Probiotic and digestive enzymes are designed to encouraging
the growth of "good"
(beneficial bacteria) that is needed in a rabbit’s natural digestive
Probiotics (good bacteria) are needed to maintain proper PH levels, break
down food for absorption and to keep dangerous bad bacteria levels low.
When bad bacteria such as E-coli are able to thrive, the result will be a
build up of deadly toxins in the rabbit’s body.
The good bacteria thrive in the cecum and small intestine.
The food’s fibers are broken down into usable fatty acids by the
bacteria using a fermentation process, and the remaining nutrients passed
from cecum to the small intestine as a usable form of nutrients called cecotropes
to be passed
from the body, eaten by the rabbit a second time and then absorbed by the body.
Without the proper digestive enzymes and beneficial intestinal bacteria,
food passes through the system not being able to ferment properly and
the nutrients are not absorbed into the body.
When this undigested food passing through the large intestinal tract it
may then lead to an over growth of bad bacteria, bloat, diarrhea, enteritis or coccidios parasite taking advantage of a weakened immune
Wild rabbits have a choice of many different kinds of grass, plants and
seeds, each containing natural sources of digestive enzymes and
naturally occurring beneficial bacteria.
rabbit food ingredients are mainly Wheat millings, soybean meal, alfalfa,
added vitamins and molasses.
The processing and storing of the feed will break down the Enzymes and
It also limits the variety of Enzymes and beneficial bacteria in a
I try supplement by feeding my rabbits good timothy hay, a leaf of Kale or
sprig of parsley at least two or three times a week. In the summer I pick dandelions,
wash them well and use a salad spinner to dry them off.
rabbit's beneficial bacteria can be destroyed causing the PH
of this environment to be altered. Once the balance has been
upset it can take a long time to re-establish a balance again.
rabbit’s digestive system is disturbed when the rabbit is under
Stress can be caused by;
- rabbit shows
- poor food quality.
- going to a new home
- Operation or medication
- extreme temperature changes
- unseasonable and fluctuating
food and water bowl clean and supply clean water daily.
Feed good quality timothy hay often.
You can give a mouthful of Probiotic paste morning and night until rabbit
Medication will not only kill bad bacteria but the good bacteria too.
I always feed a probiotic twice a day for two days after medicating.
give my rabbits a mouth full of probiotic paste the night after I take them
to a show and twice more the next day. I used to give it to them the
night before but if they manage to spit some out, it can mess-up their
Pineapple and Papaya are especially good to feed fuzzy lops to help
prevent wool Block as well as maintaining a healthy digestive system. I was
skeptical about pineapple juice dissolving wool blocks until a friend's
vet had x-rayed her doe and a mass appeared in the x-ray.
The vet only prescribed pineapple juice and they x-rayed every 2-3 days.
The massive started to dissolve. I still doubt that pineapple juice dissolved
the hair but it likely dissolved all the food stuff that bonded itself to
the hair, thus allowing the hair to pass through the rabbit a bit at a
time. My own rabbit vet swears by pineapple juice.
Live Beneficial Bacteria
Acid Pak 4 way is a great safe, water soluble source, good for rabbits
during hot or fluctuating weather conditions and for kits that are weaning
"Sunshine plus" from BlueSeal, Heinold Doc's Rabbit Enhancer,
and other coat conditioning supplements contain probiotics such as
brewer's yeast. I feed this to my rabbits that are at least 2 months old.
Paste probiotics have a wonderful
variety of probiotic bacteria. I recommend them.
There is controversy regarding the amount claimed on the labels of these
paste probiotics and what studies show are actually contained in them.
Try to get a "fresh" tube with an expiry date of two years
into the future.
form of freeze dried Lactobacillus
Quintrex by Nutritional Research Assoc. inc.
South Whitley, indiana
feed the horse Probiotic paste to my show rabbits when they are off their
feed a bit, it
has many different types of good bacteria. Below are some examples of
Equi-bac oral Gel
Made by Nature's Farmacy
(Member of the Organic trade assoc.)
Micro Balance from Vita Flex
to Antibiotic Use for Growth Promotion
in Animal Husbandry
of Maryland Medical Center
of Probiotics in Rabbits