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Rabbits/Constantly poopy butt

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Question
Hello i was wondering if you could help. My rabbit has a constantly poopy bum, which has been going on for quite a while now. She had it previously before which was solved for a little while after having her teeth trimmed. However she's now 5 and after having two previous operations, i don't want to put her through another if i can help it. She is cleaned up regularly but is dirty again with 24 hours. She does have normal poos too. She's not overweight and the problem re-occured when she was underweight. Could a change in diet help?

Thank you.

Answer
HI Holly

Sorry for the delay in reply.

What is her exact diet? This can often be caused by too many treats or too much veg. Some rabbits are extra sensitive to certain foods, I know of some which simply cannot have any kind of veg or even grass without ending up needing a butt bath.

Another thing worth checking is whether she has any spinal pain - that can mean it's too painful to reach her bum to clean up cecals herself. Something to chat to the vet about. Also, is she a Lop or Netherland Dwarf and have a flatter face? That breed trait can mean it's harder to reach also.

Have you noticed her reaching down and eating cecals at all? I would be concerned if she's not eating them at all as that can lead to malnutrition - their digestive system is designed to put everything through twice. They produce them very regularly which is why you're seeing mess a lot.

If you can let me know her day-to-day diet plan including brands, I might be able to spot something that could be tweaked!

Thanks
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Expertise

I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.

Experience

I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

Organizations
I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

Education/Credentials
I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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