We have always been asked which product is better for rabbits. Today, we will do a side by side comparison based on information obtained from their websites. We also consulted with Dr Cathy Chan of The Animal Doctors, Singapore to obtain her expert advice to understand which product works best for our rabbits.
1️⃣ BENEBAC PLUS PET GEL contains seven common fat-encapsulated microorganisms found in the intestinal tract of small mammals. It contains 20 million colony-forming units (CFU) of viable bacteria per gram and provides help for changing conditions, including, but not limited to birth, breeding, post-surgery, antibiotic therapy, weaning, worming, showing, boarding and travel. It is recommended for rabbits as well as dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets.
▶️ Directions for Use: One gram for each 10 lbs. body weight up to 50 lbs. Use gel 2 times, 3 days apart.
▶️ Ingredients: Sunflower oil, silicon dioxide, sucrose, fructooligosaccharide, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Pediococcus acidilactici (dried and fermented), artificial color.
2️⃣ PROTEXIN FIBERPLEX contains probiotic Saccharomyces cerevisiae to help repopulate the intestine with beneficial micro-organisms and Preplex prebiotics consisting of fructo-oligosaccharide and acacia to feed and stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria. It also contains 20 million CFU of viable bacteria per gram and is quick acting to help return movement to the hindgut for rabbits with severely reduced appetite, are on a course of antibiotics or have recently had a trauma (such as an operation or injury). It is a carrot flavoured high fiber paste made specifically for rabbits.
▶️ Directions for Use: 1ml per kg of body weight by mouth, three times a day, for as long as considered necessary or as advised by your veterinary surgeon.
▶️ Ingredients: Gut Flora Stabilisers, Protexin probiotic, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Preplex prebiotic – Acacia (Gum arabic), Soya oil, Inulin, Preplex prebiotic (Fructo-oligosaccharide).
Theoretically, Fiberplex contains specific strains of bacteria most suitable for rabbits. It make sense to choose Fiberplex which is designed for rabbits over Benebac that is a more general product for small pets. A rabbit-savvy vet would also have recommended Fiberplex as the first choice for all rabbits based on the ingredients which are more targeted.
To understand clinical performance, we discussed with Dr Cathy Chan, one of Singapore’s top rabbit-savvy vets whose clinic sees over 80% rabbit patients a day. Dr Chan confirmed that Fiberplex is a more suitable product for rabbits and have worked effectively in many cases where rabbits have gut stasis.
However, she has also observed that some rabbits does not respond as well. They could have been on Fiberplex for a long time and is no longer reacting, or could have a different gut bacteria that is not addressed by Fiberplex. In such cases, she will prescribe Benebac which is also a safe probiotic paste for rabbits.
Dr Chan analogized the situation to that of humans where some types/brands of probiotics work well for some but not others. The gut flora is a complex system and to address the bacterial deficiency may require trial and error. Hence, a good doctor with extensive knowledge and experience will be necessary to support you through an effective treatment.
At Bunny Wonderland, we typically uses Fiberplex which has worked well for most of our rabbits. In fact, we will give a preventative dose to them on shedding days to help lubricate their intestines and prevent fur build up! We hope all owners are now well informed and can also choose the right product to help their rabbits through stressful time such as shedding, recovery or traveling. Stay safe every bun!