Why Do Some Rabbits Have Red Eyes?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged
Florida white rabbit with albinism. Why do some rabbits have red eyes

Last Updated on July 29, 2021 by Rei

Rabbits having red eyes can mean two things. One is albinism and the other is an eye infection. You can tell that a rabbit is an albino when its eyes are red while having white fur.

While an eye infection can happen in rabbits regardless of their fur color. An eye infection would is usually accompanied by other symptoms like bumps around the eyes and swelling.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits have red eyes:

What’s an albino rabbit?

Albinism is a mutation of the C locus genes which is responsible for synthesizing melanin. When the melanin pigment is removed from the body, the rabbit would have that bleached look from its eyes and fur.

Albino rabbits look like this:

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Albino rabbits have red eyes not because their eyes have red pigments but due to the fact that it doesn’t have any pigments at all which in turn exposes the blood vessels in the eyes.

Albino rabbits are extremely rare in the wild, but due to the demand for albino rabbits as pets, we humans intentionally breed them. You can tell if you’re rabbit is albino by looking if their eyes are red or pink and if their fur is bright white.

What breeds of rabbits are prone to albinism?

Angora rabbit that has albinism

While recessive, any rabbit breed can carry the albinism gene. But due to popular demands for albino rabbits, rabbit breeders had developed a breed that can consistently produce albino rabbits like the Florida White.

Here are the most common rabbit breeds that can produce albino rabbits:

  • Florida white
  • Himalayan rabbits
  • Californian rabbits
  • Angora rabbits
  • Holland Lop
  • Polish
  • Jersey Wooly
  • Lionhead
  • Mini Lop
  • Netherland Dwarf
  • Rex rabbits
  • Satin Rabbits
  • New Zealand
  • Flemish Giant

Health concerns in albino rabbits.

Albino rabbits are just as healthy as non-albino rabbits. The gene that makes them albino only affects the pigments of their cells.

One thing that differs in albino rabbits from non-albino is their sensitivity to light. The pigments in our skin and eyes can act as a filter to light. But due to the lack of pigments in albino rabbits, they tend to be more prone to light sensitivity and sunburn.

So if you’re planning on having an albino rabbit, make sure that your place is well insulated from sunlight and bright lights. You should also avoid bringing your albino rabbits outside for long periods of time.

Other causes of red eyes in rabbits.

Albinism is not the only cause of red eyes in rabbits. Certain eye conditions can turn your rabbit’s eyes red regardless of their color due to swelling.

Here are the most common reasons why rabbits have red eyes:

If you notice redness on your rabbit’s eyes or anything out of the ordinary, immediately contact your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can you breed albino rabbits?

    Breeding albino rabbits are both legally and ethically okay. The albinism gene is not harmful to the rabbit’s well being and albino rabbits live normal lives just like non-albino rabbits.

  2. Are rabbits with red eyes evil?

    Rabbits having red eyes are due to the albino genes causing their eye’s blood vessels to be exposed due to the lack of pigment caused by the condition. While albino rabbits might look evil due to their blood shut eyes, albino rabbits are actually more gentle than normal rabbits.

  3. Are rabbits with red eyes have good eyesight?

    Rabbits that have the albino genes tend to be more sensitive to light than non-albino rabbits. While their eyesight is not horrible, they tend to take more time to scan their environment before moving forward due to their sensitivity to light.

  4. Can albino rabbits live in the wild?

    Albino rabbits are extremely rare in the wild. Due to their color that doesn’t blend well with the environment, they tend to die out quickly because they are easily spotted by predators.

Conclusion

Red eyes in rabbits are usually caused by albinism. Due to a lack of pigment in their eyes, which is caused by a mutation in their pigment-producing gene, albino rabbit’s blood vessels in their eyes are exposed giving them that pink or red eyes.

While albino rabbits are as healthy as non-albino rabbits, they do have some light sensitivity because pigments can act as a filter for light. So if you have an albino rabbit, make sure that your rabbit is protected from bright lights and don’t expose them to sunlight for long periods of time.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 15, 2021) Why Do Some Rabbits Have Red Eyes?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/why-do-rabbits-have-red-eyes/.
"Why Do Some Rabbits Have Red Eyes?." Bunny Horde - November 15, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/why-do-rabbits-have-red-eyes/