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Forum DIET & CARE Reoccurring cecal dysbiosis seemingly caused by nothing

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    • jessedw123
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        Hi, guys. I am new here and just looking to see if any new information can be provided. I post around to a lot of different rabbit groups but this seems to be a topic that not many touch on deeply.

         

        My 3 year old rabbit, male, unneutered, thuringer, has on and off cecal dysbiosis. He’s on hay and water only, and has been since the beginning of December last year, so almost 2 months. He was put on it because he was having slowed digestion and we weren’t sure why, so did that to be safe, and then the vet told us to stay on that diet since we weren’t sure what was causing it. He was doing okay, up until last week. He started having cecal dysbiosis again, but it would resolve in about a day. This happened 3 times last week, then he had a good 2 days. I thought we were in the clear, until this morning, he had it again in a very mushy form. I was actually worried he had diarrhea since it looked different than what it usually is, but it definitely looks like mushy cecotropes. His box was cleaned late last night, almost at midnight, and is full of healthy poops.

         

        I called the vet and they said they’d put me on the vet’s work list so I am waiting for a call from the vet. I’m just worried about what is causing it. He’s had no major changes to his diet, the only thing was last week, Monday, so 9 days ago, he had about 5 or 6 pellets. I regretted it after I did it, but it was after I had vacuumed in his room and he was very upset and I wanted to offer him some food to make sure he wasn’t too afraid to eat. I assumed the soft cecotropes after that was a response to the pellets, but now it’s been over a week. Could he still be reacting to that? Why would it go away and come back if that’s the case? He’s also shedding currently. He had some stringy poops with hair in there and he’s also very cranky about shedding. Could the stress of shedding cause it? Could the hair he’s digesting cause it? I just was really hoping he wouldve gotten through this episode by now and am worried. Is chronic cecal dysbiosis a thing?


      • DanaNM
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          Unfortunately some buns do end up with chronic cecal dysbiosis. It’s possible there is a genetic component that can start to cause issues around age 3-4. Some have very sensitive stomachs and can’t have pellets (or they are sensitive to a particular pellet ingredient), but some just seem to never really get back on track.  Do his healthy poops look normal in size and shape? Also how is his weight? The concern is often that cecal dysbiosis buns have trouble keeping weight on.

          Have you tried a probiotic with him? There are a few of them on the market now. Bene-bac is pretty popular but there are also some rabbit-specific ones out there now. Some people also find their buns do well with incorporating some natural forage, such as dried dandelion or other safe weeds. Fennel can be a really good herb for buns with digestive issues.

          I doubt that vacuuming caused this. Shedding can cause some digestive upsets (usually gas or slowing) but usually not cecal dysbiosis.

           

          . . . 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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            The other question I forgot to ask is whether he is experiencing any pain or discomfort during these episodes of dysbiosis? I had a foster bun with horrible dysbiosis issues and the hard part was they coincided with episodes of terrible gas that caused him a lot of pain and would go through cycles of stasis and dysbiosis. He got daily cisapride that helped manage the stasis but not the dysbiosis.

             

            . . . 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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              How well is he eating hay? What kind of hay is it? Of course, we have to ask, have you ruled out dental problems? Dental problems, even if they are still eating “OK”, can cause GI problems because their food isn’t chewed properly.

              As Dana said, some bunnies are just susceptible. We don’t really know why, but it does seem to be some kind of genetic link. I agree that if you haven’t tried a probiotic, then it might not be a bad idea to see if it helps. There are also some digestive support supplements that I know people have tried with their buns. You could also try a different type of grass hay if he is currently only getting one kind.

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          Forum DIET & CARE Reoccurring cecal dysbiosis seemingly caused by nothing