Diarrhea Causes in Rabbits

Written by sarah dewitt ince
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Diarrhea Causes in Rabbits
Rabbit stool should resemble hard round pellets. (floppy eared rabbits image by Ken Marshall from Fotolia.com)

Rabbits develop diarrhoea for a number of different reasons. This condition can be mild to severe, depending on the cause. Watch your rabbit closely and report changes to your veterinarian. A change in diet or medications may be in order to help your rabbit regain intestinal balance. Avoid giving your bunny processed packaged food made for humans.

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Coccidia / Parasites

Coccidia are a type of parasite that causes diarrhoea in rabbits. This particular parasite invades the cells of the rabbit's intestines. Coccidia are microscopic, unlike other parasites that can be seen, such as roundworms and tapeworms. Any type of parasites can cause diarrhoea in rabbits. Diarrhoea can cause sudden death in baby rabbits. Most infants die within a matter of hours after the first onset of severe diarrhoea. If a baby rabbit shows any signs of diarrhoea such as runny stool, along with lethargy, take your rabbit to an emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

Obesity

Obesity can also cause diarrhoea in rabbits. If you notice that your obese rabbit has diarrhoea, consider putting her on a diet. You can gradually transition your rabbit from eating hard pellets to high-fibre greens or low-calorie pellets. Fresh herbs and carrots are also beneficial for an obese bunny. You can also cut down her portion sizes and give her small meals more frequently instead of larger meals less often.

Weaning

Another cause of diarrhoea in rabbits is weaning too young. A baby rabbit needs to receive nourishment from his mother's milk until his digestive system is mature. If a baby rabbit is weaned too quickly, he will develop diarrhoea because his body is not truly ready for solid foods. A rabbit should not be weaned sooner than eight weeks.

Unfortunately, many pet stores sell rabbits that are not ready to leave their mothers. These babies may die if they develop aggressive diarrhoea or they will suffer with intestinal problems for the rest of their lives. Mother's milk is vital during those first few weeks of life because without it, the delicate limning of a rabbit's digestive system can become permanently damaged.

Health Problems

Your rabbit can also develop diarrhoea if she has an underlying medical condition such as arthritis or a nervous disorder. Like humans, rabbits suffer from cancer, anxiety and other conditions. The Pet Place website says that stress can also cause diarrhoea. If your rabbit has experienced any trauma she can develop sensitivity to the stresses of daily life. She may not be able to be in the same cage with another rabbit or she may seek to be with other rabbits because she is afraid to be alone. Every rabbit handles anxiety differently.

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