Having a pet rabbit or bunny can be lots of fun. These fluffy, furry companions are a joy to behold, and can be the perfect first pet for many people. However, they can be prone to some peculiar health issues, and you may be concerned about the health of your bunny.
One of the more common questions and queries we get is about bloody urine in rabbits. Whilst bloody urine is not common for bunnies, some owners can notice red colored urine, and wonder whether rabbits get periods, or whether red rabbit urine is a cause for concern.
For the most part, red urine can be caused by plant pigments in the diet of the rabbit, but this often returns to normal after a few days. If a bunny has red urine or blood in their urine, then it could be a sign of something more, and your bunny may have genital or uterine cancer. But can it be a period? Do bunnies have periods? We have all of the answers for you.
Do bunnies have periods?
No, bunnies and rabbits do not have periods, as they do not menstruate. If you have noticed a bit of blood coming from your female bunny, then it is not having a period. This is because female rabbits are induced ovulators, so they only release an egg if there is a suitable mate around them or during the mating process.
This is very different from other types of ovulation such as human ovulation, where menstrual cycles occur, and females would bleed during this period.
Therefore, there should not be blood around the rabbit’s reproductive organs, or in their urine. If there is blood, then this is usually a sign of a health problem, a sign of trauma to that area, or a medical issue. If you have noticed blood in this area, then the first thing you should do is locate the cut or laceration, prevent further bleeding if possible, and immediately take the rabbit to the veterinarian.
Do female rabbits bleed?
No, female rabbits do not bleed menstrually. Rabbits do not reproduce in the same ways as humans and other mammals. For instance, they have induced ovulation, which means that they ovulate in response to external stimuli such as a male rabbit mounting them for the purpose of mating.
This response is kind of like going into heat, and can be maintained throughout the year. Rabbits are notorious for reproducing, and are pretty much in season 24/7 and all year round. Did you know that female rabbits can actually conceive within just 24 hours of giving birth?
With induced ovulation, there is no bleeding, as these animals follow an estrous cycle, which is very different to the menstrual cycle. In the menstrual cycle, hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. When there is no fertilized egg, the lining will break down, which will cause a bleed. As this does not happen for rabbits, they do not bleed when in heat.
Why is my bunnies pee red?
So, as bunnies do not have menstrual cycles and bleeding, why is your bunnies pee red? Usually, red urine indicates that there is a serious underlying health issue within your bunny. There are a myriad of reasons why your rabbit’s urine is different in color, or why it has excessive pigments such as dark yellow, orange and bright red.
Obviously, seeing red can concern many doting rabbit owners, so you will want to check it out straight away. Both male and female rabbits can have red urine, and the most common causes could be changes in diet, the heat, cold weather, stress or any changes to the environment in which they are kept. These factors can often cause changes to the color of your rabbits’ urine.
What you need to find out is if it is blood or just discoloration. If it is blood, then you will need to take your bunny to a veterinarian immediately. This could be a sign of a health problem. If it is blood, then you will need to look for other symptoms that could indicate that your bunny is not healthy.
These could be signs of discomfort or pain, or heavy panting, difficulty breathing and if it looks like they are straining or struggling to urinate. If you do see any of these symptoms, then take your bunny to a veterinarian for immediate treatment.
If the urine just seems to be discolored, not bloody and there are no other signs of health issues, then just watch for a few days to see if it goes away. Red rabbit urine can be very common, and can be caused by the diet you are giving your rabbits.
Red rabbit urine: Is it plant pigments or blood?
Red rabbit urine is often caused by the pigmentation in the plants and vegetation that you feed them. Vegetables such as kale, spinach, carrots, microgreens and fresh parsley can cause the urine to turn red. In addition, red rabbit urine can occur when a rabbit eats a veggie that it is not quite used to eating.
For instance, if they have never had dandelion greens before, then this can often cause red urine for a couple of days, but this will pass within 2-3 days of eating it, and is nothing to worry about!
If the red rabbit urine happens often, then you can by process of elimination work out what is causing the change in color. Sometimes it can be the veggies, but other times it can be stress or a change in temperature.
Rabbits and bunnies are delicate creatures, and their bodies can reflect their fragile nature. It could be that something is stressing out your bunny, which is causing the discoloration. If this is the case, then work out what has changed, and try to eliminate this from the bunny’s diet, or lifestyle to get things back to normal!