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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22611
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our rabbit has very dark with a tinge bordering red this

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Our rabbit has very dark urine with a tinge bordering red this is only been today she is 6 years old and kept in a air ventilated shed which her and her brother have the entire space Fresh water daily and hay .
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Can you tell me if Betsy's been eating and drinking as normal? No decline in either?

Has she had access to any foods, toys, or chews that are darkly pigmented? (especially reds or oranges)?

Was the volume passed a normal volume or does she seem to be going small volumes perhaps more frequently?

Did you see any clots in the urine?
Did the urine have an abnormal odor or appear gritty?

How is she otherwise herself?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Betsy has been drinking and eating normal

Betsy does get a little piece of Apple maybe three times a week .

The volume passed was just the same as any other time

No clots ,or gritt ,smells just like a rabbit

She is a bit overweight and we have had her on hay for a while cutting out her nuggets. She is a bit flabby now as she has lost weights .she's very placid and loves a cuddle but always glad to be put back down to her brother Bramble .They are both unseperable .

Thank you Violet,

First, I do want to let you know that dark or even reddish urine isn't always abnormal in the rabbit. In fact, with rabbit diets often containing highly pigmented vegetables/feeds, we can often be given a scare despite all being well. Therefore, when we consider rabbit urine, we have to accept that any shade from light yellow to rust red may be normal.

Now if Betsy's urine volume, composition, and odor is all normal and there is no sign of blood clots, I'd not be panicked here. Instead I would advise monitoring the next few ruinations to see if the color changes back to what you are used to seeing. If it doesn't or you find that she is going more often, going smaller amounts, or if you have any doubt, then we'd want to consider submitting a sample to your local vet. They can do a quick in-house urine examination/dipstick to tell you if blood is actually present. If it is, they can look under the microscope to see if there are any other abnormalities (ie bacteria, white blood cells, crystals that can be a hint of potential bladder stones). And in that case, we'd want to consider a check-up.

Just to briefly note what we'd have to be thinking about if this urine were abnormal and the red tinge was a hint of blood, we'd have to consider infection (from the kidneys down to the bladder), kidney or bladder stones, and diseases of the uterus (infection but this is a species that is very prone to uterine cancers if left unspayed). As well, though again less likely here, we can see bleeds from these organs in rabbits who have been exposed to poisonous plants or toxins that could affect their blood's ability to clot.

Overall, I am suspicious that her urine discoloration is likely normal and is due to dietary pigments (since there are no other changes to the urine to suggest anything more sinister). Still it is worth keeping a close eye on her urination, monitor any pigmented foods she may have (as they could be the trigger), and potentially using newspaper (or even paper towel) as bedding to let you get a better appreciation of what may be passing. And if you see the urine remain dark or would like a wee peace of mind, then do consider submitting a urine sample for a quick in-house check. In-house urine samples tend to be an economical and non-invasive way of determining if blood or anything abnormal is actually present. And if goodness forbid, there was blood confirmed, then you'd be aware and able to then discuss options with your vet in ruling out infection or anything sinister for wee Betsy.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello ,
Thank you for your time in answering my question about Betsy our rabbit .We do appreciate that without a proper examination you could not be. As accurate as one could be ,However both of us have taken in what you have said and we will monitor her for the next day or two and if we are still worried we will take her to our own have put our minds at rest meantime I would like to say thank you once again I would recommend you to any of my friends.
Kind Regards,
Mr and Mrs Deans
And Betsy x
You are both very welcome.

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That sounds like a good plan for wee Betsy. Hopefully, we will see this settle but if it continues over 24-48 hours or there is any doubt then it is always ideal to be proactive with bunnies (since they like to pretend all is well even when they are feeling poorly).

All the best,
Dr. B.