    Thanks so much,
    Jim

    • Hi Jim
      I forgot to mention in my last reply that my 12 year old girl has become sensitive to certain foods. Things like cilantro and parsley that used to be a regular part of her diet are now upsetting her tummy. I have resorted to feeding her a restricted list of veggies in order to try and balance her system on a daily basis.
      It will definitely take longer for him to snap back and you may need to experiment with food to find what agrees with him the most. We also have some special foods to help keep weight on bunnies. Let me know if you are looking for some of these items. We do have some special order mixtures that are an herbal tonic for these kind of situations.
      Wishing that your boy has a speedy recovery and that he goes on to spend some more quality time with you.
      The Bunny Guy

  36. Hi Bunny Guy, great site, really learning after my lop has experienced stasis. Hopefully she is on the mend, vet has prescribed a stimulant to get things moving, had had it today and yesterday, but still only producing a few mucosy pops, but seems way more comfortable. She hasn’t gone to the toilet for properly for about 3 days, so I am quite

    • Sorry had computer issues! I am concerned, but she looks well! Hoping things will get moving.

      Also, she is 3 and hasn’t been desexed, we are her second owners. Behaviorily, she is fine, but concerned about the health issues. One vet has told us not to worry.

      Is it too late, will she get through an operation ok, is that a threat in itself? Any advice would be appreciated.

      Kerry

      • Hi Kerry
        I feel that you have two big issues which you should address. The first is the immediate threat of the GI Stasis. Remember, that GI Stasis is not a disease but a symptom of some other problem that causes the stasis. This is usually diet, stress or some other thing such as low gut motility. You will want to figure out what caused the stasis and deal with that after she is eating and pooping normally.
        In a way this may have been a blessing to get your attention and give you a chance to fix whatever is wrong. You may not get another chance since these episodes can easily turn fatal.
        The second bigger long term issue is that you have a three year old bunny who has not been spayed. This is VERY serious.
        An unspayed female has more than a four out of five chance of getting breast or uterine cancers or tumors by the time they are four years old. You need to locate a rabbit vet specialist and get this girl spayed ASAP. Once again, she needs to be healthy and well past this stasis issue.
        Remember to feed her right up till her surgery. Any vet who tells you not to feed her the night before is not a good rabbit vet. Run, don’t walk from that vet. Rabbits need to eat up until surgery and then are encouraged to eat and drink immediately afterward. This is the exact opposite from a cat or dog. If your vet does not know this, he should not be used for any kind of rabbit medical treatment.
        Hope this helps and I would not delay in seeking the answers to these issues.
        Stephan
        The Bunny Guy

  37. Great website! I apologize that this may be long but I wanted to give as much info as I could so please bear with me.
    My bunny is 10 months old and I’m a little concerned after reading about possible megacolon. About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I found a poop in his cage that was quite large (easily 4 or 5 times normal size) and oval shaped. All of his other poops that day were normal. Then, two nights ago, he had 4 large poops. These weren’t quite as large as the one from a few weeks ago but definitely much larger than normal. 3 were kind of oblong and one more oval shaped. After that, all poops went back to normal. Up until recently, his poop has always been round and normal size.
    Does this sound like it could be megacolon? Or do megacolon bunnies always have large, oval poop? His are usually normal. Anything else that may have caused this? I’m keeping a really close eye on him for any changes and he is eating and drinking normally. He eats mostly timothy hay, pellets as random treats throughout the day, romaine and/or parsley once a day, and usually a small piece of apple once a day.
    The only other thing that I thought maybe caused it was that I have caught him pulling up threads of the carpet in our living room. He usually just pulls them out (I find them laying on the carpet) but maybe he actually ingested some? Could that cause the large oval poops?
    Thanks so much for any words of wisdom you might have!
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie
      What you are describing sounds like classic megacolon. Does your bunny have a marbled eye (part blue part brown) or is he an English Spot. Those two things seems to go with the condition, if hereditary. It can result from injury, but there are vets who do not even believe the condition exists or means anything.
      Personally, my megacolon bunny has never had any bad effects resulting in emergency vet care other than if I don’t watch her diet closely, she will do big cowpies. These big piles of poop, resembling a cow pie have appeared with her in the past couple years. She used to only do the big egg shaped poop. The size of them has gotten bigger and bigger and then eventually, she has started making the big cow pies.
      There is no known treatment for this condition and we have only been able to manage it through experimenting with diet. We found certain foods caused it to occur more often. We went to a very simple diet to rule out too many complicated combinations of foods and then added and subtracted things until we found the right happy balance.
      Ironically, she has never had GI Stasis or anything other than a little bit of gas over the years from fruit. I no longer allow her any kind of sugary treats such as carrots, fruit or raisins and drastically limit her cookie treats.
      The key here is if your rabbit has this condition, to be constantly aware that it makes them prone to gas or bloat. I monitor her daily and take immediate action if I feel she is at risk for an attack. This vigilance has resulted in the megacolon not affecting her quality of life one bit.
      The only drawback is that if the messy sticky poops touch her fur, it makes grooming rather difficult and so most of my bunny’s issues with this condition have revolved around grooming.
      If I were you, I would just be more aware and see if diet plays any role in producing more regular poops. That is about all you can do.
      The Bunny Guy

      • Thanks for the info!
        My bunny is a mixed breed (accidental litter from someone I know). He is a light gray and has stand up ears (not lop). Eyes are dark in color and glow red at night with light reflection. His mother died when the litter was about 8 weeks old but not sure from what. His owners don’t know much about rabbits and they keep the bunnies outdoors in a huge hutch which I assume would make it difficult to tell if one was sick. We adopted one of the babies and he lives indoors with us. They still have the father. I can try to find out what breed he is to see if there may be a genetic link to his poop problems.
        I tried reading up on megacolon but couldn’t find any info if megacolon bunnies have abnormal poop all of the time, or just some of the time. He has only had it happen on two days but I’m keeping a close eye on him to make sure it isn’t happening more often. I had a bunny 20 years ago who lived to be 10 years old (being fed nothing but pellets because I didn’t know any better, eekk!) and I never saw any poop come out of him that looked like this so it was quite alarming to see. I will definitely watch his diet and litter box carefully!

        • Hi Debbie
          Wow, yours is the first pellet fed rabbit that I have ever heard of that lived to be 10 years old. More often, it is half of that.
          I believe you are going to find that we are just learning about a lot of these conditions. Since most of our information and science on rabbits is in relation to farming them. That info does not really apply to our pet rabbits, since the average lifespan of a farm rabbit is six months and our pet rabbits are living ten to fifteen years.
          If your bunny is megacolon, it will do these kind of poops every day, not just a few times. Doing it a few times is indicative of some digestive issue that was going such as a strange new veggie or type of hay, etc. Rabbits are quite sensitive to slight changes in food and hay.
          I think you are on the right track, by investigating and researching this on your own. This is how we grow and progress in our journey of learning about our pet rabbits.
          The Bunny Guy

  38. Hi

    I’ve gotten a lot of great info from your website and from your book – I’ve been researching rabbit care in preparation for our new rabbit and after bringing him home. We have gotten a Holland Lop, we got him a week ago and he is currently 9 weeks old. My quesiton is about how many pellets a baby rabbit should get – we were told to give him unlimited pellets and timothy hay, and he is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping well, but for the last four days we have been finding cecotropes in his cage, mostly in the spot where he sleeps. They appear to be normal cecotropes and from what I have read if all other activities seem normal, the cause is usually over-nutrituion, but that is generally referring to an adult rabbit. Perhaps it is the type of food – we are using Producer’s Pride Rabbit Feed because that is what he was being fed, so that he wouldn’t have to adjust to a different food.

    Any info you would have on baby rabbits and cecotropes would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Frances (and Silver)

    • The amount of pellets goes by size. When that young, they usually give unlimited YOUNG rabbit pellets which are high in protein for growth. After six months, we usually switch to a adult pellet and start reducing the amount. Cecotropes can also indicate disease or parasites, so it is good that you are monitoring him.
      If you are finding them once a week, then I would probably not worry. If you are finding them every day, then I would try and find out why. You should not find them every day.
      My first thing would be to analyze his diet. Any treats or fruit would be suspect, first. Pellets are not usually an issue for younger growing bunnies. If you feel that the bunny’s diet is not the problem, then a vet exam is probably in order. There are parasites and intestinal infections that can cause these kind of symptoms in their early stages. Be sure to use a good rabbit specialist vet and not a dog or cat vet who many not be able to diagnose basic bunny issues.
      Sorry I could not be of more help. I would definitely keep exploring this issue with your bunny to find the balance he needs to be healthy. You sound like a good bunny mom who will do this just.

      The Bunny Guy

    • Hi Frances and Silver
      Sorry it took so long to reply, but you caught me in the middle of moving after thirty years in the same place. What an epic undertaking!

      My experience with babies is limited, especially ones as young as you mentioned. We try and avoid having baby bunnies, by spaying and neutering all of our pet bunnies, so that is why I am weak in that area. I have worked with a few at the shelter and they typically do not produce any more cecotropes than grown bunnies.

      I do know this: Baby bunnies are growing quickly and so any excess nutrition is usually absorbed and used a lot more readily than adult rabbits can use it. Adult rabbits will simply get obese and sick if consistently overfed. Babies tolerate a lot more extra calories because they are growing so fast. It usually is not as much of an issue, as when they are adults. So do not remove any food from his diet. Better to supply all that he needs to grow.

      The problem arises when they become adults and they continue to overeat. Then you will have a problem.

      I would not worry about this with your baby bun unless the poop starts looking differently (not cecotropes or regular poop). That is a reason to see a rabbit vet, since other issues can cause this.

      It is great that you are paying such close attention to your little guy. Keep on learning, because the more you learn, the better his life will be.

      The Bunny Guy

      • Thanks for the replies – they were very helpful. Silver is doing great and growing fast, and we’re keeping a close eye on his litter box, but everything seems fine and normal. He is a really fun addition to the family. Great info and links on your website – I’ll continue to check it as a resource as we learn more about having a house bunny.

        Thanks
        Frances

  39. I got a baby Netherland dwarf bunny from a pet store about a week and a half ago. After 3 days of refusing to eat she passed away. I tried everything. Took her to the vet. Bought 5 types of hay, two types of pellets, and then resorted to goats milk which was the only thing she would eat. The pet store gave me her litter are as a replacement and she ate to first day I got her and eats a little now and then but I’m scared the same thing is going to happen again! The first one I had must have been a runt bc she was much smaller! This bunny is much more playful but today I’ve only seen about 5 poops in her cage. I’m worried she isn’t eating and pooping enough. About how much should a 6 week old bunny poop??

    • It sounds like these babies are too young and have been taken away from their momma too soon. Is this bunny eating his pellets? If he is not eating a lot, he may be too young, still.

  40. My son brought home a wild bunnythat just got his eyes open. I figured he was around two weeks. He is now around six weeks. He eats grass, clover, dandelion, and wild lettuce. I’ve given him the green tops of strawberries for a treat. I changed his milk by adding an extra teaspoon of water to his milk. I left town for weekend and had my mother feed him and she said that he didn’t eat much in morning but ate the night before. He seems to eat clover and his normal greens. He isn’t drinking his milk as usual though. Then he pooped this huge long piece. He really just doesn’t seem himself. He doesn’t seem to be as active. I took a picture of his poop but Idk how to post it on here.

    • Hi
      Rabbits get milk from their mommas but as soon as they are eating solid food, I believe they do not need the milk any longer. I would discontinue the milk and feed the bunnies looks of grass hay such as timothy hay or orchard grass. Even oat hay is good for them. Alfalfa is great for baby bunnies, but not adult ones. You can try the baby on young rabbit pellets. These are special pellets for growing young buns based on alfalfa. Then they should be switched for timothy based pellets once the bunny is six months old.
      Hope this helps
      The Bunny Guy

  41. people say they have to eat the cecals if they are healthy but mine didn’t. I gave mine a little fruit and he doesn’t have much so a few minutes later I freaked out because the poop looked different. what should I do, is it deadly?

    • Hi
      If you have a rabbit, you should know the answers to these questions. How can you possibly be providing the proper care for this living thing and not know what to feed him or when he is sick? You need to take the time to read and learn about this pet rabbit before you do something really bad to him that is irreversible. With rabbits, it is what you DON’T know that ends up hurting them.
      The short answers to your questions is that you have given him too much fruit. The real answer is that you need to spend a few days reading some books and some websites online about your pet bunny. When are you planning to have him spayed or neutered? By a rabbit vet specialist? Is your house bunny proofed and does your bunny have a safe indoor living arrangement?
      These are all very important issues, too. Hope you decide to do the right thing and learn about this pet that you have taken on responsibility for, before it is too late.
      The Bunny Guy

  42. Hi,

    I really love your website. It gives me lots of useful information regarding keeping a bunny. I have a Holland Lop bunny, and he is 10-week-old now. I’ve been noticing that his poop is different these days. last week, I bought him pellet-based bedding, and he ate that. So I changed to another bedding on the next day. After that, he ate the newspaper that I put in his litter tray. On the other hand, when I first got him, I had to feed him timothy hay since the previous owner had been feeding him that. But I changed to alfalfa hay last week because I’ve read that alfalfa is better for baby bunny. Therefore, I am not sure which caused my bunny poops to be different. His poops were round-shape and a little bit wet the day before yesterday, and it turned normal (dry and round-shaped) yesterday. However, it is a little bit wet and egg-shaped today. And his poops have been lesser than before. I already checked his tummy, and it’s soft and squishy. Do you think he’s sick? Or is it just because he ate the beddings and because of his new food?

    • Hi Cathy

      I hope it is because of the new food and the bedding he ate. Baby bunnies who have parasites and diseases can have runny and very wet poop. What you describe sounds more like cecotropes, which can be found if the bunny is not eating them. He should be eating them, therefore you should not be finding them. The reasons they do not eat them are often because they are getting an over rich diet and do not feel compelled to eat them. Being such a baby bunny, though I would not worry. He will burn off excess calorie during his growing period. I am sure you have noticed him growing rapidly. It is good that you are watching his poop, because this is the best way to tell how his health is doing. It is time to visit the vet if you find watery or very runny poops. That is not normal. You will get used to what is normal for your bunny.

  43. Hello,
    I have a 7 month old bunny, Jerry (male) who got neutered not quite three weeks ago. Anyway, a week ago I got another female one year old bunny (Daisy) as a friend if they bond hopefully. Daisy was never fed hay before I got her (straw as bedding that’s it) so I’ve been giving her plenty of hay mixed with her normal diet. I’ve noticed she does a lot of soft smelly poos that she sort of squishes into her cage floor, is this normal because she wasn’t fed hay? I’ve just noticed today that Jerry has left a couple of very soft poos which he doesn’t usually do and after watchig him go toilet again he’s done his normal amount of hard marble poos but they are a lot smaller than usual? Could this just be stress of having a new bunny friend next to him?? I haven’t changed his diet at all besides letting him nibble on a couple of her pellets as she has a different type.. Why do they both have soft poos at the same time? They have been a little bit uptight the last two days though as they want to be in with eachother. Please help? Thanks :-)

    • Why is she eating a different type of pellets? Is he getting Young Rabbit Food and she getting Adult Rabbit Food?
      It sounds to me like she is getting too many pellets. Hay rarely causes rabbits to leave cecatropes. Almost always it is the pellets or other high calorie foods, such as treats or carrots.
      Smaller poops than usual may be a sign of stress. Cecatropes laying around just one day, is not a big concern. Three or four days in a row, would be a signal to find out the reason.

      The Bunny Guy

  44. Hi I just got my rabbit her stomach is hard she eats all the time and drinks regularly she also poops normal it’s just a little pebble circle the only thing that worries me is her stomachs kind of hard could she be pregnant ? Or do you think she’s

    • Your rabbit’s stomach should not be hard and bloated. I would definitely take her to see a vet, ASAP.
      If she is pregnant, why was she not spayed? All female rabbits need to be spayed if they are not breeding, or they have a super high chance of developing tumors or cancer.
      It is hard to guess what this rabbit’s problem is, so a vet is called for. When you think something is wrong with your rabbit, then it is time to see the rabbit specialist vet (NOT a dog or cat vet). This is part of having pet rabbits.

      Hope she is OK.

      The Bunny Guy

  45. H i bunnyguy.
    My rabbit was neutered yesterday, and after checking on him this morning, i saw that he had started eating again, and after doing the Daily Poop Check, he had passed some small dark pellets. Fantastic. However, there was also a small clump of sticky poo. Are these the celotrops or a natural reaction to the anesthesia? After his op i was told to tempt him back into eating with treats, so he had a small bowl of lettuce, two thin slices of carrot and a couple of grapes so sugar may well be the culprit…, any thoughts? Im a little concerned!

    • I know this is a little late, but instead of grapes and carrots a better healthier treat could have been parsley, cilantro or celery. An organic rose from your garden or something like that is a real bunny treat.
      It is most likely that the stress of the surgery and the sugary treats caused the cecatropes. As long as they went away in a day or two, you should have a happy healthy boy, now.
      Thanks for getting your boy neutered. That is key to having a good pet bunny.

      The Bunny Guy

  46. Hi, we have had our 11 week old rabbit 2 weeks now. We think he is a lion head rabbit because he has lots of fluff around his head. I’ve noticed today that he has lots of the squishy soft poo and some of it is stuck together and he is dropping it all over the apartment. We give him free rein for a couple of hours each day when we are in. We have his vaccinations booked for next weekend and haven’t yet registered him with a vet, neither is he insured because we wanted to double check what type of rabbit he is. Normally, his poo is hard pellets and it is only today there has been a difference. We feed him plenty of Timothy hay and a small amount of pellets each day, he also gets fresh water every day. We fully cleaned out and disinfected his cage this morning and since then, there is ALOT of poo in the bottom of his cage, should I be worried about the amount of poo or the type of poo he is excreting? Sorry for the really long post, he also chews the bars on his cage, he has done this since the day we got him even though he has free run of the apartment for hours each day as mentioned above and has plenty of toys in his cage! He has a wooden gnawing post, a hay ball/tunnel, a wooden toy hanging from the top and cardboard tubes. He does play with these occasionally, when he is out of the cage, he also tries to chew our glass table rather than our wooden furniture which I find peculiar? Hope you can help, reading all the above posts just made me worry even more about him!

    • Rabbits with the long hair manes, like a lion are call Lionhead rabbits. There are many different kinds and colors of Lionhead.
      The soft squishy poop is called cecatropes. This should actually be eaten by your rabbit. When they lose the desire to eat them, it it usually because they have been over-fed. Pellets are the most likely culprit. The other most common reason is too many carrots, fruit or treats.
      There is a difference between cecatropes and diarrhea. The cecatropes look like little bunches of grapes and are mushy but not watery. Watery poop is a bad thing and a rabbit vet specialist needs to be seen, IMMEDIATELY.
      You rabbits will often be adjusting to new and different foods and this can create this issue. Normally, you do not want to find these mushy cecal pellets more than once or twice a week. More often than that would have me trying to figure out if there was some other issue.
      I would analyze the diet and make sure that I was not giving too many sugary or high calorie foods. What rabbits really need is a high fiber diet.
      Young rabbits like yours will also need a much higher protein level than an adult, so that it can fuel their rapid growth, but once they are six months old, most breeds will be switched to a diet much lower in protein.
      The amount of poop is relative. In most cases, a lot of poop is a good thing. That means your rabbit is eating a lot and making a lot of good round hard poops. A good bunny owner checks their rabbit’s poop every single day. Your bunny’s poop is one of the best indicators of their well-being and general health. I have written about this in the past, so check out my archives for info on this subject.

      The Bunny Guy

  47. Hi,

    I moved with my 5 year old rabbit about 2 weeks ago, since then she has had cecotrophs in her cage almost every other day. The move was only about 30 minutes away; however, I’m wondering if that stress could have lead to this problem. She is mostly on timothy hay and pellets. What can I do to help her?

    Thank you!

    • Are the pellets a new kind? Most of the time when cecotropes are found, it is due to eating too many pellets. That is always my first suspicion. Then, I look at treats and fruit. If she is not getting any of that and the amount of pellets is the same, it could be that she is getting older and does not need as many pellets. Stress is a possible cause, but it would be the last thing I would suspect since so many other things cause this more often. You know your bunny more than anyone. Do you feel that she is stressed? If she is acting very stressed, then try spending some extra time with her. Also, schedules are comforting so try and get her back onto a schedule that will make her feel more at home. Rabbits get used to a certain routine and moving changes all that. Once you re-establish your routines, she should be less stressed. Until then, give her lots of extra pets and spend extra time with her to let her know that she is still safe and at home.

      The Bunny Guy

  48. Hello,

    My bunny is now 6 1/2 months old. Since I got her she has been able to run around to get exercise. She is very well-trained for the litter box. I have three cats that she plays with. But all of a sudden I have noticed that she is pooping all over the place and it smells like Bo. She/he is also peeling on my furniture and possibly has sprayed a few times. Can you tell me why all of a sudden this is happening.

    • The answer is simple. She has matured sexually and needs to be spayed. She is marking her territory, just like a cat.

      You will need to locate a rabbit vet specialist and have her spayed. It is expensive, but it is important for two reasons.

      First, you must use a specialist or there is a VERY good chance she will not survive the spay surgery. It takes a lot of experience to successfully spay rabbits every time without losing them.

      Second, a female rabbit MUST be spayed if she is not breeding because otherwise she has a four out of five chance of getting breast or uterine tumors or cancer. by the time she is four years old. The longer you wait, the more risk to her.

      To find a good rabbit specialist vet, please visit rabbit.org and go to the link where it lists all of the House Rabbit Society chapters worldwide. Then go to the chapter closest to you and visit their website. Their site will have a list of all the approved rabbit vets in your area. This is important.

      If there is no chapter near you, Google rabbit rescues in your area. Contact them and find out who they use for vet services. They will definitely be happy to tell you.

  49. My 2 Dutch Rabbits have been acting a little strange lately and I was wondering if it could be life threatening. They haven’t really been themselves lately and one if them sneezes for a long period of time then suddenly stops. He has also had some white discharge from his nose but nothing else. i didnt see any signs of “The Snuffles” as I’ve read about on other websites besides what ive said so far. Also, about a year ago, I had another Rabbit (Mix between a Lion Head and Black Hare) who died suddenly for no reason (He was only about 3 years old). I’m worried that the same thing might happen to my 2 Dutch Rabbits as well. Please help!

    • It is very important when you have pet rabbits to always keep a good relationship with a rabbit specialist vet. I recommend doing this before they get sick. Since it sounds like your guy already has an issue, it is a little late for that. Still, you need to locate a rabbit vet ASAP or you will never know why your bunnies are not faring well.
      It could very well be their living environment. Did you know that a dirty cage smelling of urine can cause permanent upper respiratory damage to a rabbit? This means that if their cages or litter boxes are not cleaned often enough, they can suffer sickness and long term damage. It is hard for me to suggest all the reasons that this could be happening, because you did not mention whether or not these bunnies lived indoors or outside. I would only be guessing.
      That is why I feel you should see a vet right away. To locate a good rabbit vet, you should Google rabbit rescues in your area. Other rabbit enthusiasts in your area must have a vet nearby that they all use. Locate a couple of nearby rescues to find out who they recommend for good rabbit vet service.
      Whatever you do, do not just take your rabbit to a dog or cat vet. They will not be able to diagnose the problem and they often kill rabbits with their lack of experience and knowledge. I am speaking from experience.
      So please locate a local vet for your bunny and they should be able to help you. Contact me personally if you have trouble finding a local rabbit vet. Sometimes you may have to drive a couple hundred miles to get to one, if you live in a very rural area.

      The Bunny Guy

  50. Hi there, I have a male lion head rabbit who is 9 months old. He has been so good with using his litter tray, however recently he poops a lot out of his cage and has also also the odd wee. He has also gone off his hay. His poops are are hard round balls which are easily cleaned up but there are a lot of them. As I live in a small town in Cyprus there is not get to have him snipped. Could you advise on how I could re train him and also how much pellets I should be feeding him and how to get him to eat his hay. Thank you for your time and look forward to your help. Michelle

    • Pellets quickly replace hay and so it is other treats such as pellets, fruit or even veggies that are replacing his hay. The easiest way to affect his diet is to lessen the amount of pellets that he gets. If he is 9 months old, then he is still growing. I would give him a 1/4 cup of pellets for now and then every couple weeks, reduce that amount until he is only getting a tablespoon or so of pellets each day. My adult rabbits get about a teaspoon of pellets per day. They are an adult at one year. He should get varied greens equal to twice the size of his head on a daily basis. As you can see, the amount of pellets I suggest is very small and I give more veggies and less pellets than some vets recommend. Just don’t give him too many veggies. Often people make this mistake.
      A Lionhead can use a little more pellets if he has a lot of long fur. Some Lionheads will even require an alfalfa (young rabbit) pellet instead of a Timothy Hay based pellet, which is what adult rabbits should have. It depends on how much fur he has. Lionheads vary a lot in the amount of long fur in their coats. Getting him to just use his box may be difficult because boy bunnies are like cats and they will mark their territory a lot. Once they are neutered, they will not have the desire to do this so much. Putting hay into the box and reducing the other foods should help, though. It would be my best suggestion, if you do not plan on having him neutered.

      • Thank you very much for your reply, I have started reducing his pellets and will try your suggestion on the hay in the cage.. Thank you once again

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