Digestive problems

Diarrhoea is a common problem in pet rabbits. It can be a very serious condition and veterinary advice should be sought immediately. Some gastrointestinal infections that result in diarrhoea can be fatal in less than 24 hours.

Treatment of rabbit diarrhoea

Rabbits with diarrhoea become rapidly dehydrated and will need fluid replacement.

Preventing rabbit diarrhoea

A high fibre diet (hay or grass) has a protective effect against diarrhoea and soft droppings.

Normal 'soft' rabbit droppings

It is normal behaviour for rabbits to produce softer droppings at night, which they then eat. This is an important part of the rabbitÕs diet.

Rabbit with 'matted' bottom

Occasionally obese rabbits, older rabbits with back problems and rabbits with dental disease become matted with droppings around the tail base. If a rabbit is very overweight, or if it has a painful mouth or back, he or she may be unable to reach round to clean these droppings away putting them at risk of fly strike.

In the summer, diarrhoea or matted soft droppings may attract flies which lay their eggs around the tail base and these hatch out into maggots which begin to eat your rabbit alive.

Preventing fly strike

You should check your rabbit twice daily in the summer and always make sure the bedding is clean and dry. A fly strip hung just outside the hutch may help reduce the flies.