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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Sudden, major loose poops — what do we do?

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    Hey all!  I just noticed a majorly wet, poopy bottom on poor Teddy, my 7-year old Lionhead/Jersey Wooley mix.  I’ve never seen anything quite like this before and would love some help in knowing what to do!

    So he was eating normally last night, though in the morning only like 80% of the greens were eaten.  He ate some of the flower topper of the morning hay, but wasn’t interested in the hay itself.  At lunchtime he ate his favorite Oxbow Natural Science tablet but didn’t seem too eager to have pellets.  Then at dinner just now he nibbled some more flower topper but didn’t seem interested in greens, even the tiny pieces of kale the bunnies get in their salad, so I decided it was time for a tummy rub and some simethicone (that’s worked before when he’s been iffy).  But when I picked him up I noticed some soft round poops falling off him.  Then when I looked at his bottom I saw it was ALL wet and brown (the wet area was several inches across), with a bunch of mushy poop in the middle. It was such a big mess that I had to use the sink sprayer with some lukewarm water to hose off his bottom, even though I know we should avoid getting bunnies wet — there just didn’t seem to be an alternative!  (I got just his bottom and feet and then towel-dried him carefully, and he seems okay.) While I was doing that some soft, viscous bits of poop washed off him — kind of like the “string of pearls” but softer. 

    Poor bunny!!!    He seems at like 80% otherwise — not quite as strong and fast as normal (e.g. in eluding me when I try to pick him up), but generally pretty much OK, not too weak or lethargic, and not showing signs of pain or discomfort. 

    What do you think could be going on?  And how do I help him?  (I am very reluctant to take him and Athena, his BFF, to the vet before exhausting all other options, since they’ve both gotten stasis from the stress of that before.)  Not much changed, except they started getting slightly more parsley (due to bigger bunches from a new store), and Athena has been shedding.  (I’ve been trying to get the loose fur off her with damp hands several times a day to prevent issues for her or Teddy.)  Oh also I gave them a tiny bit of banana twice this week (like, 1 teaspoon each).  I thought such a small amount would be OK, but it was quite ripe, and maybe that was the culprit.  :/

    So should I let him be and tempt him with more dry food like the flower topper (dried clover blossoms, rose petals, and chamomile flowers)?  Or try to get him to take some tepid tea with Benebac?  (I’ve never figured out how to give true liquids through an oral syringe.)  Or is simethicone appropriate?  I have my Kathy Smith bunny health books but they don’t say a lot on this topic.  Any advice would be much appreciated!!  Thank you so much. 


    Bunny bum baths are an acceptable bath-you did well. They get very chilled when wet but a local bum clean is what was needed. They can still get chilled from a bum bath so towel dry well and if he’ll let you blow dry (from a good distance, use your hand so you can monitor how warm it is and not burn him) do a little blow drying. Monitor for shivering (and if he’s shivering go back to blowdrying and/or wrap him up in a towel and warm him up.

    I hope it was the banana! I wouldn’t give any extra food or treats, hay hay hay is best. If you have to offer treats to get him to eat the flower topper is probably best though
    Continue to monitor, and if you have another episode, get in touch with the vet and see what she says. As long as he’s eating and you don’t find a dirty bum tomorrow I think you are ok.


    Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I’m keeping an eye on him and he doesn’t seem to be shivering. He’s sitting on his rug and intermittently grooming himself, and seems like normal, but I’ll keep close watch.

    He’s not eating hay — I haven’t seen him eat it today. :1 And before reading this I tried another offering of hay topper but he refused it. That’s pretty abnormal for him. Though I had just insulted his dignity (not to mention his masculinity (; ) quite recently, and he’s always been a bun who doesn’t like to be told when to eat.

    I am wondering how to figure out the line between tempting him to eat since his appetite is far below normal today, and not wanting to upset his tummy further. What do you think?

    Also, is there a good way to get benebac to him if he’s not eating greens?

    Should I give him simethicone?  I didn’t get to that before finding the poopy bottom and cleaning him up.

    Finally, should I be trying to rehydrate him? He seemed to have lost a bit of fluid in the poopy bottom episode.

    Thank you so much again!!


    p.s. To clarify, he has now refused to eat anything in the last hour or so — even flower topper or dried willow leaves, which are usually his favorite. He’s still acting normal otherwise, but I’m wondering if I should be doing more for him.


    p.p.s. I’ve been staying up to keep an eye, and both bunnies are behaving normally apart from Teddy not eating — although he did just nibble some dried flowers I put in front of him. I’m going to get some sleep but will check midway through the night and would love any advice on the questions in my earlier post Thanks!


    I’ve had a bunny come out with major poopy butt, once actually leaving thick puddles of poop which really scared me- and they did recover within a day. I would definitely give Benebac, but by itself because I’m not sure if anything warm or cold would kill any of the beneficial ingredients in it. If you have Critical Care, I would mix that with water and syringe feed- if not, add a bit of water to pellets and microwave. The pellets soften and fluff up- add more water and syringe feed. I don’t think simethicone would hurt even if he doesn’t have gas, so you could give that too.

    If Teddy isn’t eating anything at all tomorrow morning or he has more runny poop, I would take him to the vet. I definitely relate to worrying about the stress of the vet trip making things worse and trying not too go there unless absolutely necessary. But if they are not improving with home remedies, we sometimes have no choice.

    Hopefully it won’t come to that- like I said, I’ve seen major runny poop and decreased appetite with spontaneous recovery, and recovery with the home care outlined above. I hope you awaken to a happy Teddy nibbling on hay! When my,buns stop eating, I try to entice them to eat whatever treat they like. Good luck- you’ve done everything right so far!


    I too would absolutely give benebac and encourage eating, pellet mash is fine. These things can happen and it has to do with the bacteria in the tummy. I have seen it in my Bam and then he’s just snapped back in a couple of days with extra doses of probiotics. Do you see any round poop at all?

    That he’s grooming himself is great. Really sick buns won’t bother to groom. Nibbling is also great, again really sick buns won’t nibble.

    See a vet if he doesn’t get better, he could need antibiotics for overgrowth of the wrong gut bacteria. They might want a fecal sample, to look for bad bacteria and/or parasites.


    Oh poor {{{Teddy}}}. Hope you find him in better spirits by morning.

    I don’t think simethicone is worth it at the moment. But probiotics certainly couldn’t hurt. Have you even tried put some benebac on his front paws and see if he’ll lick it off himself?
    For encouraging more food, you could try some rolled oats. Things like the hay topper and dried willow would be really good for him. They seem to instinctively know what will help them.

    Do you think he might have some arthritis?

    Today I has a pamphlet in my letterbox for a mobile vet service. Were you ever able to locate something like that in your area?


    Thank you so much, everyone! Teddy is definitely in good spirits, hopping around and up to his usual bunny antics (exploring, trying to dig to China under the bed, etc.). He nibbled some flowers at breakfast and ate his Oxbow Digestive Support tablet like normal at lunchtime, though he didn’t seem to want pellets. I decided to let him back in the bedroom where he can exercise today (had kept the bunnies in the living room where their litterboxes, food, and water are yesterday afternoon and evening to encourage more eating and drinking) and they both seem very happy with that. (I get worried when they camp out reclusively under the bed when they’re sick, which is why I wanted to keep them out, but today he’s not doing that at all, seems quite energetic.)

    Thank you so much for the great advice! I will keep sprinkling some BeneBac, and that’s a great idea about his front paws — I never thought of that. Also I normally mix some Critter Be Better pellets in with their Oxbow Adult pellets, because CBB has probiotics, and I’ve upped the ratio of CBB pellets (in case he eats them). I’ll keep offering more hay topper too, and thankfully we have more of those great willow wreathes with leaves from the BinkyBunny store! (They’re working on one now.)

    I don’t think he has arthritis, as this was pretty quick and sudden, and today he’s been hopping around investigating, stretching up to sniff things, digging enthusiastically, etc. But that’s something to keep in mind if this were to return!

    And thanks for remembering, Jerseygirl! I ended up finding just one service that has a decently bunny-literate mobile vet, but they’re based several hours away and not usually available for 2-3 days.

    Ohhh, Athena just did a “fast bunny”!! That’s what I call when she races into the room as fast as she can go — a sign of happiness. I’ll take that as a good sign! Whenever I’m not sure if I should worry about one of the bunnies I watch the other one, and if they don’t seem concerned that reassures me.


    You guys, Teddy is so much better!!    He’s eating everything now — not yet quite as much as usual, but I feel like he’s out of the woods.    Thank you SOOO much for all your help!!!  I am really grateful. 


    Yay for (((Teddy))) keep chomping little fella!



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