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Last Post by Scarlet_Rose at 8/25/2007 8:15 AM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/09/2007 8:37 PM

Alright I'm getting a bit frustrated here..  I work very very long days right now.. i also attend school at night so i have a hectic schedule.. However, I let Sam out every night when i get home for at LEAST an hour, and he is out quite a bit on the weekends..   I have always had a bit of a pooping problem with him but I'm coming to my wits is why..

I built him the bunny condo with a nice floor and everything.. Well apparently the only place he likes to poop is on that floor.   It's not ever just pellets either it's a ton of the icky cecal stuff.  Then he loves to lay in it and squish it down on to the floor.  Recently he started peeing in his bed as well.. so mashed poop on the floor and pee all in his bed. 

I really don't think he's trying to get back at me for not letting him out that much because in all other aspects he is a very happy boy, my husband and daughter give him a lot of attention when i am not home as well..  Anyway.. i come home from school at 10:00pm every night and have to scrape the crap off of the bottom of his cage w/ a razor blade because it's gross and dried on there really well..  He eats hay all day, very minimal treats if any at all, and romaine lettuce at night (a very tiny bit).  I have some oxbow 15/23 on the way (he is still only 14 wks) because his food right now is really lacking in the nutritional content value.

Anyway.. i just dont know what to do.. I can't let his floor just pile up with dried poo, but its driving me mad.. what am i doing wrong??


User is Offline sevyn
Ontario, Canada
72 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 4:39 AM
I was having a similar problem with my bun, who is confined to her cage for the time being to work out some territory issues she and I were having. She's always been a bit sloppy with litterbox manners, but she was getting especially bad and leaving her business everywhere - half in the litterbox and half out. My problems were almost completely solved when I added another litterbox and set up her hay mangers so that she had to be all the way in in order to get at it.
How many litterboxes does he have? Is there food (at least hay) next to all of them? (Believe it or not, my bun has a bad habit of going where she is if dragging food to her box is not feasible!)
Also, I don't know if this is the case with Sam, but what is his 'bed' made out of? Mine doesn't chew fabrics, but as soon as she gets a piece she often treats it like another washroom.
Good luck, I know how unpleasant it is to have poop everywhere!

User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 4:49 AM
Sam only has one litterbox and it is one that is fairly large, i do have another litterbox that i can put in his cage though. he always gets all the way in his litterbox, and he was doing really well at peeing in there too. There is hay inside, he just waits until he hops out to poo. His bed was this huge cushion that he loved to lay on whenever he came out of his cage to play so i just put it in there for a bed, thinking it was enticing enough to just sleep on until he started doing his business on it.

It wouldn't be so bad if they were just pellets he was leaving everywhere, but unfortunately it isn't that easy. It seems like he is having a lot more cecal matter than usual, the odd part is that it's in the evening. I asked my husband to check his cage yesterday in the afternoon and he hadn't done it yet.. but by the time i got home the cage floor was covered. His diet does not change throughout the day, and he used to have cecal matter first thing in the morning..

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2094 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 7:35 AM

Bunnies should not be leaving so many cecals around, they should reingest them and not leave them on the floor.  You said you are going to change his pellets, that is a good start.  At 14 weeks, he should be getting unlimited alfalfa hay too.  Does he like to eat hay?  Treats can also cause excess cecal production, things like bananas, apples, grapes, raisins, etc.  Does he get a lot of treats?


User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 2:16 PM

I have a question, how much and how often (if at all) does his cage get reached into during the course of the day? The majority of bunnies do not like their cage to be reached into to be petted or given affection otherwise they can be vicious with the territorial poo and pee as well. If his cage is being reached into, try to limit it to only cleaning and give him loves when he voluntarily hops out.

An over production of cecal droppings is not a good sign and something is not right with their diet: That they are getting too much protein, sugar or starch in their diet. The presence of them littering the bottom of the cage usually happens if a bunny is too obese and is unable to reach around and consume them or if it is a special needs bunny with motility problems, neither of which sounds like the case here so it may very well be his diet.

The current food he is getting, how much starch, protein and sugar is in it? Is he getting unlimited hay? What type of hay are you feeding him? How much of it is he eating? Can you give a break down of everything he is fed? I know it may be some trouble, but could lend a clue as to why it is happening. When something is wrong with a bunny, one has to investigate every tiny detail if it is not life threatening. If he seems to be sluggish or acting out of the ordinary (hunched up in pain) take him to the vet right away. Does he still poo the normal sized ones at all? If not, you could be mistakenly thinking they are all cecal droppings when they are not and take him to the vet ASAP as he may have an impaction.

User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 3:31 PM

Okay I am going to try and answer all of the questions, so this will be a long one.

I am the only person who reaches into his cage, and it is just to clean, give food and hay.  He will occasionally come up and beg for a head scratch through the wire when we are sitting next to him though.

I started switching him today from a store brand pellet with very limited "bunny junk food" mixed in with it, to Oxbow bunny basics.  After i found out what nutritional value their food was supposed to be, i went and looked at the bag i had and it definately isn't the worst but definately isn't the best either.  Not near enough fiber and of course the junk food.. (i will give the nutritional breakdown of the food at the end of this)

He gets unlimited Timothy hay and Peter's Meadow Mix on occasion.

He is definately not obese, he is right about where he should be at this age. He is full of energy, not haunched up or acting like he's in pain in any way.  He hops around normally and binky's like usual around the living room.

He very seldom gets treats, and if he does they are usually hay cakes or papaya tablets (usually 1/4 of a tablet every few days or so).  He does have plenty of normal poops.  I got home today around 4 (no school yay!) and he had just done a bunch of cecals on his floor, and it was a lot, i should have taken a picture so you could see what i am talking about.. I mean bunches of it.  (and it was all normal size for cecals too..)  but like i said he does have plenty of normal poos throughout the day as well.

He also gets a small bit of either Romaine or Cilantro at night, I have tried doing only one at a time to see if one of those is upsetting his tummy but i am getting the same results.

I am really thinking it's his crap food that I bought and I'm hoping that once we are fully switched over to Oxbow it will help.  Here is the breakdown on his food:

Protein 17%
Fat 3%
Fiber (min) 12%
Fiber (max) 17%
Moisture 12%
Calcium (min) 0.5%
Calcium (max) 1%
Phosphorus 0.4%
Salt (min) 0.25%
Salt (max) 0.75%
Vitamin A (min) 2500 IU/lb

So as you can tell the fiber content is terrible, and it's obviously messing with his digestive system, so thus comes the switch to Oxbow.    Remember he is not completely litter box trained as of yet, but I have never had this much of a problem with poo before, he used to do one or two clumps of cecal droppings in the morning and that was it.

So besides me being a terrible bunny mom by feeding bad food, what are your thoughts?



User is Offline kralspace
West, Texas
2680 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 3:58 PM
In the words of the Cheezbuger pics, U knot badd buune mom. Don't be so hard on yourself, if you were a bad mom, you wouldn't be looking so hard for an answer and worrying so much, U goode mom
My Bunny Burrow is full! Pringles & Toby, Daisy & Lola, and my senior citizens Hershey & Simba.
The piggies are back, add Brownie and Sweetpea to the mix.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 5:10 PM

Oh hun you aren't a bad bunny mom and never did I think that and neither should you! The questions I asked were only to help you with your situation (Thank you so much for taking the time to answer them!) and you are giving him the best care that you know how. His behavior is not a refelction upon you, so please don't take it personally. It sounds like the balance of his diet is good too. The fiber should be at about 18% and the one you have isn't too shabby with the fiber but the protein is a tiny bit high, ideally around 13-14%. Unless there is something else in there high in starch like seeds or something, like you said it isn't the worst but somewhere between.  I think the switch will help and maybe just maybe this switch has got him a little off-kilter.

Hmm, otherwise this has stumped me. I am going to see if I can consult a few people and see what their thoughts are too. It's not fun coming home after an exhausting day and having to clean up a really messy, icky cage. Since your schedule is so packed, he could very well be just stressed out about it and he misses you.

 ***OK I quizzed a few people and did some research, alfalfa hay has a very high protein content of about 15.3% and your normal timothy comes in at 6.3% is there any alfalfa involved in his diet? Sorry for all the questions! I know you didn't list it, but it was a question that came up. 

Since we've pretty much ruled out everything, I think your bunny is going to need to go to the vet because it can be an intestinal problem and a vet visit is warranted at this point since you indicated that they are mushy and stuck all over his bottom and be sure to take a sample with you when you go so they can test it. Something you may want to read up on bunny poopology: 

Please let me know if you are able to get him in to see a vet and if the bacterial balance is off. Hang in there!

User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2007 6:46 PM
The Oxbow pellets i am switching him to are alfalfa, but i just started him today. The poo isnt stuck to his bottom at all, just stuck to the bottom of the cage.. I will probably end up taking him to the vet tomorrow to see if they cant figure out what's going on with him, i will update you! Thank you so much for all the advice

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 7:03 AM
You're welcome hun, I really hope things get figured out with your little guy and you can get back to a more normal routine.

User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 9:11 AM
Well, the vet didn't find anything wrong with him, checked his stool and nothing out of the ordinary was determined. She said that because he just flipped on the sexual maturity switch, a lot of things about him are changing so it might be upsetting his digestive balance. She claims she has seen that quite a bit in young males (over production of cecal movements) and recommended that i feed him a bit more greens, trying one at a time for one week and slowly adding to it, and reducing his pellets. She normally recommends free feeding at this age but she told me to limit his food intake to 1/4 c. servings once a day and once at night, then slowly to just once a day. She also said that during molting season, some bunnies can break down the fur a bit too much (especially when the papaya is introduced and the fur is already broken down enough) that they can have messy poos, so she said to try and stop the papaya and see if that helps.

We'll see if that helps, wish me luck!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 12:27 PM
Good luck and thanks for sharing about the vet visit that was very interesting! I'm so glad you were able to get him in to see one to figure things out, gain more insight as to the why of him doing this. Hopefully it won't be long and you'll come home to a fairly clean cage.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8995 posts Send Private Message
8/17/2007 7:31 PM
I hope things are going well! Give us an update when you have a chance.

User is Offline jessica2
Federal Way, WA
18 posts Send Private Message
8/25/2007 7:59 AM


Well it's been a few weeks since i posted this, and I am happy to say that we've come long distances since poopy butt days. Sam still has a few cecals but not nearly as many as before.   I changed him to Oxbow (he's in the very last transitioning stage), upped his hay intake, and did a trial and error on greens for poopy butt like binkybunny suggested in her Diet section of this site.

Turns out Sam is not fond of cilantro, as his bowels get a bit...irritable.  He's been on romaine and bok choy, seems to be doing just great on those.

His cage still looks like a war zone at the end of the day, but at least the poops are just pellets and not anything i have to scrape off.  He is so good about peeing in his litterbox, and he will poop in it as well but he does not yet understand that he should poop in it every time.

He has also gotten much better about pooping in the living room, he only drops maybe one or two pellets now and as soon as he has done that he runs to his litterbox.

Now that we've gotten him on a better track, it is definately time to start thinking about neutering.

Thanks for all of your support on this one, it was a bit frustrating but I think we've got it under control now!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/25/2007 8:15 AM
Yay! That's GREAT news! I know it was getting really hard on you after your long days and having to cope with the clean up, so it is really nice to hear that it is much more manageable now. It makes it easier all around and now you can enjoy Sam much more.
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