The color of urine is widely accepted to be yellow, but this isn't the only color of pee that a healthy rabbit may produce. Rabbits can have a variety of urine colors and some may be alarming if you don't know what's normal. Find out what colors in your rabbit's litter box indicate healthy urine, what it means if the urine is cloudy or a certain color, and what colors indicate your rabbit may have a medical concern.
Rabbit Urine Colors
Like most other animals, rabbits can have yellow or clear urine, but they can also have orange or even red urine without it indicating a problem. They can even have urine that isn't clear. The following list provides more information on the different urine colors and clarity you may see from your rabbit and what they could mean.
- Colorless: If your rabbit is very well hydrated and healthy, it may have urine that is colorless or clear. This is completely normal.
- Yellow: This is a normal urine color.
- Amber/Orange: This is a normal urine color, but if your rabbit isn't drinking as much as it should, this may be why it is darker than usual color. Ensure your rabbit has a water bowl and bottle to drink from and is eating its greens.
- Red/Dark Brown: This color can be normal in a rabbit. It is usually from the vegetables that a rabbit eats. It can also be due to eating fir leaves and other reasons.
Rabbits can also have visible elements in their urine as well as clear urine. Some things that you may see in rabbit urine are normal while others are an indication of a serious problem.
- Blood clots: Unlike red or dark brown urine, clumps of blood called clots are always a sign of a problem. If you see them in your rabbit's urine, contact your veterinarian.
- Cloudiness: Rabbit urine is not always clear, so it can be normal for it to be cloudy. This is due to tiny calcium particles that are being excreted by your rabbit. Cloudy urine is not a concern but if becomes thick, then it can be problematic. Your vet may recommend that you decrease the amount of calcium your rabbit is consuming if they have very cloudy urine.
- Sludge: Urine sludge is a problem. Urine should be liquid but when it becomes too thick from too much calcium, it becomes sludge.
Causes of Abnormal Urine in Rabbits
If your rabbit's urine is not a normal color it may have one of the following health concerns:
- Dehydration: If your rabbit is not drinking enough water, the urine can become dark yellow or brown. Dehydration can affect many parts of the body and cause ileus.
- Pyometra: This is an infection of the uterus. Female rabbits that have not been spayed are at risk for developing this condition.
- Bladder tumors: Both male and female rabbits are at risk for developing tumors in their bladder.
- Uterine or ovarian tumors: Unspayed female rabbits are at risk for developing tumors of their reproductive organs.
- Failed pregnancy: An unspayed female rabbit that comes into contact with an unneutered male rabbit can become pregnant. If that pregnancy fails, blood may be seen.
- Bladder stones: Uroliths or stones in the bladder can irritate the lining and cause blood to be present in the urine.
If your rabbit is diagnosed with a health concern that is causing its urine to be abnormally colored, treatment may be necessary to correct it. Increasing water intake, decreasing calcium intake, antibiotics, and even surgery may be recommended depending on the cause of the urine discoloration.
How to Prevent Abnormal Urine in Rabbits
The key to keeping your rabbit healthy is to provide an appropriate diet, plentiful water, and regular exercise. Normal urine will be encouraged if you give your rabbit both a water bowl and bottle to drink from and provide dark, leafy green vegetables that are low in oxalates daily for it to eat. If you have a female rabbit, you should also get her spayed to prevent reproductive problems that may cause you to see blood in the urine, even though those problems have nothing to do with the bladder.