Red urine in a rabbit: is it dangerous?

The normal color of rabbit urine is yellow. However, under certain circumstances, the color of the liquid can take on all shades of red: from orange and pink to brick red and brown. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied, and not all of them are dangerous for the animal. However, some cases signal problems with the health of the pet.

Красная моча у кролика


The red color of urine can be a consequence of both a disease and causes that do not threaten the life and health of a rabbit.


In the case of diseases, the discharge changes its color most often due to blood – noticeable recognizable blood traces appear in the urine. They can be distinguished by the presence of stains with well-defined boundaries, or these are separate droplets of blood of different sizes. In this case, redness of the urine is caused by:

  • kidney disease;
  • diseases of the bladder;
  • liver damage;
  • pathologies of the reproductive system.

Almost any kidney disease in rabbits can lead to such symptoms. However, the following are the most common causes:

  1. Infection. Encephalozoonosis is one of the most common infections that eared pets are exposed to. It affects many organs and systems of rabbits, including an extremely negative effect on the functioning of the urinary system, as a result of which the color of urine may change.
  2. Stones in the kidneys. This disease poses a great danger to the health of the rabbit. In some cases, even removal of the kidney is indicated. However, this is a very delicate issue that requires an individual approach to each case.
  3. Cancer. The most dangerous and, alas, incurable disease of the kidneys, ultimately leading to death if an operation has not been performed. However, there is good news – it is quite rare in rabbits and is even less likely to cause blood in the animal’s urine.
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If within three days the discharge of the rabbit has not acquired a natural color, it’s time to make an appointment with the veterinarian.

Bladder diseases also lead to a change in the natural color of urine to red, and it is not difficult to recognize them in rabbits. If the pet began to spend more time urinating, sitting on the toes of the hind paws, and the amount of discharge can be counted drop by drop, the most likely cause of the redness of the urine is one of the following diseases:

  1. Hypercalciuria. Sand in the bladder irritates the organ and often causes cystitis. In this case, sediment, frequent urge to urinate, wet genitals and urinary incontinence are added to the red discharge.
  2. Polyps in the bladder. A polyp is a benign tumor that can develop into a malignant (cancerous). The neoplasm compresses the vessels and disrupts blood circulation in the urinary system. Growing, the tumor interferes with the outflow of urine, which leads to further inflammation and the appearance of blood during emptying.
  3. Bladder cancer. As with kidney cancer, a rare but disappointing cause of red urine.
  4. Cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder is caused by many factors and by itself also causes the urine to turn from yellow to red due to blood inclusions.

Liver disorders can make rabbit urine red. However, in this case, this is not due to the appearance of blood, but due to such chemical elements as urobilinogen and bilirubin. In extremely rare cases, an increased level of these substances also leads to a change in the color of the liquid secreted by the rabbit.

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The last reason dangerous to the health and life of a pet is pathology of the reproductive system unsterilized animals. In this case, the discharge becomes darker due to the fact that in the process of urination, blood enters the liquid from the uterus or vagina of the rabbit. These consequences lead to:

  • endometrial hyperplasia – an increase in the thickness of the mucous layer of the uterus;
  • infections – encephalozoonosis, complication of cystitis, etc .;
  • benign and malignant tumors in the uterus;
  • miscarriage.

Rabbit at the doctor

Other reasons

Rabbit diseases are not the only factor that can lead to dark and red urine. There are a number of much less dangerous causes:

  1. Food. Plant pigments found in the food a rabbit eats can add orange and red hues to the urine. In healthy rabbits, porphyrin, beta-carotene and some other plant pigments lead to such a reaction. If over the past day the pet has eaten carrots, beets, spinach, sorrel, lettuce, bell peppers and tomatoes, then the color change is a completely natural phenomenon.

    It is interesting to know that coniferous branches can produce the same effect. Experienced rabbit breeders know that pine and spruce are rich in vitamin C. However, not everyone knows that they also contain carotene.

  2. Dehydration. With insufficient fluid intake in the animal’s body, the rabbit’s urine becomes more concentrated. In this regard, increased pigmentation (up to a dark orange and reddish color) and darkening is a completely expected phenomenon. Sometimes just giving your pet more water is enough, but some cases require subcutaneous and intravenous infusions of the missing moisture.
  3. Antibiotics. Some lagomorphic diseases require antibiotic treatment. This category of drugs can generally weaken any organism, including the urinary system of rabbits. As a result, redness of the urine can become a common side effect of taking medications to animals, which will disappear after a couple of days after the course is completed.
  4. Stress. Red urine may be due to the fact that the rabbit has recently experienced stress. Eared pets are extremely sensitive to the changes taking place around them, so almost anything can get them out of a rut: from weather changes and meeting new pets to sharp loud sounds and a radical change of scenery.
  5. Content flaws. Keeping rabbits on soiled and damp bedding filled with liquid feces for a long time can also cause red urine.
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Methods of diagnosis

Long-term discoloration and other signs of discomfort in the test animal are the direct basis for a visit to the veterinarian.

First of all, the specialist will take an anamnesis by listening to the observations of the owner. The most important indication, in addition to the color of the liquid, is the process of urination. The owner of the pet must definitely note if the lagomorph had difficulties. For example, the rabbit began to urinate less often, the volume of secretions decreased significantly, and so on.

Based on the information collected, the veterinarian will begin to make a diagnosis. Diagnosis of the causes that caused the redness of urine involves sending a pet for an examination, including:

  1. Analysis of urine. The analysis is prescribed in order to determine the direct factor that influenced the changes in urine. In particular, the presence of blood is examined, as well as the level of urobilinogen and bilirubin. A positive test result will direct the diagnosis in the right direction.
  2. Blood test. It is prescribed not so rarely, the goal is to detect inflammatory processes, infections and other signs indicating a pathological process that led to a change in the color of urine.
  3. Ultrasound and X-ray examination. Auxiliary methods prescribed to confirm or exclude a preliminary diagnosis. As a rule, their passage is shown to the animal in case of suspected tumors (benign and malignant), cystitis or stones and sand in the kidneys or bladder.
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When the causes of the changes are established, the veterinarian decides whether the rabbit needs any specific treatment or whether general recommendations will suffice.

Rabbit in the hands of a doctor


If the cause of urine redness is sand or stones in the kidneys or bladder, and nothing threatens the life of the animal, veterinarians prescribe a course of one or more drugs:

  • antispasmodic – No-spa;
  • litholithics – Penicillamine, Marelin, Blemaren;
  • antimicrobial agents – Immunal, Egotsin, Ekmonovocillin;
  • analgesic – Movalis.

If the cause of the symptom is inflammation of the urinary system, antibiotics are prescribed (Tetracycline, Biomycin, Hemomycin).

Folk methods

It is possible to help a pet by resorting to alternative medicine. However, do this only with the permission of the veterinarian. For this purpose, the following are used:

  1. Plantain. The herb is famous for its antimicrobial effect. To prepare the infusion, you need 6 tablespoons of the plant (fresh or dried) and 0,5 liters of boiling water. Pour water over dry ingredients and let it brew for a couple of hours. Give the rabbit a tablespoon of infusion daily.
  2. Horsetail. The plant is a time-tested diuretic. The infusion is prepared from a tablespoon of dry horsetail and a glass of boiling water. Let it brew for half an hour. Water the rabbit with the resulting remedy daily.
  3. Chamomile. The flower has a lot of positive effects on the health of the animal, as it has a bactericidal, sedative and anti-inflammatory effect. When preparing chamomile tea for yourself, you can treat your pet to it. The main thing is that the drink was without added sugar. Chamomile is good not only as an aid in the treatment of diseases, but also as a prevention of diseases in rabbits in the future.
  4. Dill. Another available diuretic. To make a medicinal infusion from the herb, boil a tablespoon of dill seeds in 4 cups of water for 5 minutes. Water the animal with a decoction at least 1 time per day.
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General recommendations

When the urine becomes red, the responsibility for the health of the baby falls not only on the shoulders of the specialist, but also on the owner of the animal. To protect your pet and prevent the development of complications, the owner should:

  1. Isolate from the group of rabbits those animals whose urine turned red.
  2. Closely monitor the behavior of the pet even after visiting the veterinary office, in particular, the process of urination. If after the start of treatment the symptoms do not subside and become worse, this is a reason for a second visit.
  3. Provide rabbits with access to clean water. It is better to organize nipple drinkers. Thus, the animal will avoid water deficiency in the body.
  4. Exclude from the permanent menu products containing beta-carotene and porphyrin in high concentrations (carrots, beets, spruce, etc.).

Red urine in pregnant rabbits

The appearance of drops of blood in the urine of a future rabbit mother is a sign of miscarriage and inflammation of the kidneys, to which the body weakened by pregnancy is susceptible.

To calm down or alert about the condition of the rabbit, you can conduct a small diagnostic test at home.

Rabbit and home test

To do this, add a little hydrogen peroxide to freshly collected urine. If the mixture begins to foam and hiss, then there is blood in the urine. If such a reaction is not observed, then the female most likely consumed too many food pigments the day before, and there is no reason for concern.

Preventive measures

You can easily prevent discoloration of urine in rabbits. To do this, it is enough to adhere to preventive recommendations and take appropriate measures:

  1. Provide pets with enough clean drinking water throughout the year, and especially in summer.
  2. Keep a close eye on the rabbit’s diet. It should be balanced and rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. If there is no way to ensure the natural intake of nutrients, then vitamin supplements are given to the water.
  3. Do not self-medicate and do not prescribe antibiotics to the animal on your own.
  4. Check your pet’s cage regularly. Thanks to this, you can notice the changed color of urine in time and take appropriate measures in time.
  5. For maintenance, give preference to cages with a mesh bottom. The condition of the litter should be vigilantly monitored every day and kept dry and clean.

Red urine in a rabbit is not always a sign of health problems. Sometimes this is just a consequence of stress or overeating carrots. The task of a responsible owner of an eared pet is to be able to recognize alarm calls and respond to them in a timely manner.

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Anna Evans


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