View Full Version : Please help Bunny with long term stomach problems

11-11-2008, 10:44 PM
Hi i am new to this site but am in desperate need of some advice regarding my 6month old lionhead rabbit who from day one has had stomach trouble.
Basically we got gizmo when he was 6weeks old from a breeder and he was being fed on WAG guinie pig food. We slowly got him off this as he had the runs constantly. We switched to Burgess Supreme selective. However this seemed to be making him bad also. We did several trips to the vets and paid out for his poos to be analized and he had fibreplex and Bio Lapis on several occasions to try and settle him down [which seemed to help a bit] However all tests come back normal so the vets conclusion was that he over produces the soft poo [caecals?] they are supposed to eat and said to feed him on Excel rabbit food and Oxbow alfalfa hay. The excel food seemed to be ok but the oxbow hay was making him worse and at one stage we thought we were losing him as he became so lathargic. However after more fibreplex and Bio Lapis we bought him round again. From this point we started searching the internet for advice as the vet didn't seem to be making gizmo better. We heard from a american breeder who told us to feed on rolled oats and timothy and meadow hay only which we now do and he seems a bit better... However Gizmo is a very hungry rabbit and wants his pellets he also drinks plenty and is very bouncy. But just a few pellets or grass or anything other than hay and oats makes him have the poos. We hate it that we can't give him any treats or let him out on the grass like are other bunny yoshi [he is a year old and has no diet problems] But now he is getting older we are getting more and more concerned that there is somethink making him ill and worry that we will loose him. Is there any food out there that we could try or some medicine that would help keep his tummy settled. We have been told that Alfalfa based products are often not tolerated by lionheads so we are avoiding them. If anyone has any suggetions or had a similar problem please post as i really want to get gizmo healthy and not looking like he is constantly hungry:cry::cry::cry:

12-11-2008, 12:16 AM
Hi there :wave:

Sorry to hear of your troubles with Gizmo, if he was fed piggy food when he was young that has proably given him a sensitive tummy for life. I have found hay only diet great for periods when bunnies have loose poos but i understand that you want to give him more.

A natural binding agent for buns are blackberry leaves, i have always found these fantastic for helping clear up poorly tums.

I also feed my buns on Science selective as it contains probiotic that helps digestion - just a handful each a day is enough.

I have had problems with buns fed on Excell and would personally never feed it to any of mine.

Any rich grass such as readigrass etc should only be given in small doses - the hay you need to give ad lib is meadow hay - as much as he will eat.

I do feed veg in the evenings but have had bunnies who don't tolerate certain veg - so its a matter of trial and error - spring greens are usually a safe bet to try - just a tiny bit to start with though.

Ref looking like he is constantly hungry - this is fine - to look at my buns at feed time you would think they were starved :lol::lol: But two small feeds a day will ensure he eats his hay and that will keep his gut and teeth healthy.

So in short, I would try a few pellets of Science Selective, keep up the hay and perhaps keep his water topped up with probiotic.

Good luck


12-11-2008, 12:25 AM
I know there are a lot of people on here that have said that only allen and page have stopped their bunnies having excess soft poos. Perhaps you could find out if that is available where you are. I'll be switching to this when our bag of Excel runs out.

How much of the pellet food are you feeding? I only give Flopsie a egg cup full of pellets on a morning, and he only gets fed hay for the rest of the day. I've been doing this for about a two or three weeks and it has only been the last three or four days that i've noticed a difference and that Flopsie isn't producing any soft poos anymore.

It wouldn't hurt to limit your bunny to just hay for a few days and see if that stops the excess cecals. There are lots of threads on here about bunnies that are fussy about hay and how to get bunnies to eat it. Also I wouldn't recommend lots of alfalfa hay as it is high in calcium which makes it bad for bunnies in great quantities.

Happy Hopping
12-11-2008, 10:52 AM
Your bun is on the wrong diet. If you read Dr. Susan Brown research (1 of the contributor of the book the 5 min. vet. consult to rabbit, ferrets), 90% of a bun's diet should be hay. They are hay eating animal and need lots of fiber.

I have seen that problem before w/ 1 of my bridge bun Little Happy, that little guy won't eat hay. As such, same problem as yours.

The problem is a lack of fiber.

Also, If you buy rabbit from a breeder, you are encouraging those breeder to breed more bun as a supply. This is the condition that these rescue animals lives in


So when you buy a bun, you are doing this:


12-11-2008, 11:20 AM

am so sorry to here bout ur bun. I have gone through similar. When my bunny had babies i kept all 3 of them but 1 inparticular was a nightmare. Fudge had to go to the vet at 3 weeks old because she had the runs badly the she stopped eating and drinking. After the vet trip she was all better untill about 6 weeks old and started nibbling food. She was always covered in poo so i took her back to the vet and was told i must be feeding to much food and not to give her any veg.

Which i did and i cleared up fine, untill she was 3 month old and it started all over again. I stopped veggies and cut her food down again but it didnt work. So everyday i was cleaning her and i knew she was unhappy.

I was feeding excel and asked on here which food to try and i was told sience selective. She was still the same on SS so i asked about Allen and paige which i had read alot about on here and found a local farm which could order it for me. I was not looking forward to trying this as i had n hope it would work. Changing her over to A@P i decided to do it over a month instead of a week and to be completely honest i couldnt be any happier.

After giving her A@P (which she loved) she doesnt get the runs and i can feed her veggies and treats without any bother. She is so much happier and can have what the other bunnies have.

I would never use excel again and would highly recommend Allen and paige rabbit pellets.

You should try A@P to see if that works. I really hope ur bun gets better and hope this has helped in a way. Keep us updated.
Thanks :wave::D:bunny:

12-11-2008, 11:25 AM
Just to add to this, bunnies tend to love dried food, so will act half starved when you go to feed them. Dried food should therefore be seen as a treat, with 90% of a rabbit's diet being hay. I've actually had rabbits who couldn't tolerate dried food at all, and didn't starve on a hay only diet - obviously you need to ensure that they are eating plenty of hay and have hay that they enjoy though.

12-11-2008, 12:54 PM
Hi there. welcome to the forum.

As people have said it is very important for buns to be on a very high fibre diet. That means plenty of hay, usually meadow hay and/or timothy with a little of the more grassy hays as a treat. Alfafa should be avoided at all costs. Hay should make up over 80% of their diet. I'd certainly consider keeping him on a hay only diet for 1-2 weeks until things start to improve.

The next most important thing is to introduce any new foods very gradually. Doing it too fast can cause upset tums. Using a probiotic in the water at the same time also helps to build up better gut flora.

There are a few other pellets that you could try him on, Allen and page, Science selective and Oxbow T pellets which do not contain any alfafa and are timothy hay based. They are more expensive but might be worth a go. When you start him on pellets again start with a tsp a day and gradually build up to a generous handful (under 6 months) or a couple of egg cup fulls (over 6 months). If he starts to get a dodgy tummy again take out the pellets and work your way back up to what he was ok on or try a different brand.

Veggies can cause problems & I would cut them out completely to begin with. Reintroduce them one at a time & again about a tsp a day to begin with. Keep going with that veg for a week and then introduce the next one. Try and start with some high fibre uncultivated leaves like most of the soft fruit LEAVES (strawberries etc), dandilions, parsley. If he seems to be taking to them ok try spring greens or savoy cabbage & gradually work from there.

ps....acting half starved is normal...just like dogs they love to beg :)

bunny babe
12-11-2008, 05:34 PM
Can't add any more to what people have already said, but last year one of mine had problems on SS and Exel and we changed to Oxbow Bunny Basics T (we get it from our vet) which cleared up the problem.

15-11-2008, 11:09 PM
Firstly i would like to say thanks to all for your kind advice. Gizmo is on a diet mainly of hay anyway it has just always been pellets or anything else he has had a problem with [meadow / timothy hay is about the only thing he can eat without a problem] However we have been told also by an american breeder of lionheads that gizmo probably needs more fibre.... and thanks to the people on this site we have just bought a 20kg bag of the allen and page natural pellet food which is VERY high in fibre so fingers crossed. We did get confused at first as when we tried to find the allen and page food it kept coming up with the natural pet food company herbs and fibre rabbit food. However after checking in a local equestrian shop they had the allen and page 20kg for 8.90.... We are also going to get some prec-biotic for gizmos water when we introduce the food. But all being well this should sort him out and we will have two healthy happy bunnies. Thanks again to all for the advice.:wave: