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Dear Dana,
 Our 14 month old male dwarf hotot rabbit started getting ill in December. His poops were either over an inch long or very very small. Some of them had mucous. Some very pudding soft (the big ones)and the small were stone-hard. He was not eating very much and had lost some weight. Our vet prescribed metronidiazole for 10 days, 0.6ml bid; however after five days when his poops started seeming more normal and the antibiotic would make him uncomfortable a couple hours after dosage, our vet told us to stop the flagyl. In February, the same symptoms recurred and we started him back on the antibiotics, this time for ten days. Again, his poops got back to normal and he started eating again. Two weeks ago, the symptoms started back up again, but with less mucous. His poops were very inconsistent, some almost an inch and a half, others were small and hard like stone. He was eating very little. When he hadn't pooped for over 24 hours we took him back into our vet who prescribed metacam for pain and more metronidiazole with the same dosage. She also referred us to another vet who specialized in treating rabbits' teeth. The other vet told us his teeth were perfect. Freddy's weight was 1.52kg, which had been 1.37 in December. The specialist could not tell us what was wrong with Freddy. We are at a loss as to what to do. We are afraid that once he goes off the antibiotics again, he will just get sick again. We stopped the metacam after the first since he did not seem in pain and it was given to him because our vet thought he had teeth pain, which is not the case.
His diet consists of Oxbow timothy hay and pellets for adults as well as 8-10 leaves of kale daily since December. We suspect that it may have been a bad bunch of hay that started it all, as we had a box of very dusty hay that was not Oxbow and may have had mold, we don't know.
 It also seems that after he eats, his stomach gets much bigger right after. When we gently rub his stomach and force him to run around, this is what makes him start pooping again. He really dislikes the metronidiazole and challenges us when we try to feed it to him.
Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Your help is much appreciated. You have been of much help in the past.
Thank you,

Hi Kimberly

Could you send a photo of a group of his typical poops?  With his coloration, I worry that he might have "megacolon" or what some call "cowpoop syndrome", which is congenital.

I will be better able to tell if I can see a sampling of his poops.  If they are large and misshapen, and somewhat rubbery, it's not good.



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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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