Rabbits/Bunny with soft stools
QUESTION: I have 2 purebred mini lop females, both spayed and 13months old. One can eat anything and has no digestive problems but the smaller of the two has bouts of soft stools (not runny, just very soft) which through a process of elimination I have traced back to Burgess Excel Junior and Dwarf Rabbit nuggets (from the UK, very high quality). The problem went away for several weeks but came back when I reintroduced the nuggets. She also does normal stools and plenty of them! They have plenty of meadow and oaten hay and Burgess Excel Dandelion and Marigold herbage as well as kale, cauliflower leaves and mint. They love their nuggets which I usually feed to them by hand. They come running as soon as they hear me open the container. I was wondering if the light nuggets for overweight rabbits might not have the same effect on her as I would assume they wouldn't be as rich. She is tiny only weighing 1.2 kg. She is active and healthy in every other way and has a good appetite. I feel that the nuggets form part of their healthy diet and they love them so much it seems such a shame if they can't have them. It is also a lovely time for us a I hand feed them.I have also been giving her Oxbow Digestive support. I would really appreciate your advice in this matter.
It's possible the light formula would work better for her since the fat content would be lower and nutrients would be higher. It's also possible there's just something with the composition of the pellets that just doesn't agree with her. It can't hurt to give it a shot and see, but please be vigilant and stop at the first sign of soft stool.
Also keep in mind that, in the wild, the nuggets wouldn't be a part of their diet, so eliminating it is not going to harm them. You sound like you otherwise provide a really well balanced diet for your buns, so the removal of that element would not be a big deal. To keep with the interaction, maybe sit and share some berries, or part of a banana, with your buns. Hold their leafy greens while they nibble... there are definitely ways to supplement the hand-feeding time you had with them.
You sound like a great bunny mom. Keep up the good work!
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QUESTION: I'm still having the soft stool issue and read this article http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=3012
. Do you think it is worth trying this approach? I have also been giving Oxbow Digestive Support and Oxbow Multi-Vitamins. Do you think I should continue with this or stop? The bunnies seem otherwise normal and healthy. They've had no pellets or nuggets for a couple of weeks. Thankyou.
You're still having the soft stool issue after cutting out pellets entirely? Then yes, I'd say this method would be one to try. This was what I was thinking when I suggested that pellets aren't normally part of their diet. Remember this return to normal poo's can take a month or more too.
If you're planning on following this method to a T though, I would stop the vitamins. See what it does to allow your bunny's system to digest just one product - hay. Lots and lots of hay. If the condition worsens, start the vitamins back again.
These next few weeks will require extremely diligent watchfulness on your part. Please keep me posted.
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QUESTION: Hi Christine, Well it's been a long time just eating hay! We went for nearly two weeks with no soft poo so I gave the girls each a palm sized piece of kale. The next morning...soft poo! Back to hay only again!! I had started giving them the Digestive support and the multivitamins again and they didn't cause any problems so I'm continuing on with that. The girls are so excited to have them. It is their treat. They are both thriving and after the initial begging for vegies they seem to be perfectly happy just eating hay. Do you think it's ok to just feed them hay indefinitely or do you think I should start re introducing other vegies after they've settled down again? Also I never thought two little bunnies could make so much poo! They must each do HUNDREDS every day. All I seem to do is sweep them up! I guess they are getting enough to eat!!
You can try introducing veggies to them - slowly, and in small portions - to ensure no soft poo. Just like you did with the kale, if there's signs of trouble, stop immediately. The list of things they can eat is quite extensive, so you have your work cut out for you to find some greens that don't disrupt their sensitive systems. That being said, I'm sure there's something
they can tolerate, just be sure to avoid anything too high in sugar content (berries, carrots, etc.) or nutrients (kale can be high in calcium, spinach, parsley, etc.)
That is the down side of so much hay - their systems work so well that you spend a lot of time cleaning up those rabbit raisins. :)
Best of luck!