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Rabbits/Feces clinging to the hind end


My indoor rabbit has an issue with her feces clinging to her hind end. The feces will build up into a ball that seems attached to her skin more so than hair. She is not a long-haired rabbit. She will let me brush her on her head and back but not on her belly so it is difficult for me to keep an eye on the area. I had a dwarf rabbit that had the same issue. I am just trying to find out if this is normal. If it is normal, should I attempt to remove it by clipping around it or just let it fall off (which it does after a while but another one starts right up). If it is not normal what can I do to prevent this from happening? She does have feces that drops into the litter box both the round ones and the soft ones that they should eat. She also has no issues with urination. I have looked through the book I purchased about rabbits but this issue is not addressed. I would appreciate any assistance you can provide. Thank you

Dear Michelle,

It's not normal for the "buttball" to accumulate, and it's an indication that she can't reach herself to clean and eat her cecotropes.  If she's a bit pudgy, that can cause this problem.  Arthritis in older rabbits can also result in an inability to reach and remove cecotropes.

An abundance of simple carbohydrates also can cause mushy cecotropes that collect around the bunghole.  Please read:

It explains the various causes of mushy cecotropes (due to cecal dysbiosis).  While some people mistakenly believe this is due to giving a bunny a diet too rich in fresh greens, this is almost never the problem.  However, it could have something to do with his, if bun is getting the wrong type of food.  Please check that here:

The second most common cause of this problem is probably pain/stress from dental disorders, such as molar spurs or other dental problem.  Please read:

You will need an experienced rabbit vet to help you, and you can find one via the Vet Referral Listings linked here:

The vet can also check for intestinal parasites (if possible, bring a very fresh sample of bunny poop with you in a clean ziplock bag), such as coccidia or roundworms. These are not particularly common in adult rabbits, but it never hurts to be sure.

In the meantime, you can safely clean bunny and keep him comfortable with the techniques described here:

I hope this helps you get to the bottom of the problem and get it under control.



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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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