Rabbits/Mushy poops

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QUESTION: I have a rather young rabbits. I am not exactly sure of the age but I am told somewhere around 9-10 weeks old. He is a ruby eyed white flemish giant. I took him for an initial check up at my vet and he was given a clean bill of health. However this morning I noticed he was having mushy poops. Not cecals. These look like normal round poops only they are mushy and not hard. What could be causing this? He is still acting completely normal.

ANSWER: It could be a change in diet.  To many treats?  To many veggies to soon when his body is not used to them yet.  It could also be coccidiosis or an internal parasite.  I highly recommend that you collect a stool sample and take it to your vet.  If they have already done an initial check-up they should be able to do the stool sample without having to see him again.  Baby bunnies are HIGHLY susceptible to coccidiosis infections.  They can be fatal and often times the first signs are mushy poop.  

I am only guessing but since he is a purebred Flemish Giant he probably came from a breeder?  There are very few purebred Flemish Giants in rescues.  While I truly believe there are many responsible breeders out there, there are some things that are more prevalent in bunnies that come from breeders.  Because of the higher volume of rabbits they have they can often have parasites in their rabbitries without even knowing it.  I am most certainly not bashing breeders but most of them have far to many bunnies to be able to cost effectively have fecal samples done on each one of them.  For the safety of your new bun I think this is very important.  Even if they did a fecal sample during his initial check-up some things do not show until the bunny has symptoms.

I also recommend feeding him only high quality timothy hay (I prefer Ox-bow) and only a small amount of high quality pellets (again I like Ox-bow).  I would lay off the veggies and treats if you are giving them until he is a little older.

Here is an article you might find useful:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html

Good luck

Pam

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: He doesn't get any treats yet and no veggies. He came from a rescue as I don't really advocate buying from breeders. I will collect a sample Monday morning and take it in with him as I take him back to the vet. I am actually trying to change him over to Oxbow but he doesn't seem to want to give up his current food. When I emailed his vet I sent in a picture of his poop and they said it was likely stress of the move along with changing of his food but want to look more closely at it to make sure it isn't more serious.

He is my first rabbit and I've been going by http://www.rabbit.org as far as his diet goes. Is this a good website?

Answer
I am happy to hear he came from a rescue!!!  I would still have the fecal sample tested.  Baby bunnies are so susceptible to coccidiosis.  I agree it wouldn't hurt to check for it just in case.

Rabbit.org is the best web-site available for rabbit care.  It sounds like you are doing everything right for your new friend.  I hope everything turns out okay for him.

Good luck

Pam

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Paula Murdock-Briggs

Experience

I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Organizations
Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

Education/Credentials
President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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