We’ve talked a bit about bladder and urine issues in cats and dogs this month, but our rabbit friends can have urinary problems too! One of the most common issues in rabbits is “urine scald” (also known as “hutch burn”) – an incomfortable condition caused by urine soaking into the rabbit’s fur.
Normally when a rabbit urinates, they stand in a particular way to prevent urine from soaking into their fur. If a rabbit is sick or sore, they may not be able to stand like this properly and get themselves covered in their own wee. This is more common under their tummies or around their genital areas.
Urine left on the skin isn’t only smelly and uncomfortable, if left for long periods it can cause severe irritation. Eventually this may lead to hair loss, inflamed skin, and even burn-like sores or fly strike if severe enough. As you can imagine this is pretty miserable and needs to be addressed quickly.
Several things can directly lead to urine scald:
- Bladder and kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Improper cleaning of hutch and bedding
- Joint malformations
Urinary and joint diseases aren’t the only things that can cause urine scald. Sometimes when a rabbit is sick with another disease, urine scald can be an important indicator that your bunny isn’t feeling their best.
Keeping your rabbit’s hutch clean is an important first step for prevention, but it might be time for a check-up if your bunny needs treatment for urinary issues.