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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Could this be coccidia or am I just overthinking? Help please!

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    • henry2809
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      Hi everyone. 2 days ago I noticed that my 2 year old male lionhead’s poops were a bit strange. Some were small and hard while others were normal, but others were large and oval-shaped. Some of them were also tear-drop shaped, but I only noticed if I really looked hard. He was acting normal and eating and drinking fine, so I just encouraged more hay and backed off on the treats. His poops stayed like that until the next day, but then they seemed to improve. Last night I noticed 2 very small strings of brown mucus in his poop- they were so tiny that I wouldn’t have even seen them if I had not been searching for them. Again, everything else was normal. I went to bed and woke up this morning and his poops were completely back to normal. I looked online and it suggested that it could be coccidia. He just had his yearly exam last week and he was very healthy, but we did not do a fecal, so I am bringing a fecal sample to the vet first thing tomorrow for them to run to see if he does have any parasites. I am going out of town in 3 days and I will be gone for a week, so i am really worried that he has coccidia because I don’t know how the pet sitter would administer his meds (he is very hard to medicate). My thought is that if this were coccidia, his poop would probably be getting worse and not better, is that correct? He also had an episode of stasis just 4 months ago and he has gone through a few phases of his poop being wonky for a few days, so maybe this is just another little episode of that. I’m also wondering if it could have just been due to a decrease in water or hay consumption? I have attached a picture of what his “weird” poop looked like (the pictures of the poop in my hand) and what it looked like yesterday morning and this morning in his litterbox. I am such a helicopter mom and I love my bun to death, so I have been really worried. If anybody could offer any advice I would really appreciate it!!


    • DanaNM
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      To me that looks more like potentially some GI slow down, maybe due to gas pain.  Gas or stasis are much more common causes of smaller or irregular poops than coccidia.

      Coccidia tends to cause diarrhea and lots of soft poops, not just the irregular shaped ones. I think since his poops went back to normal I would just keep an eye on things. It sounds like pushing extra hay helped with whatever the problem was.

       

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      Thank you! That’s what I was thinking as well. He is eating and drinking like normal and he is acting totally fine. I’ve noticed that he’s done this a few times since his episode of stasis a few months ago and it always just sorts itself out with extra hay!!


    • LBJ10
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      Coccidia? No, I wouldn’t think that looking at these pictures. Dana is right, irregular poops, teardrop poops, etc. are caused by the gut slowing down and/or dehydration.


    • henry2809
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      Thank you! I woke up to a full box of perfect poops this morning, so I’m thinking it was just temporary. Maybe even stress from the fireworks. He is eating very well today, taking treats, etc. so I’m trying not to worry!


    • henry2809
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      Hi everyone! Good news- I brought a stool sample to my vet this morning. They did a fecal float in the office and it was negative for parasites and they are sending a sample to the lab just to confirm the results. He seemed to be a little bit gassy last night and he had some more irregular poops, but he ended up eating and pooping wonderfully overnight, so I’m really not sure what is causing this. Maybe it was dehydration, a decrease in hay consumption, stress, or due to shedding? I’m going out of town for 3.5 days this week and I am really nervous about leaving him. I do have a camera in the room that he stays in so I will be able to keep an eye on him and our pet sitter is a very close friend that lives just down the road and also has a pet rabbit, so she knows that to look for. I am just really worried that he will continue to have issues with his poop while I’m out of town. He is acting totally fine today.


    • DanaNM
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      Shedding does seem to coincide with GI problems in a lot of buns. Dehydration and reduced hay consumption can also cause issues. And of course stress as well, if there has been a new source of stress in your home. Has he eaten any new veggies that might be causing issues? Perhaps a visiting family member giving too many treats? I remember a case at the rescue I volunteered with where a new volunteer was giving all the rabbits cabbage without telling anyone, and nearly the whole shelter was stricken with gas and stasis.

      I would give him really thorough grooming now and before you leave if he’s molting to make sure he isn’t ingesting too much fur. Providing extra wet leafy salad can also help with hydration.

      Have you noticed he’s eating less hay? Maybe he could be having some dental issues?

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      He hasn’t eaten any new treats, veggies, etc. but I have been giving him more treats (Oxbow Simple Rewards), so maybe that is the cause. I’m also trying to adjust the amount of pellets that he is eating to see if that will help. I did just get home from college a few weeks ago, so maybe he’s still adjusting to me being home? He just had his annual exam last week and his vet said that he was in perfect health. She also checked his teeth and they were fine. I do notice that he always goes for the pellets and sometimes does not eat as much hay, since he prefers the pellets. Maybe if I start to decrease his pellets, he will increase his hay consumption. I’ve just been so anxious about his poop ever since he was in stasis a few months ago and had to spend 3 nights at a university teaching hospital. He seems fine right now though, he’s drinking plenty and acting totally fine- he was binkying around like crazy this morning. I’m really anxious about leaving him though and I’ve convinced myself that something will happen while I’m away. I’m glad that we ruled out any parasites, but still worried.


    • henry2809
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      This morning I had a great litter box full of poop and he came running out of his cardboard box for his morning treat, so I may just be overthinking this. There have been multiple days that he has just slept all day and didn’t poop until 9 or 10 pm. I flipped out and thought something was wrong, but he ends up eventually popping every time. Maybe I am just reading way too much into this since and I’m trying to make something out of nothing since I tend to be very anxious about his health.


    • DanaNM
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      It’s good to be vigilant, and I think the poops you noticed were worth paying attention to!

      How many treats does he get per day, and how many pellets? It could just be that he’s getting a bit too many, which is keeping him from eating enough hay. Perhaps it’s not that he’s adjusting to you, but that you’ve been so excited to see him (understandably) that he’s been a bit spoiled in the treat department 😉

       

       

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      He gets 1 tbsp. of Oxbow Adult Timothy Pellets in the morning and 1 tbsp. in the evening. He used to get unlimited pellets, but I think that contributed to the stasis back in August, so I cut back. He probably gets about 1 of the Oxbow treats per day (I cut them up into pieces) but they are quite large. He also gets unlimited Oxbow Timothy Hay. At his annual exam 10 days ago, he did get his first dose of the Medgene RHDV vaccine, but I truly don’t think that is related to this at all because he was completely fine after it and it’s been a while now. His teeth looked great at his appointment and everything else was normal as well according to his vet (who is very rabbit-savvy). I am thinking he may just have a bit more of a sensitive stomach. Sometimes I will change his litter box around 9 am and he will just sleep in his cardboard box all day and he won’t poop until 9 or 10 pm. It really freaked me out the first few times he did this, but he ended up eating and pooping fine overnight, so I guess he will eat and poop when he needs to and I should just let him do his thing.


    • henry2809
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      When he was at the teaching hospital for stasis back in August, they did full X-rays and lab work and both were normal, so I know that there isn’t an underlying medical issue. It seems that every time I freak myself out about this, he just corrects it and ends up just fine. I guess bunnies can go through phases just like humans do, where they’re just “off” for a few days?


    • henry2809
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      I’m trying to add a picture of what his litter box looked like this morning, but for some reason it won’t let me.


    • henry2809
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      Update: just got home from shopping and he was asleep in his cardboard box, he came out to say hello and did a big yawn and stretch. He ate a few small pieces of treat and now he’s running around and playing. He is definitely shedding, but I didn’t notice it the other day, so that could definitely be contributing.


    • henry2809
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      Okay I’m 99% sure now that he is just shedding and took in too much hair. He is acting totally fine, but grooming himself a lot, so I just gave him a really good brushing with my favorite comb and I got a TON of hair off of him, so I think he was just starting to molt and I didn’t recognize it because it was coming from his undercoat (I feel so guilty now for not recognizing that). My plan is to groom him really well today and tomorrow so he doesn’t have so much excess hair to ingest while I’m away for 4 days.


    • Wick & Fable
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      A big molt can definitely cause GI distress — it is fortunate it didn’t accumulate into a true blockage. Grooming is very important when your rabbit is molting. Definitely try your best in grooming before you leave; however, note that molting happens in phases of “releasing”, so it may happen that the 4 days you’re gone is when his coat decides to release a ton of fur. Definitely make sure your sitter is providing constant, unlimited hay and is refreshing the water daily (as fur is likely to get in there and make the water mucky each day). Also, if your rabbit is more sociable, perhaps the sitter can do some quick finger plucks if they, you, and the rabbit, are comfortable with that if a ton of fur release is observed: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/r1cprs/care_handpluck_grooming/

      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.


    • henry2809
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      thank you!! She will be checking on him in the morning and at night and refreshing his hay and water each time. I told her to keep an eye on his poops, I’m just hoping that I can get him on track before I leave. Right now he is acting totally normal, just the abnormal poops that are strung together. I got a good amount of fur off of him in today’s grooming session and I will do more tomorrow and the next day before leaving.


    • henry2809
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      He is still eating tons of hay, drinking water, and acting fine, so I assume that’s a good sign? I got a ton of fur off of him today and he looks so much better and his coat looks thinner and shorter, I will continue with that tomorrow. His poops have seemed to improve over the last few days, so I’m hoping that he will be okay while I’m gone, I’m just really anxious about it.


    • henry2809
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      little update: he is eating hay like crazy and running around, he just pooped and peed and the poops looked really great! I think brushing him this afternoon really made a huge difference!


    • LBJ10
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      Glad to hear he’s doing better. I’m sure it was just something upsetting his system (gas, stress, molting, etc). Whatever it was, it seems to have passed now.


    • henry2809
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      I think it was the molt, but I used my hair buster comb and did some finger plucking to help get some of the hair off of his back and behind area, which I will continue to do until we leave for our trip! It’s going to be hard not to worry about him while I’m away, but I’m sure he will be ok as he always is!


    • henry2809
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      Hey everyone!! I was definitely worried last night because his poops were all different shapes and sizes and they were all connected by hair, but after a very thorough brushing, I am happy to report that I woke up to a litter box full of absolutely gorgeous poop with minimal hair. I’m going to brush him today and tomorrow before I leave and I hope he will be okay while I’m away. His pet sitter is a close friend who lives right down the road and she also has a bunny, so she knows what to look for. I’m hoping that since his poops looked so good this morning, they will stay that way.


    • DanaNM
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      Seeing the hair coming through is not necessarily a bad thing (as it means it’s coming out), especially if the poops are still a bit spaced out.

      I think you are on the right track with more frequent brushing!

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      That’s what I was thinking! Better out than in! Most of them were that weird oblong, oval shape, but there weren’t any thick strands of hair, so I guess that means that his GI tract is passing the hair like it’s supposed to! He HATES being brushed, but he definitely needs it. I got a good amount of hair off of him last night and this morning, so I think that will help a lot! His poop this morning looked wonderful!


    • DanaNM
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      The oblong poops usually indicate two poops that got stuck together due to some GI slowing.

      Adding in a tummy rub when you do his grooming could also help keep things moving along.

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      That’s a great idea, thank you! This morning they were all perfect and round, which makes me feel better. Usually this would not worry me so much, but I won’t be home for 3 days, so I want to make sure he’s ok!


    • DanaNM
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      I know exactly what you mean, it can be so stressful to leave buns with a pet sitter! But thankfully your sitter is a bunny-person!

      . . . 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.  


    • henry2809
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      Absolutely! He seems totally fine today and I leave tomorrow afternoon, so I’m not super concerned at the moment. He usually sleeps during the day and doesn’t eat or poop much until 9 or 10 pm anyways and then he eats and poops throughout the night. The first time he did that I freaked out, but I think that’s just his routine!

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Could this be coccidia or am I just overthinking? Help please!