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If you’ve never had rabbits before, you would be SHOCKED by how loud their little bellies can be. Like, it is STAGGERING.
And can also be worrisome, because of how delicate little bunny bellies can be. A rabbit’s stomach gurgle isn’t always a cause for concern, but it can be, so it’s worth familarising yourself with what can cause the noise.
If your rabbit’s stomach is gurgling, it could be a sign of gas
This is a worst case scenario BUT it’s technically a good thing. If your bunny has gas, or is in stasis, a noisy belly can be a sign that their digestive system is working to try to ease the issue.
Diagnosing gas in rabbits isn’t always easy, but if you’re rabbit has been acting a little withdrawn and isn’t eating well, it could well be a gas issue.
Like I said, the gurgling is a positive sign, but you’ll need to get your rabbit to a vet asap so they can give fluids if required and medication to aid digestion. In the meantime, you can try giving your rabbit baby gas drops to make them more comfortable.
Your rabbit’s stomach may gurgle when they’re drinking
This is Holly.
Seriously, it’s equal parts gross and impressive.
It’s just so LOUD.
She’s drinking away and her belly is sounding like dial-up internet.
Many rabbit’s bellies gurgle when they drink, but Holly’s is something else.
After a bit of research, I’ve discovered that gurgling is perfectly normal side effect of drinking a lot of water in one go. Fair enough. Daisy tends to drink little and often, but Holly likes big drinks occasionally, to the accompaniment of gurgling stomach.
Your rabbit’s stomach may gurgle if you’ve changed their diet
Rabbits have a very delicate digestive system that is pretty much working all the time, since rabbits are constantly grazing on high fibre hay.
If you’ve changed your rabbit’s diet, particularly from one that’s high in sugar, you can get a load of gurgling.
I would advise that any dietary changes should be made gradually if at all possible. Mix good quality pellets in with whatever they were on previously, rather than just switching brands overnight. Rabbit digestion is a delicate business, so it’s not wise to shock it if at all possible.
Obviously, there are some rabbits that could have a wildly different diet every day and not care, and others that can get gas after a solitary piece of broccoli.
That’s just how life is BUT we can do all we can to ease any transitions – you know, just in case.
Now, it’s nothing to worry about in itself, BUT it’s worth keeping an eye out for any signs of stasis. As previously mentioned, stomach noises are usually a positive sign in rabbits but it’s also a sign that *something* is happening, so you should watch them.
None of our rabbits have been super sensitive, so we’ve been pretty lucky. In fact, I don’t think I ever hear a rabbit’s belly growl until I met Holly.
She slurps when she drinks too – she was clearly not taught proper table manners as a kit.
Soft gurgling noises are pretty normal
The digestive system is always on the go, and rabbits eat a lot. Human stomachs sometimes gurgle after we’ve eaten a big meal, and so do rabbits’. It’s nothing to panic about in itself.
I do understand why people are concerned though. I don’t want to shame Holly (don’t worry, she can’t read), but the gurgling can be disconcertingly loud.
When should you take a rabbit to the vet if their stomach is gurgling?
If the only symptom that your rabbit has is a gurgling stomach, I wouldn’t take them to the vet unless it was happening a LOT. Like, constantly. BUT it’s definitely a time to be extra watchful of symptoms related to gas and GI stasis. Rabbits can go downhill quickly, and a quick response is often half the battle.
If any other symptoms crop up, a vet visit is always advisable. Look for symptoms such as:
- Not eating/drinking
- No poops
- Hunched over
- Pressing their belly to the floor
- Cold ears
- Generally lethargic and sad