It’s alarming for any rabbit owner to see blood on their pet rabbit. If your rabbit is bleeding, it might not be as serious as you think. In fact, I get asked by people regularly the common reasons their pet rabbit might bleed. So, why is my rabbit bleeding? There are many possible reasons I will discuss below.
What Is Hematuria?
Hematuria is a medical term for blood in the urine. It’s not uncommon in pet rabbits. Typical reasons include urinary tract issues or in unspayed females, a diseased reproductive tract. Once the pet rabbit gets spayed and the diseased areas are removed, the bleeding clears up.
Do Female Rabbits Have Periods and Bleed?
Female rabbits don’t have bleeding periods. ‘Being in heat’ is the terminology used when a female rabbit is most fertile. This is when your female rabbit can become pregnant if she’s been with a male rabbit. If your female rabbit is in heat, there shouldn’t be any blood discharge. If your rabbit has bleeding while being in heat, it could show that something wrong. Take her your vet right away. Your female rabbit may exhibit certain characteristics while being in heat.
- Gnawing- While in heat, your female rabbit will gnaw.
- Aggression-Your female in heat may bite or scratch you when you try to pet her or even put food into her cage.
- Mounting- Mounting objects for sexual release-toys, water bowls or even their owners arms or legs.
- Vulva changes- Your female rabbit’s vulva will enlarge and turn a reddish brown color.
- Restlessness- While in heat, your female rabbit will not stop moving around the cage. Agitated and irritated.
Interestingly enough, male rabbits also go into heat. It’s not the same as female because they have different genitalia. They don’t have periods of ovulation like female rabbits, but male rabbits have similar characteristics to females while in heat. A male rabbits in heat results in their strong urge to mate. Male rabbits exhibit similar characteristics to females when they’re in heat, but more pronounced.
- Mounting-Male rabbits in heat mount objects to relieve their sexual frustration-toys, water bowls or even your or leg.
- Aggressive and territorial- While in heat, your male may scratch or bite. Even sweet natured rabbits are prone to this behavior while in heat.
- Marking with their urine-If your male rabbit is in heat, he’ll mark everything he can with his urine or feces. It’s irritating and smelly for rabbit owners while their male rabbits are in heat.
- General restlessness-While in heat, your male rabbit will move all the time. Even if he’s normally a calm rabbit, he might suddenly become agitated and busy.
Of course, the best way to stop your rabbit from going into heat is to have your pet spayed or neutered. An altered rabbit won’t experience the characteristics common to being in heat. Plus, rabbit owners won’t end up with litter after litter of baby rabbits.
Why Is My Rabbit Bleeding From Its Backside?
If your rabbits has bleeding of any kind, it’s important to find the source. Here’s a list of symptoms that can cause bleeding in your pet rabbit. Rabbit’s urine is pale yellow to dark yellow, orange, brown or bright red. Health issues are clear when your rabbit’s urine is bright red. This shows blood is present in the urine. Sometimes a red tinged urine isn’t blood, but a reddish color from plant pigment. If your rabbit has eaten something that contains this red pigment, the color of your rabbit’s urine should return to normal within a few days. It’s not, then your rabbit has a health problem. Here are symptoms that might be present if your rabbit has blood in its urine.
- Red tinged urine
- Painful abdomen-If you touch your rabbit’s stomach, it will flinch.
- Tumor or lump-You might feel this lump in your rabbit’s abdomen.
- Enlarged bladder-Your rabbit might have problems peeing, or strain when it pees
- Bruising-This could be because of trauma for instances if someone isn’t careful and drops your rabbit.
- Bladder stones-These are dangerous. Your vet will do tests or an x-ray to see if your rabbit has bladder stone.
Is It Normal For A Bunny To Pee Red?
If your pet rabbit has blood in the urine, you might not see it. A typical sign that your rabbit has blood in its urine is if your rabbit strains to pee. This is a classic sign of urinary bladder disease. Your rabbit may stand strangely to pee-up on its tiptoes with its tail up high. Check the litter box immediately. If there isn’t any urine in the box, that could mean your rabbit has a blockage and needs Immediate medical attention. If there is a small amount of urine, take your rabbit to your vet. She will do blood tests, a urine culture and maybe an x-ray to look for tumors or infection.
Why Do Rabbits Poop Blood?
Blood in your pet rabbit’s stool could be serious. It could be a sign of bleeding in your rabbit’s digestive tract. If you think your rabbit has blood in its stool, contact your vet.
Here are some other symptoms that go along with blood in a rabbit’s stool:
- Straining to poop
- Bleeding from the nose or mouth
- Distended abdomen
Causes of blood in your rabbit’s stool could include:
- Parasite infection
- Bleeding from the nose
- Stomach ulcer
- Swallowing blood because of nasal or sinus infections, trauma or stress
- Intestinal growth
- Obstruction of a foreign body your rabbit swallowed
What Will The Veterinarian Do If My Rabbit Has Blood In Its Stool?
Obviously, the treatment for your rabbit depends upon what’s causing the blood in your rabbit’s stool. Your vet will want your rabbit to stay in the animal hospital until all the diagnostic tests are complete. In the meantime, treatment will include:
- Fluid therapy-Fluids ease any dehydration your rabbit might experience from its condition. This is critical in case your rabbit needs surgery.
- Analgesia- Pain relief will help your rabbit relax. If your vet thinks your rabbit has an ulcer, she won’t give it a NISAID because these meds irritate the stomach. Instead she’ll give your rabbit butorphanol for pain since it’s easier on the digestive system.
- Monitoring-Your vet might want your rabbit to be monitored for a few days to a week to watch your rabbit eat, poop and urinate.
- Surgery- Surgery is necessary if your vet thinks there’s an obstruction that’s causing the bleeding.
- Medication-If your vet thinks your rabbit that a parasite or infection that’s causing the bleeding, she’ll put your rabbit on the medicines for treating these infections. She might have you clean the cage or change your rabbit’s diet, too.
Why Is My Rabbit Bleeding From the Nose?
It’s not normal for your rabbit to bleed from the nose. If you see that your rabbit has blood coming from his nose, contact your vet. Here are other symptoms you might notice in your rabbit and bleeding from its nose:
- Black stool which means your rabbit is swallowing blood
- Blood stains on your rabbit’s paws
- Lack of appetite for water or food
- Nasal discharge
The causes of bleeding from the nose include:
- Blood clotting disorder
- Blood vessel disorder
- Dirty conditions of the cage
- Weak immune system
What to do after you call the vet: Keep your rabbit calm so it doesn’t bleed more. Then try to slow down the bleeding by placing a cold compress on the bridge of your rabbit’s nose while applying pressure. Do this for about five minutes. Take your pet rabbit to the vet or an emergency animal hospital right away.
What Rabbits Are Prone to Hematuria?
Older rabbits, sedentary rabbits and middle aged rabbits are prone to hematuria. This is often because of kidney stones, bladder infections, or an increase in calcium in their blood. But the most common reason for hematuria is because of dysfunction of the reproductive tract. Blood in the urine in older rabbits is often because of clotting disorders, an injury to the genitals area or a bladder infection.
Female rabbits don’t bleed while in heat. Bleeding in the urine, from the nose or rectum are all serious symptoms. If you see blood on or around your rabbit, contact your vet to get your rabbit checked for a potential serious illness. Older or sedentary rabbits are more prone to some kinds of infections that can cause bleeding. Having your rabbit spayed or neutered can help prevent several potential reproductive problems that can cause bleeding. Last of all, provide your rabbit with a healthy diet, lots of exercise and a clean cage to stay healthy which will stave off many illnesses that might cause bleeding.