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Rabbit Health:
Genital-Urinary Problems

Urine Examination

Normal urine color can range from pale yellow to orange to brown to a dark red color that can be mistaken for blood. The color variations depend on the diet and are the result of the excretion of plant pigments. Normal rabbit urine is also turbid due to the presence of calcium carbonate.

Lower Urinary Tract Disorders

Companion rabbits are prone to lower urinary tract disorders. Urinary incontinence, "sludgy urine," depression, hunched posture, teeth grinding, perineal scalding, increased intake of water (polydipsia), excessive urination (polyuria), straining to urinate (tail is held high and rabbit may groan), and loss of litter-box habits are symptoms. A diet high in calcium, continuous confinement in a cage (because the rabbit tends to hold urine in for as long as possible so as not to soil his burrow), inadequate water intake, obesity, inactivity, arthritis, and genetics are predisposing factors.

"Sludgy" urine is a result of the calcium carbonate accumulation in the bladder that becomes a thick paste or sludge with the consistency of toothpaste. As a result, the rabbit develops bacterial infection and urinary incontinence. Get your rabbit to the vet immediately.

Your vet will test your rabbit's urine and may take radiographs. Underlying conditions will be identified and treated. Soiled and matted hair around the genital area will be removed and the area cleaned and treated if necessary. Pain medications and antibiotics will be administered. You will be advised on how to care for your rabbit at home.

If your rabbit has a medical problem that prevents him/her from urinating on their own, you may have to do bladder expression for them at home. ⇒ Here are some links to Youtube videos showing you how to do it:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Learn More

How to Sex Your Rabbit from Rabbit Network

How Can I Determine the Sex of My Rabbit by Dana Krempels

Reproductive Tract of The Female Rabbit at MediRabbit.com

Endometritis, Orchitis and Pyometra at MediRabbit.com

Causes of Red Urine in Rabbits by Holly Nash, DVM


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