Rabbit Information Directory - Part 2
< Cont. From Page 1
are easily trained to use a litter box. Clean out dirty litter and
replace it with fresh litter daily. Flies can lay eggs in any moist
environment. These eggs hatch into maggots and can hurt your rabbit.
WARNING: Do not use any litter containing pine or cedar shavings since
research demonstrates these contain oils, which can cause respiratory
liver disease in small animals. Do not
use any "scoop able" cat litter that is known to have caused numerous
rabbit deaths. Litter made of plant material (hay) or paper (cellulose)
is the safest litter to use with rabbits
Droppings should be
inspected daily. If you find droppings strung together with hair, read
about grooming. Normal droppings look like regular round dry marbles.
There may also be some soft cecotropes clusters. These are grapelike
clumps of stool that have a mucous membrane around them. These are often
mistaken for diarrhea. In reality, the rabbit consumes these directly
from the anus to absorb additional
vitamins that were not absorbed the first
A change in droppings
can be the first sign of
illness in rabbits. Droppings that are
getting smaller, misshapen or infrequent, means less is coming through
and you need to find out why. Read about intestinal problems below.
This can be a very serious problem and a veterinarian needs to see your
rabbit as soon as possible. Rabbits can have various forms of GI upsets
such as diarrhea-if it’s watery, messy and smelly, it’s easy to
identify. A more subtle form is when droppings appear to be normal but
"squash" when you touch them or sweep them up. You may also see "clumpy"
diarrhea. This will be the consistency of silly putty, with normal round
droppings mixed in. Most of these upsets are diet related. Diarrhea
antibiotics prescribed by your vet. Other
signs to watch for include loud tummy growling, droppings that are
misshapen or small (without first seeing them strung together with
hair), or no droppings at all. See your vet if any of these symptoms
and combing your rabbit for a few minutes every day will help him enjoy
human touch. If you make this a part of your daily routine, he will not
fear when he starts to shed and you have to brush him. Rabbits shed
every 3 months and it is necessary to rid your rabbit of this excess
fur. Most rabbits have several layers of fur and only the longest will
loosen from the roots and fall out (otherwise he'd be bald every 3
months). Shedding is perfectly normal, but will be annoying to you if
you don't have time to help him remove loose hair. Rabbits are
self-cleaning and groom themselves a lot. This means they can swallow
excess fur. Unfortunately rabbits cannot vomit a fur ball like a cat. If
a rabbit develops GI Stasis, a common slowing down of the GI
tract, this excess fur can cause an obstruction. Symptoms of GI
Stasis include: decrease in size or quantity of droppings, loss of
appetite, hunched up position and teeth grinding which indicates pain.
This is a medical emergency. Contact your vet immediately.
Surgery should only be performed when all
other medical treatments have failed. Rabbits do not respond well to
Page Three >
|More Rabbit Information|
Research into the many beautiful breeds of rabbit available for your enjoyment.
Arranged by state, locate a qualified breeder in your area.
Bloating in Rabbits
Read a great in-depth article by Linda Seeman, MSN, on GI Stasis and it’s effect on your rabbit.