Too Many Cecotropes?
I have a year old buck that suddenly started producing massive amounts of cecotropes. They collect and stick all over the bottom of his cage, and his genitalia. He hasn't lost condition, nor his appetite. He is bright eyed and active, not showing any signs of bloat, isn't overweight, and there is nothing wrong with his teeth. He passes regular poop with no problems.
This issue with him began shortly after I took him to a rabbit show. I have removed his pellets and fed straight timothy for up to two weeks, but this didn't improve his condition. I clean and disinfect his cage daily, but by the following day it's a mess of stinky, black goo again.
I have been dealing with this for the last 4 months. In that time, I have had a couple of litters of kits born, weaned, and doing just fine. Now, I have a 7 month old doe that is beginning to show the same issue. She is housed all the way over on the other side of the barn, and has had no contact with the first buck.***** Karen Sez *****
Well, good job. You've done all the things I would have recommended. Rabbits typically eat a LOT of their cecotropes, which keep them healthy. For some reason, your buck is not eating all that he should be eating. Withholding feed and giving only hay and water should have helped to normalize his intestinal tract.
Additionally, your description indicates the cecotropes are not normal, but are looser, darker, and even more sticky than usual.
The fact that a doe on the other side of the barn is now showing similar symptoms indicates contagion in my mind.
A rabbit-savvy vet will be able to do a culture and sensitivity on those cecotropes and let you know the exact pathogen (or pathogens) that are causing the problem, if any. Or, at least, give you good veterinary guidance. This would be my next step, especially since you've been battling the problem for four months.
More info of a general nature at this link:Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
Good luck with everything.