Rabbit urine can be scary for a new rabbit owner, as it can vary in color and consistency depending on the rabbit’s diet, how much it’s drinking, and other factors. It’s important to know what to do when your rabbit’s urine seems unusual so that you can react appropriately.
Why is my rabbit peeing blood? Red urine doesn’t necessarily mean that your rabbit is peeing blood, and it can be caused by diet, medicines, or a number of medical conditions such as urolithiasis or cystitis. If you believe your rabbit is peeing blood see a veterinarian as there are health reasons that need to be addressed right away.
What Color Should Rabbit Urine Be?
Rabbit urine can range in color depending on the rabbit’s diet and the minerals in the water it drinks. Typically, the urine varies between yellow and orange, although red and brown are possible. Rabbit urine is usually cloudy rather than clear, as rabbits excrete the buildup of minerals such as calcium through their urine. High concentrations of calcium can cause the urine to become white, although this isn’t a normal color and can result in the formation of urinary calculi, or solid particles in the urinary system.
Is Red Urine Always Blood?
Red urine is actually fairly common in rabbits, especially in the fall to winter months. There isn’t always an apparent cause and it doesn’t always mean there is blood in the urine. In fact, blood typically is difficult to see in the rabbit’s urine and may not turn the urine red. Red urine may happen due to a high concentration of beta carotene in the system from carrots or spinach in the diet or while your rabbit is on antibiotics. It can also be caused if your rabbit has eaten fir leaves or during the changes in season. If you have several rabbits on the same diets and one has red urine and the others don’t, this is not necessarily a cause for concern. Some rabbits simply don’t produce red urine while others do.
What Does it Mean if My Rabbit’s Pee is Red?
If your rabbit’s urine is red but it has no other symptoms, you are usually safe to wait until your regular vet is available and request a urinalysis test. It’s best to get this test done even if your rabbit has no other symptoms, as there’s the possibility that it could be a health issue. However, typically if your rabbit’s only symptom is the red urine, it’s simply the result of the nutrients in its diet and there isn’t a cause for concern.
What is Hematuria?
Hematuria is another word for blood in the urine. Hematuria can be caused or appear to be caused by several different conditions. Female rabbits, older rabbits, and rabbits that live a sedentary lifestyle are at the highest risk of developing hematuria, with intact females, or females that haven’t been spayed, having the highest risk out of all of them. In intact females, the cause is usually in the reproductive system rather than in the bladder or kidneys, as dysfunction or injury is very likely. In the other demographics, hematuria is more frequently caused by bladder infections, urolithiasis, cystitis, or calcium buildup.
What Causes Hematuria in Intact Rabbits?
Hematuria in intact rabbits is usually the not due to a disease of the urinary system but due to injury or disease in the reproductive system. Intact females may have bloody discharge that appears to be coming from the urine but is actually coming from the vulva. This can be a sign of injury or uterine cancer. Intact males may have blood in their urine also due to injury or genital cancer, although their blood will come out along with the urine.
What is Urolithiasis?
Urolithiasis is a condition in which particles or clumps called uroliths form in the urine, causing blood or blockages in the urine. This can happen to rabbits of any age or breed and is mostly caused by too much calcium in the diet. Calcium can come from certain leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and bok choy. If your rabbit is eating large amounts of these foods, it runs the risk of developing uroliths. If they get too large, these particles can cut the uterine lining and cause blood in the urine. In the worst case scenario, they can cause full blockages of the uterine tract and prevent the rabbit from urinating. This is a medical emergency and you should take your rabbit to the vet immediately.
If your rabbit has cloudy white urine or appears to be passing small uroliths, try changing its diet to exclude vegetables with large amounts of calcium. This may cause the uroliths and cloudiness to go away on their own. You should also provide enough fresh water for your rabbit to stay hydrated so that it can dissolve and expel the calcium safely.
How Do You Treat Urolithiasis?
A vet will need to treat more severe cases of urolithiasis through fluid therapy and pain medications and, in some cases, therapy. Uroliths can be very painful for the rabbit, so the pain medication is needed to make sure the rabbit can remain alert and will continue to eat and drink normally. The fluid therapy will make sure the rabbit is properly hydrated by giving it fluids intravenously. Once the rabbit is in good condition, the vet may perform surgery on the bladder to remove any large uroliths from the system. Your vet will attempt to flush any blockages back into the bladder in order to remove them safely, as a rabbit’s urinary tract is too small to safely perform surgery on.
What is Nephrolithiasis?
Nephrolithiasis is a condition similar to urolithiasis, but instead of the particles being in the bladder and urinary tract, the nephroliths develop in the kidney itself. Nephroliths is another term for kidney stones, but rabbits are not able to pass or be treated for kidney stones in the same way that humans are. Nephrolithiasis can cause the same symptoms as urolithiasis, including difficulty urinating and urine that is red or flecked with blood. Nephrolithiasis is much more dangerous than urolithiasis, as it is much more difficult to treat.
How Do You Treat Nephrolithiasis?
Similar to with urolithiasis, your veterinarian will administer fluid therapy to make sure your rabbit is properly hydrated and there is no sludge in the bladder. If your rabbit is in pain, they will also administer pain medication to make sure the rabbit is as comfortable and alert as possible. Once your rabbit is stabilized and in good condition, your vet may perform surgery on the rabbit depending on the location and severity of the kidney stones. It’s not possible to safely surgically remove them, so the entire kidney must be removed. If the other kidney is in good working condition, it’s possible for the rabbit to live a healthy life with only one kidney. However, if both kidneys are compromised or in less than optimal condition, the vet may leave both kidneys in and not perform surgery. In this situation, good diet and hydration become paramount to maintain the rabbit’s quality of life, as it will have to live with the kidney stones.
What is Cystitis?
Cystitis is an urgent medical condition in which the lining of the bladder is inflamed due to bacteria or sludge buildup in the bladder and the rabbit is unable to urinate. Your rabbit may strain to urinate and if it manages to do so the urine will frequently be flecked with blood. This may not cause the blood to be fully red, but the flecks will be visible. If your rabbit has cystitis it will likely be in obvious pain, hunching over or even whimpering in addition to struggling to urinate. If you notice all these symptoms together, you should take your rabbit to the vet immediately.
How Do You Treat Cystitis?
A veterinarian will usually treat cystitis or other types of urinary tract infections with antibiotics and possibly anti-inflammatory medication. It’s also important to restore the normal flow of the urinary system and keep the rabbit hydrated. Your vet may administer fluid therapy to flush your rabbit’s system of sludge and make sure it is properly hydrated.
Unfortunately, rabbits that have developed cystitis or urinary tract infections are more likely to develop them again later in life. To prevent them, you should make sure your rabbit has consistent access to fresh, clean water at all times so that it remains properly hydrated.
What Do I Do If My Rabbit’s Pee is Red?
What you do depends on if your rabbit has any other symptoms. If your rabbit has no other symptoms but its urine is suddenly red, you should first consider if you have made any changes in its diet or lifestyle recently. This may have caused the red urine and reverting the lifestyle change should cause the urine to go back to normal. If you haven’t made any changes and there are no other symptoms, you can wait until your veterinarian’s normal business hours and call to arrange a urinalysis. However, if your rabbit is showing any symptoms such as pain, difficulty urinating, or incontinence, you should take your rabbit to an emergency vet.
What Happens If I Don’t Address Red Urine?
If your rabbit has red urine with no other symptoms and you choose to do nothing about it, it’s likely will not have any ill effects. Rabbits sometimes have red urine for unknown reasons and it’s not always necessary to do anything. However, if your rabbit has other symptoms and may be sick, doing nothing about the red urine or hematuria may cause your rabbit to die. If you notice any other symptoms at the time of the red urine or shortly after, you should take your rabbit to the vet.
What Does It Mean if My Rabbit’s Urine is Brown?
Brown urine in rabbits is usually a sign of dehydration. The color of a rabbit’s urine depends on the concentration of chemicals and nutrients in it, so when a rabbit has had less water to drink, the chemicals are more concentrated. This causes the urine to be a darker color than when the rabbit has more water to drink. A hydrated rabbit will usually have urine that ranges from yellow to orange.
It’s possible to mistake diarrhea in rabbits for dark urine. If your rabbit is having diarrhea rather than brown urine, the substance will be more like a sludge than a liquid and may be partially green as well. If your rabbit is having diarrhea, take it to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure it has plenty to drink to avoid dehydration, as a rabbit with diarrhea can die of dehydration easily.
What Do I Do If My Rabbit’s Pee is Brown?
Rabbits with brown urine should be given more access to fresh water. This should usually solve the problem quickly and the rabbit’s urine will go back to a normal color in the range of yellow to orange. If this doesn’t correct the color of your rabbit’s urine, there may be a more serious health issue going on and you will need to contact your vet. If your rabbit is showing no other symptoms, you can wait until regular business hours to request a urinalysis. However, if you rabbit is showing signs of being in pain or having trouble urinating, you should take it to the vet immediately.
Can Rabbits Poop Blood?
It is very rare for rabbits to poop blood but it is possible if there is bleeding in the digestive tract, if your rabbit is swallowing blood due to lesions in the nose or mouth, or if your rabbit has a parasitic infestation in the digestive tract. If your rabbit is pooping blood and has diarrhea, you may mistake the diarrhea for thick urine and think that there is blood in your rabbit’s urine. You may also see blood in the litter box and not know whether it is from your rabbit’s poop or from its pee, as rabbits can also pass blood with normal poop and there may not be diarrhea.
What Does It Mean If My Rabbit’s Poop is Black?
While it’s possible that your rabbit’s poop is black due to digested blood, the more common explanation is that your rabbit isn’t getting enough fiber and is getting too much protein in its diet. If you are using a richer hay like orchard hay, try switching to the more commonly used timothy hay and see if this produces a change in your rabbit’s poop. You should also make sure your rabbit has a constant supply of fresh hay and is free to eat as much as it needs.
If your rabbit is showing other symptoms like pain or refusing to eat, the black stool is more likely to be digested blood and you should take your rabbit to the vet immediately.
What Does It Mean If My Rabbit’s Poop is Red?
Red poop is very abnormal and may not always be blood. If your rabbit has recently eaten something it was not supposed to such as pieces of furniture upholstery or carpet, it’s possible the debris is blocking the intestines and causing internal bleeding. The red may also be from your rabbit eating too much of foods or treats that are bright red, for example strawberries or raspberries. If your rabbit’s poop is suddenly bright red and it doesn’t go away within a few hours, you should take your rabbit to the vet.
What Do I Do If My Rabbit’s Poop is Black or Red?
What you should do depends on if your rabbit is showing any other symptoms besides the black or red poop. While an active, happy rabbit is not always a healthy rabbit, you will likely see signs of pain or discomfort and your rabbit may refuse to eat if something is seriously wrong. If these symptoms also appear, you should take your rabbit to the vet. However, if your rabbit has no other symptoms and nothing unusual has happened recently, you may simply want to change your rabbit’s diet to exclude the foods that are most likely to be causing the black or red poop.
What Happens If I Don’t Address Black or Red Rabbit Poop?
If you choose to ignore your rabbit’s black or red poop, you will likely compromise the health of your rabbit even if it doesn’t die. If there is a serious health issue going on such as a blockage or a wound in the digestive tract, your rabbit will likely die. If the issue is with the rabbit’s diet and is not fatal, it will still impact your rabbit’s comfort and health and could negatively impact its quality of life and lifespan. You should always address these types of health issues.
What should I do if my rabbit has diarrhea? Diarrhea can be caused by dietary changes. Give your rabbit water to keep it from getting dehydrated and monitor its condition for a few hours. If the diarrhea doesn’t stop, take your rabbit to the vet.
What do I do if my rabbit won’t pee? Take your rabbit to the vet immediately. If your rabbit isn’t drinking or peeing, something is seriously wrong. Your rabbit could die of dehydration if not given fluid therapy quickly enough.
Why is does my rabbit’s poop look different sometimes? This different type of poop is called a cecotrope and is totally normal. Your rabbit will have a cecotrope about once a day and will eat it in the evening to absorb the nutrients it contains.