Some people claim that rabbits can’t fart, but they can certainly get gas built up in their stomach or intestines, causing discomfort and even pain. However, some rabbit owners swear they have heard strange noises or smelled strange smells right before their rabbit has conveniently run out of the room, and others have reported rabbits scaring themselves with farts just like dogs are known to do.
Why is my rabbit farting? While rabbit farting is very uncommon, developing gas can occur due to the rabbit’s diet and needs to be addressed immediately.
Is It True That Rabbits Can’t Fart?
Most direct evidence of rabbits farting is anecdotal only, meaning that there isn’t any significant research on the subject proving one way or the other. However, we have to assume that rabbits, when healthy, fart or pass gas to some degree, as the production of gas is a natural part of the rabbit’s digestive process. The rabbit possesses a highly developed cecum, where its food sits for a period of time and ferments in order to further the digestive process. A side effect of this fermentation is the production of gas, which means that there is certainly gas in the rabbit’s digestive system. In unhealthy rabbits, the gas will build up and cause pain and indigestion, which means that in healthy rabbits it must somehow pass through the system and out of the rabbit to prevent buildup.
It is, however, true that rabbits cannot burp or vomit. The rabbit’s digestive system works in one direction only and is highly active, so if a rabbit develops gas in its stomach rather than its intestines, this can be very dangerous as it has no way of passing it through a burp as humans do.
Do Rabbit Farts Make Sound?
The only evidence pointing one way or the other is completely anecdotal; some videos exist online but most appear to be faked or edited after the fact to include a fart noise. Some rabbit owners do report hearing noises that seem to be farts while their rabbits are around. These include tales of rabbits scaring themselves with the farting noise, rabbits leaving the room right after the farting noise and a smell lingering, and other humorous stories.
Do Rabbit Farts Smell Bad?
Like with the question of whether rabbit farts make sound, there’s no formal research on whether or why rabbit farts smell bad. However, we can make some assumptions based on what makes human farts bad. Human farts generally smell bad when proteins are ingested, and rabbit diets are low in protein and high in fiber. Therefore, rabbit farts generally won’t smell unless the rabbit has eaten something it’s not supposed to. The same goes for rabbit poop; because rabbits mostly eat fiber from hay and grass, the rabbit poop won’t smell unless high protein or high sugar foods are included.
Can Diet Make My Rabbit Fart?
Diet is the primary cause of farting in rabbits. Giving your rabbit foods that are too high in sugars or certain vegetables can cause gas buildup and therefore more frequent farting. It’s extremely important to introduce new foods slowly to make sure your rabbit doesn’t have any gastrointestinal issues when eating it, as feeding a lot of a new food all at once can be fatal if issues arrive. Vegetables should be fed sparingly unless they are leafy greens, as these are the most common culprit of gassiness in rabbits.
What Foods Can Cause Gas in Rabbits?
Most sugary foods such as treats and fruits will cause gas if feed too often, as sugar will ferment more easily in the rabbit’s digestive system and cause farting. It’s best to stick to lower sugar fruits such as berries (e.g. blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and only feed in moderation, usually one to two medium-sized berries a day. Vegetables that are high in starches such as carrots will cause gas for the same reason. Other vegetables that are seen to cause gas in rabbits include cabbage, broccoli stems and florets, cauliflower stems and florets, and kale.
Can Stress Make My Rabbit Fart?
Stress is not usually the primary cause of farting in rabbits, but it can cause a condition called GI stasis, in which your rabbit’s digestive system slows down so much that it stops completely. This is a fatal condition if not treated by a veterinarian with motility drugs, which will usually cause farting as your rabbit recovers.
Rabbits will usually be stressed if they are so gassy that they are farting due to the pain and discomfort of gas buildup. In this situation, the stress itself is not the cause of the farting but a side effect of the gassiness. However, it can appear that your rabbit is farting more because it is stressed.
Does Farting Mean My Rabbit is Sick?
Yes, farting usually means that something is wrong. However, if it is minor the passing gas may eliminate the problem. However, if your rabbit farts more than once or twice or is showing pain due to gas buildup, this means that something is seriously wrong and you should take your rabbit to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If you have made any changes to your rabbit’s diet recently, or if your rabbit may have eaten something it wasn’t supposed to, this can cause sickness and gas buildup and should be addressed immediately.
What Do I Do if My Rabbit Is Farting?
Monitor your rabbit closely and if it farts more than once or twice or the farting lasts more than an hour or two, contact your veterinarian. Make sure that you are watching for signs of gas buildup. The gas the buildup is more dangerous than farting, so you need to address the gas buildup quickly if it gets bad. Farting means that your rabbit is at least passing the gas and is less likely to develop more issues. You can try administering simethicone to help your rabbit continue to pass gas.
Can Rabbits Have Gas but Not Fart?
Yes, in fact, rabbits will more frequently have gas buildup than they will fart in a noticeable way. It’s important to monitor your rabbit for signs of gas buildup after you have changed its diet or if it has eaten anything out of the ordinary by accident. The gas buildup causes pain, discomfort, and changes in behavior in rabbits. You’ll notice signs like your rabbit hunching over, curling its toes, or refusing to eat or move.
Can Gassiness Hurt a Rabbit?
Yes, gassiness can cause a rabbit pain and gastrointestinal issues if left untreated. Bloat or gas buildup in rabbits is much the same as in humans in that it will cause pain and discomfort in the abdomen if they are unable to pass the gas. Rabbits’ digestive systems also need to be moving constantly to keep the rabbit alive and healthy, and gas buildup can stall or even stop the rabbit’s digestion, causing major issues.
If left untreated for long periods of time and if the gassiness is severe enough, it can kill a rabbit by stalling the digestive system or causing so much pain that the rabbit refuses to eat. This is why it’s important to contact your veterinarian if your rabbit has gas, or address the gas yourself.
What Do I Do if My Rabbit Has Gas but Won’t Fart?
You should always have a chemical called simethicone on hand in case your rabbit is having gas issues. Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent that helps your rabbit pass the gas safely. Administer 1cc of simethicone per hour to start, and gently massage your rabbit’s abdomen where you feel tightness. Be sure to be gentle so as not to hurt your rabbit’s internal organs. You can also try using an electric massager on the lowest setting. The combination of massage and simethicone should help your rabbit pass the gas. If this doesn’t work, contact your vet immediately.
What do I do if my rabbit has diarrhea? Make sure your rabbit is drinking enough water and wait to see if diarrhea stops within an hour or two. If it doesn’t, take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible. Keep your rabbit as clean as possible in the meantime, as especially in the summer flystrike can develop quickly on dirty rabbits.
What do I do if my rabbit won’t eat? Take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible. A rabbit that isn’t eating can develop GI stasis and die very quickly. Administer emergency food if necessary through a feeding syringe until you can get your rabbit to the vet.
What do I do if my rabbit is eating its own poop? Rabbits naturally eat a certain type of poop called a cecotrope. Cecotropes are light brown and look like a cluster of pellets, so if you see your rabbit eating poop like that, it’s normal. Rabbits usually don’t eat other types of poop like dogs sometimes do.