Rabbits produce two types of droppings, the hard waste pellets and soft, moist pellets containing part digested food, B complex vitamins and good gut bacteria which they eat direct from the anus as part of their digestive process. Baby rabbits will often eat their mothers soft pellets to get their gut flora off to a good start.
Sometimes these ‘squidgy’ droppings become matted into the fur around the anus. This is fairly common in rabbits. Common causes are being overweight and not being able to reach that far. Large dewlaps can cause this and may need to be removed surgically.
In rabbits diarrhoea can be caused by too much green food. In both rabbits and guinea pigs scouring can also be caused by an infection which may well require veterinary treatment.
Astringent herbs such as agrimony, avens, raspberry leaf and shepherd’s purse can be fed. See photo of Shepherd’s Purse with classic ‘heart shaped’ seed pods above.) Arrowroot biscuits can be given in mild cases or powdered arrowroot mixed with warm water.
Galen’s Garden ASAP Powder contains powdered astringent, demulcent and antibacterial edible herbs which can be mixed with a little water and fed by spoon, dropper or syringe if the rabbit isn’t eating or scouring is more worrying. It is also available in liquid form if preferred.
Remove all hard food and feed only good quality hay and hay ‘tea’ made by pouring boiling water over a handful of hay in a jug and adding it to the water bottle when cool.
A veterinary probiotic such as Protexin should be given in the drinking water or fed as above to help redress the balance of bacteria in the gut in favour of the beneficial bacteria. A few drops of Garlic Juice, 6-12 drops of oregano extract or one drop of grapefruit seed extract added to the drinking water also help fight infection.
Where diarrhoea has been profuse the animal should be given an electrolyte solution to drink to replace lost water, energy and minerals. Veterinary electrolyte solutions are best but you could also use a human rehydration solution suitable for infants.