Is Your Rabbit’s Poop Too Small?

is small poop a problem for rabbits?

The size of a rabbit’s droppings can be an important indicator of their health. Rabbits are known for producing a large quantity of droppings, which are usually uniform in size and shape. If there’s a noticeable change, this could be a sign that your pet is experiencing health issues ranging from temporary stress to dietary problems or even more serious ailments.

Understanding the nuances of your rabbit’s health can seem daunting, but being informed about what differentiates healthy poop from potentially concerning changes is a great place to start. Smaller droppings might suggest that your rabbit isn’t eating enough fiber, is stressed out, or isn’t able to properly process their food.

If these changes in your rabbit’s droppings persist, you really want to investigate further. Often, dietary adjustments or increased fiber intake can help, but it could also be a signal that it’s time to consult with a vet. Keeping track of their poop, along with other behaviors, will help you to provide the best care for your rabbit companion.

When is small rabbit poop a concern?

When it comes to monitoring your rabbit’s health, observing the size of their poop can be quite telling. First let’s talk about a few situations that are not a concern:

  1. Every rabbit will have a different ‘normal’ when it comes to poop size.  If you have multiple rabbits and one always has smaller poops than this other, it’s generally not a cause for concern. 
  2. In addition, if you find a few poops every day that are on the small side, it’s usually nothing to worry about; occasional variance is normal. As long as their fecal pellets are more-or-less a consistent size, I wouldn’t worry too much.
  3. If you observe your rabbit has small poop, but the size returns to normal after a few hours, the small droppings might have been just a response to a temporary stressor in the environment (for example, a dog barking in the next door apartment). Even so, in this situation it’s best to stay vigilant and watch your rabbit’s behavior closely over the next couple of days for any other unusual signs (such as a reduced appetite or lack of energy).

The real concern begins when you notice the average size of your rabbit’s poop gets smaller. This could be a subtle sign that your bunny friend is experiencing some form of stress or health issue, especially if it’s a drastic reduction in size. 

This persistent change is a red flag that potentially points to significant stress or an underlying health condition. Keep an eye on their eating habits too, as changes in diet can manifest in the size and consistency of their droppings.

If you’re seeing consistently small poop, I recommend you consult with your rabbit veterinarian. They can provide the best advice and conduct any necessary exams to get to the bottom of the issue. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them; it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

If you need to find a rabbit veterinarian, has a useful list of veterinarians by state for the US. In the UK, the Rabbit Welfare Association has a similar list.

normal rabbit fecal pellets
Rabbit fecal pellets should be hard balls that are uniform in size and color.
small rabbit poop
Small rabbit poop is a sign that your rabbit is stressed or in pain.

Why small rabbit poop is something to pay attention to

Observing rabbit poop is a straightforward way to keep tabs on their well-being. Typical rabbit droppings are round and dry, but if your bunny is producing smaller, irregular poops, it could be a sign that something’s off either with their diet or perhaps more critically with their health.

Rabbit poop that has decreased in size can be an alert to underlying health issues you might need to check on. Take my friend’s experience, for example. When her bunny started having unusually small droppings, it turned out that there was an issue with the bunny’s liver that needed immediate attention and surgery.

Not everything is that serious. Sometimes a simple change to your rabbit’s home base or habitat can immediately solve the problem, since stress or discomfort in their living situation can also result in smaller poops. 

For instance, if your rabbit’s enclosure is currently placed in an area shared with a pet dog, they might be quite anxious all the time. By moving your rabbit to a more private room in the house, they might feel safer and the size of their fecal pellets could return to normal.

When to expect to see small rabbit poop

There are some situations where you expect to see smaller-than-average rabbit poop. In these cases, while it’s good to keep an eye on your rabbit, it’s not usually cause for alarm.

  1. Stressful Situations: When rabbits feel temporarily startled or stressed, their digestive system might slow down, resulting in smaller fecal pellets. This could happen due to a sudden change in their environment or just something that is scaring them for a short period of time. The key is whether this is a one-time event or a recurring issue. Car rides, for example, are terrifying for most rabbits. It’s pretty normal for them to have slightly smaller poops after going to the vet because of this.
  2. Dietary Changes: A decrease in fiber intake can lead to smaller droppings. If your rabbit’s diet has changed recently and includes less hay or other fibrous foods, their poop size may decrease. Gradually reintroducing high-fiber foods should help return their stools to normal size.
  3. Health Recovery: During or after recovery from illness, such as GI stasis, you might notice smaller poops. In this case, it’s generally a good sign, because any pooping at all is what we want to see. It can signal that your rabbit’s health is improving but their gastrointestinal system isn’t fully functioning yet. Smaller droppings should become regular-sized as recovery progresses. If gastrointestinal issues are suspected, it’s important for your rabbit’s health to understand the typical signs and stages, including during the recovery from GI stasis or illness.

Be attentive but not overly worried at the first sign of small droppings. Keep an eye on your rabbit’s behavior, appetite, and pooping patterns over the next few days. If small poops persist or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult your vet.

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Amy Pratt

Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals.

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