View Full Version : soft tummy?

22-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Fiver and Ellie went to the vets today for myxi vacs and a general checkup. I mentioned about Ellie's runny poo's she has occasionally and that she has lots of gut noise. The Vet said her tummy was soft and meant she didnt have much food in it? i was a bit confused. Is this a bad thing? She has not been selective feeding or looking as if she is in pain apart from when she was a little poorly the other day and even then she was scoffing food :)

He also said the poorlyness could be that she may have bad molars or she may have an uneven gut O.o Apparently some buns have problems digesting things because their guts don't push food through evenly. Just wanted to know what people thought about this and if anybody could give me some advice.

If she starts to become worse or unhappy then we go back so she can have her teeth checked..of course if she gets worse then i guess this means it is her teeth O.o

22-04-2010, 03:07 PM
A soft tummy in my book is a normal rabbit tummy. If the tummy feels hard or distended this isn't so good. But generally the tummy should be full as buns should be eating constantly - which it sounds like she is? When my buns' tummies are full they still feel soft, they just feel heavy! :D

Did your vet examine Ellie's teeth with a scope? Does she have spurs on her molars or a sore tongue? Rabbits will have normal gut sounds as well as abnormal ones when they are poorly. Quiet gut sounds are quite normal, no gut sounds or very loud gurgles are not.

When you say runny poo does she do normal droppings as well? Is it just her caecotrophs that she is leaving lying around? Did your vet weigh her? A rabbit should be weighed at each consultation as a matter of course, and certainly before being given a vaccination.

Generally runny poo is in fact excess or malformed caecotrophs - diet is a big factor in this but sometimes bunnies with bad teeth can have difficulty eating their caecotrophs and discard them - which is a helpful sign that something is wrong.

22-04-2010, 03:18 PM
well i have noticed the Ellies tummy is very squishy and soft and Fivers is slightly firmer. He is perfectly normal and healthy and never had problems with him.

I dont know if they are excess ceacatrophes(sp?) because i find a tiny about of poo which has dried to the floor of the cage usually on the second and third shelf (which is a nightmare to get off) buther other poo's seem totally normal. He seemed not to be concerned and she was pretty stressed. They weren't weighed but i didnt know they had to be O.o I'll bring that up at the next vet trip :) the vets seem to be really good with bunnies so i don';t worry that they don't know what they are talking about lol. He checked her front teeth but didn't use a scope.. i dont think she'd have let him anyway..she kept running to me and asking to be picked up :( i felt so mean lol.

She eats like an elephant..which is why i call her Elliephant sometimes :lol: so i cant see that she would have an empty stomach o.O She has a gurgling tummy quite often and it concerns me but like i say she seems ok apart from the occasional mess on the shelves. She has been the same sinc ei got her..never got worse but then never got better so i dont think its her teeth...i'd have thought that if it was a painful mouth it would get worse.. i've had her for about 4 or 5 months and her behaviour hasn't changed. She was overweight when i got her and i think she is still a little overweight although the vet didn't comment. She is a rather large bunny all over tbh lol.

I just dont know weather to worry or not really o.O I think she's being awkward lol. Just worried she is in pain or uncomfortable :(

22-04-2010, 03:23 PM
It's understandable to be worried about your little elliephant! :love:

Okay, well your vet really should have checked her back teeth and not just her front teeth. To do this they would use a little hand held scope - it doesn't show all the back teeth but most and it is a very important thing to do if bunny has an upset tum just to make sure there are no dental issues and to rule this out. Weighing a bun is also very important to check for weight loss, and to get the correct dosaging for drugs etc and to keep a weight chart for your bunny.
My vets always check back teeth and weigh my buns at every consultation.

Can I just ask what you feed Ellie and how much and how often? Particularly her rabbit food? What you describe are excess or slightly malformed caecotrophs - there is a hint here that her caecum is unbalanced and the most common thing is diet - and this you can fix very easily so don't worry. However, I am reluctant to say it is her diet in case she does in fact have dental issues.
Whereabouts do you live in the country? Someone may know a more rabbit savy vet near you if you do not feel able to say to your vet next time.... please check her back teeth!

22-04-2010, 03:31 PM
TBH i think it depends on which vet i get. I got a younger vet today and he wasn't as good as the others which have checked Fiver's back teeth :) I will make sure to get her back teeth checked and i will weigh them myself and keep a chart..have been meaning too for sometime but i dont like having to fight them to stay still :roll:

She has a handful of pellets on a morning and a handful on a night..i usually just estimate the amount but i try to keep it the same amount. They are Excel pellets and i know this can cause i runny tum but when she came to me she was on Wagg pellets and she still had the same gut noises so i dont know if its excel.

She doesn't like much veg so they dont get much, carrot she loves but only give them a small amount as its sugary. They get constant hay and i often get the timothy hay and the posh excel hay with dandelion bits in lol. They get grass when they go out if it warm enough which she adores and they have alsorts to chew and eat i.e willow sticks, wooden toys, my bed :roll:, cardboard boxes etc.

I've tried not giving her anything unusual for a while like veg she's not used top and new things but her tummy still gurgles and i still get the poo's on the shelf. :(

22-04-2010, 03:41 PM
I would cut the pellets down to just once a day. Some buns just can't tolerate the high starch levels of any pellet - as most have a fair quantity of cereal in them. My dwarf lop is particularly sensitive to excess caecotrophs and when we adopted her she used to leave piles of them and sticky stains around her hutch daily, we actually ended up taking her off pellets altogether - as this is what we had done for our dutchie too - for the same reasons. It took Poppy some 3 months for the sticky stains to disappear altogether - she still gets the odd one if I over do the veg.
I haven't fed pellets for years - it worked a treat, but it is not for everyone as making up nutrients with veg is time consuming and expensive.

It does sound like she just has a bit of an unbalanced caecum to be honest, get her teeth checked anyway, but if they have been checked before I suspect it is just her diet. Some buns have more delicate caecums than others. It can take weeks to see improvement when you make changes but you should start to see gradual improvement soon.
I would cut down the pellets and consider slowly switching over to a higher fibre pellet like Oxbow or Science Selective or Allen and Page. She shouldn't need more than an eggcup full once per day. Up the hay each day instead, watch the grass at this time of year - Spring growth is very sugary, and I would cut out the carrot and replace with more fibrous greens - but introduce slowly. Have you tried fresh herbs like coriander, parsley, mint, thyme, basil etc? Pea tops are also great! Carrot tops, radish tops... etc. introduce slowly and give it 48 hours before trying something new... but focus on hay, hay and more hay and you should see some improvement I hope. :):wave:

23-04-2010, 12:28 PM
Thanx :) i'm not sure about cutting the pellets to once a day..it would mean doing it with Fiver and he is very stuck in his routine... i will cut down the amount i give her :)

she hasn't had carrots for aages an so i wont give her anymore :) only problem is that she is sooo picky with veg! she'll eat carrot..and nibble at a grape and thats all ive found she likes :?

Grass; she only has some days and she will eat it but not constantly. she ALWAYS has hay lol. she eats plenty of it and adores it.

i will try the pellets...Fiver was on science selective but its actually quite hard to get hold of o.O so i switched to excel...well i didnt but my parents did when they looked after him while i was away one time... i went mad with them and decided to keep him on it as it caused a huge argument. My dad insists on buying his food from a petshop near him coz its cheap and they apparently dont do the science selective. Plus i didnt want to keep switching his food and when ellie came along it was easier to put her on what he was on rather than trying to switch them both over.

I will have to wait till i get back from my holiday and i'll have a good think as to what food i should put them on and make up a strict routine for them as they only get their pelets at certain times and then other things whenever.