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Rabbits/Nursing Doe with Soft Stool


My rabbit has kits that are 12 days old and doing great. But about 7 or 8 days ago. She began having soft stool. She has been on the same pellets now for awhile. After giving birth, she was ravenous.  I did increase her Romaine/Leafy Lettuce intake as well as gave her a 1/2 carrot a day (she never had a carrot before her kits). I have stopped giving her her greens but the soft stool is not stopping. Its a mess/it smells and the babies are getting ready to start being mobile soon. She is a big Alfalfa Hay eater, loves it. The timothy Hay is eaten but not gobbled up. Because she is nursing I am afraid to take away her pellets. She is drinking an awful lot and is always near her litter box. So What should I do? What diet should I try. This is a terrible mess.

Dear Stacey,

Your bunny appears to be suffering from chronic cecal dysbiosis, a condition not uncommon in rabbits for several reasons.  You can read more about it here:

Note that the most common reason for this condition is incorrect diet.  You can check here to compare what your bunny is getting with what is a healthy diet that promotes intestinal health:

Cryptic health problems also can cause stress, and this can trigger GI slowdown in rabbits, resulting in cecal dysbiosis and messy bottom.  Anything from urinary tract infection, arthritis, or dental problems may be responsible.  Dental problems are especially common triggers of GI slowdown, especially in short-faced rabbits such as lops and dwarfs.  You can read more about this here:

You will need the help of a good rabbit vet to figure out the problem and treat it appropriately, and you can find one here:

Intestinal parasites (e.g., coccidia, roundworms, tapeworms) are not a very common cause of this problem in adult rabbits, but the vet may wish to check for them, just to be sure.  

In the meantime, here are some tips for keeping her clean until you can get her to a rabbit-savvy vet:

There's a possibility that the stress of taking care of the babies could be contributing to the condition, but I'd want to rule out the most common possibilities first.  

I hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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