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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22463
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Have a lion head rabbit 4 years old and for the past 2 weeks

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Have a lion head rabbit 4 years old and for the past 2 weeks every 3-4 days the bowel movement is very soft and we have to clean her up is there a common reason for this problem any advice would be great.
Colleen Payne

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

Can you confirm that stools are only soft intermittently?

Have you been on holiday for the full 2 weeks of signs?

Are you seeing Daisy selectively graze (ie go for the softer foods instead of her hay or hard veggies)? And appetite decline?

Does she use her chews as normal?

Is her chin wet at all?

Are you seeing her drink more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes the stools are soft intermittently normal for 3-4 days then mega soft eating habits are no different to when we are at home but does seem to be drinking a bit more than usual yes we have been on holiday for the last 2 weeks 5 more days until we go home.


Thank you Collen,

Now when we see rabbit fecal consistency change, we do have to tread carefully as it can be a sign of GI issues, but also dental or stress issues. Now if her signs are only intermittent and if she is still eating her roughage are normal and having no intake issues, we can breathe a wee sigh of relief that this isn't an early stage hint of dental troubles and GI infections would be less likely. Instead, I would suspect that the stress associated with being a prey species in unfamiliar surrounds, smells, and change to her routine could be causing a bit of GI imbalance. (especially since rabbit guts are ruled by their bacterial microflora, which are very sensitive to stress/changes). As well, if she is drinking more due to boredom (rather then due to thirst), this too could give us a change to fecal consistency.

Now in this case, you were right to restrict her access to grass and water lade fruits and veggies. Further to this, we'd want to make sure to increase her access to hay and only offer fiber rich veggies. These should help rebalance the GI and normalize her feces. Further to this, 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 (so you can just pop over to a local one) and will just bulk up her feces and should reduce these intermittent soft stools for her.

Overall, I suspect this intermittent change is just a side effect of holiday and a change in her daily routine. Therefore, I'd not be panicked here but instead advise increasing her fiber and monitoring at this stage. We'd expect this to settle once she is home, but if she doesn't then we'd want to consider following up with her vet +/-having a stool sample checked to make sure there is nothing grumbling in her GI.

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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