Rabbits tend to hide their illness, and when you think you’ve just noticed your bunny is unwell, he might be dying!
For prey animals, any sign of weakness makes you a target for predators. That’s why you’ll hardly notice bunnies showing signs of sickness.
Luckily, one thing will always communicate your rabbit’s health. Poop. Anyone who pays attention to this will never miss signs of illness. To notice the change, you must be well versed in what healthy rabbit poop looks like.
So, do you know what rabbit poop looks like? What does the appearance of rabbit poop say about the rabbit’s health?
Don’t worry if you don’t; I’m here to help. This post guides you through all you need to know about rabbit droppings.
What Does Rabbit Poop Look Like?
Rabbit poop looks like pellets, hence the standard name “rabbit pellets.” And though size and color may slightly differ, the size of the bunny has nothing to do with the size of the pellets.
Usually, these pellets will be in clusters and not be sticky at all. They may be hard to the touch, but they will always crush under slight pressure. Underline crush as mush is out of the question. When you expose the inside, you should notice sawdust-like things falling apart.
Rabbit droppings dry out and get pretty hard with time, so check a fresh one to get accurate results. Once you expose the inside of a poop pellet, you should see chewed-up hay, which is a sign of healthy bunny poop.
Don’t freak out if you see shiny, dark poop that, instead of scattering, sticks together. That’s cecotropes. They are part of healthy poop, provided there is nothing extraordinary about them.
Let’s dive deeper into details regarding rabbit poop.
Rabbit poop can be either dark or medium green, or dark or light brown. While one bunny may produce a different poop color than the others, the primary factor is consistency in color.
You may also detect a slight change in color in the case of a change in diet. For example, it’s common for bunnies to excrete darker droppings if they have more protein.
The critical thing to note is the consistency in color, such that if he produces brown pellets, what should change is the shade of brown and not an abrupt green color.
And in case you doubt the change in the shade of color, switch to feeding your rabbit less protein-based food, and you will notice a change to a lighter shade.
Size and amount
One poop pellet is roughly the size of a green pea. That’s approximately 7-12 mm in diameter. All pellets should be the same size, with an allowance of 1-2 mm. express concern if there is a vast difference or change in pellet size.
As for the amount, an average-sized rabbit will excrete 200-300 pellets a day. That sounds like a lot, but remember, bunnies are constantly munching on hay, so it makes sense.
Generally, rabbit excrement is pellet-shaped. So it’s round or spherical, resembling cocoa puffs. All pellets should be this shape, so if there is significant distortion, pay close attention to figure out why.
Large egg-shaped poop
Though it’s rare to notice this, some bunnies will produce large egg-shaped pellets. Don’t confuse this with large regular pellets; the shape is the crucial aspect here.
Such pellets are a result of megacolon, a rare condition that arises from genetics.
Small round poop
Rabbit pellets can become smaller due to stress. This often occurs if your bunny has had a stressful experience, like having a predator around. Note that only the size changes to be smaller, nothing more.
The size will usually return to normal within a few hours once your bunny is calm. But if this lasts longer, visit your vet as it may be a sign of partial blockage.
You may also notice misshapen pellets in your bunny’s excrement. This signals that he is not eating well, maybe due to dental issues or any other reason that may affect how your bunny eats.
Texture, consistency, and smell
When I said you underline the word crush as mush is out of the question, I was talking about the texture. Your rabbit’s poop should never be squishy. It should be a little hard so that when you place it between your fingers and apply some pressure, it scatters, exposing the inside.
As for the smell, rabbit poop has a light smell that shouldn’t overpower your senses. The strong, pungent smell from his litter bin results from the pee, not the poop. Actually, it’s not uncommon for the poop smell to go unnoticed.
Connected by hair
Occasionally, rabbit poop pellets are connected with hair, forming a chain of pearls. The hair comes from the rabbit as they normally shed their fur. You might notice more of this if your bunny has longer hair, depending on the breed.
It’s also more common during molting and signifies that your bunny’s digestive system is working perfectly. Since the hair is indigestible, it comes out with the excrement, so don’t worry if your bunny has more of this.
Cecotrope Droppings: What Do They Look Like?
Did you know rabbits eat their poop? Disgusting, right?
Not really; when you grab the background info, you understand why. What rabbits eat is known as cecotropes. These are dark greenish-brown pellets covered in mucus, hence the shiny look.
They are very soft and are always pressed into an elongated mass. Besides, cecotropes contain a strong smell compared to normal poop pellets. These unique pellets are made in the caecum, where fungi and bacteria work on the indigestible components in your rabbit’s diet to create cecotropes.
They contain tons of nutrients essential to your bunny, hence the need to consume and reabsorb the nutrients. So while it’s poop to us, it’s nutrients to rabbits; that’s why you rarely find cecotropes lying around. Rabbits eat them immediately after they are out.
Though they are a sign of healthy rabbits, overproduction of cecotropes is not good. It may mean that your rabbit is eating too much sugar, and as you know, sugar in bunnies may lead to obesity.
Like other pellets, they may contain fur but will be stickier than normal rabbit poop. Besides, they may be in berry-like clusters, so it’s hard to miss them.
Other Things you Should Know About Rabbit Poop
We’ve covered most of what you should know about rabbit poop. However, there are other things that work in your favor if you know them.
On rare occasions, bunnies produce double pellets. This is basically two pea-sized pellets attached together. If you notice this, it means your rabbit’s gut slowed down during formation, causing two pellets to collide.
This is common at an advanced age and sometimes if your bunny is stressed. If you notice more of this repeatedly, ask your vet for a pill to boost your bunny’s gut digestion pace.
Another worrying issue is whether one may get sick from rabbit poop. Well, humans have a strong immunity compared to bunnies, so rarely will bunny excrement (even contaminated ones) make humans sick.
As for cleaning rabbit poop, don’t use a lot of chemicals, as rabbits are sensitive to most chemicals. Vinegar, bleach, and plain soap will work perfectly.
Mucus in poop
While the shine in cecotrope is from mucus, the thick stringy mucus in rabbit poop is cause for alarm. It might indicate serious health issues, so do the necessary in the event you notice this.
Rabbits rarely have diarrhea, and if they do, they might have eaten contaminated food or been infected with parasites. This is a serious issue, and the first thing you should do is rush to the vet.
Kittens may pass watery excrement if fed before they are of age. It can also occur in older rabbits if they have too many watery vegetables.
Cecal dysbiosis and its causes
In layman’s language, cecal dysbiosis means rabbit poop that is not fully formed. This is quite messy and usually smells. Some of its causes include stress, too much starch, fat, and sugar in your rabbit’s diet.
So you see, what you feed your bunny is very important. Too much of anything may cause issues. A change in diet may also interfere with your bunny’s poop. If you want to introduce something new to his diet, check with your vet and introduce it gradually so his digestive system can adjust accordingly.
Rabbit poop is round, hard but not squishy. It’s mostly made of hay since rabbits eat too much hay.
Colors may change per rabbit, but consistency should be the telltale sign of any need for concern.
Familiarize yourself with your rabbit’s poop so you can tell immediately when something is amiss.