How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Pooping?

Categorized as Bunny Health

Last Updated on July 30, 2022 by Rei Garnet

A rabbit that’s not pooping is considered an emergency because they could die in as early as 48 hours if they don’t poop. The most common causes on why a rabbit would stop pooping are intestinal blockages, GI stasis, and constipation.

If you notice or suspect that your rabbit’s fecal output is not normal, you should immediately bring them to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail how long your rabbits can go without pooping:

How long can rabbits survive without pooping?

A white rabbit sleeping in its litter box.
“gus snuggled up in his (clean) litterbox” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by Keithius

A rabbit that completely stops pooping due to a blockage or some kind of digestive problem can die quickly. Without medical intervention, they could die in as early as 48 hours.

Any changes in your rabbit’s poop should not be ignored. Your rabbit is unlikely to stop pooping all of a sudden without first showing milder symptoms that something is wrong with them.

These are the most common signs of intestinal blockage:

  • Signs of pain (unwilling to move, teeth grinding, and hunched up position)
  • Bloated and distended abdomen
  • Changes in poop or no poop

Always be on the lookout for any changes in your rabbit’s poop, behavior, or eating habits. Rabbits are really good at hiding any signs of weakness. These symptoms are the only ones that are relatively easy to spot.

Why is your rabbit not pooping?

Before discussing what to do if your rabbit is not pooping, we must first discuss what causes it in the first place. Only then can we properly formulate a plan to help save their lives.

Here are the most common reasons why a rabbit would stop pooping:

  • Intestinal blockages – Intestinal blockages mainly happens when pet rabbits ate something they’re not suppose to. As an example, rabbits that accidentally ate clay based cat litter would likely experience some degree of intestinal obstruction because these type of litter clumps and binds together.
  • Constipation – Constipation in rabbits can be due to dehydration, pain, dental problem, stress, sudden diet changes, or poisoning. Constipation in rabbits is an emergency because it can lead to a more serious digestive condition that can kill a rabbit.
  • GI stasis – GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet or when fed the wrong diet. GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.

How to know if your rabbit is not pooping?

A person holding a rabbit poop pellet
“2014-04-26 at 17-03-05” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Mollivan Jon

You can tell that your rabbit is not pooping if their poop output changes or completely stops. The amount of poop a rabbit would produce per day would depend on its size and breed.

For small breed rabbits or rabbits that are 1.1–3.5 pounds, they would produce < 133 grams of poop pellets per day.

For medium breed or 6–10 pound rabbits, they would produce 220-450 grams of poop pellets per day.

While large-breed or 9–12 pound rabbits could produce > 1000 grams of poop pellets per day.

The amount of poop could also be affected by your rabbit’s current health condition as well as their diet. Rabbits that have diarrhea would produce a lot more poop per day.

As for diet, certain pellets could yield more and larger poop pellets, especially pellets that are high in carbohydrates.

Check out our rabbit poop calculator for more detailed information on the amount of poop your rabbit can produce per day.

But you don’t need to actually weigh your rabbit’s poop every day. Just estimate it every time you’re cleaning their liter box.

If you think the amount of poop they produce is not normal and they’re exhibiting other symptoms like changes in their behavior, then something is definitely wrong.

Here’s a great video on how to know if your rabbit’s poop is normal:

What to do if your rabbit is not pooping?

If your rabbit is not pooping, you should bring your rabbit to a veterinarian as soon as possible. As I said earlier, rabbits that are not pooping can die quickly (24–48 hours).

There’s really nothing you can do on your own to help your rabbit when they stop pooping. They need a veterinarian to properly diagnose what’s wrong with them because there are a lot of possible reasons why it can happen.

Most of the time, your rabbit would also need pain medications to help bring back their appetite because most rabbits that are in pain would likely stop eating. A rabbit that’s not eating is dangerous in and of itself.

Conclusion

A rabbit that’s not pooping is considered an emergency because they could die in as early as 48 hours if they don’t poop.

The most common causes on why a rabbit would stop pooping are intestinal blockages, GI stasis, and constipation.

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Welcome to Bunnyhorde

Always be on the lookout for any changes in your rabbit’s poop, behavior, or eating habits.

If you suspect that your rabbit is not pooping normally, bring them to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian for a proper treatment and diagnosis.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (August 7, 2022) How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Pooping?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/how-long-can-rabbits-go-without-pooping/.
"How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Pooping?." Bunny Horde - August 7, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/how-long-can-rabbits-go-without-pooping/

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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.