Rabbit Has Poop Stuck To His Bum. What Is It And What To Do About It?

Categorized as Bunny Health
A white rabbit in a veterinarian's office being ultrasound for the possible cause of poopy buttom.

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

There are two main causes when a rabbit has poop stuck to his bum or “poopy butt”, it’s either soft uneaten cecotropes that are getting stuck in your rabbit’s fur or diarrhea.

If it’s soft uneaten cecotropes, you should improve your rabbit’s diet by feeding a lot of fiber(hay) and removing or reducing the amount of supplementary food(pellets and treats) in your rabbit’s diet.

If it’s diarrhea, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian immediately. Diarrhea in rabbits is an emergency, especially in young rabbits.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more details:

Causes of “poopy butt” in rabbits.

A white holland lop rabbit being checked by a veterinarian for poopy butt.

Poopy butt is the term used when a rabbit has poop stuck on its fur. While normal rabbit poop is not that smelly, when a rabbit has a poopy butt, the smell is quite stronger than a regular rabbit poop.

This condition is probably the number one reason rabbits abandoned and surrendered to animal shelters.

Poopy butt in rabbits are mostly caused by two things:

Soft uneaten cecotropes

Soft uneaten cecotropes mainly happen when a rabbit is fed the wrong kind of diet. Usually, rabbits that have soft uneaten cecotropes are fed with diets that are high in carbs and low in fiber.

Diarrhea

You can tell the difference between diarrhea and soft uneaten cecotropes by looking if there are any solid poop pellets in your rabbit’s litter box.

Rabbits with soft uneaten cecotropes would still produce normal-looking poop pellets. While rabbits with diarrhea would produce soft or watery stool.

Causes of diarrhea in rabbits:

  • High-carb, low-fiber diet
  • Stress
  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Parasite infection
  • Sudden diet change
  • Toxins(heavy metal poisoning, toxic plants, etc..)
  • Improper drug use

What to do if your rabbit has poopy bottom.

A sick white rabbit in a veterinary office getting anti-biotics for poopy buttom.

When your rabbit has a poopy butt, first, you should determine whether or not it’s soft uneaten cecotropes or true diarrhea.

If it’s soft uneaten cecotropes

There are two things you need to do if your rabbit is suffering from soft uneaten cecotropes:

Only feed your rabbit hay.

Remove any other food in your rabbit’s diet except hay. This would ensure that your rabbit is getting enough fiber in its diet. Sometimes rabbits are eating too much supplementary food like pellets and veggies in lieu of hay.

After a couple of weeks of only feeding hay, your rabbit’s cecotropes should return to normal.

Then you can start to:

Slowly introduce veggies to your rabbit one at a time and remove those that are causing soft uneaten cecotropes.

After some time of only feeding your rabbit hay, your rabbit’s poop should go back to normal.

You can now start to slowly re-introduce veggies to your rabbit one at a time. Make sure that you only give your rabbit veggies that are on the safe list.

If you found that certain vegetables are causing your rabbit to have softer cecotropes, either lower the amount you give or remove it entirely. I prefer the latter.

If its diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits is extremely dangerous, especially to young rabbits. The first thing every rabbit owner should do when their rabbit is suffering from diarrhea is:

Bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Rabbits with diarrhea should be seen as an emergency because oftentimes, rabbits with diarrhea would quickly die due to dehydration.

Immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian if you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool.

Improve your rabbit’s diet.

After you’re cleared by a veterinarian, you should start changing your rabbit’s diet if it’s what’s causing diarrhea.

Feed a lot of high-quality hay to your rabbit. Reduce the amount of pellets and be on the lookout if a certain vegetable is causing diarrhea.

Improve your rabbits living condition.

Diarrhea can also be caused by stress due to your rabbit’s current living condition.

Check if your rabbit is getting the following:

  • Your rabbit should be getting at least 4 hours of exercise each day.
  • Your rabbit should have toys to keep them stimulated and avoid boredom.
  • Your rabbit should have a companion preferably from another rabbit.
  • Your rabbit should have the right size of cage for its size/breed.
  • Your rabbit should have access to food and water all the time.

Summary

The causes of poopy bottom in rabbits are either soft uneaten cecotropes or diarrhea. If it’s diarrhea, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian and improve your rabbit’s diet and living condition.

If it’s soft uneaten cecotropes, remove any other food except hay. This would ensure that your rabbit is getting enough fiber.

After some time, your rabbit poop should go back to normal. You can now start to re-introduce veggies to your rabbit’s diet slowly and one at a time.

This would give you an idea if a certain vegetable is causing your rabbit to have a softer stool.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 14, 2021) Rabbit Has Poop Stuck To His Bum. What Is It And What To Do About It?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbit-has-poop-stuck-to-his-bum/.
"Rabbit Has Poop Stuck To His Bum. What Is It And What To Do About It?." Bunny Horde - November 14, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbit-has-poop-stuck-to-his-bum/

Sources and further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Understanding the Basics of Rabbit Care
  • Basic-Rabbit-Care
  • Chronic, Intermittent Diarrhea in Rabbits