Diarrhoea in rabbits

Diarrhoea is a common problem in pet rabbits. It can be a very serious condition as dehydration can develop rapidly so veterinary advice should be sought immediately.

Some gastrointestinal infections that result in diarrhoea can be fatal in less than 24 hours.

It is normal for rabbits to produce softer droppings at night, which they then eat. This is an important part of the rabbit’s diet.

A high fibre diet, with lots of hay or grass, has a protective effect against diarrhoea.

Occasionally obese rabbits, older rabbits with back problems and rabbits with dental disease become matted with droppings around the tail base. If a rabbit is very overweight, or if it has a painful mouth or back, he or she may be unable to reach round to clean these droppings away putting them at risk of fly strike.

In the summer, diarrhoea or matted soft droppings may attract flies which lay their eggs around the tail base. These hatch out into maggots which begin to eat your rabbit alive, known as fly strike.

You should check your rabbit twice daily in the summer and always make sure bedding is clean and dry. We also supply a product that you can apply to your rabbit at the beginning of summer which helps to prevent this horrid condition.