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Rabbit Has Abnormal Feces

What would cause a rabbit to have pasty stools and be less active?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: July 27, 2009, 4:15 p.m. EDT

Q: I have a 2-year-old, mini lop rabbit. For the past three days she has had a lot of pasty stool. She has the normal "ball" stool as well, but she is not acting like herself. She has had this problem once before, but it went away on its own; This round is worse than the last.
 
She's not very active and does not want to be touched much. I believe she is still eating, but I am not home during the day on week days, so it's difficult for me to tell just how much food and how much water she's drinking.
 
I read online that this issue can happen when a rabbit eats too many foods with carbohydrates. I do give her snacks in the morning and at night, and I may have been giving her too many without noticing. Could this be the reason this happened, or could there be something else wrong that requires a trip to the veterinarian?
 
Her stool is not at all runny, so I don't think she has diarrhea. I have had many years of experience with rabbits, but it worries me when rabbits get sick because there have been some sudden deaths with a couple of them. I want to make sure that the rabbit I have right now is happy and healthy.

 
A: There are many, many causes of what you are seeing in your rabbit. Your rabbit is showing non-specific signs of disease. That means that nothing your rabbit is doing (less activity) points to a definite problem. The pasty stool can occur because of dietary problems or be secondary to other diseases. You are correct that rabbits should not get carbohydrates such as those in processed foods. Rabbits need fresh hay, greens and vegetables.
 
At this point, take your rabbit to your veterinarian. Your rabbit could be dehydrated if she has pasty stool coupled without drinking enough water. If she is not eating well, she could develop problems with her liver that could end up being fatal.

Kidney disease and bladder disease could cause what you are seeing in your rabbit, but so could other organic diseases. A few things you could do before getting to the veterinarian’s office include trying to measure how much water your rabbit is drinking, is the urine output normal, and does your rabbit look like she’s eating any of the food you put out in the morning? 

See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>

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Rabbit Has Abnormal Feces

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Good luck with your rabbit.
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 8/16/2009 11:25:57 AM
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