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Thread: Rabbit peeing outside litter trays

  1. #1
    Young Bun dex179's Avatar
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    Default Rabbit peeing outside litter trays

    Hi all

    So recently Dex has been peeing outside his litter tray. Even if he is practically next to it. He'll do it outside of his cage, inside the cage while he's having a drink, etc...

    What does this mean?

    Do you think this is a tell-tale sign of arthritis? Or is my rabbit somehow trying to communicate some problem? As you know from another thread I posted, Dex has constant teeth issues and recently had a tooth abscess drained...

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I think you would have noticed if he had become arthritic by the way he moves, not hopping but more like walking. Does he have hay in the litter tray as this tends to encourage them to go in there. Unfortunately rabbits do wee in other places at times, maybe he is still getting over his abscess?

  3. #3

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    What type of litter tray is it? Is it high sided? A rabbit should be able to do a 360 degree turn in its litter tray and if this isnít possible then the litter tray is too small and therefore the rabbit will be less willing to use it. Also as already mentioned, put hay in the litter tray if you havenít done this already (half hay, half litter) as this encourages good litter habits.

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    Young Bun dex179's Avatar
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    I switched to a lower sided litter tray a while back, but I'm thinking maybe I just need to cut a big opening on the side so he doesn't have to hop on to the litter tray?

    I put the litter at the bottom of a bed of hay. He's definitely peeing more outside his litter tray in the last 2/3 weeks.

    I have had a rabbit boarder mention before that he looks like he has arthritis. He does hop about as usual but just more docile recently, which I have been thinking was down to his tooth abscess....

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dex179 View Post
    I switched to a lower sided litter tray a while back, but I'm thinking maybe I just need to cut a big opening on the side so he doesn't have to hop on to the litter tray?

    I put the litter at the bottom of a bed of hay. He's definitely peeing more outside his litter tray in the last 2/3 weeks.

    I have had a rabbit boarder mention before that he looks like he has arthritis. He does hop about as usual but just more docile recently, which I have been thinking was down to his tooth abscess....
    How old is he? If you do think it is arthritis then Iíd cut out an opening as you mentioned, but be aware that thing could make a mess and litter may be outside the litter tray more. Also Iíd recommend getting him checked out by a vet if you can find one open right now as he may be put on metacam or other medication for pain relief if it is arthritis.

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    Young Bun dex179's Avatar
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    He's due a teeth clip over next few weeks so will mention it then as I believe it involves an X-ray. I do suspect it is arthritis.

    His nails are quite long, especially his back feet. Can rabbits be in pain as a result?

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dex179 View Post
    He's due a teeth clip over next few weeks so will mention it then as I believe it involves an X-ray. I do suspect it is arthritis.

    His nails are quite long, especially his back feet. Can rabbits be in pain as a result?
    Yes, or pain can mean that they do not wear down their toenails evenly. Does he have sore hocks too ? Can you clip his toenails ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9KemnaTGIs&t=381s

    Does he show actual hind leg weakness/instability ?


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

  8. #8
    Young Bun dex179's Avatar
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    How can I tell if he has hind leg weakness/instability?

    He's been peeing everywhere outside of his litter tray this morning and I've also had to clean his bottom as some of his pee has touched it. Not sure what's going on. I've got metacam at home...shall I just try giving him some to see if it would help for the next few days? Or shall I speak to a vet first? Don't really want to go to the vets as we go often enough and I don't want to stress him out further. Also, they'd probably want to do x-rays etc rather than just looking at it and saying that it's arthritis etc.

    I'll have to check for the sore hocks but for now I don't think so.......

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    Young Bun dex179's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    Yes, or pain can mean that they do not wear down their toenails evenly. Does he have sore hocks too ? Can you clip his toenails ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9KemnaTGIs&t=381s

    Does he show actual hind leg weakness/instability ?
    I am trying to clip his nails but it's hard on my own. Managed to clip a few on his hind legs this morning while I cleaned his bottom...will have to do this one at a time...

    Clipped his front paws and I think they look ok....

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dex179 View Post
    How can I tell if he has hind leg weakness/instability?

    He's been peeing everywhere outside of his litter tray this morning and I've also had to clean his bottom as some of his pee has touched it. Not sure what's going on. I've got metacam at home...shall I just try giving him some to see if it would help for the next few days? Or shall I speak to a vet first? Don't really want to go to the vets as we go often enough and I don't want to stress him out further. Also, they'd probably want to do x-rays etc rather than just looking at it and saying that it's arthritis etc.

    I'll have to check for the sore hocks but for now I don't think so.......
    I would give the Vet a call. At the moment all Vets are having to change how they conduct some consultations due to Covid 19. Face to face consultations being for Emergencies only and most Vets are not permitting Clients to enter the Surgery, the Pet has to be handed over outside. A telephone Consultation/Video Call in the first instance may lead to the Vet suggesting a trial of Metacam for a few days to see if it helps.

    Hind leg weakness is quite obvious to see, the Rabbit struggles to hop effectively, they may stumble/fall over. They do find it hard to jump ( into a litter tray for example). There are various possible causes of hind leak weakness, arthritic pain being just one

    https://rabbit.org/hind-limb-weakness-in-the-rabbit/

    I am sure that your Vet will want to help if you give him/her a call


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

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