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Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#1  Unread postby snake_girl85 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:15 pm

I work at an animal shelter, and we got two rabbits in almost exactly a month ago, a male and a female from the same house (separate cages). They were kept on carefresh, and were switched to pine. Shortly after arriving, the male sprayed VERY red urine ALL over the cage, walls, counter, everywhere. It looked like a crime scene! We moved him to the back for observation, and his urine has been consistently blood-colored ever since. My manager read that it can be caused by ingesting pine (though I think that may just be the needles), so he and the female were both switched back to carefresh. The female had slightly red urine off and on as well, but never as bad as his, and it cleared up and she was adopted. I assumed it was either stress or something they ate, since they both came from the same place and are the only rabbits we've ever had do this.

Jack the bunny has been stuck in the back room ever since. I can't get a urine sample to save my life (will NOT pee in an empty litter pan), and he has been on 2 courses of Baytril injections (ironically I read today that antibiotics can also cause red urine... Go figure!) Our vet wants to put him down, but he shows no other signs of illness, no lethargy weight loss or dehydration. He is a very sweet, adorable lop, but he has been peeing blood red for at least 3 weeks now. I "adopted" him and brought him home today to see how he does off of meds, and will try harder to get a urine sample so I can test it at work (to check blood and bilirubin and whatnot).

Has anyone had a rabbit do this for such a long period of time? Any suggestions or care tips? Should I feed him anything differently? We have just been feeding pellets and withholding hay (is that necessary?). I'm wondering if this started as stress and then kept going due to the antibiotics, but I won't rest easy till I get a sample.

Sorry for the long post... Thanks for any advice you can give me!

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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Jack » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:24 pm

rabbit urine turns pine red
you are fine
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Devon's Mom Lauren » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:28 pm

Red or pink urine can be normal. If he shows no other signs of illness then its just one of those things caused by genetics/food! I don't think you need to with hold the hay. Just don't give him any pet store "treats". Also make sure his pellets are not the kind with the different coloured bits in them either. I think Martins Little Friends has a straight up pellet without any other junk in it. Good luck!!

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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Rabbit urine comes in a rainbow of colours. The wild cottontails around here paint the snow with yellow, red, green, blue and purple. I believe it depends on what they are eating.

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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Jack » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:11 pm

Realize that your 'average' 'pet' (not exotic or large animal) vet has little to NOTHING to do with rabbits, and read a bit. lots of stories out there on why you need a knowledgeable rabbit vet.

He is fine, Give him some Apple Cider Vinegar in his water, encourage him to exercise (large open area with cat toys)
Why the vet is throwing Baytril at him IDK, and I doubt they do either. It's fine, Red Urine is, just that. If, you see BLOOD, that is different, but then I don't I have ever heard of a rabbit pissing blood, (except for Vent disease or rabbit syphilis, and that was more bleeding from the vent)

On Hay, Hay is one of the things that can save a bunny, especially if they get diarrhea. But you don't have to feed hay if you feed a complete pellet (it should be a uniform food, sorry, but the FU-FU pet mixes, may sell at the pet store, but... they aren't that good.
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#6  Unread postby snake_girl85 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:10 pm

Thanks, I feel a lot better now. I have seen a pretty wide spectrum of rabbit urine before, but the dark blood red/brown freaked me out a bit. At the same time, if it WAS blood, the little thing would be dead by now for sure. I will try a little vinegar as you suggested, and let him have some hay, though he is on just plain pellets, none of that colored cereal junk. I will still get a sample just to be sure. It would be nice to get it more "normal" colored urine so I can get him a home more easily, but we shall see.

Our vet is great with cats and dogs, but I know all too well that most vets don't know much about "alternative" pets. I'm a reptile person myself. I eventually want to breed some meat rabbits and share them with a couple of my snakes when they get bigger, but in the meantime this little guy is too cute and sweet to not find a great home for him :-)

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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#7  Unread postby DevonW » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:30 pm

Red Urine is mainly caused by too much calcium. Stress/changes can make the colour darker as natural porphrins are released so if they would have had a light red urine it's suddenly much darker and bloody looking.

Blood in the urine would start to turn rust coloured as it hits the air and eventually turn brown the longer it's exposed. If it remains the same vivid colour over time it's not bloody urine.
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Jack » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:52 pm

And like I said, it tends to turn pine shaving dark red, IDK why, but I have seen it go on yellow and come back and the shavings are red.
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#9  Unread postby snake_girl85 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:09 pm

He hasn't been on pine since we first noticed it. It's still dark red on shredded paper. Once it dries it turns slightly lighter and browner, but not necessarily as extreme as the color change of dried blood.

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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Jack » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:21 am

Yeah, is he on a high alfalfa feed, it has ALOT of calcium and it can cause it, the hay should be grass hay, not alfalfa, you can actually get sludge out of a rabbit, and that isn't good for them, or their kidneys. Tasty water (some speculate that the Cider vinegar helps acidly the urine and keep the calcium dissolved.
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#11  Unread postby downonthefarm » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:58 am

I agree 100% with the other comments. Red urine is not uncommon and is not a problem.
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Re: Male rabbit peeing and spraying blood or red urine

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Frosted Rabbits » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:39 pm

even my dog's urine turns red if he is vbeing fed the wrong food!!!
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