Bathing a Rabbit's Messy Bottom

by Dana Krempels, Ph.D.
University of Miami Biology Department
House Rabbit Society of Miami

If your rabbit has a messy bottom due to either runny stool or urine leakage, the most important thing to do is to determine the source of the problem, starting with a full exam by your rabbit-experienced veterinarian, including a full dental examination and blood chemistry and cell counts.

A messy bottom is both uncomfortable and unsanitary, inviting worse problems such as skin scalding and even fly strike. While your vet does the detective work, it's up to you to keep the bunny comfortable. One way is with a careful, gentle "butt bath" to keep caustic bodily fluids away from the skin. There are two methods one can safely use to clean a messy bunny: Dry or Wet. Of the two, a dry bath is usually preferable if the mess on bunny's bum is dry.

If the bunny is extremely soiled and smelly, a wet bath may be necessary. (Instructions for this procedure follow those for the dry bath.)

Dry Bath Procedure
If your bunny's bum is very messy, wet, and smelly, it may be necessary to give him a wet bath. Here's how to do it:

Wet Bath Procedure