4 Things Rabbit Owners Need To Know About Sticky Bottom
Sticky bottom is a serious condition that affects rabbits. It occurs when your rabbit's fur gets caked with soft fecal droppings. Here are four things you need to know about sticky bottom.
What are the signs of sticky bottom?
Sticky bottom is a very obvious condition. If your rabbit has it, you'll notice that they have soft fecal matter caked onto their fur. This will make your rabbit smell quite bad. If you give your rabbit a bath, the problem will quickly reappear.
What causes this condition?
Rabbits produce two different types of fecal pellets. The first type are the ones you clean out of their cage every day: round, light to dark brown balls. The second type, soft pellets, aren't often seen because your rabbit eats them. This seems gross, but they need to eat these soft pellets to get extra nutrients.
If soft pellets are building up on your rabbit's rear end, it's because they're not getting eaten. There are a couple reasons why your rabbit wouldn't eat these pellets and instead allow them to accumulate on their fur.
First, they may be producing an excess quantity of soft pellets due to an improper diet. Second, they may be obese and unable to reach and eat the pellets. The final reason is that they have dental problems that make them not want to eat.
Why is it serious?
Sticky bottom is very uncomfortable for your rabbit, but discomfort isn't the only problem. This condition makes your rabbit more appealing to flies which puts them at risk of fly strike, a potentially life-threatening condition. Fly strike occurs when flies lay eggs beneath your rabbits skin. The resulting maggots then feed on your pet's body; this can lead to shock and death. You can avoid this complication by getting your pet prompt treatment for sticky bottom.
How is it treated?
Your vet will treat the underlying cause of sticky bottom. If a bad diet is the problem, you'll be told to encourage your rabbit to eat more hay by reducing the amount of pellets and vegetables you feed them. If obesity is the problem, a proper diet may help them lose weight. Tooth issues can also be dealt with by your vet.
Your vet may recommend washing your rabbit's rear end every day in warm, soapy water. This will help keep your rabbit safe from fly strike. It will also help to make your rabbit more comfortable until the underlying cause is dealt with.
If you think your rabbit has sticky bottom, take them to a vet right away.
For professional veterinary care, contact an office such as Beaver Lake Animal Hospital.