Understanding Rabbit’s Digestive System and How It Works

The rabbit’s digestive system is unusual and intricate contrasted with other pets. Since rabbits are vegetarian, they consume a mixture of shrubs and in huge quantities. The rabbit’s digestive system is furnished to manage the huge amount of straw from consuming these bushes. What presents the rabbit’s digestive system more notably extraordinary correlated to other animals is that it can distribute nutrition from shrubs that are generally inedible to other animals. Their digestive system’s approach is to apply a method termed rear gut fermentation.

It is necessary to know your rabbit’s digestive system. It will serve to be informed of severe perilous states in rabbits, how to decipher the symptoms, and positively prevent the obstacles.

Functions of the digestive system

Image Source

It is essential to study the functions of the digestive system before seeing into its components in more thorough. The main role of the digestive system is to ingest food and assimilate nutrition. Digestion is the method of tearing food ingredients into tiny enough pieces that they can be consumed over the digestive tract barrier. This gives nutrition for the pet to work for regular necessities or composition, for example, during lactation, growth, and pregnancy.

Another role of the digestive tract is a shield from poisons, or germs, in the staple. The surrounding in the abdomen eliminates numerous enzymes (proteins that crack up large fragments in foods to fewer bits) and bacteria, and acid may neutralize several toxins. Additionally, the immune system is intimately connected to the digestive system to block diseases. The digestive tract performs a vital function in excess elimination from the body, as adequately.

Parts of the Digestive System

Image Source


The mouth is an oblique tear-like terminal opening settled a short underneath the frontal tip of the nozzle. The mouth is defined by two plump mobile and brawny lips. These are visibly concealed by a furry coat and inwardly marked with mucous layers. The higher lip is separated by a medial cleft stretching up to the snouts. By this cleft, the higher incisors stay flashed externally despite the fact the mouth is shut.


As soon as the staple is eaten, it moves within the esophagus. The esophagus is quite a tunnel that carries a staple from the jaws to the belly.

The esophagus is associated with mucus-secreting goblet microorganisms, the discharge of which flattens the oesophageal entrance. The esophagus moves within the throat posteriorly and parallel to the trachea and reaches through the chest cavity following to the lungs and heart.

It then penetrates the midsection to force into a pouch-like belly positioned in the gut. The interior partition of the esophagus is hoisted into numerous lengthwise creases. Esophagus functions as a gland of carrying the staple, and no absorption transpire here.


The stomach is a huge, rounded pouch-like structure located back of the diaphragm, somewhat facing the left side in the abdominal cavity. The stomach is separated into three sections a frontal great wide cardiac area into which the esophagus initiates, a small dorsal pyloric area that heads toward the duodenum, and the third section is located in the middle of the pyloric and cardiac sections, described fundic region.

The main discharges of the stomach comprise pepsin, mucus, and hydrochloric acid. Mucus is essential to shield the stomach wall from the enzymes and acid to further dampen the staple. Hydrochloric acid is vital in reducing the pH of the abdomen to enable enzymes to operate, and it eliminates or hinders microbes located in the staple. Pepsin is a proteolytic enzyme, which tears down proteins.


The intestine of the rabbit is quite extremely helical and lengthy, approximately 47 inches long, and can be separated into small and large intestines.

Small Intestine

The chyme moves toward the small intestine from the abdomen. Move within the small intestine is controlled by the pyloric sphincter. The small intestine is the area where most absorption and digestion of nutrition happens. The small intestine can be separated into three segments – duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.

The duodenum is the prime segment and is the section of the majority of digestion. As the stomach acids would attain the digested food hold a low pH balance, buffers are discharged from the pancreas toward the small intestine to raise the pH to a more neutral balance. Also, to tear down the staple, a mixture of enzymes is discharged through and within the small intestine. These comprise starch digesting (amylolytic), fat-digesting (lipolytic), and proteolytic enzymes.

The jejunum is the midway segment of the small intestine. Numerous nutrients, such as fatty acids, sugar, and amino acids, are consumed here. The end segment of the small intestine is the ileum. The surplus digested nutrients are ingested, as thoroughly as the vitamin B in the ileum.

Large Intestine

The large intestine pursues from the intersection of the caecum and sacculus rotundus. The hole of the caecum within the large intestine is much more comprehensive. The colon is the initial section of the large intestine, which is roughly 17 inches in length and carries lengthwise muscle tendons, the taeniae. The lining of the colon is compressed at the surfaces of the taeniae at standard gaps to create pouch-like sacks, the haustra.

At this period, the rabbit’s digestive system can distribute the substance into two shares – that which can be moreover torn down and utilize and that which cannot.

The substance that cannot be torn down something more, such as raw grain, moves right toward the large intestine. At this place, water is reassimilated, and the substance is transferred, presenting up the globular excrements you notice in your rabbit’s enclosure. This raw grain is crucial in the nutrition of the rabbit as it aids to spur intestinal compression, which retains the chyme passing within the gastrointestinal tract. Rabbits that do not absorb adequate grain from forage are more prone to generate gastrointestinal obstructions or suppression.

The substance that can be torn down furthermore, essential proteins and dispersible fibers, flows toward the cecum, a huge tight pouch. The cecum is possibly an extremely valuable section of the digestive system of the bunny. The cecum possesses 10 times the volume of the abdomen of the bunny. At this place, extensive amounts of microbes and germs lodge. These microbes digest, or ferment, the substance that moves within the cecum and utilizes it to build their vitamins, cells, and proteins. The microbes convert the raw grain into absorbable nutrition– in particular, that are instantly consumed beyond the lining of the cecum for usage by the mammal, while others are discharged.

Approximately eight hours following a meal, the substance from the cecum is packed into a tiny dank bead termed a cecotrope. When the rabbit is set to transfer the cecotrope, a sign is transmitted to the rabbit’s brain, inducing the cecotrope to be absorbed by the rabbit as it is being discharged. This enables the substance to pass through the whole digestive system again and allow the rabbit to receive supplementary nutrition from the bush stock. This method, named cecotrophy, enables rabbits to employ high-fiber shrub matter that other creatures may not be allowed.


The rectum is approximately 30 inches in length, and at interludes, it is enlarged to create curved blob-like arrangements and ultimately initiates externally by the anus. The interior lining of the large intestine lacks villi though there are tiny creases bearing glands of Lieberkuhn and several mucous shrouding goblet cells. The mucosa is composed of a layered surface adjacent to the anus.


It is the outer porta of the rectum positioned at the root of the tailpiece. The anus is protected by anal sphincter.

Why the right diet is important

Producing such a specific digestion system has shortcomings. While it’s extremely effective at refining large straw – low nutrition diet like grass, the incorrect varieties of food or abrupt intake alterations can undoubtedly upset it, driving the entire digestive system out of control. For instance:

  • Restricted massive grass or hay to support meals pass near the stomach, regulates it down, and prevents food from progressing at the maximum rate for the digestive method to operate.
  • Excessive proteins or carbohydrates can address the abdomen into burn out and create gluey formless excrements.

What Are The Different Colors of Rabbits?

Top 8 Best Breeds of Rabbits for Pets