If you’ve ever suspected that your Rabbit has been farting or making certain smells then you may have wondered if rabbits can fart. Its an intriguing topic and one that we’d rather get out of the way. I decided to conduct some research and I’d like to address it here today.
So, can Rabbits fart? Rabbits can and do fart – it is a natural result of the digestion system at work. Any fibrous matter that a rabbit is finding challenging to break down will result in gas and subsequent farting. Releasing this gas as a fart is a good thing, preventing it from building excessively within their intestines.
If a Rabbit experiences gas build-up without being able to pass it, it can become painful and dangerous.
In extreme cases, bloat and stomach distension may require medical intervention.
In the rest of this article, I’ll be providing some more information around why Rabbits fart, what causes them to fart, and things that you can do to reduce farting and ensure that they are safe and healthy!
Why Do Rabbits Fart?
Rabbits fart due to the interaction between the food they consume and their digestive system. Farting, is the by-product of this digestion process. Gas is formed, and farting is it being released.
There are several causes of gas buildup but the main ones are that your Rabbit consumed too much in one sitting, was disturbed or had to move mid-meal, or are a certain food that causes flatulence.
In other cases it can be the result of stress, dehydration and a diet that is too low in plant material and a fiber (known as cellulose). If you’re feeding your Rabbit high sugar-content foods (like too many fruits) this can also cause gas to be produced.
As such, Rabbits need to fart and occasional farting is not something you need to worry about. This is true for a lot of animals, and there are in-fact very few that do not pass wind.
However, if you notice that your Rabbit has excessive levels of flatulence, you’re looking at a more serious condition that you should get a vet to examine.
In more extreme cases, as gas starts to build up and is not released, you’ll notice that your Rabbit becomes bloated.
This can cause pain, reduction in appetite, and loss of general wellness.
Whilst you may recognize this in humans, Rabbits can also experience the same things so it’s important to remain vigilant and ensure that farting is infrequent, not excessive and there are no signs of bloating or excessive stomach distension.
What Causes Rabbits To Fart
Rabbits fart due to the excessive build up of gas through the digestive process.
But what causes this gas?
Normally, it is because a Rabbit is struggling to break down the food it is consuming. Plant matter (grass, flowers etc) typically contains a lot of natural fiber.
Due to their small frame and constitution, a Rabbits digestive system struggles to break this fiber down.
Rabbits actually digest through microorganisms and bacteria within their intestines. It naturally follows that if your Rabbits bacteria is off or reduced, they have less digestive power and will struggle to break food down. The result gas and wind.
Another cause to look out for is a lot more dangerous. While it is something to be aware of it is a lot more uncommon.
Its called intestinal twisting (Volvulus) and can occur in small animals.
Essentially, it is where the intestines become twisted leading to intestinal blockage and obstruction.
If you suspect that your Rabbit could have this, or are seeing symptoms I will soon outline below, you need to get medical attention as soon as you can as it is a serious health problem in rabbits.
Symptoms Of Something More Serious
Beyond excessive farting, the symptoms that something more serious is going on can vary Rabbit to Rabbit. The biggest one to look out for is excessive Bloat.
Bloating is easily observed; you’ll notice that your Rabbit has a distended and swollen stomach. One area to look out for in particular is the rib cage area, as this can help to to noticeably see the difference in the stomach.
Since your rabbit can can get a swollen stomach from overeating, some bloat is natural and is not a cause of concern. However, if it is very large, or persists for a couple of days, you’ll need a vet.
Other symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced Appetite
- Stoppage of Excretion
- Hunched Posture
- Teeth Grinding
These symptoms can all be recognized and you can observe differences compared to their usual behavior and overall demeanor.
If your Rabbit refuses to eat this is a big sign something is wrong. Also, if they look generally weak or spend all of their time resting/sleeping you know something could be going on.
Treatment Of Bloat
If your Rabbit requires treatment of bloat and excessive farting by a Vet, it will differ depending on the condition of your Rabbit.
In less dangerous situations: Your vet will provide a course of antibiotics and medications to restore regular intestinal functions. Pain medications may also be provided if the Rabbit is in any signs of pain.
In more severe situations: Your vet will want to perform laboratory testing and abdominal imaging. This can include x-rays and ultrasound. This will monitor any obstructions or signs of conditions like Volvulus. If something is identified, a Rabbit may require exploratory surgery. (Read more)
How To Stop Your Rabbit From Farting
For the most part, Rabbits fart naturally and occasionally and you should not be concerned.
However, there are ways that you can minimize the build-up of gas which will not only stop them farting as much, but will also support their health.
Rabbits actually have quite unique dietary requirements. Fiber is absolutely essential for them and cellulose (plant and vegetable fibers) is without doubt the most crucial one.
In fact, this type of fiber is so important that Rabbits have an organ dedicated to processes and helping digest it; the Cecum (which enables vitamins and minerals to be extracted and absorbed).
Whilst they are herbivores, not all plants are ideal and safe for them to eat.
Some of these are quite surprising to learn; but when you release that farting is the result of gas, you can soon see why certain foods should be avoided. Here are some of the main culprits:
Foods To Avoid
- Iceberg Lettuce
It’s strange to see Carrots and Lettuce on this list since many Rabbit owners feed their Rabbits with some of these foods.
But, Carrots and Lettuce contain a lot of water, sugar and are difficult to breakdown. You can still feed your Rabbit these as treats every now and again but this should not be a staple of their diet.
Foods To Eat
The most common food to give your Rabbit is Hay (this is a particularly good brand that you can get on Amazon).
Hay is excellent for your Rabbit and it should make up a significant proportion of their diets.
Another food that you should include is Rabbit Pellets.
These have been specially formulated to give your Rabbit all the nutrition it needs without excessive or difficult to digest fibers. (this feed is rated very highly on Amazon).
Keeping the correct fiber foods in a Rabbits diet is going to make their digestion process a lot easier.
Fresh vegetables should also be provided daily (1-2 cups per rabbit). Here are some great veggies for Rabbits:
- Bok Choi
- Mustard Greens
What If Your Rabbit Does Not Fart At All?
Farting is healthy natural thing for a Rabbit to do and it will enable gas to pass through the intestines.
It can be hard to identify, but you should try and look out for your Rabbits farting habits. If they do not fart at all, again this could be a sign of something more severe.
As discussed earlier, there may be some form of blockage preventing gas from escaping. The best thing to do is you have any concerns speak to your vet.
Rabbits fart. Its just a by-product of their digestion like it is our. For the most part, you should not be worried and come to expect it from time to time.
View it as something healthy that must happen to eliminate gas that can cause your Rabbits health issues.
Farting too often, with excessive distensions or bloat however is a cause for concern. Monitor your Rabbit(s) and be sure to check for symptoms regularly.
With Rabbits its quite easy to see a change in behavior and identify when something is wrong.
Also, remember that your Rabbits diet is perhaps the most important aspect in their digestive health. Limit and remove any foods that can cause bloating and excessive gas. Stick with Hay, Special High Fiber Rabbit Pellets and Certain Veggie and you can’t go wrong.
Ultimately, just keep an eye out for farting. Too much – not good, not enough – not good either. Somewhere in between is perfectly safe and fine.
Besides watching your Rabbit fart every now and again can be quite amusing. Especially when they do not realize what they have done. As long as they are not in any pain or discomfort of course!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.