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Rabbit Information Directory - Part 2

Rabbit Information

< Cont. From Page 1

Elimination--Rabbits 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 and 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 time around.

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.


Intestinal Problems: 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 usually requires 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 appear.

Grooming--Brushing 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 abdominal surgery.

Page Three >



More Rabbit Information

Rabbit Breeds
Research into the many beautiful breeds of rabbit available for your enjoyment.

Rabbit Breeders
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.

More Rabbit Information
Rabbit Breeds
Research into the many beautiful breeds of rabbit available for your enjoyment.
Rabbit Breeders
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.

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