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Thread: A bunny poop thread.

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  1. #1
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Swindon Wiltshire

    Default A bunny poop thread.

    I often say that bunny mummies of stasis prone buns are rabbit poop obsessed. We worry over the number passed per day, shape, size, colour & yes, even consistency.
    Although my Thumper had a very rare gut problem – unusual type of TB, the problems we encountered were common to all stasis prone buns. His gut was slow at the best of times (because it became thickened by scar tissue & could not contract properly) so he was even more susceptible to all the other causes of stasis. The worst affected part was his caecum & the 1st part of the colon which controls whether the contents produce waste poops or caecals (special poops) & coordination of the timing. It’s called the fusus coli.
    The basic workings are that a valve at the end of the small bowel opens & food passes directly into the 1st. part of the colon(like us) Here the food is churned so that the tiny particles which are full of nutrients are shoved into pouches called haustrae at the side of the colon leaving the indigestible fibre in the centre. The fibre moves onwards, water is extracted, & the round poops appear at the end.
    Now for the clever bit. With valve at the small bowel now closed the fusus coli changes the type of contractions in the 1st. part of the colon. The haustrae squeeze out their contents & the colon NOW propels it backwards into the caecum.
    The caecum is huge in rabbits. Here carefully balanced microorganisms break down the nutrients. Some are absorbed directly through the caecal wall. About twice a day, well after passing waste poops, the caecum empties into the colon in squirts. The colon now propels these contents to the rear end forming tiny grape like packages covered with protective mucus, variously called caecotrophs / caecals / or special poohs. The mixture of released nutrients & dead microorganisms is highly nutritious.
    We shouldn’t see these caecals. All we see is bunny apparently washing his private parts, but his head coming up munching, with a certain contented expression. Interestingly although they make chewing movements for up to a minute they don’t actually chew the caecals. When pm’s are done, the caecals are always found intact in the rabbit’s stomach.
    Typical posture of a bunny eating a ceacal.

    To poops. These are nice normal poops of a hay eating rabbit.

    These are “reasonably” normal poops of a rabbit eating wild forage only.

    Fur balls, also called Trichobezoa. These shouldn’t cause a problem unless the gut has already slowed down, or in unusually long furred rabbits eg angoras. Always remember that the bun with the problem may have got it from grooming his partner!

    You can see the pointed tags of fur sticking out, the general excess of fur on the outside, & how they can join together into a string of poops commonly called a poop necklace, or rosary bead poops. They’ll usually be larger than this. Thumper had gut slow down about every 3 days & his food intake dropped off hence the small poops.
    Here is another selection of fur balls of different shapes & sizes.

    Normal caecals can be brown or black.,r:2,s:0,i:79
    Eating caecals is partly a reflex action but if they don’t smell right, bunny won’t eat them. Something as minor as changing food type, or meds can cause them to do this for a few days. It’s also a hall mark that the balance of microorganisms in the gut is wrong – dysbiosis, which can be of all grades from non detectable to us, to right stinkers you know have happened when you open the door, to severe runny unformed caecals which present an emergency particularly to young buns.
    Unformed caecals. Caecals which are runny like this are very worrying even in an adult bun. Many folk think their bun has got diarrhoea, but when they look further the waste poops are normal. If there are no normal waste poops, & it’s all like this, bunny is very seriously ill indeed.

    A large soft mass of caecal material, is usually caused by feeding bunny too much rich food –pellets & veg. A hay only diet for a few weeks then gradual reintroduction of other foods usually does the trick. In Thumper’s case his caecum had stopped filling & completely collapsed. We assume there was a bit of a stump at the base where this eye watering mess was stored! (Immediately above the penny.) To the right of the mass are some fairly normal looking waste poops. The one broken in half shows good fibre separation – all dry fibre inside. To the right of the penny is a long waste poop of 3 rammed into1. Either there’s been a temporary lack of muscular co ordination or a block I never found.

    Mixed caecal & wastes. This is always abnormal. Obviously the timing mechanism in the fusus coli is kaput.

    2 Thumper specials.
    Thumper would stop eating for about 18 hours. (In most rabbits this needs emergency attention much earlier) His waste poops would be tiny & black. Eventually he’d pass a mixed caecal + waste, & immediately start eating again with larger poops. By this time there were considerable problems throughout the colon & all his waste poops were misshapen. This is fairly typical of a megacolon bunny but unlike a megacolon bunny Thumper never passed any mucus.

    Finally, he showed me that blackthorn leaves helped his gut a lot. At this time he was taking double the recommended dose of domperidone, in desperation I gave him the leaves in medicine form. Everything “speeded up too much”, with “guinea pig poops” & with very poor fibre separation.

    Please may I emphasise that the occasional odd poop is fine. Thumper’s poops were always abnormal. I had to use photos of Benjie’s poops to find normal ones. He lived to be 6 years 4 months, & helped both humans & rabbits remarkably. Perhaps myself most of all. RIP my little darling.
    Last edited by thumps_; 30-07-2012 at 02:43 AM.



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