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Forum DIET & CARE megacolon?

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    • PAR0824
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        hi everybun! this post is about my sweet girl, coffee bean who is spayed and almost 4 years old. i believe she may have megacolon. i have been doing my thorough research on megacolon. i am hoping our regular rabbit vet will be savvy enough to agree with me on this diagnosis. what leads me to suspect that she has megacolon:
        *gets critically sick with GI stasis once a month, or every other month if lucky (we try to care for her at home, but she has been to the emergency vet for GI stasis probably about 5 times total) ..she seems to have flare-ups, but also periods of stability for a few weeks
        *irregularity in poop shapes (see photos for reference) from normal sized poops to large egg / oval shaped poops; very wet, slimy (and stinky) poops; what looks like multiple poops clumped / formed together into one .. her poops have been like this since we got her at 8 weeks old. my boyfriend and i have always joked about how big they are compared to our three other bun’s, but never realized why that may be
        *loose bowel movements occasionally throughout her play area (see wood shelter where she lays in photo for reference)- once in awhile there is a liquid puddle in her play area which i always think is urine, until i wipe it up and it is pure dark brown. i always noted it to be urine, but now i am thinking it may be diarrhea.
        *major intolerance for fruits (rarely as a treat) and leafy greens (kale, spinach, mixed greens, etc.), it seems like she can only tolerate herbs in extremely small quantities without a GI upset
        her daily diet consists of roughly 1/4 cup selective science grain free food pellets every morning, unlimited varieties of fresh hay throughout the day (timothy, meadow, orchard), unlimited water available in both a bottle and bowl, and a hard treat once a day or every other. i am limiting her fruit / veggie intake until there is a diagnosis / answer as to why she is getting sick so often.
        she is predominantly white, with a brown line straight up her spine, all brown ears, and a brown “moustache” around her mouth area. i am not sure myself, i always thought of her as brown and white, but i suppose she is mainly white with some brown coloring.
        that is all i can think of at the moment. she is the oldest of my four rabbits, and they all follow the same routine and diet. she is the only one who is recurringly sick on and off for reasons unknown. i know megacolon is supposedly rare and misunderstood, but my gut is telling me that this is what’s going on with my bun. like i said, she has a vet appt in a few days, so i’m hoping to get some answers then. in the meantime, i would love to hear thoughts / suggestions / personal experiences / advice / recommendations, basically anything to help me properly care for my bun. it breaks my heart seeing her go through this, and as a bun mom, i just want some answers! thanks in advance, everybun 🙂


      • DanaNM
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          I’m sorry you are going through this. 🙁

          The pics did not come through, but it does sound like megacolon is a possibility, but not the only possibility. It would be important to rule out things like parasites or diet sensitivity before concluding it’s for sure megacolon. If her poops are normal sometimes, it suggests that something else could be going on, because megacolon buns usually never have normal poops. Gut slowing in general also causes larger poops, so it could be that she is getting chronic stasis for other reasons which is leading to the larger poops.

          How is her weight? megacolon buns often have trouble maintaining muscle mass, so the sometimes do better with a higher pellet diet. Some people even opt to free-feed pellets and have some success with reducing stasis episodes and helping the bun keep weight on.

          I would talk to your vet about giving you fluids to administer at home. Hydration is super important for a megacolon bun as passing those large poops can lead to scarring in the intestine over time.

          The liquid puddle could also be from the scent glands, as even diarrhea would be hard to mistake for urine. Dark brown urine can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection. It might be helpful to watch her very closely and see if you can see her urinate to know for sure.

          Do keep us updated on what your vet says. An x-ray of the abdomen may be informative because it can tell you whether the cecum is distended or not.

          . . . 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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          16958 posts Send Private Message

            Medirabbit has a really good article on Megacolon and even provides photos for reference: http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Mega/mega_en.htm

            There does seem to be a lot of gray area when it comes to this condition. There are bunnies that do not meet all the criteria for Megacolon, but will have a lot of GI stasis and poop issues that come and go. Symptoms are often triggered by stress. I think there is still a lot that we still don’t understand.

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        Forum DIET & CARE megacolon?