Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Rei Garnet
To tell if your rabbit is dehydrated, you have to look for its symptoms. The most common are dark or smelly urine, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and wrinkled skin.
The most common reason a rabbit gets dehydrated is when they have diarrhea. The other reason is neglect or not giving your rabbit unlimited access to clean water.
If your rabbit has unlimited access to water and you still suspect dehydration, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian. There could be an underlying cause that only a vet could properly diagnose.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail how you can tell if your rabbit is dehydrated:
You can tell the difference between normal urine and dark urine by the smell. Dark urine that’s caused by dehydration has a stronger scent of ammonia.
Check to see if your rabbit’s water is still fresh. Sometimes rabbits will refuse to drink when they don’t like the smell of water.
If your rabbit is still not drinking after replacing its water, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian. Your rabbit might be suffering from issues only a vet could detect.
Wrinkled skin is another sign of dehydration. You can test for dehydration by gently pulling a little bit of skin at the back of your rabbit’s neck. If the skin stays in place for a few seconds, it’s a good indicator that your rabbit might be suffering from dehydration.
If your rabbit has a constant supply of water and is still not drinking, check whether its stool is normal or watery. Your rabbit might be suffering from diarrhea or digestive issues, causing it to refuse to take fluids.
Bring your rabbit to a veterinarian because your rabbit might be suffering from digestive issues only a vet could detect.
Fever accompanied by dehydration is a serious issue and should be looked at by a veterinarian. Bring your rabbit to a veterinarian if your rabbit has a fever, regardless of whether or not your rabbit is dehydrated.
Fever can be caused by a lot of things. The only way to know for sure is to go to a veterinarian.
Just like us humans, when we’re dehydrated, rabbits also feel sluggish or have lower energy levels.
Make sure that your rabbit’s water is still clean and drinkable. Remember that your rabbit’s water should look like what YOU yourself would drink.
If it looks dirty, some rabbits would be reluctant to drink it because of the smell.
Lack of appetite
Another common symptom of dehydration is a lack of appetite. Lack of appetite is usually accompanied by lethargy, where your rabbit doesn’t have enough energy to eat.
Your rabbit not eating is extremely dangerous and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. A rabbit who hasn’t eaten in 12 hours could develop gastrointestinal stasis. GI stasis could lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.
The signs of dehydration in rabbits are dark and smelly urine, wrinkled or tight skin, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.
Make sure that your rabbit has access to an unlimited amount of clean, drinkable water that you yourself would drink. Your rabbit might not drink or only drink a little when the water has a foul smell.
If your rabbit’s dehydration is caused by diarrhea, it’s time to go to a veterinarian. Diarrhea in rabbits is extremely dangerous and can lead to death.
Cite this article:
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- Can Rabbits Eat Grapes? What You Need To Know.
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- Can Rabbits Eat Apples? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Spinach? Your Questions Answered.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Celery? What you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Radishes: Everything You Need To Know
Sources and further reading
- Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
- Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
- Red Urine: Blood or Plant Pigment?
- Gastrointestinal Stasis: The Silent Killer
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