Rabbits are a popular pet nowadays, which does mean we know a lot more about them than we used to. We are beginning to notice that rabbits tend to have problems with their urinary tract quite often. So, why might your rabbit not be peeing?
Rabbits commonly suffer from urinary tract problems, but they can be treated easily if they are caught early. Some of these issues include Bacterial Cystitis, Kidney Stones, Kidney Disease, or Urinary Tract Obstruction. These can make your rabbit not want to pee and should be looked at by a vet.
How many times a day should a rabbit pee? What are the symptoms your need to watch for that indicate a problem with your rabbit? Let’s find out!
Why Would Rabbits Stop Peeing?
Rabbits are cute little balls of fluff that many people love, and when something seems off with your beloved pet rabbit, this can be extremely worrying for you as their caregiver. As rabbits are prey animals, they tend to hide their illnesses and injuries exceptionally well, even from their owners.
While this may help them in the wild, it can make diagnosing and treating their illnesses fairly difficult. This is why you need to understand your rabbits’ behaviors and what is natural for them, as this will help you pick up any disease faster, meaning you have a better chance of treating it in time.
You can watch for symptoms that will indicate something is wrong with your rabbit’s peeing habits. These symptoms are only an indication that something is wrong, but further investigation will be needed to identify the exact cause.
These symptoms include:
- Your rabbit is straining when urinating, whimpering, or crying while trying to urinate.
- Your rabbit is producing much less Urine than normal even though their water intake has stayed the same.
- When your rabbit tries to urinate, only a small bit of Urine comes out.
- Your rabbit tries to urinate more frequently.
- The Urine, your rabbit, produces is sludgy or contains grainy calcium deposits.
- There is blood in the Urine your rabbit produces.
- Your rabbit does not want to urinate at all.
These are all a cause for concern, as they indicate unpleasant illnesses for your rabbit. Let’s have a look at the most common causes for these symptoms, so you can better understand them and know what your little bunny might be going through.
Rabbits Are Prone to Urinary Tract Diseases
Unfortunately, rabbits are prone to Urinary Tract Diseases or UTDs. USD is a broad term covering multiple diseases that may affect your rabbit’s urinary tract, which is very common in rabbits.
As a rabbit owner, it is helpful to know these diseases to know what to look out for with your rabbit. Here is a list of the common Urinary Tract Diseases that rabbits develop:
- Sludgy Urine is caused by a calcium build-up in the rabbit’s urinary tract and makes the rabbit’s Urine have a sludgy texture, possibly with some grainy deposits inside the Urine.
- Bacterial Cystitis is a bladder infection usually caused by Pseudomonas spp or Escherichia coli bacteria. This will cause your rabbit to strain while urinating, and your rabbit will only produce small amounts of Urine that has a very strong smell.
- Kidney Disease – trauma, infections, or diabetes can cause kidney disease in rabbits. This will cause your rabbit to strain and have painful urination.
- Kidney Stones – this is what can happen when sludgy Urine is not treated; it will develop into kidney stones. Kidney stones can be excruciating and will stop your rabbit from urinating.
If your rabbit shows any of these symptoms, you need to take them to a vet that is trained to handle rabbits, so they can be treated accordingly.
Urinary Tract Obstruction in Rabbits
Urinary Tract Obstruction is also a common cause of rabbits not urinating, as this restricts the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. This can show a few symptoms, including:
- Difficult and painful urination
- Cloudy Urine or Urine that is thicker than usual
- Difficulty moving around and getting up
- Brown or beige-colored Urine that has a thick consistency
- Your rabbit may have a hunched-over posture
- Urine retention, not being able to empty their bladder, or even a lack of urine flow when your rabbit tries to pee.
The causes for Urinary Tract Obstruction can be due to lesions developing in the urinary pathway of the rabbit, which then causes pressure to increase in the rabbits’ ureters that can lead to kidney failure.
Another cause for this problem in rabbits is the build-up of calcium deposits in the urinary tract, leading to kidney stones.
When these kidney stones are eventually passed, one or two may get lodged in the rabbit’s urethra or in the tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters).
This can cause problems for your rabbit and will require medical intervention. So, when your rabbit shows any of these symptoms, you need to take them to a rabbit-friendly vet for diagnoses and treatment.
How Often Should Rabbits Pee?
If your rabbit is not showing any of the symptoms named above, there may not be a need to worry for your rabbit’s health, as it may just not need to urinate as much as you expect it to. Usually, most rabbits will urinate between 2 and 8 times in one day.
This number will vary depending on your rabbit, how much they drink, and if they have been neutered or not.
This is why it’s important to monitor your rabbit and find out what is normal for them, so you do not worry. However, rabbits should urinate at least twice 24 hours; if they don’t, you need to take them to the vet.
How to Promote Unrainy Health in Rabbits
Once your rabbit has been checked by a vet and is given the all-clear, there are a few things you can do to help prevent this problem in the future. One of the most important things is to ensure your rabbit has access to enough fresh, clean water to stay hydrated.
Dehydration can lead to inflammation of the urinary tract, which could then cause an infection. You need to keep their cage, litter pan, and water bowl clean. This will help minimize the bacteria in your rabbit’s cage that could lead to an infection.
The litter pan and water bowl should be cleaned daily. You need to let your rabbit get regular exercise to reduce their chances of developing UTDs and infections.
Reduce your rabbit’s stress and ensure they have unlimited grass hay to eat. Treat any pain or conditions that your rabbit might have, like arthritis, as this will help your rabbit stay mobile and clean.
Rabbits are great pets and companions, but they can be complicated at times, especially when diagnosing illnesses. You need to know your rabbits normal, and you need to monitor them daily for any signs that something could be wrong.
Thankfully, most of the common reasons your rabbit may be struggling to urinate can be easily treated if they are noticed early. Good luck with your rabbit!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.