Discontinued: Oxbow Papaya Fruit Plus Tablets

EDIT July 2018
Oxbow have re-released these and they are now available again.


For many years, rabbit owners have been giving the Oxbow Papaya Fruit Plus tablets to their rabbits to help prevent hairball build up. Although, not scientifically proven to help, the anecdotal evidence and owner testimonials are overwhelming with positive results.

These little tablets contain the active enzymes Papain and Bromelain. These enzymes are thought to break down some of the mucus in the gut. They do not break down the fur itself. It is the mucus that binds the fur together inside the gut and this causes the faeces to get clogged with too much hair. This can show as mis-shapen poops or, if particularly bad, will look like  a string of pearls. These are very hard for the rabbit to pass naturally and can cause a gut slow down or blockage resulting in an emergency situation.

String of Pearls Faeces

String of Pearls Faeces

Unfortunately – Oxbow decided to discontinue these tablets on 1st September 2014 and they have not produced a direct replacement (There are a few still available on Amazon). They now offer the Oxbow Natural Science Digestive Support Supplement which is great…but has not active enzymes in it so is no use for hairball prevention.

But there is another way….
As always, lots of fluids are needed to help a rabbit whilst it is moulting, along with daily grooming. The best brush for rabbits is the cat zoom groom by Kong. It is soft and rubbery so does not hurt or damage the skin like slicker brushes and combs can do. Feed the rabbits their fresh greens / herbs soaking wet as this helps to get more fluids in as well.

Pro C by Vetark is a fabulous product that can be added to the drinking water daily. It contains probiotics that help the gut cope and also extra vitamin C. Rabbits metabolise more vitamin C when they are stressed and moulting is a stressful time. This helps the entire rabbits system cope a bit better during the moult. It can turn the water a shade of green so don’t worry if this happens. Use for a 5-10 day course. This is generally a product that I would always recommend to keep in the cupboard for use at any times of stress of illness.

I have searched around for an alternative enzymatic product and found something that may work. It is a Bromelain supplement called ‘Natures Own’ with no added nasties in it. Each tablet contains 100mg of Bromelain. The Oxbow tablets contained 23mg of Bromelain as well as 2.9mg of Papain and 1-2 tablets could be given daily. This means, if using these ‘new’ Bromelain tablets that are 100mg…you can cut them into quarters thus feeding 25mg per quarter. This can be given as a daily dose and increased to half a tablet (50mg) per day for when the rabbit is moulting.

I MUST stress that I have not tested these tablets in rabbits – but have been looking for an alternative that is as close to the Oxbow tablets as possible. This recommendation is purely based on the fact that these new tablets contain Bromelain in a sufficient dose that almost matches the Oxbow tablets. It is not an exact replacement. You can always discuss this with your vet before use and always stop if any tummy upsets occur.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone does choose to use these and if you notice any improvements.



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11 comments on “Discontinued: Oxbow Papaya Fruit Plus Tablets

  1. Susan says:

    I would suggest powdering the tablets, then dividing into quarters with a razor blade and sprinkling on the rabbits food. Cutting tablets assumes the product is evenly distributed within the pill, which is usually not the case. Sometimes you may divide it into quarters, and end up giving the rabbit all the bromelain in the pill if it is concentrated into that portion of the pill.

  2. Diane Keane says:

    Thanks for the info. Didn’t understand why I couldn’t purchase it at Foster’s & Smith. A shame because my Rabbits & GP’s love them and they seemed to really help with their digestion. Major Bummer…

  3. Scott says:

    I have been giving our guinea pigs these ever since Oxbow stopped making the Papaya Fruit. Just cut the pill in half and the ingredients are very similar.

    • admin says:

      Thanks – I would just recommend looking at the % of the enzymes to ensure the amount you are giving works out the same as the amount that was in the previous tablets

  4. Sarah says:

    Please note if you are reading this article with Guinea pigs in mind, excess vitamin c is linked with arthritis.

  5. Tya lee says:

    I just wondering, we can still order and get papaya tablet her in Jakarta, indonesia. I just bought 1 bottle yesterday.

    • admin says:

      Hi, thank you for your comment. It may be a different brand or one that is sold for humans. If it is the Oxbow brand then please check the expiry date to make sure its not old stock.

  6. Mia Shotwell says:

    Very sad to hear this! I recently used this product and it saved the life of our rabbit. He accepted these when he wouldn’t eat anythnig else, other than Oxbow’s Digestive wafers, his other love. Yes, the supply I had of these tablets was old, as I’d had it in the closet for awhile, but it absolutely did the job and had him back to normal within 2 days! I did try fresh pineapple, as most sites and vets suggest, but he wouldn’t touch it. I really hope Oxbow will reconsider producing this product in the future!! Thanks for the info!!

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