Importance of good, balanced nutrition to prevent sticky stool in your rabbit

Importance of good, balanced nutrition to prevent sticky stool in your rabbit

Perhaps you are not familiar with the term maggot disease or myiasis? Maybe you have heard talk about sticky stool in rabbits...
Maggot disease is a disease that can occur in rabbits during the summer, with the stool sticking to the fur, hence the name of sticky stool. 

What causes sticky stool?

Rabbits have a special digestive system. They produce two types of droppings, namely hard droppings and soft droppings (= caecotrophs). The soft droppings still contain important nutrients and are actually eaten again by the rabbit (= caecotrophy).

Rabbits sticky stool
  • Sticky stool occurs when the droppings are too soft and are not eaten enough by the rabbit. They stick to the poop.
  • Food plays an important role here. Rabbits need structure in their diet (sufficient fibre through hay and via pellets). Too much green fodder can, just like overfeeding, lead to softer droppings.
  • The body weight and mobility of your rabbit is also not insignificant. A rabbit that is not active and is overweight will find it hard to eat the soft droppings so that they stick to the poop!
  • Sticky stool can cause skin inflammation and can attract flies causing maggot disease.
  • In the summer months, regularly check your rabbit's fur for the presence of soft droppings and make sure the bedding is changed frequently.

When does maggot disease develop?

  • Especially in late spring/summer when the green bottle fly puts eggs in the rabbits’ stuck stool. The flies are actually attracted by the smell of the droppings. Hygiene is therefore very important!
  • The food maggots that emerge from the eggs can cause large wounds and expand rapidly. Not only the big wounds are dangerous, but rabbits also become very ill through blood poisoning by the maggots.
  • If you see maggots on your rabbit, then make an appointment with the vet immediately.


  • Prevent sticky stool and maggot disease by giving the right food. Food with sufficient structure and fibres is very important!
  • Ensure good hygiene of the cage and regularly refresh the bedding.
  • Please check daily if your rabbit eats the soft droppings properly and no stool sticks to the fur.
  • Protect your rabbits from flies with a screen or flypaper.
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