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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21745
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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6yr old female rabbit with sticking to bottom in ball.

Resolved Question:

6yr old female rabbit with poop sticking to bottom in ball. Diet normal and acting normal. Having to clean every day .would having bottom area shaved help
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

 

First, I do want to say that I am very glad that you are keeping an eye on Princess 's backside as the weather warms and fly strike season begins. As I am sure you can appreciate, fecal material stuck around her rectum can attract flies and would put her at risk of maggots. Now you will of course need to wash the feces away before doing so and need to be very careful (since rabbits do have very thin skin), but shaving can be helpful in keeping a rabbit's rectal region free of feces.

 

Further to this, since you have noted that her feces is sticking more then before, we do have to consider whether there are any changes at her front end that could be precipitating these changes at the back end. The reason is because diet changes or selective grazing of food (often related to dental discomfort) can lead to changes in the fecal consistency. So if Princess is perhaps eating more fruit then pellets or hay, this could be the trigger for the current issues you are seeing.

 

Therefore, besides keeping her clean and the peri-rectal coat clipped short, you do also want to consider increasing her fiber intake. The easiest way to do this is to increase her daily dietary roughage (hay). You can do this by adding more hay or fibrous veggies while reducing her pelleted/fruit portions of her diet to balance. If she isn't keen on having more hay, then an alternative option would be to use a high fiber pelleted diet called Pro-fiber Pellets (LINK). These can be fed on their own or mixed into the current diet to increase her GI fiber load and firm up her feces. Alternatively, you can use Fiber Plex (LINK), a fibre paste supplement that you can administer orally. Both of these are available over the counter at the vets and will just bulk up her feces and should reduce her sticky issue.

 

Overall, to answer your question, careful shaving of the backside can be helpful in reducing fecal soiling around the rectum. That said, if her feces are sticking more, then we'd also want to monitor her eating habits (consider having her teeth checked if she is going for softer foods) and consider adding more fiber to her diet to help get her feces back to normal non-sticky consistency.

 

 

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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