Caring For Your New Pet Rabbit

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Cleaning Your Vents . . .

Posted by Steve Collier on October 8, 2010 at 9:00 PM

As a breeder, I normally introduce fresh vegetables or fruit such as celery or apples to the weaning kits to entice them to eat the normal rabbit feed.  The fresh green vegetables or fruit often have a tendency to give the kits a loose bowel, which has a tendency to dehydrate the kit, but I have also noticed the loose bowel will remain trapped in their fur at their vent area which could cause impaction. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the vent area, this is the reproduction and fecal matter area of your rabbit . . . (in other words . . . it's privates . . .)   We don't normally associate this area of our new pet as a problem area when we give baths on a normal basis, but many of my clients have confessed to not bathing their rabbits on a normal schedule.  With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to the importance of keeping your rabbit's vent area clean and clear.

Speaking from experience, I have discovered that the introduction of fresh fruits or vegetables to your pet rabbit does have a tendency to loosen the stool, but the problem is not always as much dehydration, as impaction from fecal matter sticking to its fur in the vent area.

Most of your rabbit's feces when fed normal rabbit feed is compact and firm and doesn't present any real problems, but when you introduce fresh vegetables or fruits that your rabbit is not accustomed to, these items in its diet can cause serious health problems other than dehydration by simply sticking to its fur and preventing passage of normal bowel movement.

I suggest that any time you give your pet fresh fruits or vegetables, check the vent area for the next couple of days or a week perhaps, to make sure there are no foreign fecal matter collected in your pet's vent area to prevent it from passing its fecal matter normally . . . This is great advice for young rabbits, while rabbits four to five months old or older don't seem to have a problem with this.

My sole purpose for developing this website is to help you better understand the needs and care of your new pet rabbit.  Many times I often overlook what is obvious to me, and later find that this information is very helpful to any pet owner.  Please forgive me for taking so long to address this issue with the vent areas of your young pet, but as these problems cross my mind, I have a tendency to want to inform everyone of the potential dangers to your pet's health.  Snacks are great and your pet will love you for them, but young pets have a tendency to have health problems from oversnacking, so be sure to give your pet snacks in moderate portions, (one half to one ounce serving per rabbit).

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2 Comments

Reply Steve Collier
11:47 PM on November 21, 2012 
Cami says...
what is the purpose of the rabbits vents?


A rabbit's "Vent Area" is just a nice way of saying where they Pee and Poop... Keeping this area clean and clear of obstructions such as "Poop" that becomes matted up in the fur from improper feeding is very important to your pet's health... Keeping this area clean will help keep your pet from becoming impacted... "Impacted" simply means the area where they normally poop is stopped up and they can't pass their poop... Fresh vegetation or feed that has too much sugar in it normally causes a loose stool or "Poop"... Once the rabbit reaches adulthood, their is less of a problem... Giving your rabbit a bath every month is recommended to help with this problem, but I recommend that you check the "Vent Area" a couple of times a week with younger rabbits...
Reply Cami
9:03 PM on November 21, 2012 
what is the purpose of the rabbits vents?