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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cecotropes sticking to fur on and around the bum area

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    • Sterling
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        Fresno has been doing fairly well except for the fact that he’s been very messy with his cecals. He doesn’t reach down to his bum area to get the cecals directly from the source, but rather, he’ll dispense them and then turn around and look for them on the floor to then eat. This isn’t always effective – not to mention it makes the floor messy where he dispenses them 😐 – because they often get all stuck on or around his bum. Sometimes he’ll even step on them and it’ll get stuck in his foot fur. I’m not always around to catch it happening right away and it’ll sometimes be dried up in his fur and won’t easily come out with shampoo. Is there something I can do for him? Or is this just something that has to be managed as best as I can?


      • LBJ10
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          Would a sanitary shave help? That’s what we did for my elderly bun. He would still get poo stuck to his hind legs, but it came off pretty easily with shampoo and a butt bath.


        • DanaNM
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            I agree that a sanitary shave can help a lot. Bun Jovi had this exact issue due to his arthritis and hind leg weakness. I had the vet do the first shave, and then I maintained it myself after that. I used a knock-off “manscaped” type trimmer as they are less likely to accidentally nick them. Sometimes I would even just shave off the stuck on poop (not the feet of course).

            If possible, it also helps to learn his schedule of when the cecotropes are likely to be produced (for Bun Jovi it was a few hours after an emeraid feeding), so I could try to grab them and offer them to him before they got really smashed into his fur. I used sheepette fabric to line his pen (it’s a medical faux shearling fabric) which seemed to resist the cecals getting smashed in a bit (I still had to wash it a few times per week though).

            Is Fresno on any pain meds? We eventually incorporated Tramadol into Bun Jovi’s pain management and that did help him a LOT for a good while.

            Sending virtual support to you, dealing with keeping a poorly bun clean is very stressful.

            . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


          • Sterling
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              He’s been on meloxicam but he has an appointment in a couple weeks to get a checkup and medication refill so I’ll ask the vet about Tramadol. The weird thing to me is that Fresno’s spirits are quite high, he still does his binkies and his appetite is always ravenous and he looks good, he’s just a bit thin and has the cecal issue. Is this still indicative of an elderly bun? I feel like I’m in denial that this is something that can be fixed. He was especially looking better after he finished his antibiotics for a UTI, it looked like he had gained a bit of weight too and his fur quality was better but then a couple weeks after his condition went back down again. I’m going to have his urine retested to see if the UTI maybe came back but not sure if there’s something else I should be looking for too.

              I’ve actually tried to shave him with the dog grooming clippers I have but his fur is so thick down there that I just couldn’t actually get any hair off. Then I asked around for mobile vet groomers in my town that would be willing to do it and all of them said no. I’ll see if the vet is hopefully willing to. I appreciate the support and well-wishes, it really has been stressful. I feel so terrible when I see that his butt and feet are dirty again after just having washed all of it off, which sometimes is a couple day process if it had already dried to his fur.

              LBJ – What shampoo did you use for your bun? I’m currently using one that was prescribed by my vet but not sure if there’s one I can get online that isn’t prescription.


            • DanaNM
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                I’m sure your vet will be able to help, “sanitary shaves” are common, and they did really make a huge difference for Bun Jovi.

                Has he had an x-ray of his hips and spine? It’ really good he’s still active and does his binkies, but that make it more unusual that he’s not able to get his cecals without them being stuck to him. Do they seem well-formed? I wonder if a pro-biotic could help them be less sticky. Perhaps the UTI antibiotics upset his gut flora slightly and made them more sticky?

                One way to get an approximate age on a bun is to look at how parallel their back feet are. It’s not an exact estimate, but as buns age and they get arthritis in their hips their heels will slip out so the feet will become more parallel. In a younger bun the heels will be tucked under and toes more turned out.

                . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


              • Sterling
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                  No x-rays yet but perhaps at the next appointment. I have been wanting to get them done so I may just bite the bullet. All 3 vets I’ve taken him to haven’t thought it necessary but who knows, better to have a peace of mind in that regard.

                  The cecals aren’t well-formed, no. They’re very mushy and sticky from what I’ve seen. I can’t remember if they were as mushy before the antibiotics. I actually have some Bene-bac coming today! Not sure if that’s the best quality probiotic but I wanted to see if it helped at all on a more consistent and long-term basis.

                  Do you look at how parallel the feet are as they’re just sitting there? Or in a certain position or hopping around? I think they estimated his age by how yellow his teeth are.


                • DanaNM
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                    Ah, yeah I think Benebac is worth trying. There are also some other rabbit-specific probiotics out there now. Are his normal poops relatively good looking?

                    For the feet I usually look while standing and hopping along. I think it’s harder for them to keep their heels under while standing still so it may be more pronounced then.

                    This could also all be EC-related, as EC damages the nervous system permanently. Overall it sounds like his health has improved so hopefully the probiotic and shave make things a bit more manageable!

                    . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                  • LBJ10
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                      I use castile soap. It’s been awhile so I’m not sure what brand. Maybe Dr Bronner’s or Kirk’s. Castile soap can be used as shampoo.

                      Reading your descriptions of what’s going on, I would say it’s very possible that this is simply him going downhill in his old age. As bunnies get old, their immune system starts to fail and things like EC will slowly creep in. We can do things to help manage symptoms as they appear and make them for comfortable.


                    • Sterling
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                        🙁 I know multiple people have told me it’s very likely old age-related problems that are just manageable but I was really hoping it was something I could fix. I’ve got two super senior buns (assuming that is what’s going on with Fresno) and even Nora is 6-7 years old now. Quincy is at least 9 years old. Makes me really emotional.

                        I’ll update again after his vet appointment if I find anything new out and if the Bene-bac helps at all (also yes his normal poops look good). Thank you both as always. <3


                      • DanaNM
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                          It is so so hard watching the gradual decline. 🙁 Hopefully your vet can help make him more comfortable and he will still have a long time left! Fresno is very lucky to have you!

                          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                        • LBJ10
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                            It’s so hard watching our bunnies age and their bodies beginning to fail them. It’s hard with any animal, really. I agree though. Although they are not the same, it doesn’t mean you can’t make them comfortable and they can continue on in whatever way the are able. I hope the vet can offer some new ideas on things that might help him. Unfortunately though, you will likely need to come to terms with him not “getting better”. Some bunnies can do great until they are 12-13, others decline sooner.


                          • MomBun78
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                              hi! my bun was getting sticky cecotropes and i read it can happen when they have too many starches. my bun only gets a small piece of fruit at bed time, so i eliminated starchier fruits for a while and stuck with just berries, no bananas at all (she hates me for this) and it solved my problem. i have since been able to add apples successfully and baby carrots but i cant do it all the time. berries were a win. i also use benebac daily and sherwood digestive support since she is stasis prone.


                            • Sterling
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                                Ah I don’t really feed them anything starchy. Did you notice the Benebac helping at all?

                                 

                                He had his vet appointment yesterday and x-rays did just show signs of arthritis I guess. They didn’t even show them to me. I also asked for a sanitary shave just around his butt area and they ended up shaving the bottom of his feet too and I’m quite upset about it. A rabbit vet should know not to do that but I also had specified where to shave him. I ordered him some socks to put over his feet while the fur grows back. I just can’t win with the rabbit vets in this area. ):


                              • LBJ10
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                                  Why would they shave his feet? My vet did sanitary shaves all the time. It was just the butt/inner thigh area.


                                • Sterling
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                                    That’s where I told them I wanted him shaved. I guess she’s not as rabbit-knowledgeable as I thought she was, but that seems to be the case for all the vets here I’ve gone to.


                                  • DanaNM
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                                      Oh dear, that’s so frustrating! You definitely don’t need to be dealing with sore hocks on top of everything else with him 🙁

                                      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                                    • Sterling
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                                        I just wanted to update that Fresno is doing really well right now! I have 4 different pairs of hock socks I got from Etsy, they range in thickness/fluffiness so that I can use the less fluffy ones when his foot fur is fully grown back and his feet are healed, because he did have sore hocks. They’re looking better already, I haven’t had to give him any butt baths yet his butt is still clean and he hasn’t been leaving as many poopy spots on the mats from his cecals. Unless that fully stops I think I will continue to keep some thin waterproof socks on his feet possibly for the rest of his life so that he doesn’t get a bunch of poop crusted on them all the time, as well as prevent sore hocks from happening again because it seems he’s more susceptible to them. But yeah, with the socks and his pain meds refilled he’s doing as well as he could be. <3


                                      • DanaNM
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                                          That’s great! So happy he’s doing better!

                                          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                                        • LBJ10
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                                            Thanks for the update! I’m glad to hear he is doing better now.


                                          • Sterling
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                                              Unfortunately the boots have come with their own set of problems in that they’re irritating his skin where they strap around his legs. His fur is falling out in these spots and creating sores on the legs. I know they’re not too tight either. I am at my wits end on how to help this guy. 😭


                                            • LBJ10
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                                                Oh no! How do they attach? Velcro?


                                              • Sterling
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                                                  Yep, velcro


                                                • DanaNM
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                                                    I wonder if you could pad those areas with some extra fur groomed from him (or another bun)?

                                                    . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                                                  • Sterling
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                                                      He already has such thick fur on his legs so I’m not sure if it’ll help but I’ll certainly try and report back


                                                    • LBJ10
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                                                        Maybe you can stick another piece of fleece in there to cover up the rough spot?


                                                      • Sterling
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                                                          Thought I’d share a pic of the incredibly high-maintenance fella who feels good enough to flip his plate around. Also I remember being told something I can put on his foot sores to heal them, like a medicine, but I don’t remember what that is.

                                                           

                                                           


                                                          • Wick & Fable
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                                                              Silvadene is an antibacterial creme that I’ve used to soothe syphilis/fungal related skin irritation. It is used on humans for burns. Perhaps this is something to discuss?

                                                              The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


                                                          • DanaNM
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                                                              What a handsome fellow!

                                                              . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                                                            • Bam
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                                                                He really is a most handsome gentleman!

                                                                Silvadene cream could be an option. But even plain vaseline would be better than nothing. Will make stuck cecos easier to remove,  keep away wetness from the environment plus prevents the sores from drying out too much. Contrary to what used to be said about wound healing,  wounds should not be allowed to dry out. The mustn’t be wet, obviously. But wounds that are kept moist heal faster with less scarring. This is nolonger considered controversial.

                                                                Unfortunately we cant use medical honey on rabbits for wounds that they can reach with their mouth, because they’d just eat the delicious honey. Ointments containing zinc are discouraged too, there’s some risk of zinc poisoning if a rabbit ingests too much of the ointment over time.

                                                                Whatever you choose, observe him after application. If the ointment is yummy (for a rabbit) or if it annoys him in any way, he will try to lick at the sores and that would obviously not be good at all.


                                                              • Sterling
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                                                                  Thank you! I found what I was referring to before – sudocrem or bag balm. I planned on putting it on the sores and then putting the boots on top if I can figure out a way to stop his leg fur from being rubbed off by the boots.


                                                                • Bam
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                                                                    I have only used vet wrap for sore hocks, lined with a lot of bunny fur. I had to make sure that the fur lining didnt extend above the wrsp, or my bun would pull at the fur lining and get all of it out ☹ But as long as I kept the fur lining to just below the top of the bandage he didnt mess with the wraps.

                                                                    Velcro can be rather hard. I dont know if you could put some fur along the inside of it so it doesnt eat away his own fur and skin?

                                                                     

                                                                    I “handfelted” the bunny fur I used with water and a tiny bit of liquid soap. Just so that the fur became so matted that it held together. Then I rinsed out the soap and dried these 2 small DIY fur pads.

                                                                    I didnt wash the fur pads when I redid his bandages after the daily wound care, but my bun didnt have leaky sores.

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                                                                Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cecotropes sticking to fur on and around the bum area