Bunnies can’t speak to us like kids do whenever they’re not feeling too well. For this reason, knowing about their health status can be a bit challenging. However, there are other ways to know about your rabbit’s well-being.
And a common way is through their poop. That’s right! If you just got your first rabbit, you might not know this, but rabbit poops say a lot about their health.
However, their poop can come in different ways and a majority are abnormal. This article will reveal all you need to know about the different rabbit poop and what they tell you about your bunny’s health.
That’s right, fecal pellets refer to normal and healthy rabbit poop. Fecal pellets are quite similar to cocoa puffs in appearance.
Furthermore, this is the kind you should be happy seeing your bunny producing. Moreover, you need to get familiar with your bunny’s normal poop.
It can help give you clues about what seems right or not in your rabbit's diet and health, in general.
Moreover, you can easily identify a normal rabbit poop with the description below:
A normal rabbit poop should be about 7-12 mm in diameter. This means they could be as small as green peas to about the size of chicken peas.
They take the form of tiny round balls. However, some poops might occasionally have a slightly different structure and that’s normal.
But if you continue to see non-round poop very often, it could be a sign of digestive issues. Hence, you should take your rabbit to the vet.
A normal rabbit poop color can be dark brown to light one. Whether dark or light brown color, what matters the most is if the poops have a uniform color.
Healthy rabbit poop doesn’t smell bad at all. In fact, most of the odor in a bunny's cage or litter box comes from their urine.
It should feel hard, not soft. And If broken open, it should appear dusty inside.
Now you should know that rabbits produce two kinds of normal poops. And we’ve just looked at the first one – “fecal Pellets”. Moreover, the second normal rabbit dropping you may see are cecotropes.
Similar to rabbit normal pellets, cecotropes are also healthy kinds of rabbit poop. In addition, cecotropes are tiny clusters of soft pellets that are equally loaded with nutrients for your rabbit.
They are essential dietary items formed from the indigestible parts of a rabbit’s diet. So when you often see or hear about a rabbit eating its poop, these kinds of poops are cecotropes.
Rabbits eat them to receive all the nutrients their food offers. Cecotropes are important for your bunnies.
Moreover, here's how to easily identify cecotropes:
Appear tiny on their own with a diameter that’s only a few millimeters. However, when they’re in clusters, they can be about 1-2 in () small.
Their shape depends on how many single cecotrope clusters together. Cecotropes normally appear in a berry-like shape together.
These bunny poops are normally dark brown with a little shine due to the thin mucus layer that covers them.
They can stink a lot, especially when the thin membrane covering them is torn.
These kinds of rabbit poops have a sticky and soft texture, which can easily turn to paste.
It’s rare to see so many cecotropes lying around like normal fecal pellets. This is because rabbits normally eat them directly from their anus.
Moreover, rabbits don’t normally produce too many cecotropes. However, when they do, it mostly happens because their diet is high in sugar content.
So take note of this and make sure your bunny isn't getting too much sugar from the foods you serve to it.
Oftentimes, rabbit poop can be in a chain form. They’ll appear like pearls on a single string.
But in this case, the string holding these poops together is a rabbit hair strand. In addition, this poop is quite common and your bunny is likely to produce it.
However, it’s a common poop you’ll see long-haired rabbit breeds producing. During the seasons that rabbits shed fur, they tend to consume more fur. And this could also bring about this kind of poop.
However, your rabbit shouldn’t produce so much of this poop. A large amount of these kinds of poops indicates that your rabbit is consuming plenty of hair.
See how to identify strung-together rabbit poop below:
Poops strung together should all have a similar size. And if the gaps between every poop strung together are similar, it indicates your rabbit’s digestive system is doing pretty well.
They should appear in the form of well-rounded balls. However, some poops on the hair strand can be misshapen, but it’s not always like this.
Every poop on the string should be uniform in color. It could be a dark or light brown color.
Rabbit cannot vomit. So when so much hair gets into their system, they can only excrete it like poop. However, you should know that it’s a lot of work for a rabbit’s digestive tract to push these hairs through the system.
This can likely form hairballs and block your rabbit system. Hence, you can prevent this if you take your time each day to groom your rabbit.
Brush their fur at least once a day. This greatly helps in reducing the amount of hair your rabbit ingests.
Rabbits regularly produce new poop which is a sign that their digestive system is working fine. Bunnies' digestive system works in a very smooth and orderly way.
As a result, the normal poops they excrete are very similar in size and color, and structure. Nevertheless, a rabbit’s gut can slow down a bit sometimes.
This, in turn, changes the form of their poop. It can start to appear doubled – two poop colliding together. Moreover, this kind of poop appears longer but retains the color and texture of healthy poop.
Furthermore, if you see a few of these poop around plenty of healthy poop (fecal pellets), it’s normal and not something you need to worry about. It can be momentarily and occur when your rabbit gets stressed suddenly.
However, a lot of double poops and indicate that your rabbit’s gut is slowing down beyond normal. At this point, you should see a vet as soon as possible. Your rabbit’s gut health matters a lot!
Rabbits' poops are small, but there are times their poop can appear much smaller. And this tiny kind of poop is a sign that something isn’t fine with your rabbit.
Additionally, it can come from stress or a disturbing illness. Nevertheless, if you’ve checked and your rabbit has no sign of illness whatsoever, then you shouldn't panic.
Small-sized droppings should return to normal, healthy pellets if everything is okay with your rabbit. It can take a couple of hours.
However, if your rabbit's poo continues to be pretty small, it means your bunny is ill or experiencing discomfort. Hence, you shouldn't hesitate to take your rabbit to a vet.
These are small misshapen a rabbit's poop, which normally means your rabbit is not doing fine. When you notice these kinds of poops, you need to see the vet.
These deformed poop are normally caused by dehydration and poor feeding. In addition, it can result from gut blockage and when food can’t pass through your rabbit’s digestive tract easily.
Above all, you should take this seriously and have it treated like any other serious health issue in rabbits. However, there are situations where it’s normal to see your rabbit's poop like this.
A normal occurrence is when rabbits are recovering from GI stasis or surgeries they had.
Cecal dysbiosis is another kind of abnormal rabbit poo. Moreover, they are cecotropes that are uniform and not in clusters.
Furthermore, these uniformed cecotropes have a paste-like texture, which is equally sticky. This gummy texture makes it easily stick to a rabbit’s butt area and eventually form a ball of poop.
In addition, cecal dysbiosis stinks a lot and normally will attract flies. This abnormal rabbit poop can occur when gut bacteria in rabbit systems become unstable.
Moreover, these poops are common symptoms of stress or diseases. Some of the most common causes of this unhealthy poop include:
Low fiber diet
High sugar diet
Urinary tract disorders
Upper respiratory diseases
Cecal dysbiosis isn’t harmful especially when it lasts for only a short while. It can resolve on its own.
However, if your rabbit's poop keeps appearing as uniformed cecotropes for a long time, you should take them to the vet so it doesn’t develop into a very serious condition.
Another mushy rabbit poop is true diarrhea. And just like the uniformed cecotropes, they are equally cecotropes but very mushy ones.
In other words, true diarrhea is just the same as runny stool. Moreover, this kind of abnormal poop is mostly common in baby bunnies.
That’s right! When baby rabbits are weaned very early, they’re likely to experience true diarrhea. This is because they don’t yet have strong immunity against harmful bacteria that can cause problems in their bodies.
On the other hand, adult rabbits can also experience diarrhea, but it comes mostly from poisoning or infections from parasites.
Nevertheless, mushy cecotropes are not common rabbit poops, but they are dangerous. Hence, as soon as you see your bunny producing these kinds of poop, don’t hesitate to see a vet.
Generally, rabbit fecal pellets dry up after a while and it’s natural. But when rabbits' pellets appear dry immediately after they poop, it can mean your rabbit is dehydrated.
These kinds of rabbit poop do not only appear dry but also crumbly and out of form. It can be dry to the extent that freshly secreted poop will be so fragile and can fall apart easily.
Additionally, you should know that intestinal disturbances, a low-fiber diet, or appetite loss can equally bring about dry rabbit poop.
First, this is way different from the thin mucus that normally covers healthy cecotropes, which we discussed earlier. This particular mucus in rabbit poop is very easy to notice.
This mucus has a jelly-like appearance with a thick and slimy nature. Moreover, it normally appears connecting rabbit fecal pellets.
Sometimes this mucus covers rabbit poop entirely. However, you can also see your rabbit producing this mucus separately without being attached to fecal pellets.
Furthermore, you should know that his abnormal rabbit poop mostly happens due to intestinal disturbances. And some common causes of these intestinal issues are cecal impaction, parasite infection, or mucoid enteropathy.
Moreover, it's very common to see your rabbit producing this poop when they are experiencing GI Stasis. More specifically, it happens when they are about to experience it or afterward.
In addition, mucus in poop is another rare kind of rabbit dropping. Nevertheless, it's the kind of rabbit poop you should worry about. If your rabbit produces it, visit the vet along with a sample of the poop.
Numerous factors can bring about an abnormality in rabbit poops. However, some factors are the most common causes and we’ll be looking at them below:
Feeding rabbits foods high in sugar can create problems in their gastrointestinal tract. And these problems can range from mild ones to serious ones.
Moreover, a diet lacking fiber can also cause problems in your rabbit's digestive system. Moreover, a major symptom of these gastrointestinal problems in rabbits is unhealthy poop.
Some common parasites in rabbits' guts include roundworms, tapeworms, and pinworms. These parasites can cause diarrhea or runny poops in rabbits.
Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system. And this makes their gut vulnerable to illness including the ones that aren't even associated with digestion.
Additionally, if rabbits experience discomfort due to certain illnesses or feel stressed, they can start to have abnormal droppings.
This condition does no good to rabbits and many other small pets. If a rabbit is overweight, it won’t move around very much.
Moreover, lack of movement or exercise normally makes their gut slow down. As a result, rabbits will start to excrete mushy cecotropes and some other abnormal poops that appear tiny or deformed.
When you notice your rabbit isn’t pooping at all or stopped pooping for a long period, it might be experiencing gastrointestinal Stasis. This condition has to do with the slowing down or total halting of a rabbit’s gut.
In other words, GI stasis means your rabbit’s digestion has stopped functioning. And the result is your rabbit not pooping. Furthermore, a vet needs to attend to this condition immediately.
Your bunny can recover if you notice the symptoms early. However, if your rabbit experiences GI stasis for long it can become a more serious condition and lead to death.
To help you easily monitor this condition, here are some signs that a rabbit is experiencing GI Stasis:
Rabbit refuses to eat – Not even their favorite snack!
Tommy produces loud sounds or none
Rabbit feels tired
Your bunny might have a hunched posture
A low-fiber diet
Very Little or no exercise
Stress and anxiety
Pain from illness or injuries – kidney diseases, dental issues, etc.
Serve your bunny lots of hay every day. They are high in fiber!
Eliminate stressors. Ensure your rabbit's environment comfortable as possible
Encourage your bunny to engage in lots of physical exercises very often
Keep your pet hydrated
Visit the vet regularly for check-ups
Monitor your rabbit for GI stasis symptoms from time to time
To conclude, you now understand how the nature of rabbit poop can tell you about your pet's well-being.
As a rabbit owner, you need to be able to differentiate rabbit normal poops from abnormal ones. Hence, you know the kind of poops you should be happy seeing.
It's equally important that you make it a habit to monitor your rabbit’s droppings from time to time.
This way, you’ll be aware of their health status. More especially, it helps to keep you updated about the condition of your rabbit's digestive system.
Now that you know so much about rabbit poop, you shouldn't forget that rabbits can make a mess everywhere with their poop.
This is where potty training your rabbit comes in handy. It's easy to do. Click here for the complete step-by-step guide!