Daily Archives: June 3, 2008

Why diarrhea?

I participate in the local rabbit forum and sometimes, I read about new rabbit owners in distress because their rabbits are having diarrhea.

There are many sides to their stories. Some fed their 6 weeks old rabbits fresh vegetable and some just could not differentiate between diarrhea and cecal. Whatever the reason, most of the time, the underlying problem remains the same – the kits were weaned too early.

Some of these kits are packed and sent to pet shops at the tender age of 4 weeks just to maximize their “shelf life”. Yes, the main factor is their cuteness. And most of them have to pay with their lives.

Many unaware buyers get caught in the web of deception because they simply do not know that what looks good on the outside does not necessarily reflect what is inside. This is especially true with rabbits because being animal of prey, they do not normally show sign of weakness and if they do, it may already be too late.

And the most frustrating part is that some owners just sit on their heavy butt and failed to weigh the urgency of the situation. They still post in forums expecting for advice when what they should do is to send their rabbits to the vet right away.

Most of the time I do not even dare to feedback on these posts because firstly, it is difficult to ascertain the real situation through the shallow descriptions given and secondly, I believe they should always consult a qualified vet immediately when their rabbits show symptoms of illness.

The last thing I want is having a dead rabbit because of my recommendations due to my inaccurate assumptions.

But what if all else fails?

If you got yourself a vet whom is only well versed in cats and dogs, then that will leave you with no choice but to try the best to save little bunny. So what should you do?

It is a norm to rehydrate the rabbit the best you could by providing loads of water and stop giving pellets for a day. Provide unlimited hay and only re-introduce the pellets once the stomach stabilized (judge through normal fecal deposited).

Most resources encourage feeding rabbits below 6 months with alfalfa but I notice that some young rabbits do not take to alfalfa all that well. They start to have excessive cecal due to the reason that alfalfa may be too rich for them. I just cannot remember the exact cause for excessive cecal when feeding alfalfa to young rabbits. Someone please enlighten me on that.

I believe the best pointer is always going back to the basics. I normally get idea by reminding myself about how wild rabbits are when they are in the wild. What do they eat in the wild is a good question to begin with.

I always like to conclude that the way to a healthy rabbit is through its stomach. As long as their stomach is in good condition, there will always be binkies.

I started off this post wanting to give a solution for diarrhea but I believe it has been written for too many times and I am not a qualified vet to begin with so I do not think I am in the position advice.

I hope someone can comment and perhaps give their opinion on how to solve a diarrhea problem. Thanks in advance.

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