The Best Foods For Rabbits With Diarrhea

If your rabbit is suffering from diarrhea, the situation could become a little alarming. Diarrhea is one of the noticeable symptoms of gastrointestinal troubles. To treat diarrhea in rabbits, you need to consult a veterinarian. But there are a few ways you can use to reduce the severity of diarrhea at home.  

Diarrhea might occur because of poor diet and antibiotic-induced toxicity. Other reasons that may lead to diarrhea are stress and mucoid enteropathy. The proper food to feed rabbits with diarrhea is plenty of hay. Even if your rabbit does not eat hay, there are nine other greens you can give them. Besides that, the rabbit needs to remain hydrated. Hence, you should provide them with more water

If your rabbit is suffering from diarrhea, scroll down below to know how to cure it. 

Causes Of Diarrhea 

Before deciding what to feed the rabbit, there are a few things that you need to understand. First of all, it is crucial to determine whether your rabbit has diarrhea or not. Second, how does your rabbit get diarrhea, or what is the exact cause? If you are not sure about these two things, you can consult a veterinarian with rabbit expertise. Diarrhea is uncommon in rabbits. If left untreated, it could become toxic. 

Intermittent Soft Cecotropes 

First of all, cecotropes are not diarrhea. Besides that, they are healthy for the rabbit. The cecotropes in rabbits look like: 

  • Regular poop with minor watery droppings 
  • Droppings that resemble thick pudding or blobs 

If you notice these kinds of poop in your rabbit, then it has cecotropes. In general, your pets should eat soft cecotropes to strengthen good nutrition. Though many owners find this weird, it is natural for rabbits. When your rabbit is eating their poop, they may have cecotropes.  

The above kinds of poop are vital for rabbit nutrition. To be precise, your pets can not live without those droppings. The cecotropes contain high amounts of bacteria and fungi. The rabbit naturally produces them, and they are beneficial for health. But if you see more watery droppings than usual, your rabbit may have diarrhea. 

Mucoid Enteropathy 

It is a diarrheal disease that can become toxic in several young rabbits. If the rabbit suffers from mucoid enteropathy, their diarrhea will be full of mucus with a gooey density. The exact causes of this illness are still mysterious. But there are some typical contributing elements, which are: 

  • Low dietary fiber
  • Stress 
  • Dietary changes 
  • Intestinal infections
  • Antibiotic treatments 

You can avoid this disease in rabbits by feeding them a proper and nutritious diet. 

Antibiotic-Induced Toxicity 

Your rabbits should NEVER swallow some specific antibiotics orally. A few of those antibiotics are:  

  • Clindamycin 
  • Lincomycin 
  • Penicillin 
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalosporin
  • Ampicillin

The above antibiotics tend to restrict the natural and healthy bacteria present in the rabbit’s intestines. Because of that, they will suffer from severe diarrhea. If the rabbit gets diarrhea after swallowing the medicine given by the vet, STOP using it. After that, contact the veterinarian as soon as possible.  

Unbalanced Diet 

One of the most common reasons for diarrhea in your rabbits is an unbalanced diet. In general, their diet must contain 80% hay grass. Some of the best hay choices for your rabbits are: 

  • Alfalfa hay 
  • Oat hay 
  • Meadow hay
  • Timothy hay 

All the above hays are rich in fiber that the rabbit needs to eat. A few veggies and fruits are also good treats for your rabbits. But, they have excess sugar, which can be dangerous to your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. When rabbits eat less fiber and high sugary food, they will get watery or liquid bowel movements. 

Stress 

Here is another common factor that leads to diarrhea, which is stress. Rabbits might become stressed if small kids handle them. Plus, living together with other pets like dogs and cats can lead to stress. As rabbits are easy prey animals, they will be nervous around their predators. 

Change in their regular environment can also cause stress in rabbits. Even minor changes to the rabbit’s ordinary habitat will result in high-stress levels. Be mindful of your sensitive pet before making any territorial changes. Plus, take necessary precautions to make them comfortable. If you bought a new rabbit, leave it alone for some time. Because of that, it can adapt itself to new surroundings. 

What To Feed Your Rabbit During Diarrhea

First of all, contact the veterinarian to know what disease your rabbit is suffering from. If the result is diarrhea, you can feed the following foods: 

Limit Your Rabbit’s Diet 

One crucial thing you need to do is remove the veggies, feed, and fruits from their diet. Plus, keep plenty of hay grass in their food bowl, which is full of fiber. If the rabbit is on a pellet diet, you can keep pellets in their food bowl. Along with that, add more hay to it. If your rabbit refuses to eat one kind of hay, try giving them several types of hay grass. 

Stop giving them treats 

Several rabbits enjoy eating treats. But you should stop feeding treats to your rabbit if it has diarrhea. It is because high sugar levels in treats will make their condition even worse. 

Keep Them Hydrated 

Do your best to keep the rabbit hydrated. Dehydration could become a primary problem for rabbits suffering from diarrhea. Make sure to change the water in their bowl more often. If the rabbit is not drinking enough water, it is crucial to inject Lactated Ringers Solution under their fur. For these injections, only go to the certified rabbit veterinarian. 

Leafy Greens (Rare Option) 

When the rabbit refuses or can not eat, contact the veterinarian as fast as possible. In unique cases, veterinarians might suggest feeding some leafy greens. Some of these foods are listed below:  

  • Basil 
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Tarragon

What Not To Feed Your Rabbit During Diarrhea

Which foods should I avoid feeding rabbits who are suffering from diarrhea? For this question, the answer is quite lengthy. But, here are a few crucial foods that your rabbit should never eat. Some of these foods might seem okay, but they can be harmful to your pet. 

Iceberg Lettuce 

Lettuce is one of the best foods for rabbits. But the iceberg lettuce can result in watery bowel movements. Because of that, you should not feed it to rabbits. If you would like, you can give darker leafy greens such as romaine lettuce and kale. 

Carrots  

It might be surprising, but avoid feeding carrots to rabbits. As per many rabbit experts, carrots have high sugar and calcium levels. They can be harmful to the rabbit’s intestines if eaten in excess quantities. Make sure to feed tiny pieces of carrots as a special treat. 

Apple Seeds 

Apples are an incredible food as an occasional treat, but their seeds are toxic to rabbits. They have arsenic which is a dangerous toxin. So, before feeding apples, make sure to remove seeds.   

Avocado 

Every part of the avocado is lethal to rabbits. You should never feed avocado to your pet in any circumstance. 

Rhubarb 

Avoid using all parts of the rhubarb, particularly its leaves. If your rabbit has eaten these leaves, it may suffer from severe kidney damage. It is because these leaves include excessive quantities of oxalic acid. 

Cauliflower 

It is non-toxic for rabbits. But, this food can result in excess gas in their gut. Due to that, they will become bloated and would feel uncomfortable. 

Carbohydrates 

Every food that is rich in carbohydrates is horrible for the rabbit’s intestines. Keep in mind that your rabbit depends on fiber and not carbohydrates. Here are some foods you need to avoid feeding:

  • Oats 
  • Rice
  • Cereals
  • Grains   
  • Crackers
  • Potatoes 

Dairy 

Avoid all dairy products. Do not give any form of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, butter, or others to your rabbit. They can result in the overgrowth of bacteria in the pet’s intestines. 

Meat and Eggs 

It is noticeable that eggs and meat are not safe for rabbits. Never feed foods that contain these ingredients. Rabbits do not possess the digestive system capable of processing animal products or eggs. 

What to Give Rabbits During Diarrhea Recovery 

Here are some other things you can do to comfort the rabbit while they are recovering from diarrhea.  

Dry Bath 

Diarrhea is not an enjoyable experience both to rabbits and their owners. Your pet will have poop or other messy things on its bottom or paws. With the baby powder, you can clean those areas with your fingers. If possible, you can try using a comb with fine-tooth to wipe out their droppings. It is necessary to continue this process throughout the rabbit’s recovery. Dry baths are suitable because your rabbits can accept them satisfactorily. 

Wet Bath 

If the droppings and diarrhea of rabbits are stinky and watery, they may need a wet bath. To clean the rabbit, load the sink with lukewarm water. After that, scrub them using a minor quantity of shampoo, which is meant for rabbits. While washing them, make sure to be gentle but firm. Position it in the sink and start rinsing the dusty areas of the rabbit. After making sure that your pet is clean, dry them with a towel. 

If the rabbit refuses a wet bath, you can give a soft sponge bath using the washcloth. Your rabbit might accept the sponge bath rather than this wet bath. 

Monitor Your Rabbit 

It is crucial to keep an eye on the rabbit. Make sure to follow the prescription given by the veterinarian during the recovery procedure. Check their eating and drinking habits and watch out for any changes. Examine rabbit poop and update it to the veterinarian. 

A Clean And Stress-Free Environment 

Make sure to clean the rabbit’s pen and surroundings more often. Like a noisy habitat, even a shabby territory can result in stress. Make sure to keep its environment calm and peaceful. Take out everything that causes loud noises. Keep rabbits away from tiny kids and new people. Rabbits get easily frightened. Providing a comfortable environment can improve their recovery.