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Susan Kollgaard
Susan Kollgaard, Guinea Pig and Rabbit Rescue
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  I work with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and the House Rabbit Society and House Rabbit Sanctuary.
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My rabbit has small dark that normal He normally ...

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My rabbit has small dark that normal? He normally has pellet like poop.
Hi Callie,

How long has your rabbit had the small dark poop?

Does he still have the pellet poop in addition to the small dark poop?

Rabbits have two kinds of poop, the regular pellet poop, and then cecotropes. Cecotropes are the special nutritrious poops that the bunny eats. They are only produced at certain times of the day, and the rabbit eats them directly from his bottom. For that reason, you normally don't see them.

Usually, if you see the small dark poop (cecotropes) in addition to regular pellets, it means your rabbit is overweight and can't get all the cecotropes because he can't reach very well. If this is the case, your rabbit's bottom should be dirty, too.

If you are seeing small dark poop and no regular pellets, then you need to take your rabbit to a vet and get him checked for any type of gastrointestinal problem.

If you do need to put your rabbit on a diet, let me know and I'll tell you what the recommended diet is for an overweight rabbit. I'll need to know what type of rabbit you have, and if you know what he weighs, that would be helpful.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Susan Kollgaard's Post: My rabbit has both kinds. I noticed it because he has an outside cage and this poop dropped through to the ground. We put him out during the day only, maybe in the evening. He was a little over weight because my mom and I belong to an organic farm and he gets lots of vegies. We do not give him lots of vegies in the winter (which may not be good) He has access to food all day. We give him dry pelets (best kind). We bought him a new cage, bigger and the floor is plastic with holes for droppings. We had a regular floor and he was always dirty. My Mom gets him groomed every 4-6 months to keep him short haired on his belly. He is fluffy black and white and he weighs about 20 Lbs I think. He is pretty big. We no longer let him loose around the house because he eats everything. He can run in his outside cage. We love our rabbit so any suggestions let me know. Thanks!
Hi Callie,

You didn't mention what kind of rabbit you had, but 20 lbs is a lot for a rabbit.

To put your rabbit on a diet, you need to cut way down on all the fresh vegies. He should probably have the number of dry pellets he gets reduced, too. Since I don't know what kind of rabbit he is, look on the bag and see how much they recommend giving to a large rabbit. Then make sure you only give that much every day. The main thing your rabbit should have is unlimited timothy hay.

So lots of timothy hay, probably in the range of 3/4 cup pellets, and just a few fresh vegies for treats - no more than a handful.

It won't be any fun for either of you to put him on a diet. I know how rabbits beg and he'll be wondering where his treats are. But keeping him at a healthy weight is the best thing for him.

Most overweight rabbits tend to get poop stuck to their bottoms. An easy way to clean your rabbit's bottom is with cornstarch. Hold him whichever way is easiest to get access to his bottom, sprinkle on cornstarch, and then rub it into the spots where poop is stuck, and it will come right out. Most bunnies aren't that crazy about having this done, but they like it better than having little bottom water baths.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Susan Kollgaard's Post: My dad said I exaggerated his weight. He thinks 5-10 lbs. Since we have cut down on his vegies he has lost weight during the winter.   He is long haired, fluffy, I think a lop. He likes to sit in his litter pan...which is yucky. We bought a smaller one which seems to help a lot but it gets dirty quickly. I give him lots of Timothy Hay. He only gets filtered water, fresh every day. I even give him pellets too. What kind of veggies are best for him? Is celery OK? Should I give him Pineapple? I appreciate any and all suggestions thus far. Thanks!
Hi Callie,

There are several types of lops, and you can usually tell them apart by size and ear length. I'll include a few pictures so you can tell what kind you have.

Holland Lop Weight: 3-4 lbs

French Lop Weight: 10-11 lbs

Mini Lop Weight: 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 lbs

The size of the ears should help you determine which type of lop you have.

When you determine what type your rabbit is, see what the best weight for him is. Then base his diet on that weight.

Your rabbit should have between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of pellets per day per 6 pounds of body weight. So if your rabbit should weigh 5 lbs, and you think he's a few lbs over that, give him just 1/4 cup of pellets per day.

That's good he gets plenty of timothy hay, and filtered water is good for him.

He should get about a handful of fresh veggies once a day. The best ones for him are romaine lettuce, leaffy green and leafy red lettuce, endive, bok choy, and raddichio. Celery is fine, and so is a little bit of each of the other vegetables listed that I'm going to give you a link to. The types I mentioned above are best for larger amounts, and other veggies should be in smaller amounts. New studies have shown that rabbits should have vegetables with low amounts of calcium in them to help avoid bladdar sludge and bladder stones. Because of that, avoid spinach, kale, and other veggies high in calcium.

I would avoid the pineapple and keep fruit treats to a minimum. Even carrots are high in sugar, so you should just give your rabbit a small piece of carrot or baby carrot one in a while.

While your rabbit is on a diet, giving him a minium amount of pellets and just a small amount of veggies each day is the best way to help him lose weight. He can have as much timothy hay as he wants, though.

A lot of rabbits like to sit in their litter pans. Since he's got the problem with getting messy right now, you can always give him a little bed if we wants something soft to sit on. Some old towels would work well. He'll probably chew holes in them, but it won't hurt him.

One of the ways to help him get through his diet is to give him some cardboard and wooden toys to chew on. I stuff hay in toilet paper tubes just to make it more fun for them to get it out, or stuff hay in a small box and they have fun throwing it around to get it out. I also get inexpensive pieces of wood for them to chew on. If you dip the wood in juice and then let it dry, your rabbit will enjoy the different flavor when he chews.

These are links to web sites that discuss the basic rabbit diet, and give lists of veggies and fruits and treat foods:

Let me know if you have other questions.


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