Rabbits are cute, fuzzy little creatures that will happily hop around your backyard. But what you might not know is that they can also produce some strange sounds!
We’ve all heard of a dog fart, right? Rabbits do the same thing too. The difference is that rabbit farts sound more like “cotton balls being blown across a drum.” So if you hear these sounds coming from your bunnies’ litter box, make sure to check it out and change their hay or food because there could be something funky going on in there.
Rabbits produce a lot of gas because their diet is so high in fiber. Do rabbits fart? Which foods cause rabbits to fart? Is it normal for rabbits to fart? What are the symptoms to watch out for in rabbits? How to help your rabbit fart?
Not only does this blog post provide information about why rabbits fart, but it also gives tips on how to deal with them! Let’s Get Rollin !
What Exactly Is Farting or Passing Gas?
Passing gas or farting is the release of intestinal gases from the rectum. In other words, the anus. The gas is released as a by product of digestion and typically contains odorous molecules, such as those from foods that contain sulfur compounds from broccoli and cauliflower, or a by-product of bacterial fermentation in the large intestine.
Once the food is eaten, it reaches the stomach and absorbs water there on its way down to the intestines. Gut bacteria breaks things down by releasing hydrogen and other gases that are made up of methane, sulphur compounds and more. These bacteria produce gas each day-that’s flatulence 🙂
Rabbits have a special organ called the cecum and the ileum that plays a role in digestion like humans do. Rabbits fart by digesting food and making gas as any animal would that eats high fiber foods.
Do Rabbits Fart?
Rabbits do fart. They pass gas just like any other animal does, and it contains odors from the food they eat. Rabbits pass gas because of their diet and the high amounts of fiber that it contains, which is not necessarily a bad thing as long as there’s enough water in your rabbit’s system, but if you notice diarrhea or other changes, then it may be time for a trip to the vet!
Rabbits are always going to pass gas. They don’t have a choice when they eat high fiber foods-that’s just the way it is!
Different types of bacteria live in the cecum and ileum parts of their guts, which produce hydrogen sulfide and other gases. Rabbits will let these gases out through flatulence or passing gas.
Rabbits that eat too much of one type of plant or not enough hay may end up with the wrong types of bacteria in their cecum and ileum which means they will fart more often than usual. This is why it’s important to give your bunny a balanced diet-not just carrots, lettuce and broccoli but rather lots of hay and grass for them to ferment instead.
It’s not uncommon for a rabbit to have flatulence from time to time. Natural gas is a normal part of the digestion process, but if you see your rabbit constantly passing gas, it’s a sign that something is amiss.
Flatulence in rabbits is most often caused by an incorrect diet. Food that is heavy in carbs or sugar induces bloating and gassiness. Lack of adequate water in its diet, external factors such as stress, overeating, etc., all contribute to gas production.
Gas, if left untreated, may result in GI stasis. GI stasis is a condition wherein food stops moving in the intestines of the rabbit or slows down completely. To avoid this deadly condition from happening, make sure your rabbit is eating a healthy diet, and treat abnormal gas as soon as it appears.
Symptoms Of Excessive Gas In Rabbits:
So if you have a rabbit, make sure to watch out for these symptoms because one of them could indicate that your bunny is not feeling well or having some sort of problem with his digestive system:
- Hunched Posture
- Smelly mouth
- Bad breath
- Rumbling Sounds From Stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced Appetite
- Low Body Temperature
- Stomach To Ground Posture
- Stoppage of Excretion
- Teeth Grinding
- Hard To Touch Stomach
If any one of those things happens, make sure to stop giving your pet treats with sugar or simple carbohydrates like carrots-this means NO CARROTS FOR YOU BUNNY!!
So now we know that rabbits do indeed let out gas by passing wind (or flatulence) 🙂 But how can you tell if this isn’t normal? And what could be causing it? Let’s find out next…
List Of Causes That Make Rabbits Fart?
When rabbits consume foods that cause gas they will release it through flatulence.
Here are the most common causes:
Feeding Them Human Treats :
If your rabbit is not eating the right kind of food, make sure to change their diet immediately. So if you have been feeding your bunny some human treats lately, stop because this may be why they’re having problems with flatulence now.
Rabbits need a diet high in fiber and protein but low in sugar; otherwise they’ll end up with diarrhea or other problems like stomach upset, gas, or bloating, which is not pleasant for anyone!
Lack Of Water:
A lack of water can contribute to gas because when their digestive system does not have enough fluids, it makes it harder for digestion to take place, which then results in excessive amounts of flatulence.
If you notice your rabbit is just sitting around looking lethargic, make sure that his hay source has lots of good moisture content and that your rabbit has access to fresh, clean water 24 x 7, so that he doesn’t get dehydrated!
Feeding Uncommon Foods:
Feeding them foods they’re not used to or don’t eat commonly like popcorn or corn on the cob (which is a big no-no!)Trying out new types of food can also cause rabbits to produce an increased amount of gas so be careful with what you give him.
They have too much of one type of food in their diet: When I say too much, I mean more than what is recommended in a day! This means carrots, lettuce, and broccoli, but not just vegetables but soft fruits like strawberries or blueberries either.
If you feed your bunnies these things on a regular basis, there’s a chance they’ll get diarrhea. Feeding them too many simple carbohydrates (like carrots) all the time can upset the balance, causing havoc for your bunny.
Bacterial Imbalance :
Bacterial imbalance in the cecum and ileum parts of their gut, along with a lack of fiber.
This is why it’s so important for your rabbit to eat his hay because when they do, they feed good bacteria that makes gas-the odorless kind, not the bad, stinky ones .
When this balance gets thrown off even more than usual, your bunny will let out some extra gas and may start having problems like soft stools or diarrhea that smells terrible.
High Fiber Diet:
As I said earlier, rabbits pass gas because of the high fiber content in their diet. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they eat plants and grass, and lots of it!
Although these foods provide a good amount of nutrients for your bunny, there’s also quite a bit that ends up as waste products like bacteria or byproducts produced during fermentation (this is called enteric fermentation) . As you can guess, this often leads to flatulence.
But if your rabbit isn’t eating enough hay, then he may not be able to digest his food properly either, leading to more problems than simple farts.
Upset Stomach :
An upset stomach with diarrhea, gas etc. which is typically caused by changes in food types can cause your bunny to pass more gas than usual so be sure not to change up the diet too often!
A Change In Temperature Can Make Your Bunny Fart More :
It’s normal for rabbits to pass more gas when they’re exposed to higher temperatures in their environment. So keep an eye out if they seem uncomfortable during the summertime ! If it gets too hot in their environment, they may need to be moved somewhere cooler.
Stress Can Cause Gas :
If your bunny is feeling stressed out, he may release extra gas and start having problems like diarrhea, bloating etc.If your rabbit is under a lot of stress, it can cause gas, so try to keep them away from loud noises, people, and other situations that can cause them stress and anxiety.
Eating Too Fast Can Cause Gas:
When your rabbit eats too fast, it causes a lot of excess air to get into his digestive system, and its digestive system also has to work overtime to digest the excess food, which in turn can cause gas.
They don’t chew their food like we do, they just swallow it whole-which means that when they gulp down a bunch of carrots, they are going to end up with an upset stomach for sure! So slow them way down by feeding smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day.
What Can You Do To Prevent Flatulence In Your Rabbit ?
Here are some tips to help your rabbit with his gas problems.
- Feeding Your Rabbit High Fiber Food:Rabbits eat mainly hay and grass, which have a high fiber content that helps them digest their food properly along with the bacteria they produce-the good kind, not the smelly ones!
That’s why it’s important for you to give your bunny plenty of fresh, clean water and hay every day because without these two things, he’ll be eating but not absorbing any nutrients from his food or getting rid of waste products like normal.
- Keep Track Of What You Feed Them :Be careful about what you feed him because just one bad thing could upset the balance inside making him uncomfortable even if its only temporary by giving him an upset stomach.
- Give It Time :When you give your rabbit new foods, it can take a little bit of time before his digestive system gets used to them and ‘normalizes’. During this period if the changes are drastic, gas or diarrhea may occur but don’t worry because once his body adjusts everything will be back on track .
- Stop Giving Them Human Treats :If you have been feeding them human treats then stop immediately and if they have been eating vegetables regularly then go light on these for a while until they’re back up to speed with hay consumption .
- Introduce New Foods Gradually:You’ll also want to introduce new foods gradually so that their digestive system can get used to digesting all of these new things together without causing any gas problems! This means adding one type of food every few days, or even weeks, depending on how sensitive your bunny might be.
- Feed Them Prebiotics :Another way you can prevent flatulence in rabbits (and other animals) is by feeding them prebiotics like FOS (fructo-ligosaccharide). This type of carbohydrate feeds the good bacteria in your bunny’s gut and acts as food for their digestive system too, which means they’ll be that much less likely to produce gas.
- Don’t Feed Your Bunny Too Much: Don’t overfeed your rabbit!You should always check on how many calories are recommended per day for your rabbit and moderate its diet portions accordingly.
- Feed Hay In Sufficient Quantity:The best thing you can do is to feed your rabbit a high hay diet because when they eat grass and plants, it stimulates the gut in order for them to produce more saliva, which then helps with their digestion.
- Provide Sufficient Water:Increase the water content in his food. This will ensure that he’s getting enough fluids to digest everything properly!
- Cut Down On The Treats:Instead of giving your bunny too many treats, feed him plenty of fresh leafy greens and other veggies instead because they have a good amount of fiber, which bunnies need for proper digestion! You can also try adding some digestive enzymes into his diet by crushing them up finely with some wet food.
When Should You Take Your Rabbit to the Vet?
There are certain signs that you should keep an eye out for when it comes to your rabbit’s health which will help in determining if he needs to see the vet.
Rabbits farting is normal as long as it is limited and is not accompanied by any other worrying symptoms. Keep an eye out if your rabbit starts farting a lot and you observe the following symptoms:
- If They’re Not Eating Or Drinking:Keep a close watch on their appetite and drinking habits because if they stop doing either one of these things then it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong . It doesn’t count as normal behavior if they seem lethargic, lose interest in food or water etc.
- Diarrhea And Constipation Are A Big Red Flag :Also notice whether or not his feces are soft or hard because this can indicate diarrhea (watery stools) or constipation (tough, smelly stools). Either way, you’ll need to take action because these are both signs that something is wrong.
- Loss Of Appetite And Lethargy:If your rabbit suddenly stops eating, then it’s a sign of an underlying disease which is causing him pain and discomfort (and could be deadly if left untreated for too long) . Also keep track of his energy levels, because if he seems lethargic or isn’t moving around much, this can also indicate illness .
- Strange Growling Noises :You might hear strange growling noises coming from their stomach area when they’re feeling sick and not well, so you should definitely get them checked out by the vet! These sounds mean there’s gas inside, but don’t worry about it too much because it’s not too serious as long as it goes away.
- White Sticky Poop:Another thing you’ll want to pay attention to is their poop and see if they’re passing any white sticky stuff in it (which can indicate a blockage).
- Bad Breath:Also keep an eye out for bad breath, which could be caused by tooth problems or poor digestion .
- Blood Or Mucous :If your rabbit’s gas smells way worse than normal or you notice blood, mucous or any type of discharge from his bottom then its time to take him to the vet because this means he could have a bacterial infection and will need antibiotics .
Steps You Can Take At Home Before A Visit To The Vet
It’s normal for them to pass gas every day or two, and it’s nothing to be alarmed about unless they’re passing too much gas (which is also common). If your rabbit seems uncomfortable after doing so, visit the vet immediately.
There are some natural things you can try at home before making an appointment with your veterinarian that may help alleviate their discomfort while awaiting a diagnosis from their doctor.
- Feed Small Frequent Meals :First of all, make sure there isn’t any food left in the stomach by feeding small, frequent meals instead of large ones.
- Feed Fresh Vegetables:Next up, give fresh vegetables like celery sticks and broccoli stems as snacks throughout the day because they contain fiber, which helps aid digestion .
- Feed A Lot Of Hay: You should also feed a lot of hay because it can help keep their digestive system healthy.
- Increase Their Body Temperature:It may be a good idea to try and warm them up because cold body temperatures can make things worse. Place a heating pad in their cage for 15 minutes every hour or so (but don’t place the heating pad directly underneath).
- Maasage Their Stomach :You can also massage their stomach for 30 seconds at a time to help break up the gas bubbles. You can also try massaging their stomach in a clockwise motion to help get things moving.
- Give Them Pediatric Medicines :You can also try giving your rabbit some children’s medicines like gas drops or simethicone, which are safe to give to rabbits. You can give about 1ML every hour for a consecutive period of three hours and see how your rabbit reacts to it.
- Give Them Some Natural Digestive Enzymes:You should definitely check out the natural enzymes at your local pet store or pharmacy because these will help keep their digestive system healthy and working properly!
Rabbits do fart. And if they’re healthy and not stressed out too much, it should be nothing to worry about! It is a normal part of their digestive system and means that the food has been fully processed.
However, if too much gas builds up in their stomach, then your rabbit might need to visit a vet just as humans would with an upset stomach or diarrhea .
That being said, there are some things you can try before resorting to medication from the vet such as increasing fiber intake by offering hay at different times throughout the day, providing an additional litter box so they don’t feel pressure from competition with other bunnies , and giving them plenty of water which will help regulate digestion.
As long as these tips work well for you, there’s no reason to take your rabbit in for a visit.
However, if they don’t seem like they’re feeling better or the symptoms continue, then it might be time for an appointment with their doctor ! It’s always good to know what’s normal so you can tell when something isn’t right!