A rabbit’s poop says a lot about their health.
That’s why it’s important to know what’s normal and what’s not.
This way, you can act right away when something goes wrong.
Due to their nature of hiding their illnesses, their poops are your best way to check their health.
So, read on to find out:
- Why rabbits eat their own poop.
- 13 different types of bunny poop.
- Diseases that can affect their poop.
- Tips on how to keep your rabbit healthy.
- When you should take your rabbit to the vet.
- And a lot more…
13 different types of rabbit poop
#1: Normal rabbit poop
A normal bunny poop looks like a pea-sized, round poop. It should be dry, scentless, and can be light in color.
It’s also often referred to as a “fecal pellet” due to its size and shape.
When you pick one up, it’s hard enough to stay in shape. But if you apply pressure with your fingers, it can break open.
You can do this as a way to check if your bunny is eating good-quality hay.
You will know if it’s healthy when it looks like sawdust on the inside. It’s not like other animal poop that’s all liquid and sticky within.
The reason behind its friable texture is because of their diet.
Since hay is the main part of their daily meal, their normal poop has a lot of digested hay inside of it.
Keep in mind that their poop can be rock-solid if it’s an old one, so it’s better to test out fresher poops.
What most bunny owners should know is that bunny poop types can be different from each other.
One rabbit can have smaller poops than the other. Meanwhile, other bunnies can also have lighter colored poops.
If their poop is always changing…
It can be a sign of poor diet or alarming health concern.
A healthy rabbit should have a consistent poop. It should always be the same shape, size, and color.
“How big is a normal rabbit poop?”
Most bunny poops should be the size of 0.27 inches to 0.47 inches (7 millimeters to 12 millimeters).
But depending on your rabbit’s breed, they can be different in size.
Small rabbits will have tiny poops. At the same time, giant breeds should have bigger poops.
To know what’s normal for your bunny…
Always track the shape and size of their fecal poops.
The second common bunny poop is the “cecotropes”.
A cecotrope looks long and it’s covered in a glossy coat of mucus. The poops clump together to make it look like berries.
Have you ever seen your bunny eat their poop?
It’s actually their ceco-poops.
Bunnies eat this type of poop because it’s nutritious for them.
Now, before you find it weird…
There’s a reason why it works the way it is. Let’s talk a little bit about science.
Bunnies have a special digestive system. It’s designed in a way that helps them stay healthy in the wild.
As prey animals, they can only eat what’s available to them.
Since a lot of rabbits live in forests or grassy fields…
Their main source of food is grass or hay. Their diet consists of fiber. But fiber alone isn’t enough to keep a rabbit healthy and strong.
So, what do they need to do?
Since they can’t risk searching for delicious food, their body adjusted to their needs.
Bunnies have an organ in their digestive tract called the “cecum” or “ceco”.
“What does the cecum do?”
Inside the cecum, there are microorganisms living in it.
These bacteria are not harmful to your bunny. Instead, they are friends that coexist in a beneficial way.
You can think of it as another ecosystem that exists in it.
The food that bunnies eat will go to the cecum. The bacteria will break down the food to turn it into a better meal.
This process brings out the protein and vitamins from the food.
In a way, it’s like bacteria are cooking a healthier meal for the bunnies.
The bacteria are the ones in charge of their diet. They make sure that the rabbit gets all the nutrients they need.
But how does your rabbit receive their treat?
It comes out of their anus and finally…
Ta-dah! They get their shiny cecotrope poops.
Most rabbits will eat it right out of their bums, so it can be rare to spot one.
Seeing it on a regular basis is okay and safe for your bunny.
But if they’re making more cecos…
It’s a sign that something is not right with their diet. Give them a healthy, balanced diet to give them all the nutrients they need.
Note: Overweight rabbits might have a hard time reaching the cecotropes. They might sit on the cecos and squash it by accident. This might lead to a “dirty bunny bum“.
“What’s a dirty bunny bum?”
If you notice dark stains on your rabbit’s bum, it can be a health risk for them.
It happens when they squash their ceco-poops by accident. It can occur even if they’re not overweight.
Warning: This can attract flies and put them at risk of myiasis a.k.a flystrike. It’s when flies lay their eggs on your bunny. When it hatches, it can be life-threatening for your bunny.
Keep your rabbit clean to prevent this issue. You can use cotton wipes to clean their bum.
#3: Cecal dysbiosis
Cecal dysbiosis may look normal at first glance. But if you pay close attention, they are actually soft like paste. It can also have a foul odor.
This is because these are poops that failed to form.
If this happens, it’s an alarming case for your bunny. This can happen due to many reasons.
Here are some common causes of cecal dysbiosis:
- Poor diet.
In most cases, this problem will go away on its own.
But if the issue persists, your rabbit will need help. Make sure to keep them away from stress.
Check if there are any diseases. Know the signs of a sick bunny so you can act right away.
For example, lethargy and changes in behavior are common symptoms.
Give them a balanced diet. Make sure they get enough hay and not too many pellets.
Chronic cases of dysbiosis can be a symptom of a serious disease.
Take your rabbit to the vet ASAP.
#4: Tiny deformed poops
If you spot small deformed poops in your bunny, it can be a sign that they’re not eating enough.
Due to the lack of food in their body, their poops can lose proper form.
The shapes can be random and mixed with normal-looking poop.
This is common in bunnies who have dental problems.
Due to the pain in their teeth, they can’t chew their food very well. They also won’t feel comfortable enough to eat more.
As a result, their poop isn’t complete in shape.
Another possible reason for this is when your bunny experiences complete body pain.
It can happen if they went through surgery.
If this is the case, it’s good news to let you know that their gut works even after surgery.
To get your bunny back to normal…
You can check if they have any problems with their teeth. Overgrown teeth are a health risk, as revealed by a study.
This can damage the gums of your rabbit and lead to bacteria buildup.
You can also try to give them different food. Some bunnies can get sick of eating the same food over and over again.
If they get bored of the same flavors, they might lose their appetite.
Give them some treats once in a while to motivate them to eat.
If the issue persists, consult the vet. They can check for possible hidden diseases.
You might also want to know: Why do rabbits eat cardboard?
#5: Double poops
Double poops are also normal for bunnies. This is when two pellets somehow join together.
When they poop it out, it looks like conjoined twins. It’s formed right next to each other.
This can happen if their intestines slow down due to many reasons.
For example, it’s more common in old rabbits. This is because their bodies are not as good as they were before.
As most living things age, their bodies begin to weaken as well.
The same thing applies to bunnies.
Sometimes, stress can also cause double poops.
Stress can slow down the way their body functions. As a result, the pellets might get pushed down their tracts…
And they will collide against each other. That’s how the double poops happen.
While it’s not very alarming, it’s best to not ignore it as well.
If their double poop is consistent in shape and size, it’s still at a normal level.
But if the poop breaks down in different forms…
That’s the time it can be alarming. It means that something is wrong with their gut and need help ASAP.
To treat this issue, you can consult your vet for medication.
#6: String of poop
You can also spot poop linked together by a string of hair.
This isn’t a very alarming problem as it can be normal for a rabbit.
As long as the spacing between each poop is consistent, it shows that your rabbit’s gut is working.
The poop must also be regular in shape and size. It should also be odorless.
You can find this happening more often during shedding season. This means that your rabbit might eat more hair by accident.
Baby rabbits will shed their fur at 5 to 6 weeks old. The second time is around 4 to 5 months old. An adult rabbit often sheds during spring and fall.
To avoid causing poop-strings in your bunny…
Always brush their hair and clean their room to get rid of stray hair all over the place.
#7: Hairy poop
It’s also not rare to spot a hairy poop in rabbits.
Most of the time, it still has its own usual shape. But the only thing that makes it look weird or alarming is that it’s covered in fur.
It’s not the same as a string of poop made out of hair.
Instead, it’s a ball of poop covered in hair.
This can happen if they’re eating too much hair. It can also occur when they’re shedding their fur.
Sometimes, it can also be another pet’s fur.
If you own other hairy pets such as cats or dogs, there’s a chance that their fur can get mixed up along with it.
While this is not too alarming…
Too much hair inside your bunny’s gut can be bad for their health.
It can make it difficult for their body to process everything else.
The worst-case scenario here is that it can lead to hair blockage in their digestive tract.
Unlike other animals that can puke out a hairball…
Rabbits are incapable of vomiting. Instead, they only pass everything through their poops.
So if a blockage occurs due to a hairball inside their gut, it can turn into a risky situation for them.
To prevent such issues, consider grooming their hair on a regular basis.
Try to do it at least 2 to 3 times a day. This way, you will lessen the potential hair that they might ingest by accident.
“How to detect a blockage in your bunny?”
You can tell if your bunny has a gut blockage if their poop becomes unstable. Sometimes, they may stop defecating at all.
This can lead to more problems for your bunny’s health.
So if your bunny hasn’t pooped for the whole day, it’s best to take them to the vet immediately.
#8: Large poops
Large-sized poops that almost look like eggs are abnormal in bunnies. It’s not the same as double poops. It must be full and round in shape.
While you might think large breeds should have big poops…
This condition you’re about to read can also affect the size of their poops.
A condition called “Megacolon” a.k.a “Cecoliths” is a common cause of big poops in rabbits.
Though the word “colon” is in it…
This issue often involves most of the cecum.
It’s actually a rare issue. It can occur because of genetic problems.
Breeds such as the English Spot and the Checkered Giants are prone to this issue, as stated by a study.
Physical trauma can also cause this problem for your bunny.
But based on the same study, it can also happen because of different reasons.
Here are some examples:
- Poor diet.
- Cecum imbalance.
- Slowed down intestines.
- Slowed movement in the colon.
No matter the reason, it can be alarming for your bunny. It can dry up the cecum and affect the microorganisms living in it.
As a result, this can make your bunny poop less or be unable to receive cecotropes.
Instead, they get these large, malformed poops.
Symptoms of Cecolith
If you suspect that your rabbit might have cecoliths…
Your bunny will experience a lot of pain. Abdominal pain is one of the biggest symptoms.
Other than abdominal pain, they might also lose interest in their food. This can lead to anorexia.
Their body will also become limp due to a lack of muscle mass.
“How to treat Cecoliths?”
Since the cecum gets dried up, the first step to take is fluid therapy.
Rehydrate your bunny and their cecum. You can do this by giving them more fresh greens.
Make sure they still receive enough fiber from hay.
You can try to ease their abdominal pain. Give them a gentle massage on the belly. Press until you go further down and keep repeating it.
Withdraw your hand if they show signs of pain.
You can also get the help of your vet for extra medicine. Pain killers can be a great help for them.
Since rabbits tend to hide their illnesses, it can be hard to spot cecoliths with your eyes alone.
For proper diagnosis, consult your vet.
Ultrasound is one way they can confirm if your bunny is sick. If the case has gone severe, your bunny might need surgery.
#9: Poop with wet mucus
It’s not normal for bunnies to poop with wet mucus. Though, it’s also not always alarming.
It can happen if your bunny ate something and forgot to chew.
This is more common in baby rabbits since they are still exploring new flavors at their age. Because of their excitement, they might swallow something whole.
Young bunnies might go, “Oh wow, this tastes so good! *gulp* uh-oh, I forgot to chew it.”
When this happens, it can be hard for their digestive tract to break down the food.
As a result, they will poop it out along with some wet mucus. It’s often transparent in color and not too smelly.
If this happens a lot to your bunny…
Avoid giving large foods. Instead, cut their food into bite-sized pieces. This will make sure their belly won’t have too many problems if they fail to chew it.
Though it’s not dangerous, it can be bad when it happens a lot.
So make sure to keep an eye on what they eat.
#10: Poop covered in sticky mucus
Now that we mentioned mucus…
There is also a different type of mucus in rabbit poop to watch out for.
This mucus is often yellowish in color. It can be thick and sticky and sometimes have a foul odor.
This is a sign of parasite infection for rabbits. It can be deadly when left untreated.
In some cases, it can lead to true diarrhea. More on that below…
Tapeworms and pinworms are examples of parasites that can cause this for your bunny.
“How do rabbits become infected by parasites?”
Rabbits can get worms if they eat their eggs.
It can happen more often when a rabbit grazes outside. Though, indoor rabbits can still get it.
Other animals can pass it through their poop or urine.
So if your rabbit gets exposed to other animals…
They are at risk of becoming infected too.
If you suspect that your rabbit might be sick, take them to the vet ASAP.
Don’t forget to check out: 19 Alarming Reasons Why Rabbits Shake + 13 Important Tips
#11: Abnormal small poops
You might also see very small poops in your bunny.
It’s true that they have tiny fecal poops, but it can also become smaller than it already is.
This is more common in stressed rabbits.
As prey animals, they can be sensitive in their environment. Their strong sense of smell and hearing also keeps them alert.
Because of this, they can get stressed by noise or scents in the air.
Most of the time, it’s not an alarming concern. Their poop will go back to normal within a day or in a few hours.
But if it keeps happening, it might be a sign of other issues.
Your bunny might be in pain due to an illness. Sometimes, their intestines could be getting smaller too.
If there is also a blockage in their digestive system, it can make things hard for your bunny.
So if abnormal small poops keep appearing…
Take your rabbit to the vet ASAP.
#12: Darker poops
You might also notice when your bunny’s poop seems darker in color, making them look burnt.
This is normal and not alarming at first. It can happen if they have too much protein in their diet.
It might happen if you also changed their regular food to a new one.
If their poop was normal before, it means that their diet was more balanced at that time.
Look for better choices of food to balance their nutrients.
A popular brand to try is Timothy Hay. It’s known to give a balanced source of fiber and protein for bunnies.
But if the problem persists… consult your vet for tips.
Diarrhea is uncommon in rabbits…
But when it happens, it’s a sure sign of a deadly problem.
You can tell if your rabbit has diarrhea when their poop is watery. A runny stool is a sign of severe GI stasis.
Sometimes, it can also be a sign of other infections.
In rare cases, it can also happen due to poison.
Diarrhea happens more often in young rabbits. This is because they are still weak and more sensitive to diseases.
If they’re also taken from their mother way too early…
They’ll miss the antibodies that their mother would give them, according to research.
Diarrhea due to parasites
There are many parasites that can cause diarrhea in rabbits.
A common example is coccidia a.k.a Eimeria.
Other examples are:
As mentioned in #9, they can get infected when they eat the eggs without knowing.
Diarrhea due to bacteria
A rabbit can also get diarrhea from human contact.
This is because our bodies often carry a bacteria called “Escherichia coli” a.k.a “E. Coli”.
A baby rabbit is at a high risk of E. Coli.
Only their mother’s milk can give them antibodies to protect them. Otherwise, their immune system can’t fight the bacteria off.
This is why it’s important to wash your hands before touching them.
“How to treat diarrhea in rabbits?”
In case of diarrhea, it’s ideal to take them to the vet ASAP.
This is because it’s a life-threatening concern for them.
If no one is available or it’s late at night, provide first aid treatment. Make sure the rabbit gets enough food. Syringe feed them if needed.
Don’t forget to make them drink enough water as well.
You can also check their temperature. Insert a thermometer no deeper than 1 inch in their anus.
In case of fever or a temperature of 103°F (39°C) and above, cool them down using a damp towel.
You can also place cold water bottles next to them. Try rubbing ice cubes on their ears to regulate their temperature.
In case of hypothermia or a temperature of 100°F to 30°F (37°C to -1.11°C), warm them up using hot water bottles.
Wrap it in a soft cloth to avoid burning.
This will help give them enough comfort and energy to stay alive in the meantime.
Since it’s an emergency, try to keep an eye on them as much as possible.
Take turns with a friend or family to keep watch.
To learn more about treating diarrhea, watch this video:
People also ask:
What should rabbit poop look like?
A normal rabbit poop should look like round, pea-sized pellets. They are often light brown in color. The average size of a bunny poop is around 0.27 inches to 0.47 inches (7 millimeters to 12 millimeters).
The other rabbit poop you can find is a cecotrope poop. It’s a dark brown colored poop. It’s clumped together like berries.
What color is healthy bunny poop?
A healthy rabbit poop should be light brown in color. Sometimes, it might appear darker if there’s a high protein in your rabbit’s diet. Other weird colors such as bright yellow are abnormal and can be a sign of an illness.
Red poop could be a sign of blood in the stool. This can happen with severe GI stasis.
Why is my bunny having soft poop?
Your rabbit is having soft poop to eat for their nutrition. These soft poops are clumped together and they are called “cecotrope poops”.
If the poop is soft and deformed, it can be a sign of cecal dysbiosis.
Meanwhile, if the poop is soft and watery, it can be a sign of diarrhea. Your rabbit needs to get treated ASAP in case of diarrhea.