View Full Version : **EMERGENCY** I need rabbit experts!!

Aspen and Misty
03-04-2003, 09:22 PM
Jillian has blood near her litter box. It was mixed in with her poo and pee. There was a pile of pee on one side of the litter box and there was blood mixed in with the pee.We then later saw there was a pile of just blood outside the front of the litter pan. There was some poo mixed in with the blood, I'm really worried, I''m going to serch about it and if I find nothing I will be calling the vets. Please anyone know what I should do? She is acting normal besides the blood.


03-04-2003, 09:35 PM
First and foremost, blood in stool or urine is NEVER a good thing, wheter it be human, rabbit, horse, dog, monkey, alien....

But, with rabbits it CAN have the possibility of being something else...

It can happen any time of the year, but it's particularly during the winter holiday season that the House Rabbit Society receives a flood of phone calls from distraught rabbit people saying that their bunny is producing "bloody urine." Most of the time it's not what they think it is, but understandably these people are concerned, since the facts are not widely known.

The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents by Harkness and Wagner contains one paragraph on this topic:

"Bloody urine is rare in rabbits and rodents. Many cases of 'bloody' urine turn out to be porphyrin-pigmented basic urine or a sanguineous vaginal discharge associated with uterine adenocarcinoma, polyps, or abortion. Thick white urine containing reddish-orange pigment is indicative of an excess of dietary calcium."

Bloody urine in rabbits may be rare, but red urine is not. People who live with house rabbits will find this out. Diseases of Domestic Rabbits (1988) by Lieve Okerman contains two sentences on this subject:

"Red colour of the urine is sometimes observed in rabbits. It is probably caused by a plant pigment and does not affect the health of the animal."

Red urine is a descriptive term for the condition where a rabbit's urine varies in color from the normal pale yellow to dark yellow, carrot orange, brown, or bright red. Red urine is not a medical problem. The color usually returns to normal within one to three days, although I have had a couple of rabbits take three to four weeks before their urine returned to the pale yellow color. White urine may be due to excess calcium in the diet; if it stays white for many days you may want to discuss your rabbit's diet with your veterinarian. Dark urine resulting from heat stress or dehydration may require fluid therapy

For obscure reasons (my rabbits all eat the same food, drink the same water and get the same treats) some get red urine, some don't. Red urine (due to excessive urinary pigments) may occur due to any of the following:

* While on antibiotics
* At the first cold snap in the fall
* After eating fir leaves
* After eating carrots, spinach or other veggies containing beta carotene

It is not necessary to panic when you observe a change in color of your rabbit's urine. However, hematuria can occur due to disease anywhere in the urogenital system. An unspayed female rabbit might show a bloody discharge from her vulva, or drops of blood after urination, which could be confused with urine. Either of these occurrences could be a sign of uterine cancer. An unneutered male rabbit could have genital cancer or trauma which could cause blood to appear in his urine. BLOOD IN THE URINE (HEMATURIA)

When we see red urine, most of us worry about a bladder or urinary tract infection. However, actual blood in the urine is usually difficult to see with the naked eye. When due to kidney disease, straining to urinate may not occur, but straining is the most common sign of urinary bladder disease. A rabbit straining to urinate assumes an unusual stance, that is he sits for an unusually long period of time on the tip toes of the back feet, with the tail very high in the air. Immediately change the litter box so you will be able to determine if he is producing urine. He may only produce a drop or two of urine at a time because of the frequency with which he is attempting to urinate, but if you see urine, you might wait until your regular veterinarian is available in the morning. If you do not see urine, there may be a blockage and it's time to see your emergency veterinarian.

In the case of difficult urination, a urinalysis is in order. If hematuria occurs along with straining, disease of the urinary bladder is likely and additional tests may be necessary; for instance, X rays, urine culture or blood tests. Interpretation of findings must be based on knowledge of anatomical and biochemical variations of rabbits from other small animal patients.

It is not necessary to take your rabbit to the veterinarian for the condition of red (pigmented) urine. But when should you go to your veterinarian? If you see a red or pink color in the urine (orange is OK) and there are no other symptoms, you could wait until normal office hours and ask your veterinarian to test the urine for blood. If you see your rabbit straining to urinate, but there is no urine, go to a veterinarian as soon as possible. An emergency veterinarian should be able to determine if your rabbit is blocked and unable to urinate. If he is not blocked you could wait until the following day so that your regular veterinarian can decide if further tests or an invasive procedure is necessary.


Harkness, J.E., Wagner, J.E.: The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. 3rd Edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1989.

Okerman, L.: Diseases of Domestic Rabbits. Cambridge: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1988.

But, I'd still give the vet a call and have them do some blood work, just to be on the safe side.

03-04-2003, 09:38 PM
How old is she? Has she been spayed?

The red urine mentioned in the previous post was my first thought also.

Aspen and Misty
03-04-2003, 09:44 PM
She is 5 months old and no she is not spayed. We didn't call rhe vet because it cost us $30 just to call after hours. Although if she needs to go in We will take her. I went to the house rabit society and I read about the blood in the urine but there was 1 pile outside of the box that was just blood, and looked to be as if there was no urine in with it.


03-04-2003, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Aspen and Misty
She is 5 months old and no she is not spayed. We didn't call rhe vet because it cost us $30 just to call after hours. Although if she needs to go in We will take her. I went to the house rabit society and I read about the blood in the urine but there was 1 pile outside of the box that was just blood, and looked to be as if there was no urine in with it.


I would go to the vet.

Aspen and Misty
03-04-2003, 09:55 PM
Since she is acting normal I'm going to get her a new litter pan and check on her sometime in the night or/and in the morning to make sure there is no blood. We are going to call the vet tomrrow and see what he says.

Thankyou Brie and Karen, you've been a big help, I guess I over reacted but it was scary.


03-04-2003, 10:10 PM
Ash, did you check her 'female parts' her bum? are they bloody... check it ASAP -- if they are call the vet!!!

My first thought was exactly what Brie posted... the 'red' urine...

03-04-2003, 10:15 PM
You know, I know practically nothing about this, but I was wondering, since I've never had a mammal pet, do rabbits have periods like we do at puberty? :confused:

03-04-2003, 10:25 PM
Sort of.

They go into estrus ("in heat") which can be compared to that. I know sometimes female pups bleed a bit but nothing like what Ash is talking about. (I don't remember my cats or my Sophie ever bleeding when they went into heat.)

If Jilly is going into heat, there should be other signs as well... nesting, CRANKINESS (yes, female bunnies can get PMS! lol), and a few others.

Ash--how is the bunbutt now?

03-04-2003, 10:36 PM
Oh ok! Thanks! For some reason I thought all female mammals bleed when going through heat. Guess its only us! :o :rolleyes: LOL

Hope your bun's alright Ash!

03-04-2003, 11:11 PM
I don't know anything about the other animals, but I know dogs do bleed some when they go into heat.

Hope Jilly is ok!

03-05-2003, 02:16 AM
Really Amy? So when they bleed, before they are spayed, how do you keep the house clean? :eek::confused::eek:

03-05-2003, 02:18 AM
You can get doggie sanitary diapers.. my aunt had to use them on her dog because the dog went into heat before they had a chance to spay her.. I think it looks humiliating, but it's better than having to scrub carpets. Not very much comes out.. it's more like spotting rather than a lot of blood.

03-05-2003, 02:27 AM
The other way it an be done... Is people buy Depends and cut out a hole for the tail!! :)

03-05-2003, 02:47 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Doesn't it happen to kitties? :confused:

03-05-2003, 02:55 AM
I don't know if it happens to kitties actually.. because cats are so clean, if it did, I would imagine they would clean it off regularly and we wouldn't notice it as much.. but that's just a guess..

Aspen and Misty
03-05-2003, 09:18 AM
I at her bum, but I don't think there was any because I flipped her over and rubed her cheeks and she feel asleep. I didn't see any then and I think I might have noticed. I'll go home and look, as I'm at school. She was acting fine this morning and is eating well. I checked her litter box and there was no blood in it but I still made her an apointment for tonight at 6, just to be sure. Thank you for all of your help. I'll tell you what the vet said after the apointment.


03-05-2003, 10:16 AM
It's always better to be safe (taking her to the vet), than sorry (having a serious condition go untreated).... you've done the right thing making an appointment for her.

Be sure to let us know what the vet has to say.....

He may want to test her fecal matter...... See if you can get a half dozen fresh poops and put them in a baggie and take them with you to the vet....... I would guess he's going to ask you to do this anyways so it's better to take the poos1 before he asks for them, otherwise you'll be delaying a possible diagnosis if you wait and take the samples in tomorrow or later in the week.....

Good luck!!! My thoughts are with you and J-girl!!!

03-05-2003, 01:18 PM
Let us know how it goes, Ash... I'll be waiting on pins and needles!!!

Aspen and Misty
03-05-2003, 05:45 PM
Well. The doctor said everything looks fine. He said to get a urine sample if we could and so we are going to try.Although, we do have some exiting news! We've changed her named to Julian instead of Jillian, because she is a he :eek: :eek: good thing we didn't get another bun to go along wiht her errr Him. He is doing great runnin around like a crazy bun always does, LOL.

Ash :D

03-05-2003, 06:38 PM
oooooooo! im glad HE (:D ) is ok!:)

03-05-2003, 09:13 PM
Oh my!! :D Mis-sexing bunnies sure does happen alot here lately! lol

So glad that Julian is ok... here's hoping for a good outcome on the upcoming test!!!

Aspen and Misty
03-05-2003, 09:20 PM
Thanx Julian did go pee in his cage and we got a nice amount :D I also wanted to let you all know how to pronounce his name just in case you were un sure about it- its Jewl E On , sounds just like Jillian (Jill E On), LOL. :rolleyes:


03-05-2003, 11:46 PM
Oh my another she-bun is a he-bun! LOL I'm going to be so confused! :p

03-06-2003, 01:49 AM
I'm really glad to hear everything is okay.

03-06-2003, 08:56 AM
I think those of us who have our bunnies "change" their sex on us, need to form a club.....we could call it "The Switcheroo Club"!!!! :D :D :D

Aspen and Misty
03-06-2003, 10:08 PM
LOL! I'm in for the club! LOL Well Julian is still called a pretty little girl eveytime anyone comes in cause I said ti last time they were here lol :D He is havin fun hoppin around and taking advantage of free range of the livingroom, of course only when we are home, but he still loves it!



03-09-2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by Brie
First and foremost, blood in stool or urine is NEVER a good thing, wheter it be human, rabbit, horse, dog, monkey, alien....]

Actually, some rabbits just always have a little blood in their urine, and it doesn't hurt them in any way. I'd definitely get it checked out, but I had a male Netherland for 11 1/2 years who always had a bit of blood in his urine. The vet ran some bloodwork, and told me that it happened sometimes, and it wasn't hurting him in any way.