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Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit pro-biotics

  • This topic has 42sd replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Bam.
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    • Gina.Jenny
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      Just wondering if any one has tried these?

      With Podge having lost so much weight so fast, and showing no signs of being any less hyperactive, and leaving icky poops after even small amounts of greens, I thought I’d try them. Pippi can’t eat that many greens either, so he can try them too, and we’ve two middle age piggies who might also benefit from them.


    • jerseygirl
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      Actually, the best natural “probiotic” would be if he ate some of Gina’s caecotrophs. Does she ever leave a few spare? You might be able to wrap some in green leaf lettuce and sneak it in that way.

      It probably wouldn’t hurt try prebiotics and probiotics.. just watch for what other ingredients have been added to a formula. Some of those may be more of a hindrance then help! As far as I know, it’s not really known if the beneficial bacteria in commercial probiotics survives the rabbit gut, but it can’t hurt to try them. A lot of people swear by them. If anything, it’s thought they can help return the gut to the right pH so that whatever beneficial bacteria is naturally present can really thrive.

      I know you’ve limited his pellets now. What brand are they? Could he be sensitive to those also?
      Have you had a fecal test done for him?


    • jerseygirl
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      Another thing that can really help buns that get icky poop and that are sensitive to greens is natural forage. Bark, twigs, leaves of rabbit safe trees and herbage. Plenty of fibre and something interesting to eat other then hay. The natural tannin binds to harmful toxins and help take it out of the body via their fecal droppings. Lots of the softer natural greens like ribwort plantain and dandelion are nutrient rich and have lots of other beneficial properties. They can be dried also and given throughout the year.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Gina and Jenny never leave any, else I would have got them in him somehow. Ditto Pippi, just to help with eating greens.

      I don’t think its down to what he’s eating here, he must have left 10-12 sizeable grape clusters around in the first 24 hours he was here, which was quite worrying. Within about 3 days of being here, it was down to single squishy poops, though still quite a few. I observed him a few times when he was clearly eating cecals, and when he moved away, he’d leave maybe 2-4 single ones on the floor. His foster mum said he ate whatever was donated, which is understandable, but far from ideal, as sudden change isn’t good for bunnies. She also gave him whole carrots at a time, which won’t have helped any.

      We use Harringtons Optimum pellets for after morning floor time, and Supreme Science Selective for after evening floor time, and I don’t think they are the problem. There is a clear correlation between the amount of greens he eats and the amount of sticky poops the next morning. He will go for greens over pellets, given a choice. I’ve increased the Supreme Science Selective pellets slightly the past three days, as those are his favourite of the two brands. They are very high fibre (25%), and so should do more good than harm to the firmness of his droppings. I think he is now at a really nice weight, and I want to keep him steady at that weight. The probiotics are really just so he and Pippi can increase their daily greens. The girls can both eat all they get with never a sticky poop between them.

      The probiotics came today, its in the form of a powder that can be added to the drinking water. I’m not sure this is the best way to use it, with 6 drinking bottles, the whole pack would be gone after two x six refills, and the girls would be getting it when they don’t need it. I could just do one out of each pair of water bottles (I use them in pairs to ensure no bun/pig can stop their partner drinking), but the boys might use the other bottle, and not get any. It does say it can be sprinkled over food, so I might try that first, using something wet and leafy, in the hope the powder would stick to the leaves and not get noticed. 

      He and Pippi both get dried grass each day, as that is scrummy, good for wearing teeth down, and nice and high in fibre. He gets dandelions from the garden, and willow twigs to chew on too. sadly, we never have enough dandelions to dry any! Not with four buns and two piggies.

      It’s still only Podge’s 24th day with us, and it is improving, so I’m hoping over time, he’ll continue to improve. Activity causes gut motility, and Podge is like a hyperactive kit, so that might mean things travel through his system a bit fast?

      Edited to add – just tried sprinkling some over two vet wet dandelion leaves. Podge will eat dandelion leaves without, but not with. Pippi gladly scoffed down both powdered leaves. Sprinkled some over a small broccoli floret (Podge’s foster mum said it was his favourite), and Podge took that quite happily. That should do for today, I guess Podge can have a small floret each day for the next few days if it ensure he actually eats the probiotic. At least sprinkled, none gets wasted, as it isn’t cheap. Taking it with food is probably best anyway?


    • jerseygirl
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      Was it this one by any chance?  Or this one?  I was looking at some online just before I posted.

      I think putting on the greens is a good idea. Hopefully it will help. 

      Are you familiar with Galen’s Garden Shop?  You might find some goodies there that Pippi and Podge can tolerate.

      I’m sort of envious of some of the online stores you have in the UK! 


    • Gina.Jenny
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      It was this one, I got it due to its 5 star reviews. 

      It’s not like he’s actually a poorly bun, just one who is settling into a new place, is always on the go, and maybe doesn’t have the healthiest of gut floras.


    • jerseygirl
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      It looks good! Pre-b and Pro-b. Good for the piggies too.

      I ordered a probiotic product this past week also. I haven’t used one before. If they do work, having a healthy gut will help their overall immune system. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Pre -b just means it contains food for the bacteria. So at least the boys’ (buns and piggies) existing flora will get a boost.

      It’ll be interesting to see if either of us find it helps our buns (and piggies) any!

      Piggies happily ate some sprinkled greens  so I’m sticking with sprinkling on food, rather than adding to their drinking water


    • Bam
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      I looked your probiotioc up GJ, but I couldn’t find what microorganisms it contains. I use a probiotic with my buns, I started 10 weeks ago. Yohio’s tummy got in order after a couple of weeks only, but Bam who’s always been prone to poopy butt, is still getting a dose every other day. I started with Protexin pro-fibre for rabbits, it has live brewer’s yeast which has been scientifically shown to survive the stomach acid and bile of rabbits and to be beneficial for them. Then I read this British article: probiotics article and found that enterococcus faecium too might be a good idea for rabbits. So I bought this probiotic too: synbiotic. At first I gave it in addition to the pro fibre and that’s when I really started to see a difference. Now I only give the capsules, they have the advantage of not adding lots of calories to the diet. I sprinkle the contents over wet greens. 

      Yohio is fine again, Bam’s butt is still intermittently poopy, but only marginally so. I can’t be 100% that it’s just the probiotics that have been good for them: These last few weeks they’ve both been given lots of fresh grass and dandelion and ground elder, that could have contributed to their improvement (although not Yohio so much since he was “cured” before things started growing in any quantity.) My buns can’t get as good a diet during winter as they can during the growth season (well obviously, perhaps). 


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I’ve just checked, and this one is brewer’s yeast too


    • Bam
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      So great! Can’t get that here in powder-form, just included in Profibre pellets or fibreplex paste. Since Bam doesn’t need even one extra calorie, I opted for the D-C.
      I hope you’ll soon see good results!


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Me too. Can’t you order from Amazon UK?

      It’s hard to judge to dose using powder, as the instructions are for either dissolving one scoop in 200 ml of drinking water, or sprinkling one scoop over an awfully large amount of food (300 g) but a check online suggests a bunny dose of brewer’s yeast is 1-2 g per day, and neither boy bun has had any where near that much powder, and the powder isn’t just brewer’s yeast. So, given my main aim is to increase the amount of greens both boys can eat without leaving icky poops, I’ve just sprinkled their supper greens too, though I had to make sure each pair didn’t keep swapping who has which leaf, as the girls don’t need any and the boys do. So now it’s a case of wait and see what the morning brings in the way of icky offerings!


    • Bam
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      Shipping from the UK is really expensive  If it weren’t I’d send for British rabbit stuff all the time  It might be possible to find sth in Germany, but my German language skills are not what they perhaps ought to be. I can basically just say Bitte anschnallen (fasten your seat-belts) and Kaninchen. 

      Your girls are made of stainless steel it seems! Probably why they survived as strays for as long as they did. 

      I don’t think you can overdose the yeast-probiotic though, on my jar of Profibre pellets it says unrestricted use (although if you really take them up on that you’ll end up with a seriously fat bunny. My buns find these pellets extremely yummy.) So I think you can experiment rather freely with dosage. 


    • Gina.Jenny
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      That’s annoying about the shipping.

      The article you gave the link to says it takes at least two weeks to see any benefit, but I’m an optimist, and they did take it with the very thing that they need it to help with. I’ll keep sprinkling the boys (inc piggies) greens and see how we go. With all ours at very healthy weights, a few extra calories isn’t any cause for concern, in fact Podge could probably do with them, at least until he out grows his delayed hyperactive kit-stage. And the vet confirmed Pippi is a nice weight when he had his jabs, and he’s stayed at a steady weight since.

      The article mentions cereal mix affecting the cecal microflora, and I would be surprised if some of the donated food Podge got didn’t include cheap muesli. The Supreme Science Selective pellets are high fibre and low calorie, as they contain no added sugar, unlike many of the cheaper ones that contain sweeteners such as molasses, and all the buns love them. They are super crunchy, which the buns all enjoy. I’ve just re-read the Harrington’s Optimium, they are sweetened with apple and grape, so not so low calorie, but they include a prebiotic, which is a bonus. These better quality pellets should hopefully help Podge’s system settle down too.

      I’m thankful how healthy our little girls are, esp after what they went through. Our first rescue wasn’t so lucky, and always had awful tummy problems. Maybe if I’d known then what I know now, I could have done more to help her, but we did our best, and she had three happy years with us, before passing peacefully in her sleep.


    • Bam
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      Just last night I listened to a webbinar on rabbit health by Molly Varga, renowned British rabbit vet (BVetMed CertZooMed DZooMed (Mammalian) MRCVS). When given the question about probiotics for bunnies she said:

      “Absolutely yes. Absolutely won’t hurt. Use one that has microorganisms that are naturally occurring in the rabbit gut.”

      So it seems we’re on the right track with our fluffballs =)


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Here’s Choco and Latte enjoying a tasty probiotic salad in the sunshine 

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxjuenZVpCqPX0x4UllIZXBxWUk/view?usp=sharing


    • redbunbun
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      We use AviPro Plus with our undernourished megacolon bunny. It’s been great for her; I highly recommend it! Not too expensive either.

      We order from PetVet UK, who deliver throughout Europe. I’m not sure about other parts of the world, though.


    • Bam
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      I looked that up, Redbunbun, it seems the type GJ has bought is based on the Avipro and made by the same company, but more suitable for animals that aren’t in very poor condition (or have a condition, like Sukka has). Cool! 

      avipro C


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Haven’t had a noticable reduction so far in squishy poops from Podge, but his normal ones are starting to be a better shaped and size, and are now hard to tell apart from everybun else’s. (I’m swapping halves of the dining room, every day, and the litterboxes are getting cleaned every second day, so on day two, each pair is using the same litterboxes that the other pair used the day before, to get them used to sharing them). He was producing a mix of tiny ones and massive ones. So I’m counting that as progress. 

       
      avipro C 

       Looking at this page, from the link given by bam, the Avipro plus is no longer includes a probiotic, and is now a “prebiotic soluble fibre based blend of electrolytes, glucose and vitamins”. Both formulas contain the prebiotic that encourages the growth of healthy gut flora, but if you want the probiotics, you need the ProC?


    • Bam
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      GJ, it seems like Avipro plus now is a prebiotic compound with vitamins and electrolytes, and that the company has split their probiotic-containing supplement into 2, one compound for birds (Avipro AVIAN) and one for small mammals, Avipro C. But the company Redbunbun uses, PetVetUK, still lists live bacteria as an ingredient in the Avipro plus, I quote “the live encapsulated bacteria colonise the animals gut for a short time” so it was a bit confusing to understand at first.

      Anyway the one you’ve chosen seems to be the exact right one for your needs. I’m glad you’ve seen improvement with the fecals.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I’m guessing the change of recipe is recent, and so some stores are still selling the older version? I wanted to highlight the change so anyone thinking of trying these didn’t get their bun the wrong one, which could be either, depending on the individual bun’s needs. But yes, what we have is the right one for our boys. It’s still only five days in, and I think I read somewhere to allow at least two weeks before seeing any changes? I’ve ended up giving the girls some too, as all three pairs, piggies n all, are firmly convinced that they need to swap leaves every time, to ensure they get the right one! It won’t do them any harm, it just means the pot goes down a bit faster, but thankfully its pretty cheap stuff.


    • Bam
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      No, it won’t do them any harm, but how cute is that, they’re swopping leaves?!


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I think they have to check they aren’t missing out on something better  

      They had their sprinkle on free cauliflower leaves today, courtesy of the lovely ladies at the market  nice and cold from the fridge, just what hot buns and piggy boys ordered 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Yes its ALWAYS a good idea to keep in with the market ladies, or veggie shop owner or the Waitrose veggie aisle person…. and don’t feel silly about asking !

      My veggie market shop people know me and although I don’t go in there very often, when I do, the guy goes out the back and brings through a mixture of bun-friendly stuff they would have just thrown out (if another bunny owner hasn’t got there first.. grrrrrrr) …. BRILL !!


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I’ve just ordered the E faecium and some more of the S cerevisiae
      for Podge and Pippi. 

      The first one has an icky name! Fingers crossed these work some magic and vanish all their icky poops! If they work their magic, their name won’t matter. As the bard said, ‘a rose by any other name’


    • Bam
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      They sure didn’t think about marketing when they named that first one


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Unless someone had a playground sense of humour!

      Buns and pigs tucking into probiotic broccoli on a bed of dried grass garnished with pellet croutons as tonight’s haute cuisine  


    • Gina.Jenny
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      The E faecium just arrived. I sprinkled the contents of one capsule over two small bits of cauliflower and held them so the boys ate them and the girls didn’t snatch them and run off with them. Both boys wolfed down their portions, E faecium and all! Yummy stuff!! No to see over the next few days if it helps.


    • Bam
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      My buns wolf down the e faecium powder too, on dandelion on a bed of fresh grass =) Keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll see result.


    • jerseygirl
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      You get your orders fast GJ, My product only arrived yesterday. There was another item on back order though, so I had to wait longer then the norm.
      TBH, the probiotics I got do not seem like what they description led me to believe. Plus, the bottle also only states the active ingredients, no others. :/
      Anyway, these contain: L.acidophilis, L.delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus, L. plantarum, L.rhamnosus,B bifidum, E faecium. Strep. salivarius subspecies thermophilus.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Quick is good when you are watching for results! E faecium is included in yours, and is the one bam said she is using on hers, and that I’m now using too. Does it say how much of each active ingredient there is?

      Pippi wolfed his down again, but Podge had to be offered his portion half a dozen times before he ate it this morning. I’m thinking of alternating the two different probiotics day and day about to see how that goes. Podge had almost normal droppings this morning, bar three weird teardrop shaped ones that shined like they’d been polished!! You could have made a matching set of teardrop earrings and necklace they looked so polished

      Look forward to hearing if you find it makes a difference.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Podge has now been on both probiotics for over a month now, alternating each one day and day about. I got them for two reasons, one his poops weren’t great, but mainly cos too much of anything green was causing him to leave a lot of large sticky poops around, which I don’t know if they were misformed, uneaten cecotropes, or soft normal poops. My guess is the later, as the probiotics have seemed to help reduce the number, size and stickiness, though not stop them altogether.

      In the past few days, Podge has been sampling some extras from the garden, and the improvement in his poops is amazing. Maybe the probiotics didn’t totally do the trick, but perhaps they paved the way for him to eat the plants that would, without the new foods causing any upset? His poops look almost normal. He has been tucking into as many dandelion stalks as he can get, a couple of large leaves from the ox-eye/shasta type daisies under the front window, and a piece of goose-grass/sticky-willy. Plus a lot of grass from the garden. I’m now willing the dandelions to grow and disperse their seeds twice as fast, we have plenty of the daisies and goose grass. I just hope his tummy doesn’t take a step back come winter, and have collected tons of dandelion seeds to see if I grow dandelions indoors or in the porch, over the winter. I’m also going to start growing herbs, as well as drying out lots of dandelion leaves.

      He has started to turn his nose up at greens sprinkled with the probiotics, so yesterday and today, I sprinkled them on a wet slice of carrot, and they went down together no arguing


    • Bam
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      So good to hear his poop is so much better! Very shiny poop are marking- poops, they are shiny due to an oily secretion that can smell strongly of onions. They are generally extra big.
      My buns decided to eat dandelion stalks too So now I’ve picked lots. Bam’s tummy always needs all the help it can get.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I did read that big shiny ones are territorial poops, and if he’d done normal ones too, I wouldn’t have been nearly so concerned. It didn’t seem right that almost all his poops were big sticky ones, that were often really soft and squishy, and sometimes had small individual cecal ‘grapes’ stuck to them. They were also in the middle of the hay box? Todays and yesterdays in the middle of the hay box look much more like normal litter box poops.

      Glad yours have seen bunny sense over such chompable free and healthy treats, and hope that they help Bam’s tum too. Have you tried him or Yohio on the goose grass?


    • jerseygirl
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      Podge has now been on both probiotics for over a month now, alternating each one day and day about. I got them for two reasons, one his poops weren’t great, but mainly cos too much of anything green was causing him to leave a lot of large sticky poops around, which I don’t know if they were misformed, uneaten cecotropes, or soft normal poops. My guess is the later, as the probiotics have seemed to help reduce the number, size and stickiness, though not stop them altogether.

      Good to hear you’re already noticing a change! Out of curiosity, did he use to get the icky poo after commercial greens or just any?
      Goosey is getting a lot of the excess cecals and unformed stuff at the moment, along with perfectly normal fecal droppings. I noticed it right after the episode with Potamus. Not sure if it’s a coincidence or if some stress has triggered it. I’m also on a new bale of hay but its from the same place, same paddock…

      I’m yet to get him on the probiotic, as P is on antibiotics currently. I suppose I can take him out and give to him separately, but I don’t want to increase any stress levels. I may be over thinking things…Lol ! Bunnies!


    • Gina.Jenny
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      He was getting a small portion broccoli each day, not ideal, I know, but it was what his foster mum had been feeding him, and I wanted to keep one part of his diet the same. His pellets during fostering were ‘whatever was donated’, so he had to adjust to what we had with no gradual change, so I felt keeping him on the carrots and broccoli he was used to was important, though the portions got smaller and smaller each day, until they were down to just a mouthful.

      For now, with them all spending 12 hours a day outside, I’m not buying any veg, supplementing all that nice fresh grass with the strawberry leaves, mint, dandelions, daisies and goose grass, that are growing for free in the garden! They get one portion of Harrington’s Pellets when they come in, and a portion of Select Science pellets when I go to bed, so they should be getting all the nutrients they need. (They have plenty of hay available whenever they are indoors, of course) The garden is full of clover too, though it doesn’t seem to get eaten much. I’m alternating studying with drying lots of grass, some dandelions and a few daisy leaves, so they will have a supply through the winter, though it will be small helpings with six of them sharing!

      I’ve spent this morning sewing parsley, mixed salad leaves, coriander, nasturtiums and curly kale, so hopefully they will be ready to eat in a few weeks 

      Home grown, organic stuff should be better for every bun n pigs tums and taste buds!


    • jerseygirl
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      I’ve fed broccoli and brussel sprouts to my guys without issue. It really comes down to the individual rabbit a lot of the time. One veg that is fine for many will cause upsets for a few. It’s just I’ve heard many rabbits that have had intermittent soft cecals doing so much better on natural forage. I’m not certain if it makes a further difference if it’s dried on not.

      I’ve spent this morning sewing parsley, mixed salad leaves, coriander, nasturtiums and curly kale, so hopefully they will be ready to eat in a few weeks

      Haha! Ive been getting the dandelion heads (Father Christmas Whiskers – do you call them that?) and spreading them in the flower bed. I do the same with the ribwort plantain seed heads.  It’s probably not the right way to go about it, but no harm in trying.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I’ve two tubs of dandelion seeds in there, hopeful of a nice batch of leaves and stalks

      Pippi, Gina and Jenny all ate sprouts throughout last winter no problem. The market was selling a whole stalk, head and all for £1, and they ate the lot, first the big head, then sections of stalk, with the sprouts still attached. They spent hours gnawing away, like a dog with a bone. Hopefully Podge’s tum will be ok with sprouts, cos no way will Gina be happy to miss out.


    • Bam
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      Based solely on his English spot-coloring, I’m thinking he could have a slight touch of megacolon. It’s about a cretain gene, the KIT gene, that controls how pigment cells migrate during development. It’s not known precisely how this gene interacts with other modifier-genes and environmental factors, so I’m thinking he could have just a wee touch of imperfect innervation of the gut/wide colon. Diet is the way to manage this. Redbunbun who wrote in the thread earlier has a megacolon bun that she manages with diet. Her bun’s problems are way bigger than Podge’s, Podge doesn’t seem to have other symptoms than poop irregularities. Here’s Redbunbun’s thread about Sukka’s megacolon: https://binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/54/aft/140315/Default.aspx

      This is just a thought I had, it might be completely unrelated to megacolon. My bunny Bam is the opposite of an English spot (he’s all black) and he has a tummy that can go out of whack very easily. He can be fine for months, then wham, he gets sticky poop.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      I had been wondering about megacolon myself, and am planning to talk to the vet when Podge goes for his annual jabs this month. His poops this morning were almost normal, a bit large and misshapen, but a nice colour and quantity. He had a big pile of dandelion stalks yesterday, and I’m convinced now these are the best thing for him, combined with the alternating days of each probiotic, and the high fibre Select Science pellets. I’ve started a load of seeds growing, and plan to start more, so we have a healthy mix of organic greens, inc herbs, throughout the year for all the buns and pigs.

      We he was registered, and I explained what I’d been told about him not being neutered and why, I was advised that testes left deep in the abdomen are a high cancer risk, and it might come down to the high risk of removing them versus the high risk of leaving them with the cancer potential.

      From reading about megacolon, its not curable, and diet is the best way to manage it where possible. I’ll update here when he sees the vet.


    • Bam
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      I didn’t want to worry you, but you of course know that. I should’ve realized you’ve already looked into megacolon. Diet is the way to go of course, regardless. I recently switched Bam over to Science Select Mature rabbits (don’t know his age but I’ve had him for so long I know he is mature, my little darling). That plus the probiotics has helped him, and the large amount of natural forage he’s getting now probably helps too. I’d so want to be able to grow stuff all year round but the climate won’t really allow that. Kale is good though, it’s resistant to like -10 degrees C. It’s just that the slugs eat the baby kale now so I don’t know if I’ll be getting any. I’m on slug detail every evening now, I’ve picked hundreds and hundreds this week only =/

      Stupid testicle. But perhaps the testicle was the reason he became yours, otherwise he’d probably have been snatched up by someone else looking to adopt. So in a way we should all be grateful for that stupid testicle, him included.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      At least he’s ended up in a home where he’s getting the best care possible for his tum. Plus all those sprints up and down the stairs must really help with gut motility, and will be a sure way to tell when something is wrong, give how much he loves his stairs.

      I assume the issues with the testicle is why he failed to get adopted for so long, I was willing to take him knowing he had that problem, and even if I’d known he might have megacolon, I would still have taken him.

      He seems happy enough to have come here, and so is his BB fan club


    • Bam
      Moderator
      15919 posts Send Private Message

      He is a very lucky bunny, and we are very lucky to get to hang out with him online! =)

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Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit pro-biotics