Is it OK for rabbit to drink pee?
Why Rabbits Drink Their Urine? [Drinking Pee is Harmful!]
Improper feeding is one of the possible causes of rabbits drinking urine. If the rabbit’s body is faced with a lack of sufficient nutrients or a lack of adequate water, the rabbit may try to drink its urine to reabsorb the necessary substances.
But apart from this reason, rabbits are sensitive to the situation, and the occurrence of fear or stressful experiences may put the rabbit in a case where it will drink its urine to deal with the abnormal factor and mistrust of the environment and conditions. Of course, if the normal conditions are available for the rabbit, but still this behavior can be seen in him, the cause can be the owner’s carelessness.
Another possible reason is hormonal disorders. If the normal distribution of hormones is disturbed, it can affect the rabbit’s taste receptors, and the rabbit will lose its desire for other feeds and have to obtain the substances it needs by drinking its urine.
In general, doing this on behalf of rabbits, even though it does not harm the rabbit in the short term, is not normal, and after observing it, we must look for the cause to prevent possible damage.
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Possible causes of repeated urine drinking by rabbits
If, after observing the rabbit drinking urine, you fill the container with water regularly and it does not repeat this, then the problem is a lack of water. But if you still notice this issue after providing the needed water, there are other possibilities about the water the rabbit needs.
For example, the water temperature may not be optimal for your rabbit. Rabbits do not like water that is too hot, and too cold water can cause problems for rabbits and slow down the functioning of internal organs.
For this reason, the rabbit does not consume that water and is forced to supply the required water another way. But if, after checking all these issues, the rabbit still doesn’t want to drink from that water container, this behavior may be due to fear of some factor. If your rabbit has a partner or a type that shares a water container, it has likely seen dangerous or oppressive behavior on the part of its partner, and to escape from danger, it does not try to satisfy its needs and create tension.
Therefore, each rabbit should have its water container so that no problem occurs. Of course, urine is the excess water in the body of any creature. It has undecomposed substances that can deposit, and repeating this habit will introduce these toxins into the rabbit’s body and put the liver at risk, in addition to the kidneys.
When there is an inconsistency in the rabbit’s routine or when we try a new diet, it may not provide all the substances that the rabbit needs for life. The rabbit notices this inconsistency and tries to achieve a permanent balance by eating its urine to eliminate the disorders.
A large percentage of sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C are substances excreted through urine. If the rabbit feels lazy and tired and the owner does not notice this, the rabbit tries to compensate for this deficiency by drinking urine that contains vitamin C and iron.
Hormones are present in the urine of rabbits, and drinking urine from rabbits causes the hormones in it to return to the rabbit’s body and disrupt its regulation and balance. Hormones are one of the factors affecting the behavior of animals, and disrupting them can cause eating habits, behavior, stress, aggression, and unusual behavior in rabbits.
Spraying is one of the consequences of feeding on urine that has been observed in rabbits. It is one of the same behavioral abnormalities resulting from hormone regulation disorders that cause rabbits to urinate in inappropriate places or sprinkle their urine around.
Of course, by sterilizing the rabbit, this behavior can be reduced and then controlled. Because after sterilization, most of the hormones become neutral and do not have the previous effect on the rabbit, and their return to the body causes less hormonal disruption than before.
Stress, tension, and anxiety can hurt the life of any sentient being, and rabbits are no exception. Due to the sensitivity of the environment to protect themselves, rabbits are strongly affected by stressful factors and show reactions such as aggression, restlessness, or nervous movements.
Of course, all stress on rabbits does not lead only to behavioral problems, and changes can be seen in the rabbit’s body, such as difficulty breathing or bulging eyes, which are the result of the effect of stress on the rabbit’s nervous system. This same problem causes the brain to send a dangerous message to the body organs, and the eyes bulge more than normal, or the rabbit’s blood circulation becomes heavy, leading to difficulty breathing.
But first, we must know the stressful factors to prevent them as much as possible. In general, any new element in the rabbit’s life causes stress in the rabbit. For example, if our living environment is going to change, it is better to take the rabbit along with us before moving so that it gets familiar with the environment.
Of course, the owner’s behavior and diet are also effective. For example, treating a rabbit with violence or carelessness can make the rabbit feel rejected and stressed, and he will act like drinking urine in return.
Does drinking urine harm rabbits?
Yes, urine contains different and excretory substances of the rabbit’s body, which should not be kept in the body for a long time, and that is why they are excreted through urine. Rabbit urine contains large amounts of nitrogen and ammonia. Both of these substances should not remain in the body of animals for a long time because nitrogen can cause problems such as gout for rabbits by depositing in the joints, which is very erosive and dangerous for an animal like a rabbit whose life is dependent on mobility.
Ammonia is also a very toxic substance that must be removed from the body as soon as possible because it produces a deadly sense by combining with carbon dioxide in the body. In addition, because of its pungent smell, it can cause respiratory or skin problems both for the rabbit and for the people living in that environment. The cause of these diseases is the high reactivity of ammonia, which enters the lungs by breathing it and poisons the circulating blood.
In addition to these toxic substances, it was said that other substances such as excess phosphorus and potassium are also excreted, which are not useful to return to the body and only double the work of the urinary system, and also toxic substances are not easily eliminated again and can be problematic. As a result, drinking urine repeatedly is pathogenic for rabbits and should be prevented.
Is it OK for rabbit to drink pee?
Do any other bunnies on here drink their own urine? Our rabbit, Dennis Hopper The Rabbit, has been doing this for a couple of months now. It’s weird, and we’re not sure why he is doing it.
The reason he’s able to do so is because he usually doesn’t pee in a litter pan. We have set up about five different pans for him to use, and he doesn’t really go in any of them. He will be in front of them, or next to them, and then as soon as he’s done, he turns around to start lapping up the urine.
Our vet could not explain this, but said it’s probably not super awesome that he’s doing this. My wife tried internetting around to figure out the deal, and she said the only thing she found was that if a rabbit has been abandoned before, it will drink it’s own urine as a way to stay hydrated, because it won’t know when fresh water is coming again. Our rabbit, however, has lots of access to water.
Any comments on this would be really helpful. Thanks!
we attempted to re-train with the litter pans earlier in the year, but it didn’t really work. we were hoping that if we took away the pans and put down newspaper, that he would pick a place to go, and then we would work back up to the pans.
we also had some setbacks with a bladder stone in march, so i don’t know if we’re ever going to get him to go in the litter pans. i guess i don’t care so much about that as about him trying to drink his pee after it’s come out of him. because that’s weird and probably not good for him to be doing. specifically if he’s got crystalized calcium in his urine. i don’t want that getting back into his system.
Colty does this too and he also has had many issues with bladder problems. Including stones and infections. He usually does not use the potty pan—as much as we try, putting hay in the potty pans only-he will get in and use them when he feels like it. But I am hoppy that I am not th eonly one with w pee drinking bunny. I have no clue as to why he does it. He does it more when he is on antibiotics I’ve seen that.
as weird/bad ad it is, i guess i am also glad it’s not just our bunny doing it. he is currently not on any anti-biotics, and i guess it don’t know when it exactly started. we got him in november, and the health problems really materialized in february, although that was when we saw definite signs that something was wrong. there could have been problems for much longer that we weren’t aware of.
it’s strange to say, but i guess i am just glad he is peeing. if he was going in a littler pan, i wouldn’t know for sure that he was going. when he had his stone, he was all blocked up and would try to go and couldn’t. so even though it sucks cleaning up pee in the hallway, where he’s not supposed to be going, i guess i am just relieved that pee is coming out.
Otto is obsessed with his and all other bunnies’ pee. I have no idea why, but I think it’s just a weird behavior. He hates all water unless he can lick condensation off a glass or lick somebun’s urine. It’s weird and gross, but I think that’s it.
Sorry Dennis, no idea why bunnies do this and it’s been talked about before on other rabbit lists and no one has really come up with anything reasonable that I’ve ever heard. I too have had bunnies do this, and never figured it out. I don’t think it means there is something physically wrong though.
I, Unfortunately do this too. I am in no way unhealthy, and I always have fresh water and a salt lick available. It just seems that I. like to do it. I am quite a small rabbit and only once or twice I’ve done this. Anyone know why I do this?