My rabbit has diarrhea - Causes and treatment


Rabbit diarrhea can have several causes. Depending on what pathology they are due to, the severity may be less or greater. The most common causes of diarrhea in rabbits are:

When rabbits have diarrhea, Whatever the cause, they suffer an inflammation of the intestinal cells, is what we call enteritis. These are essential to assimilate nutrients.

Enteritis may have an identifiable cause or be idiopathic, that is, of unknown cause. This condition assumes a mortality rate of 10-20%.

Since the causes of diarrhea can be of such variable severity, It is very important to go to the vet to diagnose and treat the cause as soon as possible. In addition, it can involve dehydration of the rabbit.

Treatment of diarrhea in rabbits

If your rabbit has diarrhea, It is important to give a proper treatment to cure as soon as possible. This treatment will depend on the cause of the diarrhea:

  • If the diarrhea is due to an inappropriate diet, they will leave gradually introducing new food changes, with the levels of proteins, hydrates and fiber that benefit you the most.
  • If it is necessary to administer antibiotics, It will be compensated with a diet based on fodder and vitamins.
  • If the problem is a sharp change in diet, we will have to look for restore intestinal flora With nutritional supplements.
  • In case of coccidiosis antibiotic will be prescribed and a proper diet during the process.

In either case, remember that it is very important maintain a good level of hydration To avoid major problems.

Can diarrhea be prevented in rabbits?

Preventing diarrhea will not always be possible, but there will be causes that you can try to avoid. Follow these tips:

  • Make sure your rabbit always has fresh water and hay.
  • Supplement your diet with snacks for rabbits rich in fiber.
  • Don't forget the cage cleaning: good health starts with good hygiene.
  • Do not give your rabbit stress situations.
  • If you are going to change your diet, do it little by little.
  • Always observe the status of your pet. In case of illness, the earlier it is detected, the easier it will be to treat it.

If you follow our recommendations, sure your rabbit will have a very healthy life. And if you now have diarrhea, we hope it gets good soon!

What to do if my rabbit has diarrhea

When a rabbit suffers from diarrhea, regardless of the cause that is causing it, he is suffering from enteritis, that is, a inflammation of the enterocytes or intestinal cells which are essential for proper assimilation of nutrients.

As we will see later, enteritis can be caused by various factors, but it can also be idiopathic, that is, without any known cause, in any case, the most important thing is that this sign has a mortality rate that ranges between 10 and 20% of affected animals.

Diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and malnutrition, so if we observe that our pet suffers, we must go as far as possible to the veterinarian.

Causes of diarrhea in rabbits

The causes of diarrhea in rabbits are diverse, being able to be infectious or not, and acquiring varying degrees of severity depending on the underlying pathology.

Let's see what are the most common problems that cause this symptom:

  • Coccidiosis: It is an infectious disease caused by parasites that mainly affects those rabbits under stress caused by the weaning phase. These parasites can specifically affect the intestine or liver, but in both cases we are facing a serious illness that manifests with diarrhea, among other symptoms.
  • Diets with excess protein: The rabbit's intestine is normally colonized by the bacteria Clostridium Spiriforme and Escherichia Coli, however, when the rabbit ingests too many proteins through its diet, these bacteria have the ability to proliferate and produce a toxin that will cause diarrhea.
  • Diets low in fiber and high in carbohydrates: On the one hand, due to low fiber intake, intestinal motility becomes slower and feces remain in contact with the intestinal mucosa for a longer time. This fact together with a high amount of carbohydrates favors the proliferation of the bacteria that we have mentioned above.
  • Taking antibiotics: Lincomycin, penicillin, ampicillin and erythromycin cause diarrhea in the rabbit because they attack in a very specific way certain bacteria and germs that are not sensitive to this type of antibiotics have the possibility of proliferating massively, since in addition they no longer have bacterial competence, since the other bacteria that controlled their colonies have been eliminated by antibiotics.
  • Abrupt changes in the diet: Any change that is introduced in the feed abruptly will generate changes in the intestinal flora of the rabbit, which will cause an acute picture of diarrhea.
  • Idiopathic: As we mentioned earlier, diarrhea in the rabbit may have an unknown cause.

In the milder case, diarrhea may be caused by a dietary change but in the most severe case we may be faced with coccidiosis, which is highly lethal to the rabbit, so we want to remember again the importance of go urgently to the veterinarian.

Tips to prevent diarrhea in rabbits

Prevent diarrhea in rabbits It will not always be possible but using some simple hygienic-dietary measures we will protect our rabbit to the greatest extent possible:

  • The rabbit should always have available hay and fresh water
  • It is important to supplement your diet with snacks rich in fiber, always specific for rabbits
  • We must keep the cage in optimal hygiene conditions
  • We must provide our rabbit with a quiet environment to prevent stressful situations.
  • If it is necessary to make any changes in the diet, it should be given progressively
  • It is important to observe the rabbit daily to detect any pathological sign as early as possible

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to My rabbit has diarrhea - Causes and treatment, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.

How do I treat my rabbit's diarrhea?

The treatment of diarrhea in rabbits will depend on the cause of the problem. That is, we will not treat diarrhea caused by a change in the diet with which it has been caused by coccidiosis. In any case Intravenous fluid therapy will be recommended in which semi-solid feeding through a syringe will be included in order to avoid malnutrition and dehydration of the animal.

-If the cause has been an inadequate diet in which the rabbit has exceeded nutrients such as proteins and hydrates and in which it has barely consumed fiber, it will be necessary to apply (in addition to fluid therapy) a progressive change of diet that goes towards one that is richer in fiber and has fewer hydrates and proteins.

-When the problem has been an abrupt change in your diet we will have to gradually offer you the previous diet. For it we must give him fluid therapy and even offer nutritional supplements that help restore his intestinal flora. When you are healthy again, it is when you can change your diet in a correct way: progressively and under the supervision of a veterinarian.

-If we must administer medication to our rabbit because a specialist has indicated so, we have to avoid the side effect that these can have through a feed based on fodder and vitamin supplements.

-When the diarrhea has been caused by coccidiosis, the veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic from the sulphonamide group and we must feed our rabbit in porridge or semi-solid, either with the help of a teaspoon or administered by a syringe.

-In case of stress, we must change the location of our rabbit's cage to an area that is much quieter (avoiding drafts) and be aware of anything that could alter the animal. Ideally, the first few days we leave you alone in your cage and only bother you to administer the medication prescribed by the veterinarian. When we observe its evolution and see that it is improving We can perform massages that will help you in your recovery.

Keys to prevent diarrhea

Although it is not possible to prevent 100% a disease such as diarrhea, there are some simple measures to protect our pet as much as possible and avoid any problems in his digestive system. The most important thing is to constantly observe the animal since that will help us to detect any problem before it is too late.

1. Make sure you always have at your disposal fresh water and hay.

2. Supplement your diet with prizes or snacks that are rich in fiber and suitable for your kind.

3.Avoid stress, provide a quiet home without excessive noise.

4. Perform the changes in your diet progressively and supervised by the veterinarian.

5.Keep the cage clean and change the floor.

6.Be attentive daily to the animal's behaviors to detect changes in your mood or physical and treat any health problems in time.