Dirty Bunny Bottom

emmec19

Songster
May 24, 2018
59
126
111
Southeast Michigan
I am wondering the best way to keep my rabbits bottom clean. Here's the story.

My Benny Bunny is 8 years old. He lives outdoors, spends his daylight hours hopping around our fenced duck run which is in a very large wooded area with lots of trees and shaded areas, branches to nibble and leaves to chew, and endless digging. At night he is in his cage inside our barn. He has a liter box in his cage and he is very good about using it. He has unlimited orchard grass hay, rabbit pellet, and water; he seems to eat equal amounts of both. Every evening he gets a green for a treat, either cilantro, romaine, or dandelion greens. Occasionally a piece of kale or a small piece of carrot for an extra special treat. He does sneak some of the ducks pellet food too when they spill it.

Over the last week he wasn't seeming himself. He had that sad bunny look and posture, and was sitting funny. I noticed him trying to reach himself to clean more often than normal, and that's when it finally clicked that I needed to give him a good look over. I felt just horrible to discover a big poopey mat on his tail. My poor guy! Thankfully his private parts were not blocked, but I'm sure he's been super uncomfortable. I don't know how I missed it until now. He is a really big guy, but not obese. Just lots of skin rolls, so you can't really see his rear without intending too.

I'm thinking he may be getting arthritis. Upon inspecting him I noticed one of his rear legs tucks under different than the other, and he has a bald spot on that hip too, I assume from sitting so awkwardly. Otherwise he seems to be healthy. His coat is fine everywhere else. He is active and eating and pooing as always.

I used our dog clippers to very carefully remove the mat. He sat perfectly still flipped over for the process but then I decided he needed a break. I intend to go back out later today with a warm washcloth and make sure the rest of the area is clean.

Any advice on keeping this from happening since he clearly can't handle it himself? My thought was a daily cornstarch rubbing on his rear and tail and daily brushing. Is there anything else I can do? I have had bunnies for a long time but have never come across this issue before. Thank you!
 

HKG

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Jan 5, 2021
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Planet Earth
I am wondering the best way to keep my rabbits bottom clean. Here's the story.

My Benny Bunny is 8 years old. He lives outdoors, spends his daylight hours hopping around our fenced duck run which is in a very large wooded area with lots of trees and shaded areas, branches to nibble and leaves to chew, and endless digging. At night he is in his cage inside our barn. He has a liter box in his cage and he is very good about using it. He has unlimited orchard grass hay, rabbit pellet, and water; he seems to eat equal amounts of both. Every evening he gets a green for a treat, either cilantro, romaine, or dandelion greens. Occasionally a piece of kale or a small piece of carrot for an extra special treat. He does sneak some of the ducks pellet food too when they spill it.

Over the last week he wasn't seeming himself. He had that sad bunny look and posture, and was sitting funny. I noticed him trying to reach himself to clean more often than normal, and that's when it finally clicked that I needed to give him a good look over. I felt just horrible to discover a big poopey mat on his tail. My poor guy! Thankfully his private parts were not blocked, but I'm sure he's been super uncomfortable. I don't know how I missed it until now. He is a really big guy, but not obese. Just lots of skin rolls, so you can't really see his rear without intending too.

I'm thinking he may be getting arthritis. Upon inspecting him I noticed one of his rear legs tucks under different than the other, and he has a bald spot on that hip too, I assume from sitting so awkwardly. Otherwise he seems to be healthy. His coat is fine everywhere else. He is active and eating and pooing as always.

I used our dog clippers to very carefully remove the mat. He sat perfectly still flipped over for the process but then I decided he needed a break. I intend to go back out later today with a warm washcloth and make sure the rest of the area is clean.

Any advice on keeping this from happening since he clearly can't handle it himself? My thought was a daily cornstarch rubbing on his rear and tail and daily brushing. Is there anything else I can do? I have had bunnies for a long time but have never come across this issue before. Thank you!
I would let him sit in shallow warm water for a little while each week. That should help alot. You could maybe put some coconut oil there to make the poo not stick so bad.
 

Skye'sDucks

Songster
May 13, 2018
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The 'too much sunshine' sunshine state
If you suspect he has arthritis and this is true, I can't think a lot of what might prevent a build up. Sometimes bunnies are just messy too--I had a rabbit who wouldn't get mats but she'd get pee stains on her butt and it'd get dirty and I'd have to give her infrequent trims. You could try trimming his fur as short as you dare (obviously it needs to have enough fur to cover him) and that might help stop a build up.

I had another rabbit (who was sick though) that got bad mats/dirty butt and I remember researching and I believe it is fairly common or at least well known that sometimes when rabbits are sick or have arthritis they can't clean themselves properly anymore, because their bodies can't twist down there, and so poop and pee build up.

I'd suggest just do daily checks, try keeping his butt fur (and surrounding area) trimmed short, and clean him up whenever it starts to get bad. You said you've had rabbits for a long time so obviously you know not to bathe them but you can certainly do spot treatments for him with some water and a little soap, or spot treat with some water and a towel if it isn't bad/matted.
When we had to spot treat my aforementioned rabbit (who was sick) I held the bun while my mom gently wet his butt and cleaned/trimmed out the mat and dirty fur.

Your little Benny Bunny sounds like he has quite the spoiled life. :) I hope I could help you!
 

Isadora

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Mar 29, 2021
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I don't really have a suggestion but I wanted to say he sounds like he's living the best bunny life! Do you have a photo to share?
 

emmec19

Songster
May 24, 2018
59
126
111
Southeast Michigan
I don't really have a suggestion but I wanted to say he sounds like he's living the best bunny life! Do you have a photo to share?
I was trying to find one to add to my post but ran out of time. I just dug one up off my facebook from last summer. I guess he does look overweight in this photo, but he's really not. I can feel his bones, he just has a lot of skin :D
35901385_10157623178480200_2692459425280557056_n.jpg
 

Kiki

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I was trying to find one to add to my post but ran out of time. I just dug one up off my facebook from last summer. I guess he does look overweight in this photo, but he's really not. I can feel his bones, he just has a lot of skin :D View attachment 2873472
I want to squish his fat neck!!!
 

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
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I just wanted to stop in and mention this really quick just in case.

I would be extremely careful about Flystrike/botflies with your rabbits current situation. They love to get into poop/mats around those areas and can cause some pretty nasty wounds.

Hope you get everything figured out and best of luck with your bunny! 🐇
 

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