Your pet rabbit’s poop can tell a lot of things about it. It can give you clues regarding your pet’s health, its diet, and if it’s affected by any disease. And one of the most common things that alarm pet owners is seeing yellowish poop. Is this normal, or is there something else?
What yellowish poop means
Rabbit poop comes in all shapes and colors, and this is due to the different types of food in its diet. But having yellowish poop is nothing to worry about because this simply means that it has eaten a lot of hay. But the poop must be round and firm but not wet and soggy.
Understanding your rabbit’s digestive tract
A rabbit’s digestive tract is quite different when it comes to digesting and processing their food. Rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts that can easily suffer from upset if the incorrect food is given. One way to monitor your pet’s digestive tract and how well it’s functioning is to check its droppings. Any change is an indication of a digestive problem.
Two kinds of poop
Rabbits produce two kinds of poop: hard and round poop and soft yet dark droppings. The hard and round poop contains waste material and indigestible fiber. Soft and dark poop contain extra nutrients, and thus the rabbit re-ingests them.
The normal appearance of feces is small round balls. These have dark to light brown color with uniform size. These may be slightly moist but may soon dry out fast. Examine one up close, and you’ll see that these are made of minute rectangles of undigested plant matter.
Poop that’s small and very dark or has an irregular shape may indicate that your pet is not processing enough fiber. This could mean that its diet is severely lacking in fiber, or there is a problem with the digestive system that slowed down the movement of food.
And if your pet has stopped pooping, then consider this an emergency. Take your pet to the vet at once. No poop could indicate that the gut has stopped processing food.
Meanwhile, cecotropes are the term for the soft and irregularly shaped poop that your pet usually eats or re-ingests again. These are soft and squishy and may look like a blackberry. The poop is dark brown to black and comes with a slight coating of mucus, which makes it shine.
Rabbits may produce cecotropes at the same time each day and most especially at night, which is why these are called night droppings. Normally, you won’t be able to see cecotropes because the rabbit will eat them up as these pass through the anus. One way to tell that the rabbit is pooping cecotropes is when you see it ducking its head to its back. This at the same time daily, and afterward, the rabbit sits down to chew.
If the diet of the rabbit has higher amounts of carbohydrates, sugar, and protein, the balance of good bacteria in the gut can affect the production of cecotropes. Usually, the gut produces more than what the rabbit needs, and it ignores them. Usually, the sticky poop attaches to the rabbit’s fur while some are squished on the floor.
Several things can lead to a physical impediment to ingesting cecotropes. The health condition of the rabbit, including arthritis, obesity, and injury, all make it hard for a rabbit to bend and to get the cecotropes from its anus. Also, dental problems like overgrowth of teeth can affect the animal’s desire to eat its cecotropes.
Diarrhea in rabbits
Diarrhea or watery stools is a condition that’s common in baby rabbits. Rabbits that are younger than 12 weeks suffer from diarrhea due to parasites or infection. Some may suffer from diarrhea due to their diet. In baby rabbits, diarrhea is a very serious condition and needs veterinary attention ASAP.
Different types of bunny poops
Average-sized bunnies can poop 200 to 300 pieces of poop a day. The poop must have uniform size and shape. Usually, the shape is similar to a pea, and it does not mean that a small bunny will have small poop, and bigger ones will make larger poops. It all depends on its diet.
Healthy poop is friable or has a stable shape and form, but when you press them slightly, these will fall apart like sawdust. Rabbit poop can become very hard as these dry, so be sure to test a fresh poop. Inside a healthy rabbit, poop is chewed up hay. It’s a good thing to regularly check the friability and the inside of your pet’s poop to identify any problems.
The color of the poop indicates the rabbit’s diet. When the poop is darker, then the rabbit is getting a lot of protein. A poop that has a lighter color means that the rabbit is getting enough hay and nutrients. Your rabbit will make a lot of cecotropes, and as mentioned, this may resemble blackberries. However, these may sometimes have a disrupted structure. There is also a very smelly odor when these are squished. Meanwhile, regular dried poop will not smell a lot when squished.
Sometimes, cecotropes are linked by the hair, and this is not a problem at all. The spacing between cecotrope means that the rabbit’s gut is working as the hair is being pushed along with other fibers. If you see this type of cecotrope in your pet, you must give it more fresh greens and to offer more water.
If you see double poops and then singles in succession, this could be a sign that the bunny’s gut is slowing down. This can be due to stress or aging. If you spot this in your pet, you should ask your vet to give your pet a supplement or a gut stimulant to get things back in shape.
If your pet passes large, egg-shaped poops, which is twice or thrice the size of regular poop, then this can be a symptom of megacolon. This is a rare condition in rabbits that are genetically inherited from their parents. If your pet passes this kind of poop and you suspect megacolon, take your pet to the vet at once.
Rabbits are very sensitive creatures and can be stressed by strange or loud noises. If this happens, it will pass out small round poops. This is a temporary condition and will eventually return to normal as the rabbit adjusts to its anxiety or stress. But when your rabbit passes out small poops chronically, then suspect that there is a narrowing of the intestines. There may also be a blockage in the digestive tract, and thus your pet needs to see a vet at once.
When the poop is small and misshapen, this can be due to a poor diet or lack of appetite due to surgery or illness. Rabbits that have problems with their teeth may also develop this kind of poop. Surgery, teeth problems, and illness may lead to poor appetite in rabbits. If this condition continues, you should take it to the vet at once.
Mucus-covered poops are seen during and after taking antibiotics. It may also be due to anything that irritates the digestive tract. Eating a vegetable with so much gusto has made your pet eat it all at once. The vegetable is still intact but with a slimy mucus covering.
Mucus in poop may also indicate the presence of parasites. It is also present in conditions like fecal impaction, and this calls for the help of a vet. Thick, stringy mucus similar to melted cheese is a cause for alarm.
This is a condition wherein the poop is not completely formed but is pasty instead. The poop is also very smelly, and this is due to stress. A diet that has too much starch or sugar can also lead to this condition.
If you see this condition, monitor your pet closely. Do not confuse this condition with normal cecotropes that your pet has squished with its feet. This is common in elderly rabbits due to aching joints and aging digestive tracts. A vet’s visit is important to rule out any other illnesses.
How to clean up poop mess?
Rabbits are very sensitive to smells and chemicals, so you must clean poop and other messes using a special yet basic method. Instead of using strong chemicals and bleach, use plain soap and water. You may also use vinegar and water or use natural methods like heat application, UV radiation, and desiccation.
Sick rabbits should be quarantined, especially if you have more than one bunny inside an enclosure. If you notice anything worrisome about your pet’s poop, take a sample and place inside a sterile cup or container. Bring this with you when you take your pet to the vet. Your pet should be taken to the vet at once, especially when weird poop is accompanied by fever, discomfort, pain, and vomiting. A rabbit that’s not eating is another cause of the alarm and should receive prompt medical attention.