One rabbit care issue that many owners are concerned about treating is how to clean a bunny’s messy bottom. Whether is is caused by urine, diarrhea or excessive soft cecotropes, “poopy butt” leads to the question of whether you should wash a rabbit’s back side. Rabbits are so sensitive that they can literally be frightened to death, and it is feared that plunging a rabbit into water might very well do that.
Cleaning up a messy rabbit bottom is more than an unsightly appearance problem. It also can be a serious health issue. Not only can it make the rabbit feel uncomfortable, urine can irritate and burn sensitive skin. Severe sores can even lead to fly strike, when flies lay eggs inside open wounds.
If the mess is dry, then using a dry cleaning method is preferable, while using a water bath is generally recommended to clean up a wet mess.
The best source of information we have seen on the topic is provided by Dr. Dana Krempels of the University of Miami Biology Department and the House Rabbit Society of Miami. She advises that cleaning the rabbit is only treating the symptom of a problem, and the cause of that problem should be found. That means having your rabbit examined by a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to find out precisely why the bunny came to be messy.
Dr. Krempels gives instructions on how to use Baby Cornstarch Powder in a dry bath, and how to use a hypoallergenic, non-medicated shampoo for a wet bath in a bathroom sink.
We recommend you read the complete article, ” Bathing a Rabbit’s Messy Bottom” online at http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/buttbath.html