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Vet
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Category: Vet
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Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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why does my rabbit pass these horrid stools at night?

Resolved Question:

why does my rabbit pass these horrid stools at night?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Scott Nimmo :

My name is ***** ***** I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today.

Scott Nimmo :

Please can you tell me how long this has been going on?

Customer:

well he goes all night with no passing of stools but after an hour of waking he has a huge bundle of compressed stools around his back passage. we have to remove this obviously as it is stuck and very uncomfortable forhim

Customer:

03

Scott Nimmo :

Sorry, what I meant was is this a new problem for him or has he always been like this. If it is a new problem when did it start, a few months ago?

Customer:

.it started about 3 weeks ago. for no reason that i can think of

Scott Nimmo :

Thanks, ***** ***** what I needed to know. If there has been no change in diet or management then this sort of problem can often be caused by a gut infection of a parasite called coccidia. They can catch this from other rabbits or sometimes many rabbits have a few coccidia in their gut which do no harm. Occasionally these organisms can multiply for reason such as immune suppression and the actual clinical disease arise.

Scott Nimmo :

The way forward is to have your vet check Barney over as this type of disease can be fairly easily treated with prescription drugs. Some vets would want to run a faecal examination first to confirm the diagnosis { Which is a very good idea } Other vets would just try the drugs first to see what happens. Usually if they do not do any good they will not do any harm.

Scott Nimmo :

I see you are offline, I will switch to question and answer mode so we can continue to chat later without a time limit. Regards, Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Vet replied 2 years ago.
Hi there, vet Andrew here. I thought I'd add in some extra info.
Rabbits have unusual digestive systems, in that they are two-stage. A normal rabbit will eat during the day, then pass the type of stools you describe at night, and actually eat them straight from their back passage to go round again. The 'pellet' stools you normally see have in fact gone through twice.
I agree with Scott that a digestive upset can cause problems with this process, and lead to a build-up of the runny stools, called caecotrophs, at the back end. However, if the rabbit has become overweight, or has arthritis of the spine or even a back injury, they will be unable to bend round and eat the caecotrophs. If you are going to take Barney to the vets, keep this in mind and make sure they consider these points as well.
Regards
Andrew
Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience: I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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