Soft poops with foul smell

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New Member
Nov 8, 2017
Hi all! I have two boys who are about 8 months old, Cain and Abel.

Abel is the one who's having trouble. He has soft, yellow-brown poops that smell pretty bad; like fear poops. Not always, it's pretty intermittent- he'll have one or two days of soft poops, and then normal for a while though he's always pretty gassy, and that smells awful. Admittedly I'm not sure if it's Abel or Cain who's gassy, but as Abel has the nasty poops, I'm guessing he is the perpetrator of both, lol. He's not bloated. Abel also isn't high white, neither is Cain. He acts completely normally, too. He's a little more squirmy than his brother is and not as friendly, but I put that down to differences in personality.

I can't afford a vet visit for a few weeks, but it's starting to concern me. This has gone on a couple of months. I don't think it's megacolon; he has the soft smelly poops, but he isn't impacted, he doesn't have bloating, and his butt looks normal. He's just gassy and has soft poops. Does he just have ratty IBS? There are no health issues otherwise and neither of them have ever gotten sick or been on antibiotics.

Cain is also completely fine. They both eat a lot. The only treats they get are baby puffs, nuts, rarely yogurt drops and occasionally small pieces of fruit or veggies. I really don't think its megacolon since he has no other symptoms. Just a sensitive tummy, maybe? Or anxiety? I live in a loud household (I live w family) but they have a large cage and plenty of places to hide. The only health issue other than his was a broken toe with Abel; he healed really well. (He crushed it on a tile that he had unclipped and shoved off the upper floors...)


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 21, 2009
they can have giardia, there's a test for it and treatment (probably metronidazole)

I'd cut out all treats, esp all fruit and anything with sugar or lots of fat, even the nuts. See if that helps. (if it does, only gradually add back treats to see which one(s) might be the problem) Basically do an elimination diet.

You can try plain boiled white rice Or easier still, puffed rice cereal, not rice krispies, but similar, (no salt or sugar added) and usually cheaper. This works great to firm up stools in my experience but only if the problem was diet related and not an illness or something like giardia.

what is his staple diet? oxbow? or something else? is it fresh?

you may also want to ask if anyone in the home is feeding them besides you, perhaps they are getting too many treats from multiple sources?

and yes, anxiety can cause digestive upsets. and some rats have sensitive tummies.
I've got one girl now who can't have too much of the puffed rice that all my rats love because it makes her stools too dry and small. go figure lol
Last edited:


Staff member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2007
Toronto, Canada, Earth
I agree with Petunia, take your boy(s) back to a basic staple diet until the tum has settled. then add things in slowly to see what is the culprit. if you feed a lot of iceberg lettuce (diarrhea) or broccoli (gas) this could also be the issue.

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