Additionally, note that a rabbit may not eat cecotropes due to dental or other oral pain as well as obesity or restricted movement (e.g., spondylosis) that prevents the bunny from physically reaching the anus to eat the cecotropes. Mucoid enteropathy: excessive mucus. If cecal hypomotility is allowed to continue, the cecum will become impacted – the contents will become dehydrated and there will no longer be the normal mixing and movement of material in and out of the cecum. Few caregivers ever see the cecotropes, as it looks like the rabbit is simply grooming his anal area. Some individuals feel Banamine® (flunixin meglumine) is superior for GI pain. Treatment for the early stage of cecal hypomotility (slowdown) leading to impaction is much the same as for ileus, the cessation of GI tract movement. This may be due to a starch or protein content in the pellet that is still too high for that individual rabbit. Diet is also the best protective measure against all gastrointestinal (GI) tract disease, and that includes disorders of the cecum and enterotoxemia. Though long-fiber hay is preferable, timothy-based hay cubes are an option. It may be that a rabbit reacts with loss of appetite and subsequent slowdown of gut motility, which leads to the life-threatening shutdown of both the intestinal tract and the cecum. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, CA – Ban of Fur Sales (Including Rabbit Fur), Deepening the Bond: How to Connect with Your Rabbit through Massage, Tellington TTouch for a Happy and Healthy Rabbit, Normal behavior and activity levels   (e.g., alert, inquisitive, active), Varying behaviors, from deceivingly normal (active, alert) to lethargic and depressed, Critically ill: lethargic, unresponsive. Some produce cecotropes in the late early morning, some in the late afternoon, and some during the night. The cecum itself is a paper-thin bag of bacterial contamination and does not hold sutures well. Caregivers may wish to read “Liver (Hepatic) Disease in Rabbits,” which discusses the importance of cecotropes and a healthy liver. When researching complementary treatments, be aware of training and qualification requirements and give careful consideration to the health, nature, and needs of your rabbit. If you cheat and feed treats during this process, the treatment will not be effective and you will only perpetuate the problem. Excess amount of cecotrope-Too many cecotropes are a sign of an unhealthy diet. Refined sugar It is preferable, if possible, to feed more than one type of grass hay for variety. Certain pellets or too many pellets can be the cause of a too rich diet. He received his degree from Colorado State University in 1999 and practiced at the Makai Animal Clinic in Kailua, Hawaii, before moving to the Czech Republic. Stress and inappropriate antibiotics may also be factors. As long as they are eating a low carbohydrate diet, these bacteria are not harmful. All rights reserved, Permanent Link: http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=3012, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, CA – Ban of Fur Sales (Including Rabbit Fur), http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=3012, Pasteurella: Its Health Effects in Rabbits, Diet (overload of carbohydrates and/or insufficient indigestible fiber), Inappropriate antibiotic use (many antibiotics are not safe for the rabbit’s GI tract). Another important benefit of feeding the grass hay to the exclusion of other foods initially is that your pet will experience a healthy weight loss. Another presented with what is commonly referred to as “cow pile syndrome.” In both cases, the right diet returned them to a level of health that allowed them to live the remainder of their lives as normal rabbits. Like many small animals, rabbits have a finicky digestive system. You may also find cecotropes caked to your rabbit’s bottom. Look on the label and note if it is based on based on grass hay (most often it will say timothy hay, but it can be any grass hay). Try pulverizing the pellets your are feeding in a blender or food processor, sprinkling some hay with some water and then dusting the pellets over the top to entice your bunny to try the hay. However, Dr. Brown advises that any rabbit, especially those fed a high-starch or high-sugar diet or those on inappropriate antibiotics, can develop enterotoxemia. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, water, and bacteria. Smelly soft grape-like cecotropes (also called soft cecal pellets) coated with a thin layer of mucus that are produced in the cecum. Dr. Brown shares additional information: Anytime the pH of the cecum is altered, a rabbit is at risk for enterotoxemia. Grass hay is most important for the health of the rabbit. Marie Mead has been involved in various capacities with animal rescue, advocacy, and education for over twenty years. The mucous covering of the cecotropes makes them sticky and hard to remove. I would also have concern about the long-term prognosis for the rabbit. The soft stools range in consistency from a thick “pudding” to large semi-formed “blobs.” This material becomes smeared on the cage, carpeting and ultimately ends up caked on the bottom of the rabbit’s feet. The caregiver can assist in the process by providing astute and accurate observations about the problem. The condition may involve only a slight decrease in size and/or frequency of stool production, and gut sounds may be normal. HOME CARE OF A RABBIT WITH CECAL MOTILITY DISORDER. However, consumption can be influenced by the rabbit’s diet. I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Drs. NOTE:  How do you know your rabbit is eating enough hay? In rabbits the watery stools are caused initially by a decrease in intestinal motility and in dogs, cats and humans it is caused by an increase in motility. If a rabbit with soft cecotropes is overweight, it’s safe to discontinue feeding pellets only if he or she is freely eating grass hay. Hay should be fresh smelling and not overly dusty. In rabbits, as the intestinal motility decreases, the material in the cecum is retained for excessively long periods of time, which then changes factors such cecal pH and volatile fatty acid production resulting in alterations in the flora. Bean or alfalfa sprouts In all cases, high carbohydrate or sugary snacks (e.g., grain-based foods or cereals and fruit, both dried and fresh) should be discontinued immediately. UPDATE (RE: COMMENT) : I looked up Jack Rabbit pellets and the first listed ingredient is alfalfa. Before starting the discussion of cecal disorders, it should be noted that caregivers can help protect their rabbits against the diseases, which can be life-threatening. SO NO TREATS!!! If a rabbit prefers greens over hay or is not eating enough hay, then I advise caregivers to be very restrictive with greens. This is when Clostridium spp. Even if surgery is successful, there is always a risk of postoperative sepsis [life-threatening internal infection]. Enterotoxemia, including signs, treatment and prognosis, and home care; the disease is related to cecal motility disorders in that it also affects the gastrointestinal tract. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes it and rabbit diarrhea home treatments. Defecation and urination can be hindered if there is sufficient buildup of feces. Signs of sick rabbit Digestive Issues. Derived from amino acids, they affect a wide range of the rabbit’s physiological functions, including metabolism, smooth muscle action, and nerve transmissions. – Marie Mead. Cecal impaction does not mean a rabbit cannot recover. Corn (Thus, they are not really “night droppings” as sometimes thought.). A rabbit who suffers from cecal impaction generally will not be returned home until he is no longer in critical condition. There are various stages and manifestations of cecal motility disorders. A rabbit may produce cecotropes at different times during the day, and this periodicity might differ from bunny to rabbit. Proper nutrition is a must for these rabbits to decrease the probability of recurrence. Dandelion greens (and flower) Cereals Inappropriate diet is certainly a major factor, and in young rabbits it is the most prevalent cause of enterotoxemia. (Meloxicam works well in well-hydrated rabbits.). Your veterinarian will provide the at-home treatment plan. Rabbit poops are in the form of small balls that are uniform in appearance, dry, and hard to touch. These clinical signs are generally caused by production of loose cecotropes secondary to cecal dysbiosis. This painful, life-threatening condition, also caused by imbalance of the cecal flora, results in an impacted cecum. Dr. Guerrera offers: Though I’ve seen rabbits with distended cecum and cecal hypomotility go for months without apparent clinical signs – they are eating, active, and maintaining weight – there generally comes a downturn. It is better to feed some type of hay rather than no hay at all and you can continue with the same plan described for treating ISC with grass hay. Edible flowers from the garden (organically grown and NOT from a florist) such as roses, nasturtiums, day lilies, pansies and snap dragons Warm thanks also to Cheryl Abbott, Sandi Ackerman, Heidi Anderson, Dr. Stephanie Crispin, Gary McConville, and Karen Witzke for their suggestions. A healthy diet for a house rabbit consists of unlimited grass hay as its primary component with additional green foods and limited high fiber/low energy pellets. The vet says that he looks healthy, he is not overweight, his diet is excellent, plenty of hay, a measured amount of daily pellets, fresh veg and water always available. Swiss chard (any color) If there is no improvement or if the rabbit’s temperature drops, it’s vital to reexamine the situation. Unlimited grass hay and a measured amount of green leafy vegetables should be offered daily. The technically difficult procedure on a critically ill patient equals a poor success rate. The plants that rabbits eat are high in fiber, which is indigestible to mammalian digestive enzymes. Not only is the condition messy, but there is a concern that the rabbit may be missing vital nutrition if he cannot eat the cecotropes. If the soft cecotropes return, remove the offending pellet and you may try a different brand of grass-based pellet. The condition can last for months or even years. Decreased appetite; may exhibit pickiness (e.g., may eat leafy greens but not pellets). Use several containers for the hay to encourage your pet’s interest, such as hayracks, boxes or baskets. Any other grains. Cecotropes are also more often produced in the evenings, rather than all day long like normal rabbit poops. Cherries Susan Brown, Tomáš Chlebeček, Bill Guerrera, Angela Lennox, and Scott Stahl. Regardless of origin, unhealthy or foreign materials can become lodged in the cecum or they may create cecal imbalance. Inside the cecum are bacterias that are essential nutrients to the rabbit. The most important part of the treatment of uncomplicated ISC is to feed grass hay to your pet. Green or red bell peppers Signs of three stages of cecal motility disorders, including abnormally soft cecotropes, cecal hypomotility (slowdown), and cecal impaction (stasis). During this pellet conversion it is important to STOP ALL TREAT FOODS! It is beyond the scope of this article to address all cecal disorders. Pellets, carrots and fruit are the usual culprits. In addition, having a furred companion aids rabbits when they are ill and helps reduce boredom in healthy rabbits, reducing the desire to chew (and potentially reducing ingestion of harmful substances). Cabbage (red, green, Chinese) Seeds Although appetite and activity level may appear normal, the caregiver may notice the following signs in addition to the abnormally soft, possibly gooey, cecotropes: The term “poopy butt” is often used to describe a rabbit who excretes soft stools that soil the hind end. Cecal dysbiosis is poop that isn't completely formed and is doughy or pasty and is usually quite smelly. Other causes of cecal disorders (e.g., ingestion of foreign material, antibiotics) are also mentioned, the knowledge about which will help caregivers take proactive steps to protect their rabbits. Rabbits will overproduce cecotropes when they have too much sugar in their diet. Mushy, mucus-coated droppings called cecotropes are consumed and are full of vital nutrients that will be absorbed by the body upon reingestion. This condition can be fatal in 24 to 48 hours, particularly in recently weaned rabbits. As adjunct professor at Purdue University, she teaches both veterinary and veterinary technician students. May exhibit mild to moderate pain (e.g., less active), Severe abdominal pain due to gas accumulation. You will know because the waste droppings (the round, dry droppings in the bottom of the cage) will continue in a large number and will stay a large size. However, be aware that some cases will never completely resolve due to the high carbohydrate content of the alfalfa hay. The focus should be on coarse fibrous plant materials [grass hay]. Any change to the rabbit’s environment, even something as seemingly simple as a change in routine, can potentially result in health problems. Affected rabbits are often still bright, alert and eating well. Carrot/beet tops I have seen soft mushy cecotropes cured with a temporary all-grass-hay diet, then reintroduction of limited leafy greens, so many times that I’m convinced of this care regimen. Note that alfalfa is often mixed in with orchard grass, so it is wise to ask about content before purchasing. Alfalfa hay may be the only hay available in your area, or your pet may absolutely refuse to eat grass hay and will only eat alfalfa. If the rabbit who has gooey cecotropes grazes freely on hay throughout the day, Dr. Brown’s guidelines (provided above) will help clear up a diet-related problem. Copyright 2009 – 2012 by Susan Brown, Tomáš Chlebeček, all of them rescues will have. Dose is 100 mg per 5 pounds of body weight one to two times daily the probability of recurrence does... 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