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Poorly bunnies, may slow right down eating or stop eating altogether. It is vital to keep their tummies going ( imagine our hearts where to stop ) it's much the same for a rabbits guts. Gut slowdown quickly can result in gut stasis. I killer amongst domestic rabbits
Guide to bunny poops
Guide to bunny poops
This is a short guide to bunny poops. They can communicate a lot of data via poop-o-gram if you're paying attention. Always consult your vet before changing your rabbit's diet. If your bunny hasn't pooped in the last 24 hours, please take your bunny to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone who has helped me make this guide better. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email me at [email protected] or follow me on twitter @kinenchen.
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Average sized bunnies will make 200-300 poops per day. They should be uniform in size and shape which means rounded and pea to garbanzo sized. The size of your bunny won't always predict the size of their poops.
They should also be friable. Friable means that they'll have a stable form, but if you apply gentle pressure and roll them between your fingers, they'll fall apart into something resembling sawdust as in the photo. Bunny poops can get pretty hard as they dry out, so test a fresh one if possible.
Inside Healthy Poops
Once you've tested the friability of a poop, inside you should find lots of chewed up hay. Testing them regularly will give you a baseline for what's normal for your bunny.
Darker, more moist poops may be a sign that your bunny is getting too much protein in their diet. The poops in the lower left were from a bunny before a switch from orchard grass (a 'richer' hay) to timothy hay (upper right) after only 24 hours. After 48 hours the poops contained even more visible chewed up hay on their surface and continued to become lighter brown and larger.
These poops are completely normal, usually bunnies eat them to ensure that they get enough protein and B vitamins in their diet. Sometimes bunnies will make more than normal when they're stressed or are getting too much sugar in their diet. This is okay as long as the bunny doesn't get a messy bottom (by sitting on the cecos) and it doesn't happen all the time. If it does, it might be time for a change of diet.
Sometimes cecotropes' berry-like structure can be disrupted into individual pieces by your bunny. You'll know them by their squishy texture, glossy surface (the white fibers are bunny hair) and odor which will intensify if the membranous outer coating is disrupted.
Linked by Hair
These poops are linked together by shed hair. This isn't a problem - the spacing suggests that the bunny's gut is working normally and the hair is getting pushed through with all the other fiber. I would suggest giving the bunny more fresh greens (in addition to their free access to hay) to keep things hydrated and moving and brush them more regularly, but otherwise this bunny seems healthy.
Doubles and Singles
The 'doubles' at the top of this image occur when a bunny's gut slows for whatever reason and 2 pills collide during their formation creating a double poop. These can be caused by stress or advanced age. If your bunny starts making more then two or three doubles (or triples) per day, it might be time to ask your vet about a stimulant to get your bunny's gut back to a normal pace. Their pills should be uniform in size and shape like those at the bottom of the image.
Large egg shaped poops
These are not to be confused with double (or triple) poops or large normal poops. Large egg shaped poops can result from megacolon, This is a rare occurrence in rabbits that typically arises from genetics (En En) or occasionally after trauma. This condition is uncommon, but if you suspect your rabbit has it you should consult a specialist about appropriate long term care. (Thanks to LB for the image)
Small Round Poops
Poops can become small for any number of reasons: stress is the most common one for small round poops. A strange noise or a stressful experience can cause your bunny's poops to be smaller temporarily. They should go back to normal within a few hours. Chronically small poops can indicate chronic pain, narrowing of the intestine or a partial blockage and a vet visit is an order.
Small Misshapen Poops
Small misshapen poops can mean your bunny isn't eating enough. This can happen after surgery, if your bunny's teeth are hurting, or any other reason your bunny might not want to eat. Post surgery, this is a good sign - your bunny's digestive tract is working, there just isn't a lot of food in there. Otherwise, your bunny's poops are telling you to go see a vet.
Mucous Covered Poops
Mucous in poops is common after a course of antibiotics, but can also be caused by anything that might irritate the intestinal lining. In this case, the bunny ate her first piece of parsley ever with such gusto that she forgot to chew. Similarly other large or irritating masses might be encased in mucous. Mucous might be present for parasites or other very serious disorders like cecal impaction. A consult with a veterinarian is advised if you observe mucous in your rabbit's poops. (Thanks to DM of HRoMaine for the image.)
Cecal dysbiosis is poop that isn't completely formed and is doughy or pasty and is usually quite smelly. It can be caused by stress, illness or a diet too rich in starch, fat or sugar. This shouldn't be confused with normal cecotropes that have been smooshed by your rabbit's feet or bottom. If you're not sure, you may have to poke around to see if the mess comes apart in layers (cecotope) or if it's completely formless (cecal dysbiosis). The alternative is to watch for the next batch. You should monitor any bunny with dysbiosis for signs of illness. Take their temperature to rule out an infection. If the dysbiosis persists or isn't reduced by eliminating treats, schedule a vet visit. (Thanks to AO for the image.)
True diarrhea is very rare in rabbits and is cause for alarm. Rabbits with diarrhea may be infected with deadly parasites or possibly have been exposed to poisons. Very young rabbits with watery runny stools may have been weaned before they're ready. Regardless of the age of any rabbit with diarrhea, getting them to a vet as soon as possible should be first priority. If it's an option, bring some of the runny stool for your vet to examine. (Thanks to AO for the image.)
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