Diarrhea can kill your rabbit

Diarrhea Diarrhea: watery or mushy fecal droppings
*Watery or mushy fecal droppings
*Intestinal parasites or inflammation of the intestine
*Antibiotics or other medications
*Improper or excessive fresh greens

Diarrhea could be deadly if not treated. Diarrhea can cause your bunny to become severely dehydrated which can lead to many additional serious medical problems. A rabbit will dehydrate from diarrhea much faster than most animals. Your bunny may not be able to survive longer than 24 hours without determining the cause of the diarrhea and treating it immediately.

Easter, an adult rabbit at the rescue, developed diarrhea over night. As soon as I detected the diarrhea in the morning, I gave her 12cc’s of water every hour until the veterinarian could see us. Only 3 hours elapsed from the time I discovered the diarrhea and when I brought her home from the vet. She passed away before I could give her the first dose of medicine.

What does rabbit diarrhea look like? As with many creatures, human and animal alike, diarrhea generally has no distinct form. I would say many times it can look like mud. It would be a runny substance with a strong odor that usually sticks to a rabbit’s bottom and rear legs.

If your bunny has developed diarrhea and it did not follow a feeding of fresh vegetables or fruits, first and most important make an appointment immediately with your rabbit veterinarian and take a sample of the watery feces (and some cecal pellets if possible) with you to test for a parasitic infection that may need to be treated. Second, use a syringe and give your friend as much water as he will allow.

Infections are normally treated with antibiotics, remember that your bunny has necessary bacteria in their stomachs and intestinal tracts that are very important for your rabbit’s health. Antibiotic treatment such as Amoxicillin, Lincomycin, Clindamycin, or any of the drugs ending in …cillin can be deadly to your friend. Make sure you know what your vet is using to treat your bunny’s infection.

It has also been observed at the rabbit rescue that too much Romaine Lettuce and other fresh greens or excessive treats such as bananas can cause diarrhea. This could occur in some rabbits but not others. Some rabbits may tolerate all fresh green vegetables while others can only properly digest certain types. If no fever exists, review your rabbit’s diet and make sure they have the right balance of food.

Intestinal parasites or anything that inflames the lining of the intestine can cause diarrhea. Some intestinal parasites include coccidia (Eimeria spp.), roundworms, and tapeworms. If your bunny does not have a fever and has not eaten inappropriate or excessive greens, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Bring a sample of fecal matter so the veterinarian can test for intestinal parasites and determine the proper treatment.

Diarrhea is more common in baby rabbits and juveniles and is a sign associated with sudden death in kits. It can appear quickly and cause death in very young kits within hours. Keep a close eye on the young and at the first sign of loss of appetite, lethargy, or runny stool, take the kit immediately to an experienced rabbit veterinarian. Any delay could be the difference between life and death for the youngster.

I cannot stress enough that diarrhea could be deadly in all rabbits. Do not delay in starting treatment at the first signs of diarrhea.