Why Is Your Rabbit Not Peeing?

Categorized as Bunny Health Tagged

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Rabbits that are not peeing can be due to a problem on the kidney itself, blockage on the urethra / bladder, or a decrease in blood flow to the kidney.

Rabbits typically urinate 2-8 times a day. If your rabbit hasn’t urinated in 24 hours, you should bring them to a veterinarian because it could lead to a painful death if not treated.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why your rabbit is not peeing:

Possible reasons why your rabbit is not peeing

Two rabbits not peeing in its litter Why Is Your Rabbit Not Peeing?
“Bunnies in the Litter Box” by bunnix is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When rabbits stop peeing, it is typically due to the kidney itself (renal), anything before the kidney (prerenal), or anything after the kidney (post renal).

Prerenal

If the problem is prerenal (before the kidney), its usually due to the decrease in blood flow (hypoperfusion) to the kidney, which consequently decrease the production of urine in the kidney.

This can happen even if there are no problems with the kidney itself.

Most of the time, prerenal azotaemia happens after the following:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Shock
  • Volume depletion
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Narrowing of the renal artery

Signs that your rabbit is suffering from prerenal azotaemia:

  • Clinical dehydration
  • Hypovolaemia (fluid loss) or hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • The urine specific gravity (USG) result is >1030

Renal

If the problem is renal (kidney), it is usually caused by an injury or some kind of disease in the kidney that causes a decrease in urine production.

Most of the time, renal problems are caused by the following:

  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Glomerulonephritis/nephrotic syndrome
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi 

In addition to the following conditions above, drugs can also damage the kidney (meloxicam, carprofen, deracoxib, etc.).

Post renal

And finally, if the problem post renal (after the kidney), its usually due to an obstruction of the urinary tract.

Blockage in the urethra or the bladder can be due to blood clots, uroliths (stones in the urinary tract), or mucous plugs.

How to know if your rabbit is not peeing?

A rabbit sleeping in its litter Why Is Your Rabbit Not Peeing?

Most rabbits will urinate 2–8 times per day. But this is highly dependent on a number of factors, like how much fluid they drink, temperature, if they are neutered, etc.

It’s actually kind of hard to know if your rabbit is not peeing. Most rabbit owners might not notice that their rabbit is not peeing normally.

The best we can do is look for symptoms like:

  • Difficulty urinating 
  • Signs of pain (teeth grinding, hunched up posture, lethargy, hair pulling, rapid and shallow breathing, over or not grooming)
  • Thick cloudy, beige, or brow colored urine.
  • Urine retention

But if you’re certain that your rabbit hasn’t urinated in 24 hours, you should take them to a veterinarian.

What to do if your rabbit is not peeing?

If your rabbit is not peeing, you should immediately take them to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian. Rabbits that are not peeing would require a test to know what causes it in the first place.

Your veterinarian would also do a series of treatments depending on the situation, like rehydration, syringe feeding (if required), drugs, etc..

Can rabbits die without peeing?

Yes, rabbits can die a painful death if they do not pee in as little as 24 hours. That’s why it’s important that any changes in their poop, urine, and behavior should be taken seriously.

Conclusion

If your rabbit has stopped peeing, it could be due to the kidney (renal), or anything before (prerenal) or after (post renal).

Most rabbits will urinate 2–8 times per day. If your rabbit hasn’t urinated in 24 hours, you should take them to a veterinarian.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (August 9, 2022) Why Is Your Rabbit Not Peeing?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbit-not-peeing/.
"Why Is Your Rabbit Not Peeing?." Bunny Horde - August 9, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbit-not-peeing/
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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.